What Is Fractional Marketing?
Fractional marketing is a strategic technique for companies to address their marketing needs by bringing on marketing experts on an hourly or contractual basis. Especially in early growth stages, it is hard to predict what’s around the corner for your company. The combination of budget shortfalls, evolving market conditions and stagnant growth make the tasks company executives face feel twice as difficult to manage. If this is you, read on.
Factional marketing can lessen your burden.
Fractional marketing experts bring expertise, industry experience, and a new perspective to your company at a fraction of the cost. You are not sacrificing quality when you hire a fractional marketing expert. You are bringing in qualified, objective-driven marketers who will get to work right away to meet your business goals.
How Fractional Marketing Works
By design, fractional marketing can take many forms. It is a flexible and adaptable staff augmentation solution that can be shaped to do exactly what your company needs!
Here are the basics.
Fractional marketing experts work with your company and evaluate your current marketing needs. Here are some preliminary questions any experienced fractional marketer will ask you up front:
- What are your expected business outcomes?
- Are you trying to enter a new market?
- Is there a shortfall of internal funding, or an increase?
Each business is unique. A fractional marketing executive quickly visualizes the full range of your needs and provides the best customized solution.
The team can become fully-embedded within your organization and ready to start affecting change on the very first day.
When you hire a fractional marketing team you get to set certain conditions such as length of contract, the members of the team, and the priorities. Many executives hire a fractional marketing director for 10-30 hours a week. That’s flexibility nearly all mid-size companies appreciate. The fractional marketing director will work within your team to help you reach your desired outcomes. From the start, they will make sure they are set up to provide quick results with a measurable impact.
The role of a fractional marketing expert within your organization
Here’s why fractional marketing experts aren’t the same as the run-of-the-mill consulting agency you meet with once a week. Your fractional marketing expert or team takes an active role in the leadership and management of your organization.
While working towards your overall business goal, a fractional marketing expert will harness extensive experience and expertise to plan and execute initiatives that will help your company grow.
When a fractional marketing expert joins your team, you will know the rationale behind decisions and understand the thought-process behind changes. Any questions? Not a problem. You won’t have any difficulty directly contacting a fractional marketing director or team.
And even though your hire may be short- or medium-term, a fractional marketing consultant can help you make long-term plans. They make sure they understand every aspect of your business, making it possible for them to clearly document and set priorities for the most critical improvement areas in your organization.
A fractional marketing expert’s goal is to launch your marketing success by laying down the foundation of a strong and robust marketing plan.
For most organizations that decide to employ a fractional marketing professional, this resource is a true breath of fresh air. Here is someone who can take a 30,000 foot view of your company and provide strategic direction and expertise with quick results and a measurable impact. Not all heroes wear capes.
Shouldn’t I just use a Marketing Agency?
Hiring a fractional marketing expert is very different from contracting with a marketing agency. Usually the fractional CMO you hire will be in charge of managing all of your marketing vendors, relationships, and outcomes to ensure you get a positive ROI for your marketing spending across all relevant channels.
Why do the two play very different roles for the organization?
Most agencies create and execute a marketing plan based on a set list of deliverables. As long as they do what they say they will do, they consider that to be a success. They deliver something to you and vanish into the night.
That is the exact opposite of what a fractional marketing team does. They are a part of your team. Fractional marketing experts take full ownership of strategies and initiatives within your company and setup the right analytics foundation to measure success. We are talking about full ownership of initiatives and strategies within your company.
Do you feel you are in a position to give instructions on marketing tasks, techniques, or strategies that are not within your wheel-house?
You won’t have to do this with a fractional marketing director or team in your company. That is their job and what they are trained to do.
A fractional marketing expert’s job is to take guidance from executives based on business objectives and turn that into a prioritized marketing roadmap.
Benefits of a Fractional Marketing Expert
Having a fractional marketing expert working with your company can have a large impact on the ROI of your marketing activities. Fractional marketing can bring a rapid and demonstrable impact to your organization in several different ways.
Here’s the impact fractional marketing has on your company:
Most fractional marketing experts have decades of experience. They have often served in high-impact positions such as chairperson, chief marketing officer, senior vice-president, or vice-president within marketing.
These talented marketers love helping businesses grow! Each opportunity to work with a new team or company is a chance to put their extensive knowledge to work.
You can get a fractional marketing consultant who specializes in your industry with your specific company size.
