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31+ Answers to Top FAQs about Fractional CMOs

Fractional CMO
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31+ Answers to Top FAQs about Fractional CMOs

Table of Contents

 

Check out this round-up of Top FAQs users ask about Fractional CMOs

 

In this post, we’ll cover the most common questions you’re probably asked on:

  1. What is a Fractional CMO?
  2. What can they do?
  3. How much do they cost?
  4. When should you hire a Fractional CMO?
  5. How can they benefit your B2B SaaS?
  6. What is Fractional CMO or Chief Marketing Officer?

A Fractional CMO can be defined as an individual who has been appointed to the role of Chief Marketing Officer for a company but does not have full-time employment with that company. The term “fractional” refers to the fact that they are only employed part-time and therefore do not hold all the rights and responsibilities associated with being a true CMO.

A Fractional CMO is a marketing executive that helps with customer acquisition and company growth. Without the full-time cost, your company gets executive experience and guidance. It’s a big bonus if they can execute tactically as well as strategically. A fractional executive is an idea that has been around for a while in the marketing world.

Fractional CMOs bring incredible value to companies where having a full-time CMO wouldn’t make sense, either fiscally or even practically, due to the typical scope of challenges needing attention. At Algocentric Digital, we provide that same kind of value to your firm offering flexibility in seasonal needs.

1. What is a Fractional Marketing?

A full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is out of reach for most small to medium-sized businesses. Furthermore, many individuals discover that their marketing requirements change from time to time. In an era when organizations must work smarter, not harder, a fractional marketing approach answers the gaps by delivering the knowledge and know-how of a full-time CMO on-demand and within budget only when and where you need it.

Firm-level CMOs may employ the services of a network of in-house employees and subcontractors to assist them with implementing marketing strategies. So, in a nutshell, Fractional Marketing allows you to get the abilities and experience of a full-time CMO while also tapping into their network of marketing professionals for any type of projectfrom content planning and execution to impartial executive marketing development.

2. Is it a good idea to engage with a Fractional CMO?

According to a recent report by Hubspot, over half of all marketing professionals are concerned about the shortage of marketing resources. The competition is tough, as reaching and retaining an audience becomes increasingly time-consuming. It’s difficult for marketers to produce interesting, informative, engaging, and impactful content on time and within budget. This implies a loss of big-picture planning or the ability to pursue strategic marketing initiatives for small and mid-size businesses.

This is where fractional marketing offers you two advantages at the same time: having your cake and eating it. Having the tools and knowledge to market yourself and your business in today’s environment is critical for long-term success. Fractional marketing is just one of many strategies to meet and exceed your objectives in the coming year.

Algocentric Digital excels at providing fractional marketing plans for B2B SaaS Marketing organizations on the go. Get the personalized attention of a highly qualified marketing professional and the resources of a marketing firm for a fraction of the cost.

3. How common is the use of Fractional Chief Marketing Officers or CMOs?

Hiring a Fractional CMO is not a new practice and has been around for some time. However, there have been several factors driving this trend towards hiring more fractional CMOs. The first factor is technology.

Technology makes it possible for firms to hire fractional CMOs without incurring high costs.

For example, suppose a company needs help creating a website but doesn’t want to pay for a web developer. In that case, they could contract with a fractional CMO to create the site using software like Squarespace, which requires minimal development work. Another reason why companies are turning to fractional CMOs is that traditional staffing models don’t scale well.

As companies grow, so do their marketing teams. Traditional staffing models require significant upfront investments in training and recruiting before scaling up. With fractional CMOs, these issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Finally, another driver behind the rise of fractional CMOs comes down to the fact that people are working longer hours than ever before. Companies need to find ways to ensure that their marketing efforts aren’t falling through the cracks during crunch times. By outsourcing specific tasks to fractional CMO, companies can free up staff members to focus on other vital projects.

4. How Can CMO On-Demand Help My business?

Check out these 7 reasons to hire a fractional CMO for your B2B SaaS Start-Up.

Rather than hiring a full-time CMO, many companies have started to rely on outsourced marketing leadership services to gain their experience, and strategic oversight without the costs associated with a full-time CMO hire.

1. A fractional CMO saves money while delivering better ROI

A traditional CMO would require a salary plus benefits package and maybe stock options. This means paying for someone’s entire life cycle: recruiting them, training them, managing them, and firing them when they leave. In addition, there will always be ongoing expenses such as office space, equipment, supplies, etc., which add up quickly.

Rather than hiring a full-time CMO, many companies have started to rely on outsourced marketing leadership services to gain their experience, and strategic oversight without the costs associated with a full-time CMO hire.

