Fractional CMO Benefits Both Clients and Providers

The idea of the fractional CMO has grown in popularity in recent years. Companies are seeking modern solutions to marketing leadership challenges.

Google Trends data for the term “Fractional CMO” globally. Source: Google Trends

A solution like a Fractional CMO can be beneficial as it provides a high-level commercial leader with greater flexibility than before. To learn more about the role of a Fractional CMO, check out our previous post.

What it’s like to be a Fractional CMO

This post aims to help you understand the life of a Fractional CMO, whether you’re considering hiring one or aspiring to be one. I will share my experiences working as a Fractional CMO, both through an agency like Aboad and in multiple companies.

Fractional CMO background

I began my marketing career promoting digital services in the global shipbuilding industry, a demanding and complex endeavor. I’ve held marketing leadership roles in both heavy industry and high-tech sectors as a full-time employee. Later, I worked as a fractional CMO through Aboad and in companies that I co-owned.

Fractional CMO model limits risks for both

While past employment positions offered valuable experiences, I often found myself bored due to the slow pace of working with a single company. More often than not, progress was halted by waiting for others or for certain elements to fall into place. However, as a fractional CMO, I found my interest and impact greatly increased. This role allowed me to shift my focus to another company when one was stuck due to inertia or factors beyond my control.

The real advantage was that the companies I worked with could limit the resources used and risks taken. The same benefits that companies enjoy from fractional roles also apply to the individuals in these positions. You’re not solely dependent on one company for your livelihood, so you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket.

More for less for the client and more for the Fractional CMO

Based on my experience, a full-time marketer tends to have more waste in their day compared to a fractional one, due to the reasons mentioned before. Therefore, a fractional marketer might be able to accomplish as much, if not more, than a full-time one. As a fractional marketer, you provide a larger proportion of value-creating hours, enabling you to achieve a higher return than a traditional employee. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

What it takes to be a Fractional CMO

So far, we’ve only discussed the benefits of Fractional CMOs. While there may not be any downsides, there are challenges that could lead to failure if a Fractional CMO is unable to manage themselves:

  • The companies you work with can’t help you prioritize or manage your workload, as they only see a fraction of it.
  • You will be expected to do more than you are capable of time-wise.
  • It’s crucial to feel comfortable voicing disagreements with your clients when necessary to prevent making unsound decisions for the sake of appeasement.
  • If you don’t manage your endurance, you could burn out and potentially lose your roles at the companies.

As you can see, the fractional role requires determined, strong-willed individuals who get things done. But with the removal of some of the safeguards of employment in a single company, your freedom and monetary upside are uncapped.

Width of experience and experiences are unmatched

One of the primary reasons our clients appreciate the fractional work model is due to the learning and adaptability it fosters within an individual professional. This professional, having visibility across multiple companies, is able to implement the best solutions from one to the other. What they learn from one client can be utilized to benefit others. Furthermore, the next learning opportunity may occur with a different client, making this process more streamlined as a shared resource. Unlike those who work for a single company and learn everything through it.

Matching Fractional CMO with Growth Marketing Team

No one can master and do everything. A significant benefit of our Fractional CMO service, particularly with Aboad, is the access to a Growth Marketing Team. This is crucial because, like full-time employees, fractional CMOs may encounter situations that require expertise beyond their scope. By utilizing the Growth Marketing Team, we can enhance our capabilities and reduce the workload on the CMO.

Fractional CMO is better for both

The potential of a Fractional CMO model was never limited by technology but rather by attitudes. Many people prefer full-time employees because it feels like they have more ownership. However, when a full-time employee leaves, they leave entirely. A fractional might not or could enable a more gradual change as needed.

With attitudes changing, it’s beneficial to become a Fractional CMO if you have the necessary skills, or to hire one for your marketing needs if you have the right mindset.

For further information on the benefits of a Fractional CMO and other Marketing as a Service solutions, consider the following resources:

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