Published In Blog
August 2, 2021

Fractional Marketing: The High-Growth Secret (That Everyone Is Using)

Fractional Marketing

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of your business. But sometimes, startups and mid-sized companies put their marketing initiatives on the back burner, not realizing the impact it would have on their growth. 

It could be because of a lack of resources, quality marketing leadership, and clear next steps. However, that can’t be an excuse for you to deprioritize something that literally helps you run your business. 

Marketing turns a good business into a great one, all by itself. And if you wish to seek a solution that’s cost-effective and boosts marketing team performance and productivity at the same time, it’s time you take the Fractional Marketing road. 

What is Fractional Marketing?

Fractional Marketing refers to hiring a part-time marketing professional for the role of a full-time executive, at a fraction of the cost. You can hire them for the specific time-period needed, while only paying for the services rendered. 

I mean, let’s face it. 

No matter how experienced and talented your marketing team is, at some point, you’d need someone at a leadership level to drive the expected results.

Usually, it is the CMO who plans, implements, and manages the marketing strategy for your company. However, hiring a full-time CMO may not be the best option for you if you’re a startup, a mid-sized company, or even an enterprise—especially whose needs are limited to a single project, or a certain number of campaigns. 

Here’s why:

  • The average salary of a CMO in the United States ranges between $90k – $273k, excluding the benefits, perks, bonuses, and other costs. 
  • Fulfilling part-time needs by hiring full-time employees is the perfect recipe for a RIF (Reduction In Force) case. 

(Imagine making that investment only to tell them “it’s not you, it’s us” 6 months down the road)

Thus, you need a solution that boosts your marketing team’s efforts and helps you achieve your marketing goals by driving a great ROI. 

And this is exactly where Fractional Marketing fits in right. 

Thus, you get a strategic presence and mindset of a marketing leader, while keeping your existing team focused on what they’re best at. 

It’s like the perfect winning plan, especially for mid-sized B2B companies, as you get the same job done of a full-time CMO with much more flexibility and zero long-term commitments.

What does a Fractional CMO do?

A fractional CMO is basically responsible for anything and everything that a full-time CMO would do, without the six-figure monthly salary. 

Here’s what they do:

  • Set marketing goals and objectives
  • Design, plan and execute effective marketing campaigns
  • Manage content marketing strategy 
  • Keep the marketing budget in check
  • Work with the sales department
  • Work with the customer success department
  • Determine and track KPIs on a regular basis and present reports
  • Create and present the annual marketing plan and strategy
  • Use data and reports to make evidence-based decisions
  • Analyze company’s marketing strategy and suggest improvements
  • Contribute to the overall growth of the company

Thus, a fractional CMO helps businesses get the most from their marketing, but on a short-term and part-time basis. 

But… Fractional Marketing is not just limited to leadership positions. 

Most businesses assume that Fractional Marketing is just about CMOs and Directors. However, that’s not the only gap that needs to be filled in the marketing department. 

While having someone at a decision-making level is important, it is just as imperative to have a core team of members that perform the day-to-day marketing tasks. 

Without these, you’d either have a bunch of content without a streamlined plan to market your product or service, or a bulletproof strategy without the material to make the campaign live. 

Now, that’s chaos!

But the good news is, when it comes to Fractional Marketing, you can hire an entire marketing team. 

This includes leadership positions, like CMOs, Directors, and core positions, like copywriters, content marketers, paid ads, and SEO managers—at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire full-time employees. 

Signs that your business needs Fractional Marketing

If you’re still not sure whether you really want to outsource marketing parts of your marketing or not, you can check if you resonate with any of the following:

1. Your company isn’t ready to hire a full-time marketing executive

There are times when you face budget constraints and financial uncertainty. In such cases, you can’t afford to make a long-term commitment to a full-time employee, especially a CMO or a Director. 

On the other hand, even if you have enough operating budget and a sunny financial outlook for your company, you can still dedicate only a limited amount of resources to marketing. 

We already know how costly hiring a CMO can get. Thus, choosing a fractional CMO wouldn’t reduce the allocated resources and would help you achieve your goals on a low-budget. 

2. You have a short-term project

It could be a product launch, or an email campaign, or you’ve decided to go live with paid search ads. In any of the cases, there would be a redundancy of the job role for the full-time marketing employee as soon as the project or campaign is complete. 

Fractional Marketing would be the best fit for you in this situation. Once you feel that you don’t need a particular fractional marketer anymore, you can end the contract and move on to someone else. The process is easy and painless.

3. Your brand message is weak and fragmented

This happens more often than you can think. Because of the lack of unity across the sales and marketing team without someone to oversee the communication, your brand message can seem inconsistent. 

Imagine having a sales collateral that shows your brand personality more inclined towards “competence” but at the same time, your blogs hint at you being the “sophistication” kind. This can really confuse your target audience. 

A Fractional marketer can look at these matters on a part-time basis and give proper feedback to your team wherever needed.

4. Your marketing strategy needs high-level guidance

Every business should have a strong leader from a marketing perspective. However, trying to optimize human capital, while filling in the gaps of talent markets is a major challenge for businesses today. 