In addition, these experts are trained to help you manage and get the best ROI from your existing vendors and partners.
Great fractional marketing people keep up with the latest trends, best practices, and tools in marketing. If you want to compete with the best, you need to be on the cutting edge on all fronts. Fractional marketing experts will make sure to bring this necessity for innovation to you for your benefit.
All this expertise at a fraction of the price? That’s correct.
Budget and Time Flexibility
Finding a great full-time marketing executive is challenging under any circumstances. Hiring a full-time marketing executive takes a large amount of time and money. As you try to take your business to the next level, where does this time and money come from? For many, especially mid-sized companies,the answer is: nowhere! You simply do not make the hire, or you sacrifice other areas of your company to fill the gap.
In addition, onboarding and training of a full-time employee is cumbersome. Expert fractional marketing teams are accustomed to hitting the ground running.
You can define exactly what you can pay and for how long. If your business needs directed change in the future, or you want to extend the contract, that isn’t a problem. With a fractional marketing team, you are able to react quickly to sudden resource changes or budget shortfalls.
The flexibility you have when hiring and retaining a fractional marketing team frees up time for you and other company employees to focus on what you do best.
Fractional CMOs will quickly determine the best marketing strategies to include in a budget, advise on ways to save money and quickly change direction, if needed. The whole point of working with an expert is to invest in the marketing strategies that deliver the best ROI.
Can’t decide whether or not you should invest in PPC? SEO? Retargeting? Lead generation? Our marketers will tell you.
They will help you quickly decide what marketing tactics to invest in and why!
Clear marketing objectives
Some companies engage different organizations for different aspects of their marketing strategy. This approach can lead to redundant work, miscommunication, or just plain ineffective strategies.
The fractional marketing person leads the overall marketing direction, and watches over marketing cost management. The CMO consultant will make it her job to intimately understand how other vendors are delivering against a unified set of goals for the marketing department. In some cases they may even recommend streamlining your agency relationships.
KPI-Driven Marketing Analytics
The adage is always: Show, don’t tell. Proper and accurate analytics is the backbone of any CMO consultants’ decision making process.
With new tactics, channels, testing, and tweaks, a CMO expert will stay on track of what’s working and what is not.
What do we look at? Here are a few marketing analytics metrics an expert marketing CMO would put in place, monitor, and report on.
- Brand Awareness
- Net Ppromoter Score
- Marketing Qualified Leads
- Sales Qualified Leads
- Customer Engagement
- Lifetime Value of a Customer
- Cost of Acquisition
Ask yourself – are you currently measuring and reporting on these? If not, you absolutely need to work with a fractional CMO.
Sometimes, it’s just reassuring to have a second set of eyes on your marketing plan and budget. This applies to any company from small to large Fortune 500 enterprises.
The price you pay covers countless moving parts as you move from your own personnel to client or software solutions as a way to keep your marketing engine going. A fractional marketing expert looks at these components and advises on how to optimize them.
This means they will take a critical look at processes and practices that exist within your company.
Fractional marketing consultants have no qualms about entering the unknown in pursuit of helping your bottom line. For example, will TikTok outperform Facebook Ads? Should the tone of your ads be casual or professional? A great fractional marketing professional will push you towards testing to determine what marketing messaging works best to get you new business.
It may sound contradictory, but a part-time marketing hire can add stability to your company. As outside experts, they are used to working with many different personalities so they can rise above the personal issues of internal politics.
A fractional CMO is used to passionate discussions and will stand by you.
In addition, fractional experts are accustomed to dealing with an incredible amount of uncertainty and ever-changing priorities which, depending on the stage your company is in, may be factors in your business.
Why You Need a Fractional Marketing Expert on Your Team
You want a fractional marketing expert on your team because it will help your business grow. It’s as simple as that. There is often no magic formula to sustain business success. If there is something your company should clearly be doing, your fractional marketing consultant will let you know ASAP.
The most remarkable advantage of bringing in a fractional consultant is they can help define the overall strategy for your business and train your existing employees to it.
Your full-time employees will not be operating in a silo when you bring in a C-level fractional marketing executive. They will soak up knowledge, best practices, and more, from our experts. Every day, our experts do their best to train, educate and improve your existing resources’ skills.
We aren’t shy about sharing what we know! We want your team to improve significantly over time so you can grow a robust marketing department that will push your company to the next level.
It’s amazing that more companies attempting to grow do not take advantage of fractional marketing teams. Are you ready to get started?