Category Archives: Fractional CMO

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How to Hire a Fractional CMO: The Smart Way to Scale

How to Hire a Fractional CMO: The Smart Way to Scale written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Are you looking at your business goals and feeling your marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it? You’re not alone. Many businesses reach a point where the usual approaches no longer produce the desired results and everything they try just falls flat or I believe the technical term is “meh”. This is where hiring a fractional CMO can make a significant difference.

As the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, I’ve spent 30 years helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals through effective marketing strategies and our Fractional CMO+ approach. My passion for empowering entrepreneurs has led me to publish best-selling books, host a popular podcast, and share insights with thousands at conferences worldwide. The Duct Tape Marketing System, born out of my desire to solve the frustrations business owners face, has revolutionized how organizations approach marketing and drive sustainable growth.

Let’s explore how hiring a fractional CMO could be the key to pushing your business forward. And if you find the concept intriguing, why not learn more?

Business owners get your FREE Marketing Success Toolkit with the Ultimate Case Study for Hiring a Fractional CMO & the Marketing Audit Checklist so you know exactly where to focus or you can schedule a strategy session to see how this could work for you.


The Role and Benefits of a Fractional CMO

How to Identify the Right Fractional CMO for Your Business

How to Work with Your Fractional CMO for Best Results

The Advantages of Bringing a Fractional CMO into Your Marketing

FAQs in Relation to How to Hire a Fractional CMO


The Role and Benefits of a Fractional CMO

So you’re thinking about hiring a fractional CMO. But what exactly do they do? And how can they help your business grow? A fractional CMO is a part-time marketing executive who provides strategic leadership to help companies achieve their goals.

Fractional CMOs usually work on a contract basis, typically for a set number of hours per week or month, and bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Unlike a full-time CMO, a fractional CMO can be hired for a specific project or time period, making them a flexible and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.

Fractional CMOs can work on hourly basis. Most fractional CMOs who work on an hourly basis will charge an average of $200/ hour. However, this number varies greatly based on level of expertise, experience and what they bring to the table.

You can learn more about What a Fractional CMO is and does here.

Cost-Effectiveness and Strategic Value

Hiring a full-time CMO can be expensive, with salaries often exceeding $250,000 to $480,000 per year. For many businesses, this simply isn’t feasible. But a fractional CMO can provide the same level of strategic thinking and leadership at a fraction of the cost.

According to a Forbes article, fractional CMOs typically cost between $3,000 and $36,000 per month, depending on the scope of work and the CMO’s experience level. This can be a game-changer for businesses that need high-level marketing expertise but don’t have the budget for a full-time executive.

Flexibility and Scalability

In my experience, another key benefit of hiring a fractional CMO is the flexibility and scalability they offer. As your business grows and evolves, your marketing needs will change. A fractional CMO can help you navigate these changes and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. They can also help you scale your marketing efforts up or down as needed, depending on your current goals and resources. This level of flexibility is especially valuable for startups and small businesses that are still figuring out their marketing strategy and may not have the resources to commit to a full-time CMO.

“A fractional CMO can provide the strategic guidance and leadership that businesses need to scale, at a fraction of the cost and commitment.” – John Jantsch

How do You Know If Your Business Needs a Fractional CMO?

To find out if hiring a fractional or part-time CMO is right for your business it’s worth considering some key questions, as highlighted in an article from Inc.

Some of those questions are:

  • Project Management: Do you lack someone in-house who can oversee and drive various ongoing marketing and branding projects?
  • Expert Insight: Are you in need of fresh, professional insight into complex marketing challenges, with the ability to turn these insights into actionable strategies?
  • Specialized Leadership: Is there a long-term project on your plate that demands specialized marketing expertise not currently available within your team?
  • Cultural Transformation: Do you require a leader to foster a shift towards a more brand and marketing-focused organizational culture?
  • Completion of Initiatives: Are there numerous marketing projects initiated but left unfinished that need driving to completion?

Answering “yes” to any of these suggests that hiring a fractional CMO could be a beneficial and strategic decision for your business at this time.


How to Identify the Right Fractional CMO for Your Business

Okay, so you’re sold on the idea of hiring a fractional CMO. But how do you find the right one for your business?

You want someone with:

  • A proven track record of success
  • Experience working with businesses of your size and stage of growth.

Experience tells me that first, you want to look for someone with a proven track record of success in your industry or a similar field. Ask for case studies, references, and examples of their work to get a sense of their expertise and the results they’ve achieved for other clients.

You should also look for someone who has experience working with businesses of your size and stage of growth. A fractional CMO who has worked primarily with large enterprises may not be the best fit for a startup or small business. Or a Fractional CMO who has worked only with national eCommerce companies might not be the best fit for your local service based remodeling company.

Aligning with Business Goals

It’s also important to find a fractional CMO whose approach aligns with your overall business objectives. Before you start your search, take some time to define your marketing goals and the specific challenges you’re facing. Then, look for a fractional CMO who has experience tackling similar challenges and can provide a clear plan for how they’ll help you achieve your goals.

So how do you define your marketing goals and challenges?

Start by identifying what you want to achieve in simple terms—like increasing sales by 20% or growing your subscribers by 500. Then, list down the main obstacles you currently face, such as limited budget or lack of specific expertise.

A straightforward exercise to help this process is to draw two columns on a piece of paper: label one “Goals” and the other “Challenges”. Fill these columns with concise points. This visual approach can quickly clarify your priorities and hurdles, making it easier to tackle them systematically.

Cultural Fit and Communication Style

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of cultural fit and communication style when hiring a fractional CMO. This person will be working closely with your team and representing your brand, so it’s crucial that they share your values and communicate in a way that resonates with your team and customers.

In general you should look for someone who is a good listener, communicates clearly and effectively, and has a collaborative approach to working with others.

How to Work with a Fractional CMO for Best Results

You’ve found the perfect fractional CMO for your business. Now what? The first step is to ensure that your marketing efforts are closely aligned with your broader business goals. Your fractional CMO should work with you to understand your overall objectives and develop a marketing strategy that supports those goals.

This might involve conducting market research, analyzing your target audience, and identifying key metrics to track your progress.

Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan

Once you’ve aligned your marketing with your business objectives, it’s time to develop a strategic marketing plan. Your fractional CMO should lead this process, working with your team or your leadership and their implementation team to identify the most effective tactics and channels for reaching your target audience.

We call our strategic process Strategy First. By name, by brand name, but it’s still it’s an approach. Do they have an approach that says, well, before we get into doing x, y, and z, we are going to study what our strategic direction is going to be. We’re going to study how we’re gonna differentiate. If your Fractional CMO is not coming with that strategy first approach, and they’re really just doing random acts of marketing, is that really what you need?

Then, after they develop your strategy (with you) they get into the tactics. This might include a mix of digital marketing, content marketing, social media, email marketing, and traditional advertising.

The key is to develop a plan that is tailored to your specific business needs and goals and then how they are going to execute on that plan. Of course, even the best marketing plan is useless if it’s not executed effectively. Your fractional CMO should work with your team to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are being completed on time and on budget.

They should also have the authority and support to hold your team accountable for meeting key metrics and milestones, and provide regular updates on progress and results.

Customer Focus for Premium Brand Positioning

Finally, your fractional CMO should help you focus on the customer experience as a way to elevate your brand perception and loyalty. This might involve developing customer personas, mapping out the customer journey, and identifying touchpoints where you can create a more seamless and enjoyable experience. By putting the customer first, you can differentiate your brand from competitors and charge a premium for your products or services.

Remember your Fractional CMO should be the advocate for the customer.

“A fractional CMO can help you align your marketing with your business objectives, develop a strategic plan, and execute it effectively while keeping the customer at the center of everything you do.” – Duct Tape Marketing


What a Fractional CMO provides for a businesses marketing strategy.

The Advantages of Bringing Fresh Perspectives into Your Marketing Efforts

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a fractional CMO is the fresh perspective they bring to your marketing efforts. When you’ve been working on your marketing for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing things the way you’ve always done them. But a fractional CMO can challenge your assumptions and introduce new ideas and approaches that you may not have considered before. They can help you think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to your marketing challenges.

In short, you want to hire a fractional CMO that is going to challenge you when it comes to how your marketing strategy can help you reach your business goals.

Leveraging Cross-Industry Experience

Another advantage of hiring a fractional CMO is the cross-industry experience they bring to the table. Many fractional CMOs have worked in a variety of industries and can draw on that experience to create unique marketing strategies that stand out from the competition.

For example, a fractional CMO who has worked in the tech industry might be able to apply some of the innovative marketing tactics used in that space to a more traditional industry like healthcare or finance. By leveraging this cross-industry experience, you can create marketing strategies that are truly one-of-a-kind and help you differentiate your brand in a crowded market.

“Fractional CMOs bring a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives to the table, helping businesses think outside the box and create truly unique marketing strategies.” – Forbes

Key Takeaway: 


Bringing in a fractional CMO can inject fresh, innovative ideas into your marketing efforts, drawing from a diverse range of industry experiences to uniquely position your brand in a crowded marketplace.

FAQs in Relation to How to Hire a Fractional CMO

How much does it cost to hire a fractional CMO?

The price varies, but you’re looking at around $3,000 to $10,000 per month based on experience and hours worked.

Where can I find a fractional CMO?

Check out professional networks like LinkedIn or niche agencies that specialize in executive marketing placements.

When should I hire a fractional CMO?

If your business is scaling up but has maybe hit a plateau or isn’t ready for a full-time executive leadership, it’s time to consider hiring a fractional CMO.

How much can a fractional CMO make?

Average earnings fall between $50k and $200k yearly. This swings widely with the deal’s specifics and their workload.


Hiring a fractional CMO is a game-changer for businesses ready to scale their marketing efforts. By bringing in a seasoned pro with a proven track record, you can inject fresh ideas, tap into cross-industry expertise, and align your marketing strategy with your big-picture goals.

The key is finding the right fit – someone who gets your vision, meshes with your team, and knows how to drive results. With the right fractional CMO in your corner, you can take your marketing to new heights without the overhead of a full-time exec.

So, if you’re ready to ditch the marketing “meh” and scale your biz like a boss, it’s time to start the hunt for your perfect fractional CMO. Trust me; your bottom line (and your sanity) will thank you.

Get your FREE Marketing Success Toolkit with the Ultimate Case Study for Hiring a Fractional CMO & the Marketing Audit Checklist so you know exactly where to focus or you can schedule a strategy session to see how this could work for you.

Fractional CMO Insights Survey: Why Businesses Hire Them & How to Become One

Fractional CMO Insights Survey: Why Businesses Hire Them & How to Become One written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

What is a fractional CMO? What does it take to be one? 

And what is the benefit of a part-time marketing leader to companies? To the CMO? 

What is a Fractional CMO?

Think of a fractional CMO (fCMO) as a highly experienced marketing strategist on a part-time basis. They bring the expertise of a full-time CMO without the full-time cost commitment. But how does this model benefit businesses and marketers? 

In this post is hot-off-the-presses survey data from strategic marketing agency, Duct Tape Marketing,   Databox, and ActiveCampaign shows why fractions of a CMO’s time may be worth more than the whole.

For more information on what a fractional CMO does check out the Ultimate Guide to Scaling a Fractional CMO Business.

First of its Kind Fractional CMO Survey – Key Findings

Our survey polled over 260 respondents, including fractional CMOs, agencies using the model, and businesses who hire them. This gave us unique insights into the reasons behind its popularity and the potential benefits for all involved.

  • Adoption is booming. Almost half (48.6%) of respondents said they are currently working as fractional CMOs. Survey results show that most fractional CMOs are in demand for their strategic guidance and cost-effectiveness.
  • Experienced marketers thrive.  Over 70% of fractional CMOs indicated having more than 10 years of marketing experience.
  • Strategic services are key. Services like strategic planning (92.67%), marketing strategy development (88.67%), and content strategy (82.67%) ranked as top fCMO services.
  • Professional Services and SaaS industries lead. These industries see the biggest benefits from an fCMO, with SaaS/Software/Tech (65.33%) and Professional Services (55.33%) being  the top client industries.

Key Discovery: Businesses aren’t just saving money with fCMOs – they’re gaining access to top-tier strategic guidance that can transform their marketing results.

The Ideal Fractional CMO Profile

Our survey reveals the skills and experience that set top performers apart. While a solid marketing background is important, strategic thinking and adaptability are just as crucial. To thrive as a fractional CMO, be ready to offer in-demand services like strategic planning and digital marketing, while excelling at communication.

The 2024 Fractional CMO Insights Survey shows the ideal fractional CMO profile:

  • Most have 10+ years marketing experience
  • Balanced to busy workloads reflect healthy demand
  • Provide strategic planning, marketing strategy, content strategy, digital marketing, and other marketing services
  • Strong communication skills and ability to develop strategies are crucial
  • Clients are mainly in SaaS/tech and professional services

Market Opportunities for Companies and Fractional CMOs

Businesses are increasingly choosing fCMOs for their strategic expertise and specialized skills, particularly in digital marketing. This model offers cost-effective access to senior-level guidance and an unbiased perspective on marketing challenges. While finding the right fCMO takes some effort, the benefits make this a highly attractive option for many companies.

Why are businesses turning to the fractional CMO model?

  • Strategic Guidance: Companies seek fCMOs for their expertise in developing winning marketing strategies.
  • Specialized Skills: In-house teams often lack the niche knowledge fCMOs offer, especially in digital marketing.
  • Cost Savings: Fractional CMOs provide senior-level guidance at a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.
  • Unbiased Perspective: Businesses value the fresh, objective insights an fCMO brings.

Implications: A Thriving Market for Strategic Marketers

Our survey highlights a significant demand for experienced marketers willing to work on a fractional basis. This presents several opportunities:

  • High-Value Services: Fractional CMOs can provide strategic guidance and specialized marketing expertise, becoming invaluable extensions of their clients’ teams.
  • Skill Development: This model encourages continued growth in strategic planning, digital marketing, and other high-demand skills.
  • Essential Soft Skills: Emphasizing flexibility, communication, and strategy development are crucial for success in the fCMO role.
  • Industry Specialization: Focusing on clients in SaaS/tech and professional services will maximize your impact and streamline your client acquisition efforts.

The 2024 Fractional CMO Survey Results

The survey reveals a growing trend in adopting the fractional CMO model, driven by its strategic benefits, above everything else – for all parties.

The demand for these roles is reflected in the balanced to busy workloads of current fractional CMOs. Success in this model requires a blend of extensive marketing experience, strategic and digital marketing skills, and strong soft skills like communication and adaptability.

Who Did We Survey?

Of 261 respondents who took the survey, almost half (48.66%) are currently fractional CMOs. 17.62% are agencies currently offering fractional CMO services, 14.56% are considering becoming a fractional CMO, 6.13% are companies that hired a fractional CMO, 4.60% are agencies considering offering fractional CMO services and 2.68% are companies considering hiring a fractional CMO. 5.75% didn’t fit in any of the offered options. 