2. Reduce Risk & Hire Faster

When starting a new business, there’s always uncertainty about how things will turn out. And when you’re bootstrapping, every dollar counts. That means having to make tough decisions quickly – such as whether to invest in a full-time CMO or not. A fractional CMO allows you to test different options before committing to one. This way, you don’t waste money and resources if they aren’t working out.

  • Outsourcing reduces your learning curve and saves you time so you can focus on your business while someone else handles your digital marketing strategy and execution.
  • You get to choose who you work with, and you don’t need a full-on commitment until your firm is ready.
  • You don’t have to worry about hiring and training an employee since they’re already a proven marketing leader.
  • Depending on how much time you want to spend, you can scale up or down if things don’t go according to plan.
  • You can hire and work remotely with them and have them involved as much as possible.

3. Increase Productivity

The best part about using a fractional CMO service is that you only pay for what you need. If you decide to go ahead with this option after testing it out, you won’t incur additional fees.

However, if you don’t like the results, you simply cancel the contract and move on. No strings attached. Most CMOs will typically sign a 90-180 day trial contract with you, so you don’t need to worry about pitfalls and keeping staff on payroll. 

4. Gain Experience Faster

If you are looking to build a team from scratch, hiring a fractional CMO may help you do so faster by giving you access to more experienced marketing power. The fact that these professionals already know the ins and outs of running a successful digital marketing program for your industry makes them ideal candidates for helping you grow your B2B SaaS company.

5. Grow Your Business More Efficiently

We’ve noticed over our years of doing this that most business engagements start small with a 90-180-day Trial but end up growing into something bigger. It’s essential to keep track of where you stand at all times because once you reach certain milestones, you’ll likely need to expand your efforts. Depending on growth, you can easily adjust your budget accordingly as you scale up or trim down by outsourcing your marketing strategy. 

6. Get Better Results With Less Effort When You Get Expertise

One of the biggest challenges facing most B2B SaaS and other industry startups today is finding qualified marketing talent to fill positions within the organization. When you use a fractional CMO model, you can take advantage of a proven talent network widely available through top platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Depending on your marketing needs, your Fractional CMO will likely have a marketing team in place with proven expertise for different parts of your B2B SaaS business.  

7. Save Time & Money and avoid burnout

Many entrepreneurs, especially those in tech, struggle with balancing between being hands-on and delegating responsibilities. But when you delegate some tasks to others, you free yourself to focus on other aspects of your startup. Plus, you save money since you don’t have to pay salaries for employees. Working long hours isn’t healthy for anyone. In addition, it takes its toll on relationships. So why put yourself under pressure when you have so many things on the go already?

5. What should a CEO look for in hiring a fractional or part-time Chief Marketing Officer?

Length of experience and industry expertise 

Are they a T-Shaped marketer?

What are their strengths and weaknesses as it relates to your specific industry, business or niche? 

What hard and soft skills do they possess?

Do they have any certifications?

Can they hire and lead a marketing team with specialized skills?

Do they have a proven track record initiating growth? 

6. What does a good CMO bring to a startup?

A strong CMO brings a proven track record in driving growth in your niche. They understand how to install a marketing system and implement the right Martech to help automate marketing and sales with systems and processes. They know how to build leverage with small teams and focus on the most critical business parts that drive the bottom line. 

  1. They understand how to use the right tech to drive growth through customer acquisition because they’ve done this in the past. 
  2. They understand the importance of brand strategy like positioning and communicating your USPs to the market that sets up your sales teams for success. 
  3. They can think strategically and also work in the weeds if needed. 
  4. They can hire the right talent to drive faster growth. 

7. Should a startup have a CMO?

While it’s not essential for most startups to have a CMO right out of the gate, having someone who understands digital marketing strategy can bring an enormous benefit in terms of growth to any startup. Seasoned CMO understands how to embed “marketing appeal” and features into a product or service as it’s being made, rather than after the fact. The best way to find a great CMO is by asking them what their clients are saying about them. Ask people who have worked with them before. Look at reviews online from other companies. You’ll get some insight there too. The more experience they have working with B2B SaaS companies, the better.

In a startup, the chief marketing officer (CMO) is frequently one of two crucial jobs charged with increasing revenue, alongside the head of sales. In other words, CMOs are in charge of and accountable for metrics-wise growing the company’s user/customer base. They are also responsible for boosting revenue and earnings, increasing client interaction and retention, and directing creative, brand, and communications tactics.

With that being said, the meaning of the CMO position differs significantly from firm to firm. For example, the CMO is often in charge of direct user acquisition through advertising and organic growth in consumer firms. The CMO in business-focused organizations generally manages the lead generation and sales enablement while collaborating closely with the head of sales to feed a complex and time-consuming go-to-market engine.

