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What is a Fractional CMO & Hiring a Savvy Executive

What is a Fractional CMO
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What is a Fractional CMO? + How To Hire One

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is the chief marketing executive of an organization or company. A CMO typically reports directly to a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and works closely with the sales and product development departments. The CMO’s key responsibility lies in developing and executing global marketing strategy, overseeing all corporate communications and branding, and marketing research.

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer is a marketing professional who works part-time for several different businesses, often with an assistant or other support. With the advent of new technologies and staffing models such as outsourcing and freelancing, hiring fractional CMOs has become more common than before.

In this piece, we discuss the role of a fractional CMO and the benefits a B2B SaaS company can expect. 

What are the responsibilities of a CMO?

A CMO takes up a host of responsibilities to fulfill various needs of a company. To put it simply, the CMO leads every step of the marketing process to achieve growth for the company. Some days the CMO will take the role of a business leader to guide the marketing department. On other days, the CMO will actively develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to plan for a launch.

Here are some of the typical responsibilities of a CMO:

1. Account-Based Marketing 

The traditional marketing process involves visiting businesses in the vicinity to promote the company brand. However, this is no longer applicable in today’s digital world. Now it is possible to reach more targeted customers by spending less on customer acquisition. This approach is called Account-Based Marketing (ABM). The CMO will manage and implement ABM to reach out to the right potential customers.

ABM is an outcome of the convergence of account-based sales and marketing. ABM allows you to streamline your pipeline management to focus on the best prospects that show the highest intent. With the help of ABM software, you can quickly identify companies visiting your website and focus on the ones that offer the highest engagement.

 It focuses on growing revenue by building relationships with accounts at scale, using a data-driven methodology within Sales and Marketing teams.

2. Performance Marketing

Performance marketing promotes company products through various media channels like paid search or paid social for user acquisition. Every company will implement performance marketing at some point since it helps increase high-intent quality web traffic, enabling you to connect with more potential customers. The CMO will provide expert marketing leadership by working with their agency to support their performance marketing effort to meet their MQL targets.

3. Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis compares its products with its competitors to find out their position in the market. The primary purpose behind this exercise is to generate new product ideas based on competitor research. The CMO will have to curate data gathered from various sources like the company’s sales team industry reports, and present them in an organized way to be used by other departments for future reference.

4. Brand Management

Every business wants its customers to associate its products with quality service and ultimate customer satisfaction. This is why companies spend millions of dollars on brand management every year since it has a significant impact on the company’s overall growth. Many marketing companies are indeed there who offer brand-building services but hiring dedicated personnel for this task might not be affordable for small businesses. In such cases, outsourcing Brand Management services is another option. A Fractional CMO would also take up Brand Management responsibilities and their other duties.

5. Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is the process of writing high-quality educational content that helps users find answers to their questions. Inbound marketing aims to educate potential customers on potential solutions and hint at services and solutions that your company may offer. 

In the case of a B2B marketing SaaS, inbound marketing could be used to help generate leads for the sales team or drive traffic to the website. Since inbound marketing is associated with content creation, the CMO would manage this marketing strategy by working closely with marketers and copywriters.

6. Oversee and Lead Marketing Team

CMOs often have to manage a marketing team consisting of marketers, copywriters, and content creators. The CMO will be responsible for hiring experienced personnel for this job and organizing the workflow to run smoothly, encompassing all departments. When you hire a Fractional CMO, they will take care of these responsibilities.

Every marketing team has to oversee marketing activity within the department. It includes controlling the latest marketing campaign, ensuring that reports are generated on time, and correctly organized data for future use. The CMO will supervise these operations to ensure they are carried out efficiently. This will help improve business processes and organizational effectiveness, translating to more MRR with less top-bottom management of marketing initiatives. 

7. Build Reporting Standards

The CMO will be responsible for establishing reporting standards that would measure the performance of marketing campaigns in an efficient way. The reports generated by the marketing team need to be helpful for the sales team and other departments like finance, technology. If you hire a Fractional CMO, they can help determine what KPIs to include in your visual Dashboard.

8. Marketing Budgets

The CMO is responsible for creating a marketing budget for the company since it will help determine which mediums to use to reach out to customers and the amount of money that needs to be allocated for each activity. Marketing budgets can be created in different ways, such as new customer acquisition, lead generation, and growing website traffic. The Fractional CMO will also make these budgets and other duties like hiring personnel and managing team workflow.