Fractional CMO Perspective

There are 128 Current fCMOs and 38 who are considering becoming a Fractional CMO.

The Workload of a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs mostly describe their workload as balanced (26.49%) or busy (25.83%), indicating a healthy service demand. The majority have substantial experience in marketing roles before becoming a fractional CMO, with over 70% reporting having more than 10 years of experience.

How Fractional CMOs Work with their Clients

Respondents have top-ranked Strategic planning.

Main Services Offered by Fractional CMOs

Key services provided by fCMOs include strategic planning (92.67%), marketing strategy development (88.67%), content strategy and development (82.67%), digital marketing (78.67%), brand positioning and messaging (78.67%), Customer Segmentation and Targeting (72%), Brand Development (68.67%), Marketing Operations (67.33%), Lead Generation Strategies (67.33%), Product Launches (58%), and Marketing Technology (tech stack) Consulting (50.67%). This diverse range of services highlights the broad skill set required for the role.

Crucial success factors for most of them are client communication skills, comprehensive strategy development and flexibility to adapt to client needs.

Main Industries for Fractional CMO Work

Fractional CMOs primarily work with clients in SaaS, Software or Technology (65.33%) and Professional Services (55.33%), highlighting these industries’ need for marketing expertise.

Find the Right Fractional CMO for Your Business – Ideal Fractional CMO Profile

10+ years of expertise; strong foundation in various marketing disciplines (hard skills) with focus on Strategy development and Digital marketing, while also possessing excellent soft skills like communication and adaptability. Targeting industries like SaaS, Software or Technology and Professional Services could be a wise initial focus.

Marketing Agencies: The Benefits of Adding Fractional CMO Services

Agencies are getting into the fractional CMO game too! Here’s why:

  • More strategic positioning: Offering fCMO services boosts an agency’s strategic value. This was reflected in survey responses, where ‘Makes us more strategic as an agency’ was a top benefit for agencies.
  • Stronger client relationships: Clients get more personalized marketing leadership.  ‘Enhanced client relationships’ was another highly ranked benefit for agencies offering fCMO services.
  • Adapting is easy: Most agencies find the shift to offering fCMO services smooth.  [Insert the percentage of agencies who found adapting their model easy].

There are 46 agencies currently offering fCMO services and 12 agencies that are considering offering Fractional CMO services.

More Agencies are Adapting the Fractional CMO Model and Services

Most of the agencies stated that they are engaged in the fCMO concept in some way: 17.65% are Actively engaged, with numerous ongoing engagements, 47.06% are Moderately engaged, with a few ongoing projects, 21.57% are exploring the model and considering future engagements.

More Strategic Positioning

Main areas in which they help clients: main areas in which agencies most often provide (or plan to provide) assistance with Fractional CMO services are Strategic planning, followed by Digital Marketing.

Adoption is Easy

Adapting to the model: Most agencies experienced slight to no challenges adapting agency services to fit the fCMO model. No agency found it very challenging.

Strong Client Relationships

Benefits: As the primary benefits for agencies offering Fractional CMO services, Agencies mostly stated that it Makes them more strategic as an agency and Enhanced client relationships.

Success Factors: For most agencies, the Ability to develop comprehensive strategies, Client communication skills and Flexibility to adapt to client needs are crucial for success.

Client Industries: Agencies offering fCMO services primarily work with clients in SaaS, Software or Technology (57.69%) and Professional Services (51.92%), highlighting these industries’ need for marketing expertise.

Adapting to the model isn’t challenging for most agencies. On the other hand, the benefits of including the model are substantial – it’s about positioning own business as more strategic and enhancing relationships with clients. The industries they work with are, as for fCMOs – SaaS and Professional Services. Also, agencies rank soft skills are crucial for the success.

Business Owners: Find the Right Fractional CMO for Your Business

There are 16 companies that hired a Fractional CMO and 7 that are considering hiring a Fractional CMO

Top-ranked factors influencing companies’ decision to hire are the Need for specialized expertise, cost-effectiveness (compared to a full-time CMO), and desire for unbiased guidance, and the need for specialized expertise.

What drives businesses to hire fCMOs? It’s about:

  • Top-tier expertise: Specialized knowledge is harder to find in-house. ‘Need for specialized expertise’ was a top factor influencing companies’ decision to hire an fCMO.
  • Cost savings: Get senior-level guidance without the full-time salary. ‘Cost-effectiveness’ also ranked as a major reason for hiring.
  • Outside perspective: fCMOs offer unbiased advice for better decision-making. The ‘Need for unbiased guidance’ was another significant hiring factor identified in the survey.

Main areas they in which fCMO helps them: Respondents top-ranked Digital marketing and Strategic planning.

Companies reported encountering slight challenges in finding a suitable fractional CMO.

When it comes to the greatest benefits attributed to hiring a fractional CMO, companies have top-ranked Strategic expertise. Cost savings come as second.

When it comes to the importance of the factors when choosing a Fractional CMO to hire, the companies have top-ranked Ability to develop comprehensive strategies and Depth of industry knowledge, closely followed by Flexibility to adapt to client needs and Understanding and navigating market Trends. Pricing is at the bottom.

Ready to Hire an Part-Time CMO or Become One?

Our survey shows significant demand for experienced marketers to fill fractional CMO roles. This model offers high-value services while fitting seamlessly into the way clients operate.

At Duct Tape Marketing we help business owners find the right fractional CMO to help them scale and for agencies we help them transition to the Fractional CMO model themselves.

Download our free growth tools to help get you started.

Free Marketing Strategy and Fractional CMO growth tools

2024 Marketing Trends for Fractional CMOs: A Guide

2024 Marketing Trends for Fractional CMOs: A Guide written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

I’ve put together my thoughts on what 2024 holds for marketing strategists and fractional CMOs. But let me be upfront: I approach the concept of “trends” with a healthy dose of skepticism. Why? Because often, by the time something is labeled a trend, it’s either already happening or it’s just a shot in the dark.

Today, I want to cut through that noise and talk about real shifts that matter, especially for you fractional CMOs out there.

I’ve been in the marketing trenches for over two decades and I’ve learned to distinguish the fads from the game-changers. Over the years, I’ve learned to cut through the hype and zero in on what really drives a company’s success. For those stepping into the role of a fractional CMO, grasping this viewpoint is essential; it’s all about capturing the essence and connecting with audiences just as vividly as a well-pictured story does. You’re juggling a ton of different hurdles in all sorts of fields, and what you really need are strategies that don’t just make sense but actually work.


2024 Marketing Trends for Fractional CMOs: A Guide

As a fractional CMO, you’re in a unique position to help businesses navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape. But with so many trends to keep track of, it can be tough to know where to focus your attention.

In this guide, we’ll break down the five most important marketing trends for fractional CMOs in 2024. We’ll also provide actionable tips on how you can leverage these trends to help your clients succeed.

Get a complete fractional CMO system that changes how you think about your agency’s growth.


Table Of Contents:


Embracing AI in Marketing Strategies

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in marketing for years, but in 2023, it had it’s moment and in 2024 it will become a cornerstone for our marketing strategy. AI-powered tools can help you with everything from content creation and social media management to data analysis and customer segmentation.

There’s no doubt it can help you create content, but there’s a lot more to AI than that.

As a fractional CMO, you can use AI to:

  • Brainstorm: AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard can help you to generate ideas when you are not feeling creative.
  • Create personalized content: AI can help you generate blog posts, social media updates, and even email marketing campaigns that are tailored to your clients’ specific target audiences.
  • Automate tasks: AI can free up your time so you can focus on more strategic initiatives. For example, you can use AI to automate tasks like scheduling social media posts, responding to customer inquiries, and generating reports.
  • Make better decisions: AI can help you analyze data and identify trends that you might otherwise miss. This can help you make better decisions about your clients’ marketing campaigns.

Search engines are shifting, and as a fractional CMO, you’ve got to stay on your toes. Remember when search results were one-size-fits-all? Those days are long gone. Now we’re looking at answer engines that serve up tailor-made results like a personal concierge for every user.

Imagine this: two people type the same question into a search bar but get different answers. Why? Because these platforms now weigh in our browsing habits, location, and even the device we’re using to give us what they think we want. It’s all about making sure each click gets us closer to ‘the one’—that perfect piece of content or product.

Keyword stuffing will not work in 2024 nor has it for a long time. You’ll need to think more conversational AI-driven content creation because that’s how you’ll feed those hungry answer engines with quality bites they can’t resist sharing with users.


A shift to AEO or Answer Engine Optimization.

We will start to see AEO or Answer Engine Optimization as the new SEO. Think of AEO as your content’s secret weapon for grabbing the spotlight in search results. It’s about crafting content that directly answers people’s questions, especially those phrased as queries. Imagine someone asking, “What’s the best way to potty train a puppy?” With AEO, your client’s helpful blog post on that exact topic could land smack dab in the coveted answer box at the top of the search page or your favorite LLM platform.

The Dominance of Video Marketing

“Video first” isn’t just a catchy phrase; it’s the reality of our content landscape. Video is no longer just one of the content types; it’s becoming the basis of content strategy.

The immediacy, the intimacy, and the versatility of video make it a powerful tool for storytelling, brand building, and customer engagement.

As a Fractional CMO, steering your clients towards a video-first content approach could be the game-changer they need.

AI-Driven Content Creation

Gone are the days when creating killer video content was an epic feat reserved for big-budget studios. Now, with AI even small marketing teams can churn out high-quality and effective videos.


Video Content and AI Efficiency

Talk about efficiency—AI isn’t just making video creation easier; it’s transforming repurposing into an art form itself. You can shoot a video once but cut countless ways to fit any social platform’s appetite—from bite-sized to long-form and even ads.

  • Creating video content for social media: Share short, engaging videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
  • Using video for sales and marketing: Create video testimonials, product demos, and explainer videos
  • Running video ads: Video ads can be a great way to reach a large audience and generate leads.


Prioritizing Data Privacy and Compliance

Remember the time when you could collect user data without much fuss? Well, those days are gone. The digital marketing landscape has evolved drastically with stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA taking center stage. For marketers, particularly fractional CMOs, it’s a game of staying ahead while playing by the new rules.

The spotlight is now on first-party data as third-party cookies crumble under regulatory pressure. You’ve got to get crafty in how you gather and use customer info directly from your audience—think website interactions or social media engagements—because let’s face it, that goldmine of third-party data isn’t what it used to be.

It’s not just about compliance; it’s about building trust. Show your customers you value their privacy as much as they do by implementing transparent practices for collecting and handling their information. It’s smart business because when customers trust you, they stick around longer—and we all know that loyalty pays off in spades.

As a fractional CMO, you can help your clients by:

  • Developing a data privacy policy: This policy should explain how your clients collect, use, and store customer data.
  • Obtaining consent from customers: Make sure your clients have consent from customers before collecting their data.
  • Being transparent about how data is used: Let customers know how their data will be used and give them the ability to opt out.

Leveraging First-Party Data for Targeted Marketing

Think of first-party data as the secret sauce that gives your marketing strategy its unique flavor. It’s information your clients’ customers willingly share, like website interactions or social media engagements. It’s a digital handshake where they say, “Here’s my info; show me something good.”

And with privacy rules tighter than ever, this direct connection is more valuable than ever before. Why? Because it lets you talk to folks on a level that feels almost psychic. No more throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. Now, you’re using their own words and behaviors to craft laser-focused messages that resonate deeply. Imagine the conversion power!

Trust and Customer Experience is Key

The pandemic’s silver lining? It cranked up customer expectations for top-notch service and convenience.

In 2024 companies can use AI tools to make every interaction feel like it’s tailor-made. You know when you walk into your favorite coffee shop and they start prepping your usual order before you even say hi? That’s the kind of personalized touch we’re talking about.

Fractional CMOs can utilize data to personalize their client’s customer journey though marketing messages and website content. They can also use these tools to make it easier to do business with you through frictionless checkout procedures and website navigation.

However, be careful, if these tools aren’t implemented and used correctly it do be more harm then good. And remember the best tool is the one that you know how to use.

Adapting to Market Trends as a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs need to ride the wave of change, and 2024’s marketing landscape is all about smart tech and savvy strategies.

To sum it all up: With AI marketers can churn out top-notch material at warp speed, especially with video. It’s not just cat clips anymore; it’s becoming king in customer engagement.

The search game is also leveling up with engines getting smarter by serving personalized answers faster than you can say “SEO”. This means we’ve got to fine-tune our digital presence like never before—think less keyword stuffing, more answering real people’s questions.

Data privacy isn’t just nice-to-have; it’s must-have now. We’re swapping third-party cookies for first-party data treasure troves that keep us in line with GDPR while giving us killer insights straight from our audience.

Last but not least, trust and customer experience has become the golden ticket and will be key not just for 2024 but beyond.

Keep these insights close—they’re the compass for navigating tomorrow’s waves as a fractional CMO poised at the helm of change.

Free up your time, increase ROI, and finally learn how to scale by licensing a complete fractional CMO+ system for your marketing agency. We have helped 1000s of agencies scale and clients soar with this proven marketing system, check it out.

How to Scale Your Agency with Productized Marketing Services

How to Scale Your Agency with Productized Marketing Services written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The best thing you can do right now to scale your agency is to productized marketing services.

Struggling to scale your strategic marketing agency? Working tirelessly on both big and small projects but feeling like your earnings don’t match your effort? This frustration is shared by many, where the hours poured into work seem to overshadow the financial return. I navigated a similar hurdle when I first started my strategic marketing agency, Duct Tape Marketing, working relentlessly but watching my earnings plateau. It was at that moment I understood things couldn’t stay the same.

Over 20 years ago, I pivoted from tailoring bespoke, effort-heavy marketing solutions that left me exhausted and my clients less than impressed to embracing a transformative strategy: productized offerings. productized marketing services. This strategy was a game-changer, allowing my agency to work smarter, not harder, and significantly increasing our revenue year after year.

Get a complete fractional CMO system that changes how you think about your agency’s growth.


Table Of Contents:

The Essence of Productized Services in Marketing

Productized marketing services are fixed, repeatable offerings; most agencies offer services tailored to each clients’ unique needs. This is not to say that each client is not unique and should not be treated as such. But in the very beginning of an agency-client relationship there are certain things that every client needs and that is what can be productized.

The idea of productizing marketing service based business goes beyond marketing and can really be applied to almost any service-based industry.

Defining Productized Marketing Services

In marketing, productizing means turning your offerings into standardized packages. Like products on a shelf, these services have fixed scopes and price tags. Think Facebook ads or web design but sold like off-the-rack suits: they fit well enough for most businesses without needing tailor-made solutions.

This business model takes what typically might be custom work—say designing a website—and distills it down into something more tangible: “Website Design Package A includes up to 5 pages with basic SEO optimization.” It makes buying decisions easier because clients know exactly what they’re getting and at what cost—a powerful lure for small businesses watching every penny.