CMOs in consumer and business enterprises are two distinct professions. And while some CMOs may have the breadth of abilities and experiences to straddle these various types of businesses, in my experience, it’s uncommon to find someone who is world-class at both. That’s why, when a firm changes from consumer to enterprise, it frequently rebuilds its marketing team from the ground up; it’s as if marketers in consumer and enterprise firms communicate differently.

What’s critical to note here is that CMOs differ widely depending on a business’s marketing needs. Intuit founder, Scott Cook, noticed there are two sorts of marketers in the world: artistic creatives and scientific types. “Artistic CMOs” are experts in the many qualitative tasks in marketing, such as positioning the brand, envisioning the plan, creating marketing materials that can genuinely engage a potential user in its authentic storytelling that is consistent with the brand’s market position. These CMOs are usually effective at executing media campaigns across various digital marketing channels like paid search, programmatic, video, paid social, and organic search. They also typically flourish in industries that invest a lot of money in advertising, like B2B SaaS and e-Commerce.

Before hiring a CMO, you must have an educated viewpoint on which sort of CMO your company requires. If you hire one type of CMO and then expect them to flourish in a different capacity, there are a lot of risks involved. Most seasoned marketers tend to stay in their own “swim lanes,” with their prior experiences on their resumes remaining consistent throughout their careers. We don’t typically see a digital-first-CMO from their self-designated lane successfully crossover into a new one that’s not focused on digital channels.

However, all marketing is a combination of science and art; therefore, businesses generally require some mix of both. Hire the CMO who best matches your primary need, followed by additional hires to fill their gaps; an excellent VP of communications/public relations might be hired as an example. However, bear in mind that the particular type of CMO you choose will influence how they run things; their mentality will determine the marketing organization’s priorities, including those of other recruits filling their gaps.

 

Developing an understanding of key marketing functions for your B2B SaaS

 

8. What are the key marketing functions that a marketing organization needs?

Business Development

1. The first function of any marketing team is Business development. This includes sales activities, customer support, account management, etc. It should consist of people who work directly with customers. A good rule of thumb is if someone has ever had contact with a prospective client, they belong on this list. However, this role may overlap heavily with Sales because most companies do not want to sell something without clearly understanding what value it provides.

Brand Positioning and Communication

2. A second important function of any marketing department is brand positioning and communication. To effectively communicate about your products and services, you must clearly define what makes your product or service truly unique and how you can stand out in the sea of highly competitive companies that do “the same thing.” You can use many methods to accomplish this task, such as:

Defining Your Unique Value Proposition like a “Free {insert some essential and nice to have features} for life.” This can be done for any company looking for your product, and you need to be there so they can embed your B2B SaaS product into their Martech stack early on and “grow” with you as they scale their business over time. 

Your UVP is essentially the core benefit of your product or service. For instance, Dropbox offers file storage at no cost, while Google Drive allows unlimited free space.

Brand Positioning in the Early Years of a Company

In addition to defining your unique value proposition, you should also consider how others perceive your company’s brand. If you are just starting up, you will likely find yourself competing against other startups that offer similar solutions but lack the resources to compete head-to-head. Therefore, if you cannot differentiate yourself from these competitors, customers might perceive you as another startup offering an inferior solution.

User acquisition and B2B lead generation

3. The third most crucial function in a marketing department is user acquisition. This is the process of acquiring new users for your product or service. Lead generation is the process of generating leads for your business. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are different processes.

Digital Analytics and Data Science 

4. The 4th major role of any marketing team is to ensure that all customer interactions are appropriately recorded through an analytics platform like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. This data can then be taken further to be analyzed using data science techniques.

The goal here is to identify patterns within the data which allow us to predict future behavior and make better decisions regarding our marketing campaigns. We want to know where we’re spending money most efficiently and whether certain types of content perform best when driving leads and conversions.

Example of data science in action: Adobe Target Audience Manager – TAM helps marketers understand the interest of individual users based on browsing history and online behavior. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze user-profiles and generate custom audience segments. These audiences can then been used to target ads more accurately.

Inbound Content Marketing

5. What is Inbound Content Marketing? This type of strategy involves creating valuable information about products that solve problems. You should clearly define who your ideal customer is and what problem they face. Once you’ve identified these two things, you’ll be able to determine how much time and effort you need to put into each content marketing campaign to generate traffic and new leads.

Inbound content marketing has become one of the top priorities for many B2B SaaS companies today because they realize its importance in generating new business opportunities. The term “inbound” refers to attracting visitors to your website rather than sending them away after viewing only one page.

