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Looking to hire a CMO or a head of marketing? Consider a fractional CMO instead.

Fractional CMOs tell you what is happening within your company from a marketing perspective. They help you understand if you are investing in the right initiatives, channels, and people, and if you aren’t, a fractional CMO will tell you where you should spend your marketing budget.

Companies with small or no marketing departments are ideal candidates to consider a fractional CMO. Often startups and small businesses don’t have a budget to hire a full-time CMO or a head of marketing, but the CEOs value the importance of marketing. Many times, companies don’t fully understand the role of marketing and end up hiring for tactical initiatives instead. Focusing on tactics leaves gaps within the marketing strategy and leaves CEOs wondering why marketing isn’t working. If you struggle with any of the following, it might be time to speak with a fractional CMO before investing in a full-time position to help you grow your business:

  • Your marketing department is managed by one person who might be overwhelmed (this could be someone interested in marketing, a salesperson, or a marketing generalist).
  • You have a marketing team but no marketing leaders.
  • You have difficulties coordinating with outsourced marketing teams.
  • You struggle to understand the direction marketing is headed or don’t fully understand what marketing can do to help your business grow.

A fractional CMO’s most significant benefit is executive marketing leadership without the overhead costs. A good fractional CMO will work with you to quickly understand your business and conduct a marketing audit to see what is or is not working. The fractional CMO provides a marketing plan for moving forward from the information collected.

So let’s talk numbers. According to Glassdoor, the average full-time CMO in the United States receives a base salary of $179,000 annually. Once you add bonuses, recruitment costs, taxes, and benefits packages, you can expect to pay at least $250,000, if not significantly more per year. Depending on your company’s revenue numbers, this investment might make sense. However, hiring a full-time CMO isn’t necessary for many companies. At least not right now!

When you hire a fractional CMO, you get the same expertise as a full-time CMO at a fraction of the cost! Using Glassdoor again as a reference, the average base salary for a fractional CMO in the United States is $92,481 annually. Some employers provide additional compensation for fractional CMOs with stocks, profit sharing, tips, commissions, or cash bonuses. Even with the potential for further compensation, companies would spend roughly $106,000 per year with a fractional CMO, significantly less than a full-time CMO!