Benefits of Productizing Your Agency’s Services

If you’ve ever faced cash flow headaches at month-end or juggled multiple client expectations simultaneously, standardization could be your ticket to scalability heaven. By defining precise deliverables upfront—whether it’s logo design or web development—you let potential clients know exactly what they’re getting without any guesswork involved.

Productizing also allows agency owners to save time focusing on crafting high-quality content rather than being bogged down by project management intricacies every step along the way. You get more space to stay focused on market trends while fostering long-term relationships through reliable delivery mechanisms; ultimately leading not just revenue growth but also customer satisfaction due largely thanks in part because user experiences have been made so much better.

Revolutionize your agency with productized services—like a 3 item coffee shop menu for digital marketing. Say hello to clear choices, fixed prices, and happy clients. #MarketingStrategy #AgencyGrowthClick To Tweet

Crafting Your Productized Marketing Service Offerings

Turning your marketing agency’s services into well-oiled machines starts with a focus on productization. Creating a consistent experience for your customers through productizing is the key to providing an efficient and expert service.

Identifying Your Target Market

Before anything else, zeroing in on who will love your service is key. You want to aim for that sweet spot where 20% of customers bring in most business benefits—your ideal target market. Look at your data trends; they don’t lie. They tell tales of who your best clients and who’s willing to pay for the value you provide.

Once you have identified the top percent then dig deeper. You need to understand their pain points better than they do themselves because let’s face it, everyone loves someone who gets them.

Structuring Your Service Packages – Standardize

The art here lies not just in creating attractive bundles but ensuring each one has clear deliverables—a transparent blueprint clients can trust. With clarity comes confidence from both sides: agencies promise tangible results while clients grasp exactly what they’re investing in.

Pricing structures mustn’t be a puzzle either; transparency wins races here too. By communicating pricing models early, clearly, and often you can start to earn trust, something that is hard to do in the agency world.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Consistency

SOPs aren’t glamorous—but boy do they pack a punch when delivering consistent customer experiences. This step will take time. Even if it took 3 weeks, it would likely be the most beneficial 3 weeks you spent on one thing for you agency.

This structured approach helps teams stay focused so time isn’t wasted reinventing wheels but rather polishing those already rolling smoothly along tracks paved by streamlined processes designed specifically around efficiency—and ultimately leading towards predictable outcomes loved by all parties involved.

These SOPs are what will allow you to scale, to teach others how to run your processes almost as well as you would. This is what will allow you to start working on your agency instead of in it.

Key Takeaway: Turn your agency’s services into productized services, offering the same excellence every time—like a trusted cup of coffee.

Nail down who really digs your service. Use data to uncover their pain points and craft packages that hit home – For Them, Not You.

Create clear, confidence-boosting service bundles with straightforward pricing. And finally experience a trusted client relationship.

SOPs are your secret sauce for delivering spot-on customer experiences consistently—it’s all about precision and predictability.

More on the Benefits of Productizing Your Marketing Services

It’s about transforming those time-sucking, custom, often unpredictable service offerings into neatly packaged, expert solutions that clients can trust. Because you have done it before you know what the results will be. Your services are proven and not a test.

Streamlining Sales and Operations

By standardizing your offerings with productized services, you create a smooth-running machine. Your client knows the exact service that they will get with clear package outlines and pricing and you know exactly how to deliver that to them and how much time it will take.

Your team members will thank you as well because when they have clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) to follow, it takes away guesswork and streamlines training. And if there’s one thing employees appreciate, it’s knowing exactly what needs to be done without having to decode cryptic instructions every day.

Boosting Profit Margins

Once you’ve nailed down an efficient delivery method for your productized service—the kind that lets customers know precisely what they’re getting—you can actually charge more for them. Yes indeed. Because consistency breeds quality which justifies premium pricing all day long.

This model also helps keep cash flow steady since recurring services mean predictable monthly income streams—it’s like subscription models in retail but without needing fancy box packaging or catchy jingles.

Enhancing Customer Value Proposition

Last but certainly not least is how this approach elevates customer experience—a critical factor considering today’s consumer savviness where poor user experiences never go unnoticed (or so social media would have us believe). When clients understand exactly what they’ll get from each package offer—they’re happier because transparency builds trust.

The cherry on top? They start seeing results quicker thanks again to those standardized processes which make delivering high-quality work efficiently.

Key Takeaway: Productizing your marketing services turns chaos into clarity, making sales smoother and boosting profits. Your team gets clear SOPs while clients enjoy transparent packages they can trust—leading to quicker results and killer referrals.

Communicating Value Effectively

Sell not just what it is but what it solves; paint a picture where their life gets easier because of your packaged solution—and yes, we mean literally spell out those benefits so they know exactly what they’re signing up for.

  • Your Facebook ads management might save 10 hours per week—that’s binge-watching two seasons of “The Office” worth of time saved.
  • Show them how speed optimization means no more spinning wheels on their website—which translates into visitors sticking around longer than a confused squirrel on a busy street.

Remember though—no amount of persuasive chatter will stick if you don’t deliver promised results. That said, once people see others singing praises about how much easier life is post-adoption (cue testimonials.), trust me—they’ll line up faster than kids at an ice cream truck.

Examples of Productized Marketing Services


  • Social Media Management: Create tiered packages for managing different aspects of social media. These could range from basic content creation and scheduling to comprehensive management, including strategy development, analytics, and engagement across multiple platforms. Here is an example of Lyfe’s social media management’s packaged service. Tired packaged service plan for Social media managementSEO Optimization: Develop bundles tailored for different levels of SEO needs. Services could include keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO audits, content strategy for SEO, and backlink building strategies.
  • Content Creation: Offer monthly subscription plans for creating various types of content. Depending on the package, this could include blog posts, articles, video scripts, and infographics, with different volumes and frequencies of content production.
  • Email Marketing: Provide structured packages for designing and managing email marketing campaigns. This can include newsletter design, list segmentation, campaign automation, and performance analysis to optimize engagement and conversions.
  • Marketing Strategy and Consulting Packages: My personal favorite and expertise. Offer a comprehensive package that includes market analysis, strategy development, and implementation guidance. This could involve competitor analysis, identifying target demographics, developing marketing strategies tailored to the client’s business, and providing ongoing consulting services for strategy refinement and execution. At Duct Tape Marketing we offer this in just one inclusive and expertly crafted package through our Fractional CMO+ System.

Duct Tape Marketing Fractional CMO+ System

Marketing Your Productized Services Effectively

Give Your Productized Service a Name

Name or brand your service to help sell it. For example, I created Strategy First, which is the name for my marketing system that I offer to clients. That itself became it’s own brand. I created materials, elements, and graphics just for Strategy First. This showed my clients exactly what they were going to get and familiarize themselves with the concept.

The steps of Duct Tape Marketings Strategy First Marketing System

Leveraging Social Media and Content Creation

According to a survey by Databox 47% of agencies are not happy with their self-marketing when compared to their competitors. Social media isn’t just for cat videos anymore—it’s a megaphone for your marketing message. Educate your audience on the problems that this productized approach solves for them and use social media to amplify that message. Craft high-quality content around pain points, showing them there’s light at the end of their problem-riddled tunnel through your well-defined service packages.

Field Testing and Refinement

Rome wasn’t built in a day—and neither will perfect productized service models be conjured up overnight either. Once you’ve created some stellar packages based on your best-selling services it’s showtime: field testing with actual paying customers who’ll give honest feedback. This stage is crucial since customer insights help tweak those initial assumptions made during development.

Key Takeaway: Market your productized services: Give your productized service a brand, name and voice.


Build trust through content. Use social media for more than just posts; tell stories that resonate with your audience’s challenges and spotlight how your services are their light at the end of the tunnel.

Leverage SEO to make sure those searching for what you offer find you first—optimize content, clarify deliverables, and use internal linking to drive conversions.

Test & refine.

Embrace productized marketing services, and you transform chaos into clarity. Embrace standardization, and you give your clients the gift of certainty. Embrace scalability, and watch your business grow.

Finding that sweet spot in pricing models takes finesse but gets you closer to predictable cash flow and agency expansion. Crafting these services means tuning into your top clients, taking the time to standardize, and locking down SOPs—because consistency is king.

Your marketing strategy and expert-level productized services should make you the trusted advisor in your clients eyes. Ultimately, enhancing customer experience through clear deliverables that secure trust and those long-term relationships crucial for sustained success for any strategic marketing agency.


Free up your time, increase ROI, and finally learn how to scale by licensing a complete fractional CMO+ system for your marketing agency. We have helped 1000s of agencies scale and clients soar with this proven marketing system, check it out.

The 90-Day CMO and Cross-Channel Acquisition Strategies That Scale

The 90-Day CMO and Cross-Channel Acquisition Strategies That Scale written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Ryan Stewart, a prominent fractional marketing officer (CMO) and a seasoned expert in the world of multi-channel marketing strategy. With over a decade of experience in his toolkit, he specializes in helping clients build out cross-channel acquisition systems using a mix of owned, earned and paid tactics. Over the last 13 years he’s worked with companies like Target, Jeeter and Shopify to implement performance marketing campaigns. 

Ryan has made it his mission to lead businesses towards unprecedented growth through this unique approach, and during our conversation, he generously shared the secrets behind his successful strategies.

Key Takeaway:

In today’s complex marketing landscape, Ryan emphasized the vital role of a fractional CMO in steering your business towards success. He broke down the core elements of his 90-day approach that consistently delivers remarkable results. If you’re ready to revolutionize your marketing strategy and unlock unprecedented growth for your business, this episode is a must-listen. Ryan Stewart’s expertise and insights promise to redefine your approach to marketing in the digital age.

Questions I ask Ryan Stewart:

  • [00:47] How do you define fractional CMO?
  • [03:18] What are the main challenges for those attempting the fractional CMO model?
  • [07:17] What is you cross-channel acquisition strategy?
  • [11:13] Why is video an important part of your content strategy?
  • [14:00] Where does AI fit in the content and strategic realm?
  • [17:30] How deep into financials and metrics do you get before taking a client on?
  • [19:01] What makes your method so different from others?
  • [20:58] Are there any overlooked channels or platforms worth exploring?
  • [22:02] Where can people learn more about your work?

More About Ryan Stewart:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.