It is important to note that not every piece of content needs to have SEO benefits. However, some content parts need to rank well organically so that people see them first when searching for related topics.

How does Inbound work? When someone visits a company’s site, their search engine will display results from various websites across the web. If you create high-quality content with relevant keywords, this will help increase organic traffic to your site. As long as your content ranks higher than other sites’ pages, potential customers will click on your links instead of theirs. This can generate new high-quality leads, brand engagement, email sign-ups, and demos that can drive the bottom line for your B2B SaaS firm.

Digital Advertising for a B2B SaaS

The best way to advertise online is through paid digital ads. These ads appear at the top or side of Google searches, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, etc., which means they’re more likely to get noticed by users. Paid ads also allow businesses to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and even past purchases. They can even show up within apps like Instagram and Snapchat!

Why use Digital Ads? There are several reasons why most small businesses choose to invest in digital advertising:

1) It works – Studies show that digital ad spend generates three times more revenue per dollar spent compared to traditional media.

2) It’s measurable – With digital ads, you know exactly where your money went and whether it was effective. Traditional media doesn’t provide such clear metrics.

3) It’s flexible – Unlike TV, radio, print, and outdoor campaigns, digital can be quickly paused and changed.

9. At what point does a startup start looking for a CMO? 

A startup should hire a CMO when they need to scale up their business. The CMO should be responsible for managing all aspects of the company, including sales, marketing, product development, and customer service. A good CMO has experience running large companies before starting their venture.

You’ll want to look for candidates who have worked in similar roles previously but don’t necessarily require previous startup experience. You may consider hiring an agency if you feel comfortable working with them. An agency typically charges less upfront and provides ongoing support throughout the process.

If you decide to work directly with someone, make sure they understand how startups operate so s/he knows what kind of resources you will need from them. Also, ask potential hires questions regarding their ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and communicate effectively across different departments.

With that being said, in some instances, some B2B SaaS companies may opt out to hire a CMO right out of the gate to test the MVP (minimum viable product) before they go ahead and build out the full version of the product/service. This is typically a good idea if you’re the 1st in your market to execute something like this and you’re not sure how much demand there is out there for your next big idea. Innovative companies trying to bring a unique product to the market might opt out of this strategy.

Why? The reason is simple before you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing something that may not be needed, it’s a good idea to test the waters with some “early beta access” users to gauge how many people would be keen to demo the product and potentially buy the MVP when it’s more polished. This way, you can build the demand before you launch your first working beta or the actual polished product. 

10. What should a startup expect of their head of marketing CMO?

A startup needs a strong head of marketing or CMO who has a deep understanding of the market and can help build a product that solves a problem for customers. The head of marketing CMO must be able to communicate effectively with all stakeholders and understand how to create a compelling story about the company. A good head of marketing or CMO will have experience working across multiple industries and can work closely with other departments. They should be able to hire the right team members that compensate for the CMOs areas of weakness. 

11. What should the first 30, 60, 90-day plan look like for a brand new VP of marketing or CMO? 

Fractional CMOs are growth-focused strategic experts. Moreover, profitability in campaigns is crucial based on KPIs that are identified and reset in the first 30 days. The first thing to be done in the first 30 days is to focus on maximizing the efficiency within your marketing teams and identifying your team’s strengths and weaknesses to bring in new hires after the 30-day mark. During the first 30 days, a CMO should also be onboarding and reviewing the marketing foundations and running a SWOT analysis of different marketing programs to understand how well they are working.

After the first 30 days, the CMO should focus on devising a strategic plan across different digital channels and bringing in teams to help identify technological needs to achieve these. The CMO should consult with their teams on Martech stack building to support new campaigns initiatives.

After 60 days, there should be a data-informed focus on executing campaigns and continuously improving the systems and processes within your marketing department.

 

What’s a fair market value for a Fractional CMO when

it comes to pricing and cost?

 

12. How much does a fractional CMO cost?

The typical yearly income for a Chief Marketing Officer is $173,000, according to Glassdoor.com. The salary expense of a full-time CMO executive, in reality, can range from $90K to as much as $310K for top talent, and top talent expects benefits, stock options, and other perks, as well as a commitment to ongoing, at-will employment.

Even if you could afford one full-time, you may not need a CMO permanently. It all depends on how fast you’re looking to scale your SaaS and how quickly you can implement some of the strategies and tactics outlined by your marketing executive.

It’s not unusual for chief marketing executives working in highly competitive industries, such as SaaS, technology, medical, digital products, e-commerce, and sub-manufacturing, to be compensated more than $250,000 per year plus benefits and perhaps equity in startups.

