Should You Hire a Part Time CMO?

What is a part time CMO?

In today’s marketplace, the competition runs high in just about every industry. Effective marketing strategies and strong branding can help small businesses move into lead positions, but few have the budget for a full-time marketing team, much less a chief marketing officer (CMO) who can take the lead and drive growth while increasing visibility.

Hiring a part time CMO is a viable option for businesses that want to attract new customers, retain existing customers, and become a key player in the local marketplace. Utilizing this marketing professional on a part-time basis a small company with a small marketing budget to effectively compete in the marketplace.

The chief marketing officer, or CMO, is the highest position in a company’s marketing department. The individual in this role is responsible for leading the marketing team, decision on marketing strategies, and determining the appropriate direction for the company’s brand.

The primary distinction of a CMO is that they are a C-suite professional, an executive in the company. This sets them apart from other marketing leadership positions such as a marketing manager or marketing director. While these positions may have some of the same job duties as the CMO, this executive has a broader scope of duties and higher level responsibilities of not only creation and implementation of marketing strategies, but performance and profit as a result of those strategies fall on their shoulders as well.

A part time CMO does not work full-time for a company which often makes it more cost-effective for the business to hire them.

What is the role of a fractional CMO?

The role of a fractional CMO is to provide leadership to a company’s marketing team at the executive level. This individual operates as a chief marketing officer to make decisions regarding the business’s marketing strategy in terms of its established goals regarding profit and growth.

They are not as active in implementing the strategies as they are in providing direction and oversight for a marketing team. The CMO determines what is needed regarding marketing strategy and branding. They analyze performance and company goals in order to develop strategies that improve customer acquisition and retention as well as increased sales and growth.

What does a CMO do on a daily basis?

The primary responsibility of a CMO is to drive revenue. This is accomplished by utilizing marketing strategies in order to increase sales. They are at the top of the corporate food chain and typically report directly to the CEO of the company. However, they may work with other executives within the company to better understand as well as establish goals for specific sections or company wide.

The CMO may work alongside the marketing manager or director to develop marketing strategies that can achieve goals related to growth, production, and profit. For the most part though, the CMO oversees and manages all of the activities that are related to marketing throughout the organization.

The responsibilities of a CMO include:

  • Brand marketing
  • Market research
  • Project management
  • Pricing
  • Marketing communications
  • Distribution management
  • Public relations
  • Advertising

This means that they must have a solid understanding of several vital aspects of business which include brand development, customer service, product, distribution, and sales. However, leadership and talent management are also often necessary skills.

Why should you hire a fractional CMO?

If you are a small or even medium size business, hiring a full-time CMO may not be in your marketing budget. At the same time, you may find that you need the skills that this position demands. A fractional, or part time CMO, gives you the talent, skill, and education that is necessary without the larger price tag that comes with the full-time position.

This allows you to reap the benefits that come with it. This can include increased:

  • Brand awareness
  • Revenue
  • Growth

This can boost your company’s success and position in the marketplace.

By hiring a fractional CMO, you can leverage their experience as well as their network. This is a much more flexible option than traditional staffing.

How many hours does a fractional CMO work?

A part-time CMO is usually hired on a contract basis and they work part-time hours. This can mean substantial savings for a small business. A CMO who works full-time is far more expensive because you are paying an executive salary. If you can manage to pay that salary, your business will benefit tremendously, but many smaller businesses simply cannot afford that expense.

Hiring the CMO on a part-time basis allows the company to reap the benefits while paying a fraction of the cost of the full-time wages.

What are the benefits of having a fractional CMO for a small business?

Hiring a fractional CMO means that you can be hands off when it comes to marketing your business. This allows you to focus on other things such as operations and growth while your CMO takes the marketing lead.

The benefits don’t stop there though. There are many great reasons that you should hire a part time CMO for your business:

  • Cost-effective – A full-time CMO carries a rather large price tag. This can be a significant financial burden for small businesses and even medium businesses. Hiring a fractional CMO provides cost savings in several areas, but one of the most noticeable is salary. You can get the same expertise on a part-time basis for a part time cost.
  • Less of a hiring risk – Hiring new employees can be a headache, especially if there’s a multi-step, cumbersome hiring process. It can take weeks or even months to get a candidate interviewed, vetted, hired, and onboarded before they can finally go to work. Turnover rate is also a concern. However, a fractional CMO typically follows a faster hiring process so they can get in and get to work a lot quicker.
  • Faster onboarding with immediate impact – Because the CMO is part-time, the onboarding is fasters. CMOs also require very little training in order to get started. Because it is an executive position, they will already have the expertise, knowledge, and experience to step right into the position with little difficulty at all.
  • More flexibility – A part time CMO offers flexibility in not only cost, but other areas as well. They can work as a part-time employee, a contractor, or as a freelancer. They may be paid on retainer or on a project by project basis as well as other options that may work better for your company.
  • New strategies for meeting existing goals – The CMO can bring a fresh set of eyes into a project, examining existing goals and developing new strategies for meeting them. What’s more, they can assess quite quickly a business’s marketing needs and develop an action plan that will increase profits and drive growth.
  • Reduced workload – At least a portion of the workload that would typically be carried by an internal marketing team can be picked up by the CMO. If there is no formal marketing team, but employees who have dual roles, the CMO can take over the marketing portion of their duties as well.
  • More effective long-term strategizing – Overall, the fractional CMO can provide better strategizing, but the benefits are often best realized in long term strategies. Because of their training and experience, the CMO can quickly identify areas that need improving that an internal team may have overlooked and provide a fresh perspective for moving forward over the long term.
  • Objectivity – When a fractional CMO comes into a business, they are basically an outsider. This allows them to look at the company and the marketing strategies with an objective eye, then give recommendations and advice on ways to improve that employees or the internal team may have overlooked.
  • Identify goals that are not currently on the table – Because a fractional CMO does come in as an outsider, they have some distance from the business. This allows them to identify opportunities and use them to set goals that are not currently in place.
  • Increased efficiency – The CMO is not a full time employee and because of that, they can focus on the marketing strategies or even a specific project instead of enduring the distractions that come with the varied daily tasks of full time employees such as meetings, timekeeping, and other issues.
  • Specialized knowledge backed by experience – Because a CMO is an executive who is highly trained and has extensive experience in their field, even one working with a company on a part time basis has a lot to offer. The specialized knowledge that comes from years of training and experience is invaluable, especially when they put it to work for your company.
  • Better access to more resources – Executives in general typically have access to more resources and the fractional CMO is no different. They can provide exceptional resources that can help with growth as well as other areas.

Is a fractional CMO worth the investment?

A fractional CMO provides senior level marketing skills and expertise without drawing a full time paycheck. They are valuable resources to small and medium businesses who need executive leadership, fitting most marketing budgets.

They can step in, assess the business, and make recommendations that drive growth, increase profits, and boost the company’s brand recognition. For most businesses, hiring a CMO is definitely worth the investment.

What should you look for in a CMO?

Different businesses will have different needs so each interview will be different. However, these are some basic questions that you can start with when you are interviewing a part-time CMO for your company:

  • What KPIs do you typically track?
  • What adjustments do you make when working with a new business, or do you take more of a cookie cutter approach?
  • What is your approach to outbound and inbound marketing?
  • What is your process for identifying opportunities and setting goals?
  • What pricing frameworks do you most commonly use?
  • What strategies do you think we could use to increase revenue and drive growth?

If you believe that your business would benefit from a part time CMO, contact us below. We will discuss your needs and what you are currently doing in order to find the right CMO for you.

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