John: Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Ryan Stewart. He’s a fractional CMO who specializes in helping clients build out cross channel acquisition systems using a mix of owned, earned and paid tactics. Over the last 13 years, he’s worked with companies like Target, Jeter and Shopify to implement performance marketing campaigns.
So Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan: Thanks for having me, John.
John: So let’s explore this term fractional CMO for a bit. We’ve we’ve been doing it and teaching other folks how to do it for about 15 years now. And I think the market’s finally catching up the small midsize business. So, how do you define fractional CMO? Or when somebody says, you know, what do you do, Ryan?
How do you explain what a fractional CMO is to them?
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. So I have three consultancies that I operate. I have one that works specifically with [00:01:00] agencies, one that works only with law firms and then the fractional CMO business. So I actually started with the other two, but expanded to this one because I mean, I personally am a much bigger fan of solving a very specific problem for a very specific type of client.
Productizing that and then scaling it out. But through that process, I also realize that there’s so many other problems that companies face that don’t fall under the traditional scope. So to me, a fractional CMO offer is somebody that comes in and understands the full scope of business, the full life cycle from marketing to sales into onboarding.
I only work with B2B clients as well into service delivery. And then basically. Maps out all the gaps and then puts together the systems, assigns the right people, contractors, basically helps to build the ecosystem. And then I aim to replace myself after 90 days. It’s also an offer that I think has gotten very hot.
Actually, ironically, saw 2 people debating over. The importance of it on my Facebook feed. Not that I spent a ton of time on Facebook feeds anymore, but you know, relevant to this conversation and people [00:02:00] were saying that this feels kind of like a fluff offer. It feels like this is getting very hot right now, but I do think that it has value if you know how to position it and deliver it in understanding.
Also for me to, like I said, the goal is to get myself out of there in 90 days, because otherwise you get stuck in the situation where. To me, it’s not a delivery or an execution based role, right? It’s somebody that comes in fractional, literally means part. So it’s come in very short period, very short sprint, figure it out, get systems installed, get people installed, and then move yourself out.
And then I’ll move myself onto a consulting retainer for like two calls per month. If that’s something that they want to continue entertaining.
John: you know, it’s interesting the debate around that role. And I think I’m seeing some of it from, first off, I think a lot of businesses have realized there is a strategic role, you know, they’ve just been buying tactics and they’re not really getting anywhere. And so I think there’s a wake up in the market for, from that.
But I also think there’s a lot of agencies out there right now that are going, we’re just getting killed selling tactics because it’s getting cheaper and cheaper. So I think that there’s a, [00:03:00] like, how do we. How do we reposition ourselves as not being, you know, deliverers of strictly as deliverers of tactics? What do you see as the, so, so a lot of people are jumping into that, you know, raw. I think a lot of, you know, and you’ve also got people that decided to leave corporate and, you know, this seems like a good gig to do that. Right. What do you see as the challenges to that business model for most people that attempt to do it?
Ryan: I think getting stuck in the execution delivery of it, getting stuck in scope, creep, getting like, like I said before, I’m a big product. I service guy. If I have to do something more than once, then it’s a problem. It doesn’t scale for me. So to me, I walk in with a very specific framework and that happens during the scoping process to like, I don’t break my frameworks for anybody for nobody.
Right? I’ve got a very specific type of client that I work with that qualifies for that. Can comfortably pay that retainer to that. They’re not looking at it. Like, cause it’s, I’ll tell you, it’s 20, 000 a month for 90 days. So 60, 000 over 90 days. So it’s a good size investment, but I’m looking for the type of companies that understand the mindset of how [00:04:00] much that’s actually going to save them over time to go out and find if they’re going to go find a true CMO.
You know, and I work with a lot of CMOs also as well. So it’s kind of like a, could be like a fractional CMO partnership to help them to understand, you know, this company’s already invested in that role. They’ve already got this person. They’d like this person, but. You know, the CEO or the surrounding people around them don’t have the right infrastructure to help that CMO get onboarded, get comfortable and to solve the specific problems that they need.
So I think the biggest thing is scope creep and just trying to do too much or doing things out. And I agree. I think this has become a very hot role because I think. You know, post COVID we live in a world where a lot of talented marketing folks are like, I’m not going to work for this company.
Like for what I can make more working from home by doing the same thing. You just got to kind of take a little bit more of an entrepreneurial mindset in terms of being able to acquire your own clients. But I think it’s becoming more and more important in picking up steam. And when I tell people about it, cause it’s not actually the offer that I promote the most, I promote my other two businesses.
It’s just kind of people fall back into it when they see the full scope of it. And when I present it to them in terms of a cost analysis, [00:05:00] in terms of what you would. Or what they’ve been paying. Cause a lot of people come to us too. And they’re like, look, we’ve just, we’ve been spinning our wheels with this marketing person and we’ve been investing 120, 000 a year in this position.
We don’t feel like they’re getting it out. And part of what I have to do is actually executive education. Cause I’m like, yeah, like. Even though you’re paying that person 120 grand, you can’t expect that person to do everything. You can’t expect the new SEO and content and social and paid. Like you need an infrastructure and ecosystem.
And that’s where I really come in and pitch into your point. Like there’s still a need for delivery agencies because a lot of companies, especially to me in like the paid world, like That should always be something that you outsource, like bringing in a media buyer, unless you are very good with creative and offers in house with which most companies are not, then you should always outsource that.
Right. But knowing how to outsource that, how to partner with the right firm, how to interview those people how to present to them the right information so they can set up the right creative and run the right traffic is really complicated. And it’s not a skillset that most companies possess. So I think there’s a growing need for this.
I just think that if you want to get into this line of business, don’t just [00:06:00] walk in and be like, okay. Like everything is custom here, this is fractional CMO work. Therefore, everything is going to be figured on the fly. Like, no, you still need to walk in with a framework. You know, and I can talk more about the framework that I walk in with if you’d like, but I do that because otherwise I get stuck working in that project or my team gets stuck working too much in that project.
And ultimately it implodes because the scope just gets out of control and they don’t know what’s included, what’s not included. So, you know, part of that is sales, right? Just make sure that you cover that properly during the scoping process, but
John: Well, I think part of what happens. Most people, they don’t have a framework. And so consequently, they’re at the whim of what the company says they want. Right. And so where I see people really struggling is they get out and they think this is great. They get one client, then two clients and three clients.
And then they realize I’ve just sold all my time. And I completely 100 percent agree with you that, you know, having a repeat, I think if you come in with a repeatable framework, typically the client doesn’t bucket that because they want something, they don’t have anything. And if you just tell them what do you need, then they feel like, well, I got to [00:07:00] create the framework, right? So. do you, I mentioned in your bio and maybe that’s in there that you go in, you know, selling all the time, but owned, earned and paid does everybody get that? Does everybody need that? How do you balance the fact that, you know, a lot of people want the phone to ring tomorrow? Some of those deliver faster than others.
Do you have kind of a a thought on, you know, the cross channel acquisition?
Ryan: Yeah, I mean, I pushed on it. That’s a big part of my framework, right? When it comes to the, so like my first and foremost, my, my framework hinges on content, especially for me to be instilling some sort of long form content execution. That can then be distributed through owned, earned, and paid, right?
So a big part of the framework that I push is actually just getting a handle on content creation. Something that’s scalable, something that’s repeatable for that business videos, obviously preferable, but if they can’t do it, then maybe it’s a podcast. Maybe it’s Long form written. We’re doing a lot more book funnels.
I’m actually seeing a lot more traction coming from like a well written book nowadays. Then trying to push like too much social context. I think people’s fees are overwhelmed [00:08:00] and they want something that’s a whole nother conversation, but it hinges around content that works for that type of business.
So my framework starts with market analysis starts with. A business analysis to who do you have somebody internally that can create content? And if it’s a complete note, the CEO is like, I don’t want to do this. I’m like, look, I’m probably not a good fit for you. Cause like, I can’t work with nothing, you know?
So that’s all part of this
John: S. C. O. My nothing. Please.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Right. So, so, and then when it comes to owned earned and paid, once we have that content process set up and we’ve got a video editing team, we’ve got a writer in place, you know, all those things in place, then it’s about distributing that content and owned would be like website.
Like, is there demand for this content? If we publish on your website with written content for search purposes, check, if not, then we don’t do it. You know, social profiles, right? Like, what should you be active on? If you’re B2B, it should be LinkedIn. You know, X to me is kind of falling off a little bit.
It’s just it’s going down the tubes a little bit in terms of the content on there. But potentially Facebook, maybe a Facebook group, you know, YouTube is another big one. So those are all owned platforms in terms and email is a [00:09:00] huge one to email and text, right? Owning that conversation earned would be for B2B, like maybe some press, maybe some influencers.
I think B2B influencers on like LinkedIn and really be starting to become a thing in 2024. I’ve done some like. Partnerships, co marketing campaigns with companies that are a figurehead, if you will, that has a good phone will kind of cross promote things like that. And then paid. I’m a big paid guy because I’m big speed to market.
I’m big testing. So meta YouTube, Google, depending on. The intent of the business model, but we’ll kind of map out that whole ecosystem. And then from there, now it’s okay. Who’s going to execute this? Because again, usually most companies are like, well, I have a marketing person. Like you’re asking too much of this person.
It’s unfair. That’s why they’re failing because you gave them a. 20 million business to market. And you gave them no support in 10, 000 a month in budget. Like it’s not their fault. It’s yours. So, you know, we educate them, go through that process, get buying from them again, all during the scoping process.
Cause I, to your point, these things also fail. If you don’t, these are big projects to scope out. There’s a lot of moving [00:10:00] pieces. And if you don’t scope that out properly, You’re ending up with a headache on your hands, nothing getting done. And you know, not a fun business model to run. So, that’s how it fits into my framework
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John: So I want to back up a little bit. When you started talking about content, you said, preferably video. Why do you start there?
Ryan: because to me, it has the biggest moat around it, right? Like anybody can write blog content and like most people can start a podcast. And also to, you know, most people I’ve been doing video for. If you go back on my YouTube channel, it’s kind of like my main source of content promotion, if you will.
And that’s how I start to, I like to build my frameworks off of what I know and what I know is what I do. And most of my clients come to me and they’re like, Hey, I like what you’re doing. Can you do this for us? So it becomes a much easier sales process for me. So the more I promote myself, the more I create, the more.
My pipeline grows with that. So to me, my process, again, like you need to have one form of really good content that you can create on a regular basis. To me, video is the easiest. It comes naturally. Well, [00:12:00] actually it doesn’t come naturally. I’ve worked at it. Right. And most people like, I don’t want to do it.
I’m like, well, you’re running a business dude. It’s hard. So like, figure it out, you know, like, that’s why we don’t get customers. Cause you suck at what you do. I’m sorry, but like, you need to figure it out. Like, we can’t do it for you unless you want to pay for somebody to go and do it for you or you want to pay for.
Okay. To a position to bring somebody in, I’m all about that too. I’ll help you find, help you train and bring that person in. But you got to be able to do something. And for me, video, because most businesses are like, ah, like we don’t have something like, ah, we don’t want to do this or, ah, it’s too much work.
That means when it’s more of a blue ocean in a very red ocean market where like everyone now is cranking out like the Gary V content model, like clips. It’s just nonstop. So like, if you can create video, that’s going to be. The best you know, even just like this, like what we’re doing right now is perfect.
Right? Like this gives you that long form piece of content that to at least start with and get something out. You know, I do this at my agency. It’s called Weber’s. We only work with law firms. And I have a COO who basically runs a business on a daily basis. And once per week we sit down and we just pick a topic.
And we record for 20 minutes [00:13:00] just like this. And we go after a very specific topic that law firms are impacted by this past week. We talked about how to translate your website into Spanish, right? And so like six things you need to do. And we only get like 300 views in those videos, but like those 300 views consistently show up in our pipeline.
Like the amount of law firms that come to us and like, yo, like I love the videos you guys are doing. It’s super to the point. It’s super helpful. Like it’s not about, you know, going viral and reaching masses. Like You’ve got to be able to speak to a very specific type of customer. That’s why I said specific type of customer with specific problems that relate back to your offer.
And if you can do that once per week.
John: find videos the most repurposable too, right? I mean, you can turn it into written content. You can turn it into LinkedIn posts. You can cut it up into pieces for a lot of technical owners, you know, They can’t write 10 words, but they’ll go on for days about the technical aspects of what their thing does.
And that’s the only way anybody’s ever going to capture it. So I play a little game these days. We’re 13 minutes into this interview, and I’m going to mention AI. It’s taking me that long [00:14:00] today. Where does AI fit in your, you know, especially in the content realm, but maybe in general in the strategic realm too.
Ryan: Sure. We use a, I mean, it’s integrated into a lot of tools, right? So like, I won’t include like what’s in the standard tools that we’ll use, like an Ahrefs or SEM rusher for SEO tools, but for, so for the fractional CMO offer, I will look for ways, and let me just say this before I, I said, it’s like, AI is no different than any sort of tool that’s come out in the past.
If you don’t have systems, it’s useless. Like you cannot automate. Spaghetti on the wall. Right? Like you need systems processes. They need to be scalable, repeatable over and over again. That’s where AI is impactful. Just like layering, like any sort of tool on top of your business. People come into our consulting program for agencies and like, yeah, like I’m using this tool, but it doesn’t do anything.
Like, yeah, because like, You don’t like, what are you using it for? You expect it to do all the work like that’s not what it does. Right. So like with AI, if you don’t have a system or process in place that makes [00:15:00] sense for AI, then it’s not going to work. So in my agency, Weber’s search marketing, we do blended paid in organic for law firms.
We write 100 percent of their content with AI 100 percent of it because it does not need to be thought leadership style content. We’re talking about Praxbury pages, location, pages, informational blog posts, you know, talking about legal stuff. We built a really good process around that. We have a team in the Philippines just sits and cranks out AI content.
That’s become a big profit center for that business now because we went from. You know, we charge about 500 piece per content, which we still do, whether it’s written by humans or AI, but you know, our margin on that, our gross margins got up significantly on that. We also have built a tool that we’re like using chat GPT’s API to pull in some kind of automation stuff, but that’s really it.
Like, I like, because most of this content too. And I think. This is important. Right. If we go back to the fractional CMO offer, like what I don’t like is content for the sake of content. Right. I’d rather you put out one piece, two pieces of content a year that are impactful. That’s fine. Skew people more back towards books from like, yo, like [00:16:00] if you’re just going to get on video and talk about something that’s not informational, not entertaining, not valuable, let’s figure out another Avenue.
Right. So like the thing with AI is that it just creates more bad content and there’s already bad content. So if you’re using it to automate something or speed that up, like, Take your time. Right. With content, it does need to like, especially B2B content, like the end goals, you need to be a thought leader.
Like if you are not working towards becoming a thought leader over a three year period, then you’re not doing it right. And you’re really wasting a lot of money,
John: you mentioned a couple of things there. You’re right. I mean, what a lot of people see is this is free and this is easy. And so you just get crap, more crap, lots more crap. And so it’s just going to keep driving the bar higher in terms of content. That’s actually going to land. Of course.
But then I do see this so often with agencies it’s like I’m using this tool, but now I’m going to jump to this tool because it’s going to do something for me. And then I’ll jump to this tool because it’s going to do. And you’re 100 percent right. I mean, all these tools are really just a way for you to [00:17:00] execute on a process.
And I don’t think enough people, Correct. I don’t think enough people say that, unfortunately when you one of the things I think particularly marketers are bad at is when they get hired by agencies, particularly when they get hired by a company it’s like, what do you need us to do? Sure.
Okay. You want to grow? Okay. Like really vague. Like, what are we going to accomplish here? How deep as, Okay. Because I like to think that the CMO is going to get invited to like, look at the financials and talk about profit and talk about, you know, metrics that, that makes sense. How deep do you get into that before you take a client on?
Ryan: During the scoping process. Deep. I mean, I don’t need, I’ll say this. I’m much more interested. The only thing I’ll get into in, if they want me to sign an NDA, that’s fine. Is like acquisition metrics. Like I don’t really need to know like what the company is doing. I can kind of back that out by how they’re performing.
I mean, a lot of companies are just fine telling you that anyways, but like what I need is acquisition based metrics, right? Who’s on the team. What’s your current gross. Cost for people in time on your team. What are you currently spending across the board? What’s your [00:18:00] ad spending look like? What’s your cost per lead?
What’s your cost per qualified lead? What’s your cost per proposal or whatever process that you’re using them? What’s your cost per acquisition? Now, 90 percent of clients don’t have that
John: I was just going to say, how often do you get that?
Ryan: Very non often, but that’s a big part of, you know, my process is like instilling those again.
Systems is what they are, right? Because it’s not just on marketing. You need sales involved to a lot of the times there’s kind of configuring within their CRM. Like, I can’t tell you how many clients are on HubSpot that we just get them off HubSpot because they just don’t use it. They’re paying like four grand a month to basically just like send automated emails.
I’m like, God, no, we can strip this out
John: will do that. Right?
Ryan: exactly. So. Cool. Yeah. I mean, that, that’s what I’m interested in. Those are like, my first questions is like, what are you doing? What are your goals? What are your current acquisition costs? And that’s also where I come up with my left hook. Like my first left hook.
I’m like, you don’t have this. You’re not ready to talk to me. Like, no. I’m ready. I’m like, okay. Like, well, this is going to be a big part of what we need to do here before we can start talking about the sexy stuff, like tick tock or whatever it is that you came here thinking that we were going to do.
Like, yeah. You gotta get your numbers right. You know, [00:19:00] like we got to figure that stuff out.
John: Well, and I suspect that you’ve discovered that’s a huge differentiator, right? Nobody else is asking him those questions. And I think immediately, like, you’re different. This is different.
Ryan: Yeah. Because I think a lot of marketers are afraid to ask those questions because they don’t, they’re not comfortable handling. I say this all the time, John, my goal is to make people money. And if that makes you uncomfortable, then you’re on the wrong business, right? Like when you start thinking that way, cause I used to not, right.
I got into this business 15 years ago through SEO and SEO over time has become, I’ll just call it what it is, a fluff industry, right? And people are like fighting on Twitter about like the impact of links. I’m like, y’all are missing the big picture here. Like none of this stuff matters. Like, but only the only thing that matters is making people money.
This is like, and again, if that makes you uncomfortable, you’re in the wrong business. But when you start thinking that way, you start optimizing your business to deliver on that. Right. So I’m a firm believer because I’ve done this so much time and time again. And I look my clients in the face and I say, I do, I’m never going to make you sign a contract [00:20:00] because I want you every single month evaluating me on my performance.
Because if I make you money, I make money. That’s the only thing I’m here to do. Everything is going to be built and optimized around that concept. And I think a lot of marketers, because maybe it’s the experience thing, maybe the fact that they know that they’re selling something that doesn’t deliver to that are afraid to ask those questions.
I’m not afraid to ask those questions at all. I think you have to, if you’re ultimately going to solve that problem, you have to dive into it. And my thought is that like, we’re going to figure it out in the way, like I’m going to jump off this cliff and we’re going to figure out how to open the parachute on the way down when it comes to the tactics.
And I believe from doing it for 15 years that like, if we walk in the right direction, if we build the right content, if we get this content in front of people, it’s not rocket science here, right? Like this is just human nature here, right? People are going to react to it. And if. They don’t, then we’ll figure out the right messaging and refigure that.
But like, that’s how we make people money here. But like, you can only start that process by committing to that process for your own business, especially as an agency, you know,
John: One last question I love to ask people. Are there any channels [00:21:00] out there platforms that you think are being terribly underutilized that people ought to be taking a look at?
Ryan: I think everything is saturated now. And so I will say, no, I will say like, my stack is like YouTube, LinkedIn, and that’s really it.
John: yeah
Ryan: those are really
John: life, but do it better.
Ryan: Exactly. That’s what I’m going to say is that like, the problem is when you say that, is that people just And this is why, like, you know, to be blunt, like people, us we’ll continue to enjoy success because we’re concerned with the details.
It’s not about just being like, I’ll tell you, like YouTube is great, but like if you just get on YouTube and put up crap, like it’s not going to work, you know? So yeah, I mean, the answer to the question is not where it’s how good can I make this? Right. So yeah, I don’t have any secrets. I’m sorry.
John: No, you know, the thing is that’s the answer, right? I mean, fundamentally, marketing has not changed, you know, in the 30 years I’ve been doing it. And I think that’s, you’re absolutely right. People want to chase the new thing because they don’t want to put in the work that it actually takes to make the old thing work. Yeah. So. Ryan, I appreciate you taking a [00:22:00] few moments. Stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. You want to invite people to find out more about your work or connect any way you wish.
Ryan: Yeah. Just Ryan Stewart on YouTube put out a lot of stuff about basically everything we just talked about here. So.
John: Awesome. Again, appreciate you taking a few moments. Stop by and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.



