What is a fractional CMO and what do they do for a business?

Want to position your brand for your business growth and success? One of the biggest ways to do this is to hire a CMO or Chief Marketing Officer, an experienced, results-driven executive responsible for all of your marketing efforts.

But many small to mid-sized businesses can’t easily afford a CMO with an average annual salary of more than $330,000. Faced with tight budgets and strained resources, these companies must embrace the fractional CMO concept and outsource their marketing efforts if they want to grow.

That is what I want to discuss today. What is a fractional CMO and the services they provide for small to medium sized businesses.

A marketing consultant is talking on the phone

What is a fractional CMO?

Let’s start with a simple explanation; What is a CMO?

CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer, and is the job of the person who defines the strategic direction and marketing execution of a business. The concept of a chief marketing officer comes from large enterprises, but it’s a role that has grown exponentially in the past few years.

A fractional CMO is essentially a part-time version of this position. Like fractional accountants, fractional chief financial officers, or fractional chief technology officers, a fractional chief marketing officer is an executive who leads a company’s marketing strategy and execution on a part-time basis.


What is the difference between a marketing agency, a marketing coach, a consultant, and a fractional CMO?

The number of options for businesses to get marketing help can be overwhelming. But if we focus on strategy and execution, the choices you’ll see are hiring a marketing agency, a marketing coach, a marketing consultant, or a fractional CMO.

Fractional CMOs vs Agencies, Consultants and Marketing Coaches Chat

Marketing agency

A marketing agency is an organization that serves a variety of clients in one or more areas of marketing. Agencies are sometimes involved in strategy, but they often focus on business execution. They are useful for organizations that already have a strategy and need some additional support to execute

Marketing Coach

A marketing coach typically assists the business owner or marketing team with training materials, acts as an accountability partner, and recommends strategic actions, but is not involved in implementation.

Marketing Consultant

Marketing consultants are experts in a specific field who help companies by advising and developing their marketing strategies. However, they outsource the implementation to freelancers or an external marketing team.

Fractional CMOs are especially relevant today because they have the strategic approach of a consultant, can act as an agency, and act as a marketing coach for your team while being accountable for delivering measurable results for your business.

Fractional CMO responsibilities

A typical fractional CMO has a mix of responsibilities, all designed to meet the needs of the organizations they serve.

This may include:

Setting goals and developing a marketing strategy


A fractional CMO should be able to develop and communicate clear goals for the marketing team. And align those goals across the organization.

Divisional CMOs are also responsible for developing a brand’s marketing strategy (budget, vision, team makeup, customer journey, systems and tactics). They must narrow the marketing focus to important marketing channels and create a winning and repeatable plan for the business.

Effective fractions CMO can direct strategy from a marketing perspective. For example, they can help define the ideal client, suggest the best markets to target, and choose the most appropriate marketing channels that lead to more business.

This is the most important part of the role because it helps the company stand out from its competition in the minds of their ideal customers.

Fractional CMOs should start with these four concepts to develop a winning marketing strategy;

  1. Identifying the brand’s ideal client
  2. Finding the problem the brand is trying to solve and committing to solving it
  3. Make content the voice of strategy and establish the brand as an authority online
  4. Create a complete buyer journey

Fraction CMO is looking for one Proven system to help them grow

A marketing consultant is talking on the phone

Business owners looking to hire a fractional CMO to help them grow

Managing the Marketing Department

Marketing team

Fractional CMOs may have their own teams to implement strategy or be responsible for managing an internal department. Recruiting, managing, and sometimes promoting employees is a fraction of the CMO’s commonly known responsibilities.

A fractional CMO’s job is one of the most challenging. The average CMO lasts only 40 months, so they need to be ready to make an impact quickly.

That’s why most fractional CMOs have their own implementation teams, and based on our experience training successful marketing managers and consultants, having a network of professionals who can help you execute your plan is essential to achieving consistent growth as an agency.

The Duct Tape Marketing Agency Workshop certifies fractional CMOs to license the complete Duct Tape Marketing System for their agencies. The workshop concludes with an invitation to a community of like-minded business professionals who come together for strategic partnerships, ongoing training and events.

Establishing marketing metrics and KPIs

Graphic showing marketing metrics and kpis

A fractional CMO is responsible for establishing clear marketing goals, metrics, milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs). They are used to measure progress and determine whether the marketing team is meeting their campaign goals.

Some of the commonly known metrics for a marketing department are the number of qualified leads, sign-ups or appointments generated, lead conversion rate, lead-to-customer conversion, cost per lead, monthly recurring revenue and others over a period of time.

Metrics can help fractional CMOs understand the challenges and therefore deliver consistent and long-term results.

Increase sales and revenue

A fractional CMO’s goal is to increase sales by creating a comprehensive marketing plan that will help the organization gain a competitive advantage and generate more revenue. They are also responsible for overseeing how the marketing budget is spent and managing the quality of marketing campaigns.

In today’s digital world, fractional CMOs must not only be skilled in strategy and execution, but also the communication and leadership skills necessary to inspire and motivate their marketing team and other cross-functional teams.

A vast experience and capabilities in areas such as product marketing, content, brand and design, pay-per-click advertising, paid social, and project management are highly relevant to succeeding as a fractional CMO. Also an understanding of commonly used marketing tools such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Mailchimp and others.

Act as a consultant to the marketing team

A marketing team consultant

Successful chief marketing officers, both full-time and part-time, often have a strong sense of purpose and can implement a set of values ​​within the organizations they serve. They are not just order takers, they are strategists, mentors and coaches.

A fraction of the CMO’s other responsibilities is creating programs that support employees in a variety of ways. For example, they can create and run mentorship programs or training for their teams or their clients’ teams.

Fractional CMOs can implement marketing strategies with their own experts. This can be much more effective than trying to spread these tasks across your company or creating and hiring a whole new department.

Fraction CMO is looking for one Proven system to help them grow

A marketing consultant is talking on the phone

Business owners looking to hire a fractional CMO to help them grow

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