9. Grow Sales Revenue 

The chief goal of any company is to generate revenue. The CMO will be responsible for using marketing tactics and resources to target potential customers and increase the overall sales volume. Hiring an experienced CMO would help you accomplish this task since they would take care of all aspects related to marketing that could increase the revenue.

10. Build Your Brand

Marketing campaigns are not always about attracting new customers; some marketers build brand loyalty through engaging content. The CMO is responsible for managing these marketing campaigns, establishing reporting standards, hiring personnel, and creating budgets for future use. When you hire a Fractional CMO, they are also responsible for these duties.

11. Increase Traffic to the Website

The Fractional CMO will be responsible for using a wide range of marketing strategies to bring more traffic to your website and engage more customers. Using SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and other activities can help improve the traffic that would result in increased sales volume.

12. Improve Return on Investment  

ROI can be improved by analyzing data from different categories. This means that the CMO would work closely with other departments to ensure marketing efforts provide visible results. 

Hiring a fractional CMO is particularly beneficial for improving your company’s ROI. For example, if you choose to hire a full-time CMO, you will increase your monthly fixed cost. On the other hand, a fractional CMO can bring in the same results at a lower price where you only pay for the required services.

Along with this, a fractional CMO will also help increase revenue by using innovative marketing techniques and strategizing for product launch. 

When Should You Hire A Fractional CMO?

Deciding when to hire a fractional CMO is a critical business decision. Let’s look at some of the factors that you should consider while making this decision:

Lack of Leadership

If your current CMO is leaving for another opportunity, you should consider hiring a Fractional CMO to cover the transition period. You can also hire a Fractional CMO if no in-house marketing leader is exclusively assigned to this role since it enables the company to have a centralized marketing strategy.

The part-time CMO is responsible for taking marketing initiatives and leading the existing marketing team to increase revenue and introduce new products to customers. This means that if your company wants to focus more on core products, you should consider hiring a Fractional CMO for their marketing services.

Poor Marketing Strategy

If your company’s marketing strategy is not working, you should consider hiring a Fractional CMO as a marketing expert. When you hire a Fractional CMO, they will provide you with tips on improving marketing strategies so that they can generate better results.

For example, you might be advertising your SaaS product using Google Ads even though most of your users are active on LinkedIn. A fractional CMO can identify this gap to ensure that your marketing strategy maximizes the revenue

Need for Flexibility 

A Fractional CMO can adapt to changing market conditions. They can adjust their plans according to the latest trends and develop effective marketing strategies. For instance, if you want to expand into a new region, you can hire a Fractional CMO to ensure that your marketing strategies are aligned with the local culture.

Budget Constraints

A Fractional CMO is flexible enough to handle changes in the market. They can adapt quickly to changing trends and offer suggestions on improving the marketing strategy. If your company has limited funds, then it is advisable to hire a Fractional CMO instead of a full-time employee.

Lack of Experience

When you hire a Fractional CMO, they will provide marketing services immediately. You don’t have to wait for the new hires to gain experience in your company since hiring a Fractional CMO means that you get extensive marketing experience.

For example, if you want to launch a new product, you should get a fractional CMO who has previously worked on similar launches. This way, you can immediately get value from their past experience. As you are not hiring a full-time employee, you can release the CMO of their duties when the product is launched. 

Benefits of Hiring A Fractional CMO for B2B Saas Company 

The Fractional CMO will be responsible for carrying out the company’s marketing function and strengthening your brand. Apart from the fact that hiring a Fractional CMO is cost-effective, it also allows B2B SaaS companies to focus on core activities like software development hiring and take more risks in their business growth by building new product features to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Let’s look at some of the benefits that can be expected by hiring a fractional CMO:

1. Customized Services

A fractional CMO can provide different marketing services such as content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, or email marketing, which can benefit your business. They will use the tools and strategies required to meet individual spending needs. 

For example, let’s say you need to run B2B marketing campaigns before launching a new product. You might need a CMO to manage your in-house marketing team for a short period. In such a situation, a fractional CMO can provide you with better services instead of a full-time Chief Marketing Officer

2. Price Determination

You can determine the hourly rate of a Fractional CMO based on their skills and experience. They will offer an estimate to provide you with certain benefits before beginning their work.

3. Marketing Assessment

A fractional CMO will work as a marketing consultant and carry out a marketing audit to provide you with an in-depth understanding of your customer base. They will determine the current market conditions and business trends that can influence the demand for your product or service before you launch it.

4. New Ways to Expand Market Presence

Fractional CMOs can generate innovative ideas that help them market your products in new markets. This means that they can improve sales figures by varying marketing strategies. 