Leveraging a Fractional Marketing Officer for Growth

Leveraging a Fractional Marketing Officer for Growth written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Ever felt like you’re racing against the clock, juggling multiple marketing tasks without a moment’s respite? Imagine if there was an extra set of hands on deck, someone with experience and strategic vision who could step in just when you need them. This isn’t wishful thinking – it’s the reality of having a fractional marketing officer.

This experienced pro is not your everyday marketer. They bring to the table seasoned expertise typically reserved for full-fledged CMOs at large corporations, but available part-time and tailored to fit your specific needs.

Interested? Let’s dive in! We’re about to explore how fractional CMOs or fractional marketing officer can be a game-changer. They’re cost-effective, flexible and have a huge impact on your marketing team by filling gaps effectively. As we delve more into this evolving role that’s shaking up businesses across different sectors, you’ll see why many are proclaiming: “Fractional is the future.”

Table Of Contents:

Understanding the Role of a Fractional Marketing Officer

If you’re curious to learn about the duties and obligations of a fractional CMO, we can provide some insight. A fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), as opposed to their full-time counterpart, has more flexibility in defining their workload.

Average earnings for CMOs can exceed $170k annually, with certain industries shelling out up to $300k. But these figures typically apply to those working traditional hours in an office setting. On the other hand, our versatile friend—the fractional marketing officer—can choose how many hours they want to work and when.

Distinguishing Between Full-Time and Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

Both roles are pivotal in formulating marketing strategies but differ greatly concerning commitments. Full-time CMOs usually dedicate themselves exclusively to one organization, leading all its marketing initiatives from inception through execution.

In contrast, fractional CMOs bring an element of adaptability into play—they offer similar expertise without being tied down by regular office schedules or conventional employment contracts.

The main draw for companies towards hiring a fractional chief marketing officer lies within this inherent flexibility—a godsend especially for startups or smaller firms that might not have ample resources yet require top-notch talent steering their go-to-market strategy.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

If you’re on the fence about hiring a fractional chief marketing officer, let’s delve into some advantages that might sway your decision. For starters, they offer a cost-effective solution to companies in need of senior-level marketing leadership.

A full-time CMO can command an annual salary north of $170k with top earners making as much as $300k. That’s not even considering additional costs like benefits and bonuses. On the other hand, fractional CMO services usually start at just a few thousand dollars per month.

By taking advantage of fractional CMO services, you can access experienced marketing leaders at a fraction of the cost associated with hiring them full-time – much like flying first-class without having to buy the entire plane. It’s akin to flying first-class without having to buy the entire plane.

The Flexibility Advantage

Besides being more pocket-friendly, fractional CMOs also provide flexible work arrangements. This flexibility allows businesses – especially small ones or startups – to scale up or down based on needs and budget constraints.

This is particularly beneficial when compared against employing someone full-time who may not always have enough strategic work within smaller organizations leading possibly towards inefficiency due to downtime.

Gaining Expertise Without Breaking The Bank

Another benefit? Accessing expert skills without breaking the bank. An experienced fractional chief often comes equipped with years under his belt across multiple industries and business types which means he brings valuable insights into your team sans hefty price tag associated with such expertise typically.

Tailored Services To Fit Your Needs

  • An effective marketer knows the ins and outs of your business, aligning marketing strategies with overall company goals.
  • A Fractional CMO can provide tailored services to fit specific needs, be it content marketing or social media strategy.
  • They bring in fresh perspectives which could potentially propel a brand towards new growth trajectories previously unimagined.

Basically, when you hire a fractional CMO, it’s like you’re snagging an all-in-one package. It brings together marketing expertise and leadership in one neat bundle.

Key Takeaway: 


Consider the benefits of a fractional CMO. They’re cost-effective, giving you access to top marketing expertise without the full-time salary burden. Their flexible work arrangements let businesses scale up or down as needed. Plus, they offer tailored services that align with your company goals and bring fresh perspectives for potential growth.

How to Become a Fractional Marketing Officer

If you are an in-house marketer or a marketing consultant searching for greater flexibility, then transforming into a fractional CMO could be the next step of your career. How can one make the transition to becoming a fractional CMO?

Necessary Skills and Qualifications for a Fractional CMO

To become successful as a fractional chief marketing officer, certain skills are essential. Unlike full-time CMOs who work solely with one company, fractionals offer their services to multiple companies at once.

Firstly, deep knowledge of all aspects of the marketing field is key. You need expertise in areas like content creation, social media strategy, branding initiatives and data analysis – essentially wearing many hats within the realm of digital marketing leadership.

Besides these hard skills, soft skills such as communication abilities can’t be underestimated either because they help foster team synergy among various teams across different organizations.

  • A background in senior-level strategic planning positions will provide insights into corporate dynamics.
  • You’ll also need experience working with diverse industries since each business has unique needs depending on its marketplace competition level.
  • Last but not least: negotiation acumen helps ensure profitable contracts while maintaining fair terms between both parties involved.

Remember this: A typical full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) usually works 40 hours per week minimum; however, a fractional role offers more flexibility when it comes to dedicated time. It’s important to consider this shift if transitioning from an hourly rate position or even other high-stakes roles such as CEO or COO.

In addition to these qualifications, consider your location. For example, San Diego has a booming startup scene and could offer unique opportunities for fractional CMOs.

Finally, becoming a successful Fractional Chief Marketing Officer involves continually honing one’s marketing skills through ongoing training and professional development. This ensures that you stay abreast of the changing landscape in the perpetually shifting digital marketing realm.

Key Takeaway: 


Being a fractional CMO is more than just being an expert in marketing. It’s about strong communication, strategic planning, and diverse industry experience. You’ll need to be a skilled negotiator for landing profitable contracts. And remember – while this role gives you flexibility that full-time roles might not offer, it also means you have to keep updating your skills regularly.

Fractional CMOs in Different Industries

From tech startups to established manufacturing companies, businesses across a range of sectors are finding value in fractional chief marketing officers (CMOs). Unlike their full-time counterparts, fractional CMOs provide expert leadership and direction without the need for a hefty salary.

In industries where marketing trends shift rapidly, such as e-commerce or digital services, having an experienced marketer at the helm can make all the difference. They bring fresh perspectives and strategies tailored to specific market dynamics. Fractional CMOs offer these benefits while saving costs – they’re well-paid but often charge on a retainer basis instead of demanding high annual salaries.

Diverse Industry Experience with Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

The versatility of fractional CMOs allows them to work seamlessly within different industries. For instance, consider healthcare – an industry that requires deep knowledge about complex regulations and customer behaviors. A seasoned marketing leader who has already navigated similar challenges will be able to lead marketing efforts more effectively than someone new to this field.

Another example is the nonprofit sector which often struggles with tight budgets and unique fundraising objectives. Here too, a skilled marketer can make substantial improvements by implementing cost-effective campaigns targeting donors’ sentiments strategically.

Sector-Specific Insights from Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

A significant benefit provided by fractional chief marketing officers lies in their ability to transfer best practices between different sectors—a rare quality not typically found among traditional full-time executives bound within one particular industry sphere throughout their careers.

This flexibility allows businesses from diverse backgrounds—be it small businesses operating locally or startup companies making global strides—to gain insights beyond their own markets through engaging these multifaceted professionals on either dedicated time blocks or a retainer basis.

For instance, a fractional CMO experienced in the hospitality industry can bring valuable customer experience insights to an e-commerce startup. The knowledge of building memorable experiences and maintaining high standards of service can be translated into strategies that set the online store apart from its competitors.

Fractional Chief Marketing Officers Fill Gaps

To remain competitive, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Adaptability and innovation are key.

Key Takeaway: 


With their expert leadership, versatility across industries, and cost-saving structure, fractional CMOs are transforming businesses from tech startups to manufacturing giants. Their ability to bring fresh perspectives tailored for specific market dynamics makes them invaluable assets. Plus, they fill gaps in knowledge with sector-specific insights – driving adaptability and innovation without breaking the bank.

Fractional Marketing Officer Services and Responsibilities

So, you’re curious about the world of fractional marketing officers. What exactly do they offer? Let’s peel back the layers on this unique role.

How Fractional Marketing Officers Support Small Businesses

A fractional CMO brings an arsenal of services to small businesses that are often overlooked or simply out of reach due to budget constraints. This includes developing and implementing strategic marketing plans, leading a team with expert guidance, managing social media channels effectively, crafting content strategies for your audience and more.

By hiring a fractional CMO, companies can tap into top-notch marketing expertise without bearing the full cost. In fact, companies leverage the skills and insights of these executive marketers at just a fraction (pun intended) of what it would cost them to hire a full-time chief marketing officer.

In addition to this financial benefit is their flexibility – from working on an hourly rate basis or being paid as per project requirements – which allows smaller businesses room for adjustment based on their specific needs. Talk about getting value.

The Many Hats Worn by Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

A common misconception might be thinking that because they’re ‘fractional,’ these professionals only perform partial roles compared to their full-time counterparts. But nothing could be further from reality. The duties performed by fractional CMOs typically mirror those executed by in-house ones; they simply operate within flexible structures tailored around individual business needs.

To get down brass tacks: From overseeing complete marketing efforts right through steering brand direction towards success in today’s competitive marketplace; shaping innovative campaigns across different platforms such as SEO or PPC while monitoring KPIs closely – all fall under the purview of a fractional CMO.

Don’t be misled by the term ‘fractional’ – they may not physically occupy your workspace daily, but their influence is certainly felt. They might not be in your office every day, but their impact is definitely felt.

The Value of a Fractional Marketing Officer

Fractional marketing officers can bring invaluable experience to startups and small businesses that need top-level marketing leadership without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaway: 


A Fractional Marketing Officer (CMO) gives small businesses access to top-tier marketing expertise without the hefty price tag of a full-time hire. They offer flexibility, handling everything from strategic planning to social media management and more, all tailored around specific business needs. So don’t let ‘fractional’ fool you – their impact is anything but partial.

The Future of Fractional Marketing Officers

As more businesses pivot towards flexible models, the future for fractional marketing officers looks bright. The increasing demand in the business world for this role signifies a paradigm shift from traditional full-time CMOs to their more adaptable counterparts.

The Growing Demand for Fractional Marketing Officers

In today’s competitive marketplace, having a seasoned chief marketing officer can make all the difference. A full-time CMO, with an average salary of over $170k per year, is not a viable option for every organization due to resource constraints.

This is where fractional CMOs step in. These experienced professionals provide strategic leadership and dedicated time without being on payroll around-the-clock. It’s like hiring an elite player only when you need them most during game time.

Fractionally-based roles are becoming increasingly popular across various industries – from startups that want high-level guidance but cannot afford it on retainer basis to larger organizations needing specialized help on specific projects or during peak seasons.

A notable benefit here lies within cost-efficiency: while compensation for full-time CMOs ranges between $150k to $570k, fractional ones usually collect fee or retainers based upon block of committed hours making them an economical choice even among startup companies who are tight-budgeted yet require strong marketing leadership.

How Does This Impact Businesses?

Fractional chief marketing officers bring decades worth of expertise into play – whether it’s about forming robust marketing strategies, leading teams effectively, optimizing social media presence, content creation, or improving the overall marketing efforts.

Moreover, with a fractional CMO onboard, companies can enjoy all the benefits of having a seasoned marketer without shouldering hefty costs. This not only aids in better financial management but also ensures that your marketing department stays on top of trends and continues to deliver results.

The Way Forward

As we navigate through the sea of change brought about by technology and business evolution, it’s important to embrace these shifts. They’re not just trends – they’re shaping our future.

Key Takeaway: 


The rise of fractional marketing officers marks a bright future in the business world. Their value lies not just in cost-efficiency but also their adaptability and expertise, bringing robust strategies to companies without the full-time commitment. It’s about hiring top talent when it matters most, allowing businesses to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced market.

FAQs in Relation to Fractional Marketing Officer

How much should you pay a fractional CMO?

Pricing for a fractional CMO usually starts at a few grand per month, and can exceed ten thousand depending on your needs.

What is the difference between a CMO and a fractional CMO?

A full-time CMO works solely for one company. A fractional CMO, however, splits their time among several businesses.

What is the role of a fractional chief marketing officer?

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer leads strategic marketing initiatives while providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness to companies.


So, you’ve learned that a fractional marketing officer can be the key to unlocking growth in your business. This seasoned pro brings strategic vision and experience without breaking the bank.

You now know they offer flexibility, stepping in just when needed. Their part-time nature doesn’t diminish their full-scale impact on your team or marketing strategy.

We’ve explored how they serve different industries, offering tailored solutions while filling gaps effectively. Small businesses particularly stand to gain from this cost-effective approach.

The future looks bright for fractional CMOs as more companies realize their potential. Remember – with such an asset at hand, you’re not just keeping pace but getting ahead of the curve!

Need a Part-time CMO? Want to become a Fractional CMO?

Maximizing Success with a Fractional CMO: A Complete Guide

Maximizing Success with a Fractional CMO: A Complete Guide written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Have you ever felt the pressure of needing a seasoned marketing pro, but balked at the sky-high salary? It’s like wanting champagne on a beer budget. That’s where the magic of a fractional CMO comes in.

This executive-level maestro is no ordinary hire; they’re an ace up your sleeve when navigating the cutthroat world of competitive markets. They work part-time or on contract, bringing big ideas to small budgets.

The secret sauce? Their wide-ranging expertise means they can pivot effortlessly between crafting go-to-market strategies and driving revenue growth – all while nurturing high-performing teams within your organization.

