For some businesses, hiring a CMO or “Chief Marketing Officer,” is the best way to improve brand awareness. But for many, the steep costs of hiring a dedicated, full-time CMO is out of the budget.
But there are affordable options, think “fractional CMOs.”
Have You Considered Working with a Fractional CMO?
What is a Fractional CMO?
A fractional CMO is simply a part-time marketing leader who comes in to assist your company’s branding efforts, helping increase the exposure of your brand and, hopefully, enhancing your sales.
Essentially, you get a senior marketing officer without paying the higher costs of having a full-time executive on your staff. They are fully committed to the success of your business, but you only get their services part-time (a fraction of their time) while paying a smaller amount. (A fraction of what a full-time CMO would command.)
Why Use a Fractional CMO?
Businesses of all types can benefit from a fractional CMO, but there are certain situations that generally call for this useful, flexible, affordable service.
The underlying issue is a need for better marketing, branding, and advertising. If you are struggling to close sales, struggling with leads (either poor leads or too few), or if people simply aren’t aware of your business, you likely need better marketing.
But do you need a fractional CMO?
First off, if your business simply is not ready to assume the financial responsibility of a full-time CMO, then you may want this affordable option. Businesses that are still growing, or have recently launched, will likely benefit the most from a fractional CMO. New businesses can find advantages from fractional, as opposed to full-time CMOs, as it helps control costs.
Of course, new businesses aren’t the only ones who benefit from this service. If a company has been around for years, even decades, yet many people in your industry or region are not aware of your products or services, a fractional CMO may be able to help.
Marketing is complex, and it’s hard for companies to specifically define marketing goals and strategies. For this reason, some companies leave it to the sales team to create marketing efforts. This can be a mistake, as sales associates are great at closing deals, but may not have the skills and experience to define a brand and increase overall awareness. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing professional or team, a fractional CMO can help.
Are There Any Downsides?
Like any business decision, there are risks to hiring a fractional CMO. Most of these potential issues stem from the basic fact that the fractional CMO remains an outsider, at least in the eyes of many team members. This can create tension between the marketing professional and certain team members who may have been involved with marketing in the past. Fractional CMOs are not hired to deliver compliments, they are hired to improve marketing by providing direct, honest advice. This could ruffle a few team feathers.
There can also be a lack of cohesion between the fractional CMO and the team. Your staff may not see eye-to-eye with the hired professional, and this can lead to completely ignoring the CMO’s input and suggestions.
These problems, however, can be overcome with good leadership and thorough communication. By addressing the current problems, explaining the motive for hiring a fractional CMO, and ensuring team members that these changes are intended to make everyone more successful, you will achieve greater buy-in, which can only lead to a higher level of success with your fractional CMO.
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