What is a Fractional CMO and how does it differ from a consultant or in-house CMO?
A Fractional CMO is actually a bit different than a strategic marketing consultant or an in-house Chief Marketing Officer. A strategic marketing consultant is usually hired to do strategic marketing, mostly for a fixed project (for example, to create a marketing plan). An in-house CMO is a full-time employee and they’re hired for the long term.
A Fractional CMO can be viewed as a hybrid between the two. Basically Fractional CMOs mirror an in house CMO, but they work on sort of a part time basis.
Two Fractional CMO Models: Staffing vs Collaborative
There are actually two fractional CMO models, and maybe more, but I know of two. The first one is more of a staffing model where companies are going to hire a particular person and that person is going to work on their account as a fractional CMO. So you’re basically contracting with one person and you’re getting the knowledge and the brain power that one person.
The other model is more of a consulting firm model. When clients contract with us, they’re actually contracting with our entire firm. We work in a pod-like structure on accounts. And the reason why we do that is we believe that no one marketer has all the answers, especially in today’s world of marketing where there’s so many different disciplines. So each one of our clients has an account champion, but we all weigh in as far as collaborating on what’s best strategically for our clients.