5. Improve Marketing Campaigns

The fractional CMO has years of experience improving marketing campaigns related to social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, web design, and content writing. The fractional CMO is also responsible for developing thought leadership and conducting market research.

6. Cost-Efficient Services

Fractional CMOs can provide cost-efficient marketing services. They can work long hours and finish their designated tasks on time so that they can reduce expenses. Based on your requirements, you can hire a fractional CMO for weekly or monthly projects. This is particularly valuable for a small B2B company that cannot afford a full-time cost of a CMO.

7. Curated Brand Image 

The fractional CMO will be responsible for curating your brand image. They know how to create a positive brand image backed by strong messaging, compelling content, and effective social media strategies. The SaaS Company can utilize the marketing campaigns created by the fractional CMO to improve its market presence exponentially. 

8. Utilizing Resources Efficiently

A fractional CMO has greater efficiency levels than full-time employees since they are provided with fewer resources. The fractional CMO has more time to focus on developing marketing strategies and avoid wasting time on redundant tasks like company events.

Top 7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire A Fractional CMO

Just run a simple Google search, and you will see hundreds of options for hiring a fractional CMO. It can be challenging to find the right fit for your company in such a situation.

Let’s look at some of the questions that you should ask before choosing the right CMO for your company:

1. Does the Fractional CMO have the expertise you need?

While choosing a fractional CMO, you want to ensure that the candidate has relevant experience to suit your needs. You can ask questions about their past work experiences and how they will benefit your company. The candidate should also be familiar with the latest technologies used by marketers to ensure that they are up-to-date with their skillset.

2. What is the pricing structure of the Fractional CMO?

You need to discuss cost structures before you hire a fractional CMO. You can choose a price range that aligns with your budget to don’t have to worry about spending more than what is required. Discuss monthly or hourly rates before selecting the right fit for your company.

3. What results will the Fractional CMO be able to deliver?

It would be best if you asked for references from previous clients or checked case studies to assess candidate potential based on past results. This allows you to choose the best candidate after considering their past results before choosing a fractional CMO for your company. In addition, you should also ask about their strategic marketing plan and how they will be able to add value to your SaaS business model.

4. Does the Fractional CMO have testimonials from previous clients?

It is recommended that you choose a fractional CMO after checking their references. Client testimonials are a great way of ensuring that the CMO for hire will deliver the promised results. This allows you to make an informed decision based on other people’s experiences before choosing the right person for your company. It would help if you never rushed into hiring a fractional CMO without verifying their past results.

5. What skills can the Fractional CMO bring to your company?

Different marketing strategies are used for different types of businesses. Professionals with expertise in various fields can help you grow exponentially by using their knowledge and expertise. Find a candidate with a strong marketing arsenal with digital marketing chops within a specific domain and know how to hire for their weaknesses to create a marketing team with deep expertise

For example, if you wish to execute a digital marketing strategy, you should find a CMO with an excellent understanding of digital media platforms.

6. What value will the Fractional CMO add to your SaaS company?

While evaluating the services of different CMOs, you need to understand how they can help improve your company’s growth strategy by offering their skillset. You should look beyond just past work references and ask about the plans for future marketing strategies to be clear on how they can benefit your SaaS business model.

The right fractional CMO has the required expertise. They also have relevant experience delivering results to different businesses by using their knowledge base. The pricing structures are designed based on cost efficiencies to receive maximum ROI without spending too much money on marketing personnel.

7. Is the Fractional CMO capable of leading and self-managing?

You should hire a marketing leader who can work independently and lead a team based on your company’s marketing needs. The fractional CMO should have strong leadership qualities and manage a team by encouraging them to perform better.

For example, suppose you require the fractional CMO for B2B SaaS to generate results within a short timeframe. In that case, they need to have strong self-management skills to rapidly implement online marketing campaigns without waiting for other departments’ approvals.

In addition, the fractional executive should also possess strong managerial traits to handle tasks related to hiring freelancers or setting up teams with full-time employees. This allows you to outsource various functions according to your convenience.

Hiring a fractional CMO is the best way to keep your company’s marketing tasks on track. It allows you to get quality services as and when the need arises. This is particularly useful for SaaS companies that have various marketing needs. A seasoned CMO will help develop and implement marketing strategies such that your business accelerates growth and maximize revenue.

If you’ve had experiences with Fractional CMOs and would like to leave a comment, please drop us a line below. Please send us a message if you’re interested in Fractional CMO services.

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