In addition to the cost of staffing a CMO, organizations must also pay hefty expenses to compensate for these high fees. When they can’t afford to pay the labor that the CMO demands, they become top-heavy when hiring a CMO.

As a result, by hiring a Fractional CMO at a discounted rate in a smaller capacity, the business may apply the marketing strategies that the CMO thinks are appropriate with the right talent.

Many people label themselves as fractional chief marketing officers, although they may not be operating according to a tried-and-true approach to ensure that they can achieve predictable outcomes. A fractional CMO typically costs between $200-$300/hour and as much as $1,000/hour in unique instances, with hourly hiring being an exception. 

This is why a fractional CMO needs to comprehend the business fully – its assets, personnel, and goals – before devising the correct marketing campaigns and strategy.

As a result, most companies employ a Fractional CMO on a retainer basis once a week for 10-20 hours/week or 40-80 hours/month.

13. How much is a fractional CMO going to cost my firm?

A fractional CMO usually costs between $200-$300/hour USD, or a monthly retainer fee starts around USD 3,500/month and upwards of USD 10,000/month. It all depends on your marketing needs and budget so that a fractional CMO could charge a retainer fee anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000+ per month.

14. What is a typical Fractional CMO hourly rate? 

Fractional CMOs usually cost between $200-$300/hour USD but can go up to $1,000/hour in rare cases. 

15. What does a CMO get paid?

According to PayScale.com, the average annual compensation for a Chief Marketing Officer ranges from $120,000 – $170,000. This includes base salaries, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay, etc., but excludes any additional incentives like signing bonus, relocation allowance, stocks, 401, healthcare insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, tuition assistance, student loan repayment programs, employee discounts, flexible spending accounts, retirement plans, paid time off, and more.

16. What is a typical Fractional CMO salary?

The median yearly income for a fractional CMO is approximately USD 150,000 annually. However, this varies greatly depending upon where you live, industry, experience level, company size, location, education, and many other factors. The following table shows the range of possible earnings based on different variables:

  • Salary Range
  • Median Salary
  • % Above Average Salaries
  • Industry Avg. Annual Compensation
  • Job Title

17. How much does a Fractional CMO cost?

A Fractional CMO is worth more than you might think, and it can range between $500/day and upwards to $10,000/month. 

18. What is a Fractional Marketing Director?

A Fractional Marketing Director is a part-time employee that would typically work with your head of marketing, VP, or a CMO to help execute the strategic plans of a senior marketing person at your company to help put the vision and strategy of your CMO into actionable and measurable KPIs while keeping your project flowing. A Fractional Marketing Director can sometimes manage or guide your digital marketing specialists. 

19. What’s a typical Fractional CMO hourly rate?

A typical fractional CMO rate is $200-$300/hour. The CMO may be paid a flat fee or a percentage of the revenue generated from the client on top of that, depending on your agreement. This is a model that many agencies will typically deploy called a Revenue Sharing Model, which is an incentive for the CMO to drive growth. 

20. What is a Fractional CMO salary in a given year?

A company with clear revenue goals and a small marketing function should budget at least $5,000 per month—or at least $60,000 per year and up to USD 150,000 —for a fractional CMO and strategic marketing support. This can range depending on your digital marketing needs, advertising budgets, and your business goals. 

21. How much is a fractional CMO?

The average fractional CMO cost will depend on your firm’s needs and your specific business goals. Fractional CMOs are typically hired on a part-time basis, so expect to pay them a fraction of the market’s full-time salary, which can range between $15,000-$30,000/month.

22. What is the CMO day rate? 

For example, if a CMO works 10 hours in a given week and earns $200/hour, their daily rate is $2000/day. Take their hourly rate and multiply by the hours they’re expected to work. CMOs can charge an average of $200-$300/hour, so bear that by the number of hours they’ll work per day and month. 

 

Finding and Hiring a Marketing CMO

 

23. Why engage with Fractional CMO services?

If you have a good idea about growing your business, why not hire someone who has already done it before? You’ll save money and get access to expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise find. If you don’t know what you need, we can provide guidance as well. We’ve worked with hundreds of companies just like yours over the years and understand all aspects of running a successful online business.

24. What does a good CMO do?

What does an outsourced CMO do for a company? An Outsourced Chief Marketing Officer helps businesses achieve success through effective use of technology, data analytics, social media, content creation, customer experience management, brand development, creative design, public relations, search engine optimization, website development, mobile app development, email marketing, video production, etc. An outsourced CMO provides these services to clients via outsourcing arrangements where the CMO acts as a consultant to the client organization.

