Discover How Fractional CMOs Are Transforming Marketing Strategies for Businesses and Why It’s Time to Jump on Board

The idea of the fractional CMO has been gaining traction recently, and it’s easy to see why. A fractional CMO is an experienced marketing executive who offers expertise to multiple clients on a part-time basis. Instead of hiring a full-time CMO, you get the strategic guidance and management of a seasoned marketing pro at a fraction of the cost. 

While the concept of the fractional CMO might seem like a relatively new idea, it’s actually a service I’ve been offering for quite some time. It’s just that now, this approach is being thought of and packaged differently to better cater to the evolving needs of businesses.

Many CEOs or business owners say they just want customers from their marketing relationships, but I think a lot of them are starting to realize that there’s a bit more to the equation. You know, little things like clarity around messaging or identifying an ideal customer, the confidence to know which marketing idea to pursue, some level of control over what’s working and what’s not, and then, of course, some actual customers.

The CMO vs. The Fractional CMO

This shift in mindset has made the positioning of the fractional CMO increasingly important. In a traditional business, a CMO would handle strategic planning, brand management, marketing campaigns, data analysis, and budget management. They’d also manage the team responsible for implementing these strategies. Yet most traditional marketing agencies often focus solely on marketing campaigns, leaving many of the crucial CMO duties untouched. 

This is where the hybrid approach or a fractional CMOs plus implementation team comes in, offering a more flexible, cost-effective solution that combines the strategic guidance of a CMO with the hands-on expertise of an implementation team. Ultimately providing businesses with the marketing strategy and support they need without the hefty price tag of a full-time CMO.

The Financial Advantages of Fractional CMOs

Fractional CMOs make sense financially as well, especially for small business owners. In contrast to hiring a full-time CMO and a team to implement marketing strategies, the fractional CMO model allows businesses to bring in experts on demand. 

According to, the average CMO salary ranges from $208,000 to $375,000, which does not include implementation costs. In contrast, the fractional CMO model costs around $60,000 a year, and implementation costs can be managed according to demand. This approach allows businesses to control their implementation costs and only pay for the expertise they need. 

For providers such as agencies and consultants, the average retainer for a fractional CMO is around $5,000 a month. While some may charge more, this provides a general idea of the cost of hiring a fractional CMO. Ultimately, the financial benefits of the fractional CMO model make it an attractive option for many businesses looking to streamline their marketing efforts and an attractive income source for agency owners who want to sell strategy.

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The Scaling Challenge

The role of a fractional CMO can be quite lucrative, requiring only a small number of clients to earn a salary comparable to that of a full-time CMO. However, the challenge lies in scaling the business. 

Typically, fractional CMOs sell their time, dividing it among their clients’ needs, such as attending meetings and strategic planning sessions. Unfortunately, this model lacks scalability. As they sell more and more blocks of time, they quickly reach their limit and become drained. While fractional CMOs may make a decent living, the lack of scalability can be a significant drawback. Our unique approach allows fractional CMOs who use our system to adjust for the issue of scalability, giving them more freedom and time to actually run their business and long-term viability.

Fractional CMO Benefits

Our Fractional CMO System: The Solution

By offering a clearly defined scope of work, our model allows for better scalability and more sustainable growth. We also start every new client engagement with our Strategy First service offering. On average, agencies that license our system charge a monthly retainer of about $5,000. They typically have 15-18 clients at any given time, and these clients have an average retention of about 19 months. 

The fractional CMO model is a game-changer for both businesses and marketing agencies. If you’re interested in learning more about how our repeatable, scalable system can help your business or marketing agency thrive, it’s time to start a conversation with us. Let’s discuss how embracing the fractional CMO trend can transform your marketing strategy and drive success for your company.

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