Sit tight as we pull back the curtain on these unsung heroes, showing how hiring one could be game-changing for your business… ready?

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Role and Impact of a Fractional CMO

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is not just another cog in your business machine. They’re more like the oil that keeps everything running smoothly. This role combines strategic thinking with practical execution, much like how a chef carefully plans out each dish but also gets their hands dirty in the kitchen.

The first key responsibility of good fractional CMOs is to create and implement effective marketing strategies. These professionals are experts at finding what works best for your specific business needs, akin to customizing an engine’s performance based on its intended use.

But it doesn’t stop there. Full-time CMOS may have one focus, but Forbes reports that successful fractional CMOs juggle multiple roles with ease—much like a seasoned circus performer deftly keeping all balls in the air. It’s no surprise then that 1 in every 7 businesses now leverage this multifaceted expertise.

The Core Responsibilities of a Fractional CMO

Beyond creating marketing strategies, these maestros take on diverse roles within organizations – hence why they’re called ‘fractional’. A good analogy would be calling them Swiss Army Knives because they truly do it all.

This includes tasks such as leading social media campaigns or handling paid ads—all aimed at propelling your brand forward amidst today’s competitive marketplace. Their goal? To ensure you don’t just survive—but thrive.

An integral part of their job involves conducting regular check-ins with team members to align efforts towards achieving shared goals. Think of them as having both oars and rudder control—they guide while also making sure everyone’s rowing together.

Fractional vs Full-Time CMOs

When compared to full-time CMOs, fractional ones bring unique benefits. It’s like the difference between owning a sports car and renting one—both get you from point A to B in style but with vastly different commitments and costs.

Working with Fractional CMOs usually happens on an as-needed basis for businesses. This approach leads to a significant cut in costs, often saving them up to nine times their usual expenditure.

Key Takeaway: 


a full-time CMO, they offer a cost-effective solution without skimping on expertise or commitment. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, their diverse skill set can give your brand that much-needed boost. So consider bringing in a fractional CMO; it could be the game changer you’ve been waiting for.

The Journey to Becoming a Fractional CMO

Embarking on the path to become a fractional CMO requires a mix of experience, expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit. This isn’t your average corporate gig – it’s something special.

A Forbes report shows that an impressive 65% of businesses see noticeable growth after hiring fractional CMOs. So it’s clear – companies need them. Now is the perfect opportunity for those seeking to hone their marketing abilities, with more than half of all startups in search of better approaches.

Required Skills and Qualifications

Fractional CMOs wear many hats – strategist, marketer, leader – just to name a few. You’ll need proven experience in these areas along with strong leadership skills because you’ll be expected not only develop but also execute effective marketing strategies.

An MBA or similar qualification is often preferred by clients; however, hands-on industry experience can sometimes outweigh formal education. Furthermore, having executive-level roles under your belt will help prove your capability at navigating complex business landscapes.

Making The Transition from Full-Time Role

If you’re already working full-time as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), transitioning might seem daunting initially but it could turn out quite smooth considering you’ve already got what it takes. Just remember when going fractional: flexibility becomes key.

You should be ready for diverse challenges across different industries and adapt quickly according to each company’s needs without losing sight of long-term goals—something that most traditional full-time CMOS may find challenging due their single-industry focus.

Training and Education Options

While there’s no single path to becoming a fractional CMO, certain training programs can help you prepare for this role. Many of these focus on honing strategic thinking skills and providing hands-on experience with marketing technologies.

most successful businesses. It’s key to seize these networking chances as they can be instrumental in expanding your clientele and forging strong professional relationships.

Key Takeaway: 


Transforming into a fractional CMO isn’t just about switching job titles – it’s a leap into entrepreneurial territory. With the right mix of leadership skills, marketing prowess, and strategic acumen, you can guide businesses towards growth while embracing diverse challenges across industries. Formal education is beneficial but real-world experience shines through; networking and continuous learning help too.

Leveraging Fractional CMOs for Business Growth

Generating revenue expansion is no simple job, particularly in today’s fiercely aggressive market. But don’t fret. There’s a secret weapon that can help – the fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

A fractional CMO isn’t just your run-of-the-mill marketing leader; they’re seasoned professionals who provide executive-level marketing guidance without requiring you to break the bank on a full-time salary. They’re like having an experienced quarterback leading your team downfield, only they do it part-time and typically work in-person with multiple businesses.

How does this magic happen? Well, these high-caliber marketers craft go-to-market strategies designed to skyrocket your brand awareness and customer engagement. They’ll take a deep dive into analyzing consumer trends, competitor activities, market dynamics and more. Forbes even noted how their unique expertise helps firms grow 3 times faster than those without them.

The Power of Fractional CMO Services

If you’re worried about maintaining continuity within your existing marketing department while working with a fractional CMO – stop right there. These pros seamlessly blend into your business fabric because at heart they are team players.

Their ability to flexibly align themselves according to specific company needs is what sets them apart from traditional full-time CMOs. With their dedicated time spent crafting tailored solutions for each client firm – big or small – every penny invested sees returns that exceed expectations.

Fractional CMOS: An Agile Response To A Dynamic Marketplace

In our rapidly changing digital world where consumers’ preferences evolve daily, agility is paramount. Your organization needs quick pivots without being hamstrung by red tape—exactly what outsourced marketing from a fractional CMO can offer.

They provide an objective, third-party perspective that in-house teams might miss. And their vast experience across multiple industries means they’ve probably solved the very problems your company faces today. No wonder businesses ready to make big strides are turning towards them.

The Right Time for Fractional CMOs

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Key Takeaway: 


Don’t sweat over driving revenue growth – a fractional CMO is your secret weapon. These part-time marketing pros bring executive-level guidance without the full-time cost. They craft strategies to boost brand awareness and customer engagement, all while seamlessly integrating with your team. With their agility in changing markets and objective insights, they’re the solution for businesses ready to make big leaps.

Cost-effectiveness and Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

The marketing realm is transforming, making it more difficult for enterprises to stay on top of things. That’s where a fractional CMO comes into play. But what does hiring one mean for your business financially? Let’s dive in.

Fractional CMOs vs Full-time CMOs: A Cost Comparison

A Chief Outsider’s report highlights that the cost of hiring full-time chief marketing officers can be exorbitant for small to mid-sized firms. They command hefty salaries plus benefits which can strain budgets significantly. In contrast, fractional CMO services provide experienced marketing leadership without breaking the bank.

Hiring a fractional Chief Marketing Officer means you’re only paying for strategic direction when you need it most – during periods of change or growth. It makes sense economically because they typically work in-person with your team but on an as-needed basis – so no overhead costs associated with full-time employment like insurance and office space.

In addition to being cost-effective, these part-timers bring expertise from multiple industries due to their diverse backgrounds, giving them unique insights that might not be available within your company alone.

The bottom line is clear: going ‘fractional’ can save companies significant resources while still gaining access to executive-level guidance and strategy development abilities.

  • Savings: Compared to full-time CMOs who demand six-figure annual incomes along with bonuses and other perks, using outsourced marketing professionals provides high value at reduced costs.
  • Flexibility: You get dedicated time from senior marketers when needed rather than bearing constant expenses regardless of workload volume; thereby enabling your marketing department to function more efficiently.
  • Expertise: These executives come with a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help in crafting long-term strategies to stay competitive in the marketplace. This is particularly beneficial for startups looking to establish their brand quickly.

Think of fractional CMOs as your on-demand exec. You get the expertise without needing to commit full-time.

Key Takeaway: 


Embrace the savvy and cost-effective choice of hiring a fractional CMO. Not only does this approach save you from heavy full-time salaries, but it also gifts your business with flexible expertise when needed most – during growth or change periods. Plus, enjoy the bonus of diverse insights drawn from multiple industries to boost strategy development. In short: Go ‘fractional’, and gain a wealth of knowledge, flexibility, and strategic insight without breaking the bank.

The Working Mechanism of Fractional CMOs with Businesses

Fractional CMOs bring their wealth of experience and marketing leadership to businesses that need help. Fractional CMOs become integrated into the business, getting to know all its facets just like any other team member.

So how do they typically work? The fractional CMO’s job is not much different from a full-time chief marketing officer. But unlike their full-time counterparts who might get entangled in daily operations, these professionals focus more on long-term strategy development and execution.

A key part of what makes them tick is working closely with business leaders to define marketing strategies that align perfectly with overall company goals. This ensures all your marketing efforts are directed towards achieving those objectives rather than going astray.

How Do Fractional CMOs Work With Leadership Teams?

Fractional Chief Marketing Officers collaborate directly with executive-level teams. Their experienced perspective allows them to spot gaps in existing plans or processes which could be hindering growth. As outsiders bringing an objective viewpoint, they can provide fresh insights into challenging issues faced by your organization.

Besides this strategic guidance, another big difference between full-time CMOS and fractional ones lies in the flexibility offered by these seasoned pros. While most full-time CMOS typically work regular hours within one firm’s walls, fractional ones have the freedom to divide their dedicated time across multiple companies – hence ‘fractional’. So you only pay for what you use.

Growing Your Business Through High-Performing Marketing Teams

Another important aspect about how Fractional CMO services function involves building high-performing teams internally at your firm if needed.

They guide the existing marketing department, or if necessary, they can help create one from scratch. By training and mentoring your in-house team members to implement successful strategies for social media campaigns, paid ads, content creation and more – a fractional CMO puts your business on a path towards growth.

It’s evident that every organization has its own individual necessities. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Key Takeaway: 


With a wealth of experience, fractional CMOs offer valuable help to businesses by focusing on long-term strategies that align with company goals. They work closely with leadership teams and bring fresh insights to fix growth-hindering gaps in existing plans. Plus, they provide flexibility—you only pay for the time you use. If needed, they can also build high-performing marketing teams from scratch, ensuring your business is equipped with all it needs to thrive.

Determining the Right Time to Hire a Fractional CMO

Identifying when your business needs help from an experienced marketing professional can be tricky. You might ask, “Is my company ready for a fractional CMO?” Here’s some food for thought.

As your business expands and its operations become more intricate, it may no longer be viable for you to assume the role of CMO while managing other responsibilities. But as your enterprise grows and becomes more complex, it may not be feasible to continue juggling all these roles. It could also mean that your marketing strategies need revamping by someone with dedicated time and senior-level expertise.

Fractional CMOs typically work part-time but bring full-time benefits without the hefty price tag. They dive into creating long-term strategy while leading marketing initiatives like social media campaigns and paid ads. This allows them to fill in gaps where businesses often lack resources or skills such as executing executive level decisions on strategic growth paths.

So when should you consider bringing one aboard? Look out for these signs:

  • Your sales have plateaued despite increased efforts in advertising.
  • You’re devoting too much of your energy to managing everyday operations rather than concentrating on strategic planning and decision-making.
  • Your team lacks specialized knowledge needed for certain projects – say developing new product launch strategies or navigating digital ad platforms effectively.

A crucial point is timing: hire too early, you waste valuable budget; wait until it’s too late, there’s lost opportunity cost due to slow response times in this competitive marketplace.

The Impact of Hiring at the Right Time

Hiring at just-right juncture means tapping into their expertise right when it matters most – during periods of rapid expansion or transition perhaps. They can help build a robust marketing machine, ready to take on bigger competitors.

Moreover, if you’re aiming for growth but feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it entails – from optimizing your online presence and managing social media accounts to devising comprehensive marketing plans – then this is where a fractional CMO could be just what the doctor ordered. They not only fill in for missing expertise, but also mentor existing staff. This means they can provide guidance and insights that are invaluable to building a successful business.

Key Takeaway: 


Recognizing the need for a fractional CMO can be challenging. If you’re juggling too many roles in your growing business, especially marketing strategies, it might be time to consider one. Fractional CMOs bring full-time benefits on a part-time basis, leading initiatives like social media campaigns and making strategic decisions where there may be gaps in resources or skills.

Selecting the Perfect Fractional CMO for Your Business

When selecting a fractional CMO for your business, it is essential to consider the individual’s experience and compatibility with your company culture. It is not just important to find someone who has the necessary qualifications and know-how, but they must also gel with your business’s ethos.

Experience is paramount when hiring a leading marketing officer full-time or part-time. The perfect candidate will have years of expertise under their belt in creating effective marketing strategies. Yet, they must comprehend how these tactics operate in actual circumstances – something that can only be obtained through direct experience.

The Big Difference: Full-Time vs Fractional CMOs

A big difference between full-time and fractional CMOs lies in how they typically work. Fractional CMOs, on the other hand, tend to be more strategic and provide executive-level guidance without needing a full-time commitment. They offer senior marketing guidance without requiring dedicated time as a permanent staff member would.

This working style makes them an ideal choice if you’re looking for someone who can help steer the ship while allowing other team members to manage daily tasks. It’s like having an experienced captain onboard who knows exactly where you need to go and what course corrections might be needed along the way.

Cultural Fit Matters Too.

While technical skills are crucially important, don’t overlook cultural fit. You want someone who will gel with your existing team rather than disrupt it. So ask yourself: Does this person share our values? Can we see them fitting into our workplace?

  • If answers lean towards yes, then chances are good that they will work well within your organization.
  • If not, it may be wise to keep looking until you find someone who does.

Case Studies of Successful Engagements with Fractional CMOs

Are you after some real-world examples? Well, take a peek at these businesses. They’ve tasted success by hiring fractional CMOs. The benefits they experienced could also be within your reach.

Key Takeaway: 


Choosing the right fractional CMO for your business isn’t just about skills and experience. It’s also about finding someone who fits with your company culture. Full-time and fractional CMOs play different roles, with fractionals focusing more on strategic planning while allowing others to manage daily tasks. Don’t underestimate the importance of cultural fit – a good match can make all the difference in creating an effective, harmonious team.

FAQs in Relation to Fractional Cmo

What is a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is an experienced marketing leader hired part-time to give strategic direction and drive business growth, without the full-time commitment.

What is the difference between a CMO and a fractional CMO?

The main difference lies in time spent: A full-time CMO works exclusively for one company while a fractional one splits their expertise among several businesses.

How much should a fractional CMO cost?

The cost of hiring a fractional CMO varies but it’s generally less expensive than employing a full-time chief marketing officer.

What is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for startups?

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for startups offers smaller companies access to top-tier marketing talent at an affordable rate, aiding them in scaling quickly.


A fractional CMO is a game-changer, offering executive-level marketing prowess without the full-time price tag. They can breathe life into your go-to-market strategies and supercharge revenue growth, all while juggling multiple hats within your team.

But remember: timing is everything when hiring one of these pros. When you’re ready to scale up but don’t need (or can’t afford) a full-timer – that’s when they shine brightest.

Choose wisely though! Cultural fit matters as much as their marketing chops. Ensure they have a demonstrated history of achieving genuine outcomes.

If chosen well, this high-flying professional could be the missing piece in your business puzzle – propelling you towards success faster than ever before!