25. Can I outsource my entire marketing department?

No! It doesn’t make sense to outsource everything when you still need people to manage your sales team, handle customer service issues, run events, coordinate office supplies, etc. The key is finding the right balance of tasks that require specialized skills while also allowing you to focus on other essential areas such as product development, strategy planning, finance, human resources, legal affairs, operations, etc. I’ve been working on my own business and have had some success, but am not sure if it is time to hire someone. What are the first steps in finding a good fit?

It would be best to hire an agency or consultant who can help with your marketing strategy from day one. You need someone who will work closely with you and provide guidance and support throughout the process.

26. How can outsourced CMO services or Virtual CMOs help our B2B SaaS?

The answer is not as simple as you might think. The first thing that comes into mind when thinking of the role of a virtual Chief Marketing Officer in your company is someone who will be responsible for all marketing activities within an organization. This includes everything from advertising and public relations to social media campaigns, market positioning, and website design. However, this definition can also include other roles such as product management or customer service. 

Whether you’re into B2B SaaS or just another regular old business, a virtual CMO can do wonders for your company.

If you’re thinking: “Woah, woah, slow down there Skippy! What’s a Virtual CMO, and what makes them so different from a regular ol’ outsourced CMO? Do we really need one of those?” then allow me to explain.

I’ll start by saying that I feel like outsourced CMO services might deliver mediocre results at best. However, it could be because the people behind these outsourced efforts don’t care much about their clients’ marketing strategies since they are usually paid per project. In this case, why should they bother learning all there is to know about your business and its customers when they could just do a few ad buys and call it a day? The outsourced CMO service doesn’t have any skin in the game.

But if you were to hire a Virtual CMO, you would get an outsourced seasoned digital marketer who cares deeply about what you’re doing. Their income depends on whether or not they can help grow your company. So a Virtual CMO is a better option because they have skin in the game and care more about your company’s growth. 

What I’m getting at is that a Virtual CMO will stay with your company longer than an outsourced one because of how valuable their services are, while outsourced marketers will leave once the project is over. This is why you should hire a Virtual CMO.

When choosing a Virtual CMO, make sure to exercise caution because they all work differently and have vastly different skill sets. Some might be more focused on lead generation and have direct experience with B2B SaaS, while others are more focused on e-Commerce or other industries. Some have a focus on growing startups, while others are enterprise-oriented.

Try to gauge their digital experience or if they’re old school. Going for a younger CMO with more digital expertise might be better than someone with 30 years of traditional marketing experience because the marketing game has changed a lot with the introduction of search engines and social networks.  

You have to understand your business model and what type of CMO will likely fit the bill. Get a sense of your industry and do some research on LinkedIn to gauge what skill sets are standard in the B2B SaaS space for your niche. Find out where the different skill sets might intersect and start your outreach. Most of your time will be spent building relationships with desired candidates, and genuinely great CMOs are likely already employed and aren’t in the market for a new gig.

Indeed great hires are sometimes difficult to recruit because they’re likely getting paid well already and are doing great work elsewhere. You shouldn’t be discouraged by this but be aware that you need to be proactive about building relationships with these folks and not trying to recruit them out of the gate because they get pitched for job offers in the same way that a CEO gets pitched by someone to “get on a call” to buy “x” product/service.

Instead, you should send a friendly connect message and let them know you’re not looking to hire at the moment. Still, you will in the future and schedule a casual chat with the potential future hire to get some industry insights and tips on “how to find a great CMO” for your type of business and what they consider a great CMO.

Keep building upon this relationship and keep in touch with them, keeping them updated on your project, and a few months down the line, ask them if “they have someone in mind” for your type of project/brand that’s available in the near future. You’ll likely need to chat with dozens of potential recruits for 3-12 months. This is worth it because a CMO will hire your marketing team, and a great marketing team can truly deliver growth with the right “captain” at the helm.  

You should consider outsourcing your digital marketing efforts if you want to save time while getting solid results. Just make sure to hire a Virtual CMO who is invested in what you’re doing and offer them an incentive rooted in growth! That could be a revenue share model or bonuses if they hit specific revenue targets. Huge bonus if the Virtual CMO can approach digital strategy with an AI-Informed mindset. 

Why? 

It’s simply because the vast majority of marketers are data-informed today. Still, they have no idea how to build an AI-Powered stack or how to utilize AI-Powered software on the market that can truly accelerate growth and get serious results faster.

27. How can outsourced CMO services help our B2B SaaS?

Well, outsourced CMO services can help you create a digital marketing strategy tailored just for your B2B SaaS needs. They will consider what your software company does and all the different elements involved to build the perfect digital marketing plan for your B2B SaaS personalized to your brand.

