As many B2B companies grow and look to improve their marketing, hiring an experienced executive makes a lot of sense.

But what if you can’t afford a full-time CMO, which can cost $150,000 to $200,000, as well as benefits and stock options? What if you’re not sure that you really need a CMO, or there’s not enough work for a full-time employee?

That’s when hiring a fractional CMO is the right move.

fractional CMOFor small to medium-sized B2B businesses, a fractional CMO is a cost-effective resource that can quickly step in take tackle critical branding, strategy, customer acquisition, content marketing, and team building.

If your marketing isn’t working or you’re not doing any marketing, a fractional CMO can help you determine how to move forward in the right way.

Here are some of the things that a fractional CMO can deliver:

Expertise: At different points in a B2B company’s evolution, it will need people with specific skills and experience. A fractional CMO can be hired for a particular expertise. Let’s say, for example, your company has product-market fit and customers but lacks a strong brand identity and awareness. You can hire a fractional CMO who can build your brand. Down the road, you may need a CMO with experience in helping companies aggressively scale.

Strategy: One of the keys to marketing success is developing a strategic plan aligned with your goals, resources, and people. Without a roadmap, marketing can be frustrating and expensive. A fractional CMO can play a role in developing a strategic plan by tapping into their experience with other companies. They can help you determine the marketing that makes sense, budgets, and how to turn strategy into tactics.

Speed: Hiring a full-time executive takes time and, often, money. It can take months to find the right person. Even then, you may not be sure the right person was hired. A fractional CMO can be interviewed and hired quickly to fill a gap or short-term need. You’re not locked into a fractional CMO. They can be given a mandate and a deadline to make things happen.

Flexibility: Hiring fractional CMO offers financial and strategic flexibility. Rather than locking yourself in full-time executive with a six-figure executive, you can hire someone for a specific period of time. It could be a month, three months, or a year. It depends on what you need to be done and how a fractional CMO can meet your strategic and marketing needs.

Cost-effectiveness: A fractional CMO can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 a month, depending on what you need them to do. At the low-end, a fractional CMO can provide strategic and tactical guidance and coaching. They can be a trusted resource to help you navigate the marketing landscape and make the right decisions. At the other end of the spectrum, they can dedicate two to three days a week to your company and become an integrated part of your executive team.

Fill a leadership gap: At some point, you may need a full-time marketing executive. As your company grows, having a dedicated VP of Marketing or CMO makes complete sense. In the meantime, however, you will need an experienced marketing executive to provide strategic and tactical leadership.

If you have a small marketing team with relatively inexperienced people, a fractional CMO can provide mentorship and coaching to help your people grow and take on more responsibility. If you don’t have a marketing team, a fractional CMO can develop a marketing “engine” by building a team or using contractors and freelancers.

Perspective: One of the realities of a small to medium size B2B business is you operate in a bubble. You’re 100% focused on your business, 24/7. That’s just part of being an entrepreneur. One of the most things that a fractional CMO can offer is an independent, outside perspective, and different opinions. In fact, a good executive should question your marketing thinking and decisions to ensure that the right things happen for the right reasons.

How to Hire a Fractional CMO

The first step is identifying your marketing goals and needs. What needs to happen and when? What are your biggest priorities and what are the problems to tackle? These are important questions because they will provide a better sense of the type of marketer required in terms of their skills and experience.

Once you have decided to hire a fractional CMO, it is important to think about the type of person who will fit into your corporate culture and workplace dynamic. Do you need someone who is strategic and a big picture thinker who is also collaborative and engaging? Or do you need someone willing to get their hands dirty with tactical execution?

Spend the time to identify your specific needs and the required skills. Then, reach out to a variety of people to see if there’s a fit around their experience, expertise, approach, and personality.


I’m a fractional CMO for fast-growing B2B companies that want to drive more engagement, attract better prospects, and grow sales. I help companies with brand positioning and strategic plans and oversee tactical execution.

Book a free 30-minute strategy consultation to discuss how I can help you on an advisor, project, or part-time basis.

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