It is important for your business to have a strategic decision-maker who looks after social media campaigns, branding, advertising, product positioning, and market segmentation. A fractional marketer can offer high-level guidance as they usually have had a taste of every industry, and know what works and what doesn’t. Their diverse industry experience and low costs are what make businesses choose Fractional Marketing today. 

5. You’ve been wanting more flexibility

Whether it is organizational or financial flexibility, you can explore both of these by hiring a fractional marketer. Instead of having a full-time employee who works on trivial tasks to complete his daily hours, you’d have someone who works productively and dedicates their time solely to high-priority work. 

Moreover, you can always pause your engagement in-between if you feel something more urgent has come up that needs more attention. Thus, you’d only pay for the services rendered—nothing more, nothing less. 

How Fractional Marketing is the best way forward 

If any of the signs given above fit right with your business situation, Fractional Marketing can be your one-stop solution, and here’s why:

1. No need to layoff employees

As fractional marketers work part-time and on-demand, you wouldn’t have to lay them off once your marketing needs are fulfilled. 

For instance, if you’ve completed a specific project, you can simply end the engagement and jump onto the next project you want to work on. This isn’t possible in the case of a full-time employee as you would’ve made a long-term commitment. 

2. Diverse industry experience

Most fractional marketers, be the ones at leadership or core positions, happen to have diverse experience across different industries. This is because rather than sticking with one company, they work with multiple organizations on a contractual basis. 

Thus, when you hire a fractional CMO or a copywriter for a project, you should be rest assured that it would be a job well handled. 

3. Grow and scale as needed

In case you feel that you’d want your fractional marketers to stick around for a little more while, you can always extend the contract based on your needs. 

Moreover, if you started with an on-demand fractional CMO but now feel the need to have somebody to write copies and run ad campaigns for your business, you can hire an entire team to do the job. 

The best part is that you would be paying approximately half the cost of what you would’ve paid to these 3 full-time employees. 

4. Realistic and achievable goals

Sometimes, your marketing team doesn’t have the clear next steps and may run their campaign on hunches rather than insights. When you don’t supplement your marketing plans with data-driven insights, you fall prey to setting unrealistic expectations for your results. 

That’s why fractional marketers conduct extensive research for your business, the industry, and everything in between. This is so that they can first discover the low-hanging fruit and then come up with solutions for complex problems that are realistic, and achievable. 

5. More productivity and efficiency

As fractional marketers don’t have to work for a set number of hours, they don’t waste their time on doing something that may bring subpar results. Their time is precious, and hence they put in their best efforts on things that can bring maximum value to the organization. 

Moreover, as they mainly focus on a single or a handful of project deliveries, fractional marketers work on unifying the team’s efforts towards achieving the KPIs for that particular project only. Thus, there are minimal distractions and the entire team works more productively. 

Full-time Employees vs Fractional Marketing: Which one’s better? 

Here’s a quick overview of the factors you should consider before going with full-time employees or fractional marketers.

1. Cost

As already mentioned, the costs of hiring a fractional CMO or other levels of fractional marketers would be much less as compared to a full-time marketer. This is because they work on-demand, part-time, and get paid only for the work they’ve done. 

Best choice: Fractional marketers

2. Industry Expertise

Although an average full-time marketer may have more years of experience, fractional marketers have more hands-on experience. They’ve worked with different sizes of organizations in different industries, and hence happen to have deeper insights into what could potentially go right for your business. 

Moreover, there is a growing trend that makes it hard to hire and retain the top marketers. That’s where the need-based, on-demand marketers stand at a stronger position.

Best choice: Fractional marketers

3. Digital marketing tools 

When you hire a full-time employee, you need to buy certain tools to make the campaign more effective. For instance, if you plan to run a blog campaign, you might need premium access to digital marketing tools like SEMrush. 

However, since fractional marketers work on a contractual basis with different companies, they usually already have the required tools they need to make the projects live. 

Best choice: Fractional marketers

4. Availability

When it comes to availability, a full-time employee certainly has the upper hand. They are readily available whenever the company needs them. For instance, if something urgent comes up and you need your marketing team to be present, full-time employees would definitely save the day.

However, in the case of Fractional Marketing, you’d be more likely to fall short of your team as they may not be available almost immediately. 

Best choice: Full-time employees

5. Culture fit

You may debate that full-time marketers get a win here as you hire somebody only after multiple levels of screening, determining whether they’d be a good culture fit. 

However, fractional marketers today have elevated their game. They tend to fit in with your company like a missing piece of a puzzle and you’d never feel that they’re any different from your internal team. This is because they are highly adaptable and understand the cultural importance in B2B companies.

Best choice: Both full-time employees and fractional marketers.

Conclusion

And that was all about Fractional Marketing! 

I’m sure that it’s clear to you why most B2B companies today are shifting gears from hiring full-time to going fractional. The expertise, flexibility, insights, and innovation that you get are unmatched—that too at much lesser costs. 

However, remember that your marketing team can either break or make your business. Therefore, it is best you only hire a team of experts

At Spear Growth, we understand the needs of the companies in the B2B space. Hiring, training, and onboarding are time-taking and expensive. 

Therefore, we offer a complete team of specialists that hit the ground running.

Choose our extended demand generation team growth package, where we work with your team to help you run advertising effectively, double down on experimentation, and have increased visibility into performance.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, get in touch with us today. 

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