I know that we’ve already discussed how outsourced CMO services aren’t as good as Virtual CMOs, but they still provide great value even if they don’t put much effort into reading up on their clients’ businesses.

Outsourced marketers do have decent domain knowledge about things like ad buys, email marketing, content creation, etc., so outsourcing these aspects of your business could be a great idea because it frees up time to focus on scaling up your company in other ways like building up your product platform’s features to beat out your competitors.

Finally, outsourced marketers are great at finding creative ways to reach your target audience for the lowest cost possible so they can maximize growth and revenue. 

If you hire an outsourced CMO service that’s data-informed, you’ll make progress much faster.

Why?

It’s because you can drive faster growth by actioning data from Google Ads, Analytics Platforms, Facebook reports, or data visualization Dashboards like Datastudio to pull out actionable and meaningful insights from your marketing channels. That’s what being data-informed means!

This helps the CMO zero in on specific audiences and channels that are working better and allows you to emphasize the things that work best as opposed to spreading yourself too thinly across too many channels and trying out the latest, shiniest tactics.

Data-informed insights help the CMO understand what to focus on and understand how effective their efforts are. You’ll also save even more money while still seeing higher conversions and better engagements with your brand with a data-informed CMO.

28. So when do startups usually look for a CMO?

They usually raise more than 1 million dollars from investors or a series A round. That’s when it makes sense to bring on board a professional with experience building brands. When is the right time to hire a CMO? The answer is simple: when you need one, the right person isn’t available internally or externally in your network.

29. What makes a good Chief Marketing Officer?

If you’re looking for advice on how to improve in this role, here are six things you should consider being!

1. Data-informed

First thing’s first: have strong data management skills. It’s a big part of what you do as a CMO. You don’t have to be a data scientist, but knowing how to use the presented data best is extremely important.

Also, don’t be afraid to take risks! We all know that marketing is an ever-changing landscape, and we always need to be on our toes. Be willing to test new strategies and ideas even if there isn’t data present yet on why it would work or not.

2. AI-informed

To continue on the digital marketing path: utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technology as much as possible! Many tools can help you combine data and use AI to target your audience better, find trends in data, and assess the performance of your marketing campaigns.

Even if you don’t know how to code or want to create custom algorithms, there are many tools out there that are user-friendly yet still provide excellent results. Be willing to experiment with these technologies as they can help you succeed within this role!

3. Passionate about digital marketing

Being a CMO isn’t just for anyone – it requires someone who truly cares about what they do. If you’ve taken on this role but aren’t passionate about digital marketing, it will show through your work. You need to be determined, willing to learn, and eager to take risks in this role to be successful.

Successful CMOs are always looking for new ways to improve their marketing strategies – whether it’s through experimenting with AI or finding out what content resonates the most with your target audience. You should bring this passion into everything you do as a CMO.

4. Confident in the ability to execute and reach milestones

Your confidence will help make everyone around you more confident. This applies both within your team and also outside of your organization. Don’t be afraid of taking on additional responsibilities! When you’re confident in how much work you can handle, others will be willing to work with you and learn from you.

Be confident in your ability to communicate with others – whether it’s with coworkers or clients. Your confidence can help them feel more at ease and comfortable with what they’re working on too!

5. Adaptable

Adaptability is critical when making any strategy successful or if you need to pivot on your strategy. Digital marketing goes through constant changes, which means your approach should be agile enough to evolve quickly, and your arsenal of tactics should be updated regularly! The best CMOs can change their way of thinking rapidly while still keeping the needs of the business in mind.

6. Doesn’t stop seeking advice or knowledge

Seek out advice from those who have been in your position before you. If you’re a first-time CMO, consider speaking with a more experienced CMO within your industry about how they would go about specific scenarios.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if needed! Many forums can help you connect with other marketers and business leaders who might have some insight into your situation.

Being a good CMO means having the right combination of hard and soft skills and proven experience. It’s also about being passionate, data-informed, AI-informed, confident, adaptable, and always seeking wisdom. 

30. What skills does a CMO need?

According to a survey conducted on 44 marketing professionals polled after HubSpot Marketing Day 2017, the following are considered as the top 5 necessary skills for CMOs:

1) Data Analysis (76%)

2) Leadership (68%)  

3) Strategy (64%)   

4) Communication (64%)

5) Brand Positioning (55%)

Digital marketing is a constantly changing sphere of business, which means that CMOs have to take on new skills frequently. Not only are marketers asked to oversee the entire customer lifecycle, but they must also be tech-savvy enough to keep up with emerging channels like social media and mobile devices. The ever-rising complexity of digital channels called for an industry shift towards content marketing expertise to produce quality resources for customers.