Want to learn how to become a fractional CMO? Want to hire a Fractional CMO?

How to Transition from Doer to Orchestrator and Scale Your Agency

How to Transition from Doer to Orchestrator and Scale Your Agency written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Scaling your marketing agency is a dream that many of us in the business world share. We embark on our entrepreneurial journey with the vision of growth and prosperity. However, it’s essential to recognize that growth and scale are not one and the same. Often, businesses grow in terms of revenue and customers, but they fail to achieve true scalability. In fact, they find themselves working more, making less, and essentially scaling sideways rather than upwards.

So, how can marketing agencies and Fractional CMOs transition from being doers to orchestrators and achieve true scaling success without adding excessive overhead? It’s not only possible but also essential for sustainable growth. Let’s explore the key steps and strategies to make this transformation.

Ready to build a winning marketing strategy? Explore our AI-powered marketing strategy builder and take the next step towards your agency’s success. Get started now!

The Mindset Shift: Becoming the Orchestrator

Achieving true scalability begins with a dramatic mindset shift. Instead of being caught in the whirlwind of executing tactics and playing every instrument in the marketing orchestra, fractional CMOs and agency owners must start thinking like orchestrators. They need to step back from the day-to-day tasks and focus on conducting the entire operation.

The consequences of staying entrenched in the doer mentality are significant. Agencies may find themselves overwhelmed, running as fast as they can while juggling multiple tasks, or spinning too many plates. In this state, it becomes challenging to retain and satisfy clients, despite attracting new ones.

Starting with a Repeatable Scope

To become orchestrators, marketing agencies must start with a repeatable scope. Often, agencies fall into the trap of letting clients dictate what they want or need. However, clients may not always have a clear understanding of their requirements. It’s the agency’s responsibility to help them comprehend their needs better.

One effective approach is to present clients with a predefined package that outlines how the agency works, focusing on strategy before tactics. This package not only attracts the right clients but also sets clear expectations. It shifts the dynamic from clients dictating specifics to the agency offering a well-defined path to success.

Crafting the Right Message and Package

Central to this transition is crafting the right message and package. This message should address the core problem that clients are trying to solve. It not only attracts ideal clients but also communicates that the agency follows a structured, directive approach, rather than a haphazard one.

By offering a package with a clear message, agencies can deliver services in a repeatable manner, eliminating the need for clients to specify every detail. This shift from a reactive approach to a proactive, structured one streamlines operations and enhances client satisfaction.

Pricing for Profit

Central to this transition is crafting the right message and package. This message should address the core problem that clients are trying to solve. It not only attracts ideal clients but also communicates that the agency follows a structured, directive approach, rather than a haphazard one.

By offering a package with a clear message, agencies can deliver services in a repeatable manner, eliminating the need for clients to specify every detail. This shift from a reactive approach to a proactive, structured one streamlines operations and enhances client satisfaction.

Building a System for Fulfillment

The third pillar of transitioning from doer to orchestrator is developing a robust system for fulfillment. Once agencies have secured clients with premium packages, they must be able to consistently deliver on their promises. This involves getting exceptionally proficient at delivery, ensuring it is both repeatable and profitable.

Rather than hiring more employees, Fractional CMOs can delegate tasks to strategic partners or freelancers who quickly learn to deliver according to the agency’s system. This approach allows agencies to scale without adding the burden of full-time staff and related overhead costs.

Climbing the Exit Ladder

To fully realize this transition, agency owners must begin climbing what is often referred to as the “exit ladder.” This is the first step to liberate you from day-to-day administrative work, which can often be outsourced efficiently. This frees up valuable time to focus on the bigger picture.

As the agency owner or Fractional CMO take on a more strategic role, they can work on further developing the system and nurturing relationships with partners. Gradually, they can shed the responsibilities of fulfillment and orchestrate the agency’s growth effectively.

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Transition from does to orchestrator

Transitioning from being a doer to an orchestrator is not just a dream but a strategic necessity for marketing agencies or Fractional CMOs looking to scale. By embracing a new mindset, offering repeatable scopes, crafting the right message and package, pricing for profit, and building a system for fulfillment, agencies can achieve remarkable growth without adding burdensome overhead.

Climbing the exit ladder, starting with outsourcing administrative tasks, and gradually moving away from daily operations are essential steps in this transformation. The goal is to empower marketing agencies to scale their practice effectively while maintaining a lean, profitable operation.

In the ever-competitive marketing landscape, this shift from doer to orchestrator is the key to unlocking true scaling success and achieving the dreams that inspired entrepreneurs to start their marketing agencies in the first place.

Ready to build a winning marketing strategy? Explore our AI-powered marketing strategy builder and take the next step towards your agency’s success. Get started now!

Why Working Less is the Secret to Earning More

Why Working Less is the Secret to Earning More written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with Alyson Caffrey

Alyson CaffreyIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Alyson Caffrey, the founder of Operations Agency and the co-creator of the operations simplified framework, which is aimed at streamlining the backend operations for digital and creative agencies. She is also the author of The Sabbatical Method: How to Leverage Rest and Grow Your Business. With a wealth of experience in helping agency owners find a balance between their work and rest, Alyson sheds light on how the Sabbatical Method can revolutionize the way marketing systems are handled.

Key Takeaway:

Working less to achieve more is a paradigm shift in the traditional hustle culture, especially among agency owners in the marketing realm. Alyson Caffrey joins me to elucidate how the Sabbatical Method is transforming the marketing systems landscape. We delve into the concept of “systematic rest,” an innovative approach to interspersing work with adequate rest to not only prevent burnout but to significantly enhance productivity and creativity. By embracing the Sabbatical Method, agency owners are discovering a potent strategy to scale their business while reducing the hours they traditionally grind away, making the notion of working less to achieve more a reality.


Questions I ask Alyson Caffrey:

  • [00:45] How does rest contribute to business growth?
  • [02:31] Can you explain the framework you mentioned?
  • [03:43] Is a long sabbatical the goal of your method?
  • [05:44] How does your 90-day method alter established work habits?
  • [08:28] Do founders grasp your concepts both logically and emotionally?
  • [11:10] Can you explain the operation simplified hierarchy?
  • [14:37] What daily habits do you recommend for gradual improvement?
  • [18:54] How can one develop discipline in creating effective systems?
  • [21:54] How should these changes be planned in quarterly planning?
  • [24:37] Where can listeners connect with you or learn more?

More About Alyson Caffrey

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Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

John Jantsch (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Chance. My guest today is Alison Caffery. She streamlines the backend operations for digital and creative agencies, and she’s the founder of Operations Agency and the co-creator of the Operations Simplified Framework. We’re going to talk about her most recent book, the Sabbatical Method, how to Leverage Rest and Grow Your Business. Allison’s also the host of the Growing Pains podcast, so welcome to the show, Allison.

Alyson Caffrey (00:43): Thanks for having me, John. Appreciate it.

John Jantsch (00:46): Okay. I’m probably not the first person to say this, but REST is not often associated with growing a business, so tell me why it should be.

Alyson Caffrey (00:55): Yeah, that’s an awesome way to frame that question honestly. So I started thinking about the function of rest after I went on maternity leave with my first son. My business was three years old and it still needed me a lot. And I remember it being a really confronting experience because I thought to myself, well, how can I actually take some time off and also simultaneously grow my business? And I started just considering that growing a business is a high performance effort. We need to be able to put out a high performing output and we need to be able to be really consistent. We need to be really clear. We need to do the specific activities that are going to bring us the highest level result. And one of those activities actually is rest. If you think about someone summiting Everest or training for a marathon or doing anything in the physical high performing nature, rest is woven into every single training plan out there that exists. But for some reason, we as small business owners think that momentum and hustle and grinding and are going to be the answers to a lot of our problems, when in fact implementing rest actually can preserve the longevity of your business and really prevent against burnout, which has unfortunately become such a commonplace in the entrepreneurial spirit.

John Jantsch (02:16): And I do think that there, unfortunately for good or bad, there are bad examples of everything. I think there’s a lot of bad examples of just what you talked about. The whole hustle and grind thing became kind of badge of honor for some people. I do think we’re going the other direction. Fortunately we’re going to get into the specifics, but maybe since we’re calling this a framework or a method, let’s kind of big picture, what is it in a nutshell?

Alyson Caffrey (02:42): Yeah, so the sabbatical method is kind of like hard 75 for business owners. It’s really supposed to serve two main purposes. First is to give you a hard stop and kind of a reset. If you’ve been really needing to take a rest from the business, if you feel like you’re at the edge of yourself, if you’re grinding and at full speed, this is supposed to be your permission because Alison Caffrey says there’s a return on investment for rest. This is your permission to take that time. Second is it’s a lifestyle. So after you finish hard 75, you’re not supposed to just start snacking on the Cheetos right away. You’re supposed to consider what can I take from this really challenging disciplined time and how can I weave it into my overall health and wellness in my personal life? And that’s what I want you to consider operationally in your business. How can I weave rest into the way that my business performs so that I can see more return on investment and more longevity overall? So that’s what the sabbatical method is in a nutshell.

John Jantsch (03:43): Alright, so the end goal then is to, I mean people think of a sabbatical, people leave the country, leave their business for three, six months. I mean, is that really the ultimate goal? However you define that?

Alyson Caffrey (03:57): It’s interesting. I get asked that all the time and the short answer is no, it’s not a traditional sabbatical. Sabbatical to me is just as simple as closing your computer at 6:00 PM if that’s what you’ve been struggling to do. Everybody needs to begin where they are. And just again, in any physical training plan, we don’t go out to run 26.2 miles on day one of our marathon training. We run one mile and then we get nice and rested, then we go out for maybe a two mile run the next day. So that’s the same position I take with sabbatical planning. A lot of us think that sabbaticals are this Parisian six month, three month time off, and a lot of it feels really inaccessible to business owners and transparently, if you tried to do that at this point in some of our businesses, our business would just fall apart if we just kind of decided to go take this super long vacation.

(04:47): So what I tried to kind of reposition the term of sabbatical is consistent and appropriate rest at different levels of the business. So that might mean closing the computer at 6:00 PM making sure that you’re not answering emails or doing specific client projects over the weekends. Making sure that you block in sometimes in your monthly cadence to review your overall goals and consider what are the systems I have in place for the business and how am I systematically going after what I want to achieve and how am I achieving results for clients? So those are kind of the different types of things I would consider as implementing rest into the business. And of course you can leverage these exact tools to build up to a three month sabbatical. That’s what I personally did to take my maternity leaves with my sons and I was able to take some really meaningful time off that really did shift the direction and clarify the purpose of a lot of the things we were doing in operations agency.

John Jantsch (05:44): So one of the book’s Promises is somewhere buried in there is that we’re going to do this in 90 days, right? We’re going to correct a lot of bad habits in 90 days. A lot of business owners, the way they work has taken them 20 years to get there. So how do you get the mindset shifted? And maybe it’s just people, they get burned out enough, they’re like, I got to do something, and that alone is enough to make ’em create a difference. But what do you say to those people that have really just kind of established this way to work for many years maybe?

Alyson Caffrey (06:16): Yeah. There’s kind of two things I think John that you’ve asked that are relevant to unpack here. First is that I know a lot of digital agency owners who really struggle to get themselves out of the day-to-day operations of their business because they have a lot of industry expertise and a specific formula that lives right up here in the brain that they use to approach their client projects and really get some of the best results on projects. One of the things that I position in the book is really being dialed into that over a 90 day period is to understand what am I doing that is actually systematic things that I do day in and day out for every single project? And then what is maybe that 80 20 rule that we can identify that 80% is repeatable and about 20% of my involvement is actually custom.

(07:02): So I think that mindset first and foremost is one of the most challenging to overcome because it forces us to reconcile with the fact that although we do have about 20% of the secret sauce, a lot of what we’re doing actually is repeatable and actually can be delegated. So if you want to grow the business and you want to be disciplined about removing yourself, those two things are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they pair really well together. And the second really big thing that I think folks need to understand about running a business at large, I learned this actually from just my very recent years of becoming a mom. My oldest is three. And I think to myself, sometimes I say, look, I can outsource specific aspects of my parenting. I can outsource my child’s education to a teacher. I can outsource childcare to a daycare.

(07:48): I can outsource their physical education or fitness to a specific sports team or to a community of folks who could get that outcome. But at the end of the day, it relies on me to be the parent to raise a capable adult in that way. And I think a lot of us as business owners hear this zone of genius and stay in your specialties and all these things, but we forget that businesses actually need a really full spectrum and rich amount of skills that we actually need to develop if we want to see its success. So a lot of owners will say, well, I’m not a systems person. And I’m like, well, that’s what your business needs you to be right now that need you to be systematic if you want to grow it to the point that you desire.

John Jantsch (08:28): Well, you were certainly singing my tune. I mean, I’ve spent the last 20 years actually licensing my agency methodology to hundreds of agencies. And I will tell you that it is so freeing when people realize, oh, I can scope this and I don’t have to be the one doing all the work. But probably the biggest challenge for a lot of people is mindset. They actually draw their energy from doing the work or being the savior or being the one who can have the answer. And I think sometimes I think logically everybody gets what you’re just saying. I think sometimes emotionally it’s actually harder.

Alyson Caffrey (09:08): And it’s interesting, a lot of the things I focus on in the book and even with my team, actually just before I hopped on, we were crystallizing our quarterly plan for Q four. And one of the things I do actually to wrap that exercise, wait

John Jantsch (09:21): A minute, Q4 already started and you’re just now finally finishing your plan.

Alyson Caffrey (09:24): I’m finalizing it literally today. I was out with my mastermind planning last week, and it’s interesting because what we do is we finalize and put the bow on everything with a daily habit tracker. And the reason why I love habit trackers and focusing on activities inside of the business is because it does a great job of removing that emotional element to doing the work that is important to drive you forward. I think all of us can get pulled in to, how do I feel about this? Or I just don’t feel like it today, or You know what, it’s easier for me to just go back into WebWork because that’s where I’m comfortable and excited to contribute. But at the end of the day, if your business needs you to be in a different seat and it needs you to be doing different activities, identifying those at 30,000 feet inside of your quarterly plan and then really deciding every day to say, listen, I’m going to show up to this activity with no emotion as much as I possibly can come in and do the work. And if I really feel like I’m doing something that isn’t bringing me joy and bringing the business value, then we can reassess how that’s going. But if it’s driving the business forward in the way the direction that you’re wanting, that’s one of the quickest, most easily implementable things I have found that remove that mindset, emotional element from approaching your daily work.

John Jantsch (10:51): So we’ve gotten halfway through the episode here, and I haven’t really brought up the hierarchy, which is really the foundation obviously of the book. The big idea is of course the sabbatical, but how you get there in stages, and again, I don’t know how you want to address that, if you just want to start riffing on that, but unpack the operation simplified hierarchy.

