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Established 2009

Why A Fractional CMO May Be The Answer To Hiring

Fractional CMO

You’re running  a company with a marketing head honcho position that is now empty. You have two choices: 1) go through the process of hiring on a full-time CMO; or 2) take on a fractional CMO. The former is the more traditional option, once again making whole what you believe to be the cohesive family unit that is the C-suite of your operation.

But there’s just one problem — you’ve hired and lost CMOs a few times in just the last few years. Here’s even more food for thought. It turns out that recent data shows that the average amount of time CMOs spend at a company is a little over three years. Furthermore, the average salary for a Chief Marketing Officer in the US can reach about $300,000-$400,000 per year.

What does this all mean? Well, it means that trying to find the right full-time CMO for your company is not only time consuming, it can be a frustratingly short time they spend with your operation, not to mention incredibly expensive. Plus, you might not have much to show for it. This is why the idea of a fractional CMO makes a lot of sense and has been a go-to option for many companies over the years.

The fractional CMO provides a litany of benefits out of the gate that the full-time CMO does not based purely on one factor — time. Fractional CMOs understand that they are working under a timeframe, the likes of which demands results. They must be efficient with their processes so as to get the most out of every move they make. For example:

Budget Out of Control

Whether this means that expenses have been mismanaged for too long or are simply not organized, the fractional CMO is being asked to come in and start getting things sorted out. Unnecessary spending is done away with, expenses are consolidated, and deadlines are created to keep schedules on a particular pace.

Strategy Doesn’t Exist

Fractional CMOs are also critical in helping craft marketing strategy where this is none. There are many companies that still operate off of ‘shotgun marketing’ and “guesstimations,” the likes of which waste time and money. Fractional CMOs want to see data, analysis of said data, and concrete ways to utilize data so that it works for the company. If there are strategies in place, they want to see how they’ve been tweaked before and how tweaking strategy going forward can be optimized.

An Outside Perspective

Companies of all sizes can suffer from becoming echo chambers, especially in the marketing department. When your entire job is to talk up the pros of a product/service, you start believing your own hype. Fractional CMOs aren’t playing for the home team. They were brought in to get results, not score brownie points with the owner/founder. Fractional CMOs offer a fresh look at the operation that allows them to say what works and, most importantly, what doesn’t.


Fractional CMOs are great hires because they can be brought on based on industry/project-specific campaigns. Even if they aren’t necessarily well-equipped for a more all-encompassing role with your company, their wealth of knowledge in certain areas can prove to be invaluable. What’s more, they can be a repeat designee for projects of that ilk.

Finally, hiring a fractional CMO tends to be a low-risk investment for a company looking to get their marketing department back in gear. At the very least, this temporary hire buys them time while they search for a permanent person. However, smaller companies may not have the budget for a full-time position, so opting for a part-time CMO may be the best option. From just about every perspective, it is a win-win for the company.

Here at MindEcology, we have knowledge across a wide array of industries and ways to optimize marketing for them. While we believe we’re the right call to be your fractional CMO, you may still have questions. Good. That means you’re thinking critically and looking for the best. Sign up for a zero-risk consultation with us today!

fractional cmo