Despite all these changes, specific skills will always be relevant in any marketer’s toolbox.

Here are 5 critical skills every CMO should develop:

1) Data Analysis (top priority)

According to Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, ‘CMOs need data analysis skills more than anything else.’ This is especially crucial in B2B-oriented companies, where the average lead cost ranges from $150 to $300. It’s more costly than ever for marketers to engage with new leads that aren’t guaranteed conversions. To save time and money, CMOs should implement technology like marketing automation or ABM software (account-based marketing software) to focus their efforts on attracting high-quality prospects who are already qualified because they show strong brand engagement.

2) Strategic and Visionary Outlook

CMOs need both creativity and strategic planning skills to put their ideas into action while keeping an eye out for potential problems. A broad view of the industry will help you identify upcoming trends and opportunities early on before it becomes a significant disruption to your business. Utilizing one’s imagination is a much-underused skill by marketers.

3) Leadership

As the marketing department’s leader, CMOs must lead by example and motivate their team to strive for success. The best marketing leaders are always focused on boosting their department’s productivity by promoting employee learning and development.

4) Relationship-building (top priority)

CMOs need to build strong relationships with executives to gain access to company resources. Building genuine rapport with colleagues is critical because it allows marketers to communicate their needs more easily — whether they want to update data or additional budget allocation. They must also maintain good relationships with coworkers outside of marketing, like customer service representatives who work closely with customers daily.  

5) Joint Campaign Execution

According to Nis Frome, CEO of Hubspot, marketers must learn to work together with sales and customer service representatives for more efficient B2B marketing. Collaboration is essential in data analytics because marketers need to review up-to-date statistics before planning out their next steps. To gain results faster, it’s best to utilize your entire team’s skills so you can divide and conquer your campaign together as one unit.

31. Should I hire a Fractional CMO Agency?

A Fractional CMO agency is a new breed of a marketing agency. Fractional CMO Agencies are also known as Fractional Chief Marketing Officers. They have the experience of a full-time CMO, but they work on multiple projects at once instead of being attached to one single company for a year or more. Fractional CMOs or Fractional CMO agencies usually charge less than a traditional CMO would and can be hired by several companies at once, essentially allowing them access to high-level leadership without offering employment.

A Fractional CMO Agency structure allows you to hire high-level expertise without giving up equity in your business or extending an offer letter, which can often lead to issues if things don’t go as planned. Fractional CMO Agencies can help improve and grow your business while allowing you to maintain full ownership of your business and company culture. These agencies also typically provide a complete talent pool for your entire marketing team instead of hiring one person, which is often more cost-effective since they charge per project, not by the hour.

Fractional Chief Marketing agencies can typically understand proper branding strategies, digital advertising techniques (including search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, and pay-per-click management), lead acquisition strategies, promotion planning and governance (advancement services), social media marketing strategies, and digital analytics implementation.

Fractional CMO Agency providers may have skills in other areas such as public relations and sales funnel management, business development, and customer relationship building. Fractional CMO agencies typically also have a team of in-house experts to help you meet your growth targets.

Fractional Chief Marketing Officers can be hired at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house Chief Marketing Officer. In contrast, Fractional CMO Agencies usually charge anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 per month for their services, with some even having project minimums as low as $3,500/month. These agencies typically charge per project or on a retainer basis instead of by the hour and are usually hired at a monthly rate of between $5,000-$100,000.

Fractional CMO Agencies almost always provide a money-back guarantee along with their service offering, which is rare when it comes to marketing tools and services. These types of agencies have been shown to effectively double a business’ revenue in as little as 90 days, and they are available for hire almost immediately to help you implement a marketing strategy or work with your current team, along with overseeing day-to-day tasks. Fractional CMO Agencies should have the ability to be up and running within 7 – 30 days of being hired or faster.

As Fractional Chief Marketing Officer agencies grow in popularity more and more, companies will begin hiring Fractional CMO agency providers to manage their marketing efforts. These agencies have been proven time and time again as being far more effective than traditional marketing methods and can help businesses flourish in various market conditions.

A Fractional CMO Agency is beneficial for B2B SaaS business owners that do not have an existing marketing team or staff members on hand since such agencies typically provide a rich talent pool of elite marketers, designers, and developers (a team) instead of just hiring one or two people like you would with an in-house digital agency.

If you’re looking to learn more about hiring a Fractional CMO Agency, contact us here.

This post is continuously being updated, so come back to read more. 

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