Have you heard of many companies employing a Fractional CMO?
Debra: No – this idea is still in its infancy. It’s a new model, and I don’t think a lot of companies are aware of it.
But we’re committed to the model. It’s an ideal fit for the middle market, specifically in B2B companies. It doesn’t make sense for them to hire a CMO with a salary ranging anywhere from $250K-$300K. They just need to get started. They need access to marketing leadership and strategy. They need to see the value in strategic marketing. And it’s fun to be a part of that.
What does a typical Fractional CMO engagement cost?
Debra: The range depends on a few different things. How aggressive is the client with their marketing? Where are they in the lifecycle of their marketing? Do they have in-house marketing personnel in place?
The pricepoint depends on exactly how much experience a client is looking for, or what niche they are looking to fill, but it is usually between $200-$300 per hour. I recommend starting with a six-month contract. Marketing results are not instantaneous, so anything less than six months won’t prove worthwhile to me or the client. Typically, clients retain me as a Fractional CMO for three to four days per month. That doesn’t mean I spend entire days devoted to them; those hours are spread out over the course of the month.
One of the beauties of this model is its flexibility – you can scale up or down over time. So I have done as little as two, and as many as 15, days per month for a client. In the first year, it will be more aggressive, and then, if a client is not as growth-minded after a year, they might reduce the engagement.
Does a Fractional CMO need to be in-person at the client’s location or can they work as a remote employee?
Deb: Typically, they work as a remote employee, since they are contracted for a limited number of hours per month. They’ll want to make sure most of that time is spent marketing and not traveling.
But in the first few months of the engagement, it is important to have some face-to-face time to build a rapport with the team. And it’s always important to attend sales meetings and executive meetings. You cannot be an island within an organization. You need to be inter-connected within the organization and between teams or divisions.
What do you enjoy most about your role as a Fractional CMO?
Debra: After all the upfront legwork is done – the messaging is in place, the technology is in place, the staffing is in place, the brand is in place, and the company is well-positioned – you have a strong foundation on which to build. And you get to start the outreach.
The excitement builds from this point, whether it’s a simple service campaign or a more complex one that’s going after a particular vertical market. We’re now actually executing the strategy. I love the moment, usually around this time, when I see the client start to really get it.
I’ve heard this sentiment countless times: “I get what marketing can do for my company today. I never got it before, but now I understand.” Or, “I’ve been throwing money at marketing for 20 years and never had any idea where that money was going. Now I get it, and it’s paying off.”
It’s really great to see that realization. I never get tired of it.
Thanks for reading!
Want to learn more? A Fractional CMO often creates a strategic marketing plan as a roadmap for how marketing will contribute to a company’s overarching goals. If you want to learn more about marketing plans, you can download our free ebook below!
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