Virtual CMO: 15 Reasons Why Your Business Should Hire One

Hiring a Virtual CMO

Many businesses need the skills and expertise of a highly qualified chief marketing officer, especially when they are growing quickly. For every start-up or smaller company, there comes a time when the CEOs simply cannot handle everything and need to leverage their efforts by engaging a CMO.

According to, a CMO earns between $311,600 and $423,600 in the USA, with an average salary of $356,800. That’s a big number for most companies, especially if the CEO of a startup Is not taking a salary in order to put as much money into the company’s development. Nevertheless, the need for a CMO may be there, such as when coming out with a brand-new product line, but maybe there is not enough ongoing work to hire a permanent, full-time CMO.

The solution for this challenge is to hire a virtual CMO. A virtual CMO is a chief marketing officer who works remotely. Depending on the needs of the business, a virtual CMO is a great option for small to midsize businesses that need to scale their marketing efforts at a much lower cost than hiring a full-time chief marketing officer.

Fractional CMO

Private jets are sometimes supported by shared ownership and expenses. More than one person has a portion of the costs, allowing a certain amount of jet usage. A fractional CMO, also called a virtual CMO, is a similar concept.

Companies use a virtual CMO for a specific amount of time or part-time under contract, paying a portion of the expenses. Then, they don’t have any further obligations to cover the rest of the annual costs of the CMO. A virtual CMO may be scheduled when needed and used for a time, then scheduled again if another need arises.

Services Provided by a Virtual CMO

Here is an overview of the services performed by a virtual CMO.

Business Analysis

Your virtual CMO learns about your business, operations, budget, and marketing goals. Then, identifies the ideal marketing strategies that work best for your company.

Marketing Strategy

Your virtual CMO develops a customized strategy that includes multiple channels to optimize your marketing approach, with marketing strategies tailored for your business. Moreover, your virtual CMO will solve various marketing challenges in an efficient and effective manner.

Marketing Channels

A virtual CMO has significant marketing experience and managerial skills to utilize a wide variety of marketing strategies that may include content marketing, SEO, podcasts, social media, and paid advertising.

Brand Building and Brand Awareness

Brands benefit from the creative skills of the virtual CMO with the use of impactful messages, high-quality images, and video. A virtual CMO sets the tone of the marketing materials and develops the brand guidelines, then uses the creative materials to build the brand, create more brand awareness, and extend the brand’s reach.


Your virtual CMO will lead the entire marketing department, hire employees, collaborate with outsourced agencies, inspire team members, and create a team focused on success.

Manage Disruption

Nearly all businesses are facing disruption that is coming from automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. If your company faces disruption, a virtual CMO will help guide the transition to implementing innovative technology and outshining competitors.

Customer Lifecycle

The customer lifecycle approach pays close attention to the lifetime value of each customer and uses innovative retargeting strategies to reduce churn (customer loss). Customer touchpoints are managed to personalize the customer experience and increase conversions (sales) with proven tactics.


A virtual CMO knows how to maximize the effectiveness of marketing strategies by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), evaluating outcomes, and making adjustments to improve efficiency. A virtual CMO will set up systems to collect useful data, identify patterns for growth, and enable new marketing initiatives.

Decision Making

Businesses make data-driven decisions and decisions based on insights. Core marketing decisions must be made regularly, often under pressure or under certain constraints.

A fractional CMO is a C-level marketing strategist who can help your company reach existing and future marketing goals. A virtual CMO works closely with your company’s C-level leadership team and any contracted or outsourced marketing professionals responsible for executing marketing techniques and tactics.

Go-to-Market Strategy

Suppose your company plans to launch a new product or service. In that case, you can benefit from hiring a virtual CMO to create short- and long-term marketing campaigns, which provide your marketing team with a comprehensive guide for your go-to-market strategy.

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual CMO

There are many benefits from hiring a virtual CMO, which include getting up-to-speed quickly, having no long-term commitment, expertise and experience, and impressing potential investors.

Hit the Ground Running

Hiring a full-time CMO is a major decision. The ones who excel in their job are rarely unemployed because marketing and sales are fundamental to the success of every business. Hiring a quality CMO may take many months and require the assistance of a placement agency (headhunter) to find a qualified candidate. A virtual CMO is pre-vetted and highly skilled.

When hiring a virtual CMO, you simply schedule the project.

Try Before You Fully Commit

Things usually work out well when hiring at the C-level as long as you conduct proper due diligence and a background check. However, if it turns out that a particular person is not a good fit for the position, you can make a change. Moreover, by working with a virtual CMO, you may be better suited to create the job description for a permanent CMO.

With a virtual CMO, you are not locked into a long-term commitment.

Expertise, Experience, Excellence

Professionals who work as virtual CMOs are some of the best C-level talent in the industry. They have extensive experience and expertise. They are the kind of people who get the job done with excellent and timely results that come from knowing what they are doing.

You may decide to use a virtual CMO again and again.

Influence Investors

When raising capital, one major concern is that the funding might be too low and will not carry the company until it succeeds. A start-up CEO or a CEO of a growing small to mid-sized business usually wears many hats. The CEO/founder may be working so much to the point of exhaustion. Investors are used to seeing this but know that it is not sustainable over a longer term.

Investors, especially institutional ones, like to rely on a fully filled-out C-level team, which includes, at a minimum, besides the CEO, a CFO, a COO (or CTO), and a CMO.  A CEO may be a visionary leader who is helped by the other C-level executives and especially a CMO who executes on that vision to produce sales and cash flow.

When you have a virtual CMO, you can confidently answer the question, “Who is handling the marketing?”

What To Do If You Do Not Have a CMO

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you cannot afford a CMO. If your business is like many others, you may be harmed if you do not have a CMO, but you don’t have to have a permanent, full-time CMO to get started.  

To further explore the benefits of having a CMO, contact Renaissance Digital Marketing about our Fractional CMO Services to start the conversation about achieving your marketing goals.

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