Alyson Caffrey (11:14): So the hierarchy really was birthed by really just considering operationally, what does a business need to survive and thrive? And I rooted it in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because just like any human being, we’ve got some of the basic stuff that needs to happen, process creation and quarterly planning, really hitting those metrics, the habits, like I just said, that’s kind of the big foundation of how we want to operate. The next is really just defining a home and considering that if we’re going to invite team members to collaborate on key projects, what do those projects look like and how can I create repeatable, profitable projects at my agency? The third is really driven on metrics. So what measurables do we have in place to tell us what decisions we need to make next? And then how can we scale this thing? How do we invite a community and grow our reach and our impact and really scream from the rooftops now that we have this incredible backend well of procedures, what are our front end procedures for the growth side of the business in sales and marketing?

(12:17): And then finally, profit and prosper is kind of the tip of the pyramid there, which I actually say is custom. We want to be consistently putting profit back into the pockets of the owner in its key stakeholders, but we also want to help our clients and the people that are involved with our business really prosper in whatever way that we’ve outlined for them and that looks different. I have some agency owners who really love to work the six months on, six months off schedule. They really love to be at home and working on their business and then take six months in Mexico, so that looks different. Their operations look a little bit different than somebody who really wants to create a strong full stack agency team. That’s just a very different model. So I consider those as kind of the foundational elements. Now, something really important that I did also really focus on inside of the book is that first and foremost, these aren’t achieved in sequence.

(13:12): I know so many business owners who have the sales and marketing stuff dialed in, they’ve got really incredible reach and impact and all of that in the marketplace, but then they actually super lack some of that repeatable project and profitability stuff. So it doesn’t mean that you need to focus on it in sequence. I do in the book because I feel like each and every one builds on one another. And the second thing I will also mention is that it’s never done. We’re always going to be doing this work just like your physical fitness. You don’t work to get a six pack and then eat Cheetos on day 31. It’s something that we are consistently working on and refining as the business is growing and as it’s breaking the processes that we currently have.

John Jantsch (13:55): And I think that’s a key point. Once you get safe fulfillment dialed in, then you have maybe more capacity. So that creates another problem. And so then you have to go revisit sales and marketing. I mean these levels, you’re just coming back to ’em. I mean, you’re revisiting ’em even once, as you say, you’ve got ’em dialed in. But I think there is a little bit of just Maslow talks about, I mean, you can’t even begin to think about profits if you don’t have the basics. I mean, there is some order of things that you have to get certain things done, but you’re right. I mean, nobody shows up in any perfect stage. We’re all one foot in each stage, I suppose, at some point.

Alyson Caffrey (14:36): Yeah, absolutely.

John Jantsch (14:37): So you mentioned it already, but I had it on the list here to talk about because I do think that it’s crucial to making any of this happen in its habits, isn’t it? And so talk a little bit about the daily habits that you talk about, your daily five, I think it is habits, but then just what are some of the things that you’ve seen have really helped move people along because they’re doing 1% better each day kind of thing?

Alyson Caffrey (15:04): And I have to give a shout out to Atomic Habits by James Clear. That is one of my favorite books of all time. And if anybody listening has not read it, it’s worth a read and a reread perhaps every single year because as you grow as a professional and a human being, hearing that information again is just astronomically more valuable every single time you read it. So that’s definitely number one. A lot of my thinking around habits is formed from the expertise of James Clear and that specific book. I think one of the big things that I love to focus on when generating habits first and foremost, is understanding the difference between leading and lagging indicators. So habits really apply to the former, what habits can I keep that really will help me be the person or have the business or have whatever it is that I really want?

(15:50): Those lagging indicators are the outcomes. And I think a lot of folks think that habits are for people who are organized and systematic and have schedules and all of those things, but I’d like to kind of challenge how we think about habits because habits exist. They just do, and we need to reconcile sometimes the first step is really understanding that we do keep habits, but they might actually not be pushing us toward the things that we want, the people we want to be, the businesses we want to have, the lives we want to create. And

John Jantsch (16:21): Bad habits are habits, right?

Alyson Caffrey (16:23): Exactly. But I think a lot of folks think habits and then they’re like, oh, you’re going to tell me some system or some hack about your calendar or whatever else. And really, habits just are right. They’re good, they’re bad, they’re whatever. And I can’t really get any more clear on that. I think a lot of folks need to begin with, okay, what are my habits currently and are they pushing me toward the thing I want? And I think taking a stock of those. So first and foremost, foundational habit kind of creation is to consider what do I literally want? And is every single habit that I keep in my day driving me toward that specific thing? And a lot of that is eliminating some of those things that one of my coaches actually calls it time assassins, and he says it’s like drinking alcohol, watching television, eating refined sugars, even those personal social media.

(17:11): Exactly. Things that literally just rip your time away. And I think a lot of us, as we start to consider, well, I don’t have enough time in the day to let’s just say serve 50 clients versus 20 clients who don’t have the time, the question then becomes is, am I not disciplined enough in developing the systems? Am I not disciplined enough in removing the things that aren’t serving me? And so I think starting there with really just being critical and assessing how you’re spending your time is wonderful. And then really, again, planning those habits at your quarterly planning. So just saying, Hey, listen, if I’m putting on this side of the equals sign the business, I want the life, I want the health level that I’d love to achieve the family life that I love, what does that look like? And then what habits do I need to keep daily?

(17:53): I was actually just doing this exercise with a client of mine, and he was telling me that he wanted 300 new leads into his pipeline every single month. And I told him, I said, well, with your current strategy on doing lots of one-to-one, I was like, you’re going to probably need to do about 900 reach outs every single month. And I was like, here’s what it literally looks like in your calendar and here are the habits you’d need to keep. I was like, do you think that this is sustainable? And he first immediately was like, no. I was like, so this is actually why we don’t hit quarterly goals is because we set the goals and then we don’t literally create the habits day to day and ask ourselves, is this a life that I would want to live and get excited every single day to wake up and do? And if the answer is no, then we need to start to work backwards from there.

John Jantsch (18:42): Yeah, actually, somebody inadvertently showed me their calendar this week. That was the most scariest thing I’ve ever seen. They from about seven in the morning to seven at night had something every 15 minutes growth. I think it’s stage four maybe growth a lot of times happens to people and maybe people you’ve worked with, they’ve gotten some of this other clutter out of the way. And so growth happens and then another problem shows up, quality starts to fade. I mean, how do you constantly juggle those two things that are sometimes in opposition?

Alyson Caffrey (19:13): It’s interesting, I have an entire section in the book about this because that is by far with agency work. The biggest thing I’ve seen. So it’s called, the chapter is called Classic Coca-Cola Quality. And I tell this story about how Coca-Cola launched this thing called New Coke, and it just failed. Epically failed. They tested it, they asked the market, they did all these things around launching this new product, and it was terrible. Folks actually started stocking up on Coca-Cola classic because they were petrified that it was going to go away. And then I was joking about it. I was like, this is either the best marketing scheme ever, or it was just the biggest classic face plant for Coca-Cola to launch this new thing. And really what it came down to was the quality, right? It came down to, well, people preferred this over that and they thought that they were going in the direction of what people wanted, but ultimately they needed to listen to their people.

(20:08): And so what they did was they launched Coca-Cola classic. So first and foremost, if you’re in a growth stage, keep asking your people for their feedback 100%. That is the best way that you will know and understand and just open up the conversation that, Hey, listen, we’re going through a growth period right now and I still really value your feedback and I want to make sure that you continue to get results, even if there are several missteps in your fulfillment process and you’re still working out some stuff because you’ve opened up that loop with your clients and because they know that it’s important to you that you hear from them, they’re going to be a little bit more understanding if there are a couple of missteps. So that’s number one. Just open up that and listen to your clients. Second thing is to make sure that we’re defining two types of quality.

(20:53): First is production quality. So that’s the timeline through which things are delivered. And the second is outcome, quality. So that’s ad spend. That’s specific outcomes that you are getting for your clients and quality levels there. So defining those metrics are going to be absolutely instrumental. And then just again, do that little equation, right? Consider to yourself, we have 20 clients right now where we can ship websites in about three weeks time at this level of quality, measurable. If we had 50, here’s what that would look like. The clearer you can get on those metrics, the easier it is to run possible resourcing scenarios. And you can kind of hedge these growth points and these friction points a little bit simpler.

John Jantsch (21:38): This is scary idea for some people, but I am always telling you have capacity ahead of demand, because that’s where I see people really get in trouble is like, oh crap, we just sold a whole bunch more work. Let’s go fix it somehow, as opposed to, oh, we’ve got the capacity in our normal systems to deliver. Okay, last question. Last idea is profits and prosper. I dunno about you, but I’m just amazed at the businesses I’ve come across over the years. Were profits in particular just aren’t even part of the equation. It is like, I want to get paid a job and the idea of working profits into it, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Mike Al’s work profits first. That idea is just so foreign to people.

Alyson Caffrey (22:20): Yeah, I love Profit First and I think being disciplined in prioritizing profit, either in distribution to owner and key stakeholders or in early growth years, reinvesting into the business and the professional development of the leaders or both, right? If we’ve got the margins and they’re really strong, is critical. I think it’s John Maxwell does Leader Lid. It’s like a really famous concept and he talks about that the leader or the organization will only grow to the capacity that the leader has professionally and personally developed. And I think if we leave out profits, not only are we doing our business a disservice because businesses exist to be profitable, we exist to make money and reinvest that money into growth and reinvest that money into our communities and into our families and all those things. So understanding that economically, it’s our job to be profitable, I think is first.

(23:13): Second is that we are going to do our business and our community and our teammates a disservice by not reinvesting our profits into our professional development, especially in those early years. And then creating a professional development budget as things start to get a little bit more sophisticated. I mean, hands down has been the absolute leader in why operations agency has been able to grow to the point that it is. And why I’ve been able to confidently lead and be able to get folks unstuck with their operations is because of the level of professional development that I’ve done over the years. And I think a lot of folks forget about that and they think, well, I’m just going to discount my prices in tough seasons and I’m just going to take this project or what have you. But being disciplined and saying, Nope, this is our pricing because this is our scoping and this is our profit margin, I promise. Well, sorry, I can’t make any financial promises probably on a podcast, but I will say that it has been my experience that the more I say no to projects that are hefty discounts or things that perhaps I’m not excited about or don’t fit into our model specifically, I have been rewarded tenfold on the other side with projects that are exactly in our wheelhouse, exactly in our scope, and exactly within the profits that we desire.

John Jantsch (24:24): And had you taken those less than desirable projects, that opportunity may not have come your way. I see that all the time. It’s like, I’m busy doing this work over here, so I can’t see the real thing, the opportunity that’s in front of me. So Alison, you want to tell people who invite people where they might connect with you, find out more about your work, obviously find out about how they can acquire the book.

Alyson Caffrey (24:45): Yeah, of course. Well, the book is on Amazon. I’m most active on Instagram, so you can follow us at Operations Agency and if you dmm me Duct Tape, I’ll send you my five best agency SOPs, absolutely no opt-in, all absolutely free. So that I think will be the really best way for folks to just see what the power of having really clear standard operating procedures looks like in your agency. And I have been totally victim in the past to not being able to actually see the results of something before I get a tiny taste. So I think that’ll be a great place to start. Awesome.

John Jantsch (25:19): Well, again, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Alyson Caffrey (25:25): Thanks, John.


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

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How to Become a Fractional CMO

How to Become a Fractional CMO written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Ever heard of a fractional CMO? If you’re shaking your head, buckle up because it’s the future. Imagine wielding the power of a marketing wizard without having to afford their six-figure salary. That’s exactly what becoming a fractional CMO is all about.

You see, as marketers we often forget that less can be more; but not when it comes to knowledge and expertise! By choosing to become a fractional CMO, you bring expert-level skills into multiple businesses at fraction of the cost and time commitment required by full-time roles.

Does that pique your interest? Keep going! Discover how you can shift from being an ordinary marketer.

Table Of Contents:

Understanding the Role of a Fractional CMO

The role of a fractional CMO, or Chief Marketing Officer, is one that’s growing in popularity. But why? And what exactly does it entail?

Defining the Fractional CMO Role

A fractional CMO works part-time for a company instead of being employed full time. A fractional CMO can be a major asset for businesses needing expert guidance and execution but without enough tasks to employ someone full-time.

Fractional CMOs typically bring their wealth of experience to guide marketing efforts, helping companies refine their brand messaging, identify ideal clients, improve client retention and more. Their job involves aligning business objectives with current marketing strategies while also staying abreast with changes in the digital marketing landscape.

This kind of professional might also spend time working on improving your sales pipeline or expanding your customer base by targeting new markets – whatever is needed most to help reach business goals. As they are not tied down by set hours like full-timers, they can adapt quickly as needs change.

Companies find value in this flexibility because it allows them access to expert advice without bearing the cost associated with employing someone at such level permanently; hence saving on overall CMO costs which could otherwise be prohibitive especially for startup companies.

Fractional CMOs usually juggle multiple roles across different companies giving them a broader perspective about industry trends and best practices from various sectors, thereby enabling innovative problem-solving approaches within each organization they serve.

Interestingly, the fractional CMO model is gaining traction. The value they bring to businesses has led to a rise in their popularity with companies seeking top-tier marketing strategy and execution without the need for a full-time commitment.

Key Takeaway: 


A fractional CMO is a part-time marketing leader who brings their expertise to help businesses refine strategies and achieve goals. They offer flexibility, adaptability, and cost savings for companies not needing full-time executives. Juggling multiple roles across different sectors also lets them introduce innovative problem-solving approaches.

Transitioning into a Fractional CMO Role

Becoming a fractional CMO requires more than just a change in job title. It’s about adopting new strategies, adjusting to flexible work hours, and often dealing with multiple companies at once. The transition from full-time to fractional isn’t always smooth, but it can be made easier by understanding the demands of the role.

The shift starts with realigning your marketing strategies. As studies show, companies that align their business objectives and marketing plans are three times more likely to reach their goals. This means you’ll need to spend time learning each client’s unique target market, sales pipeline, and current marketing efforts.

Finding Your Niche as a Fractional CMO

In order for your consulting role to truly shine, find an industry or two where you already have solid experience and connections. For instance, if you’ve spent years working on startup companies’ digital marketing campaigns, then that might be your ideal client base.

Your niche will also dictate how much clients are willing to pay for your services, so consider this when determining your fractional CMO cost structure. Remember though: while potential clients may balk at higher rates initially, they’re typically willing to pay premium prices for proven expertise within specific industries.

Gaining Certifications & Expertise

You don’t necessarily need formal certifications, but becoming a certified fractional CMO can lend credibility when attracting potential clients – especially those unfamiliar with what exactly ‘fractional’ entails. Check out our Fractional CMO Certification and License, which offers training and tools specifically tailored towards budding marketers wanting to transition into the world of the Fractional CMO

Maintaining Flexibility in Your Schedule

Retaining flexibility in your schedule is a major benefit of fractional work, as it’s typically done on a retainer basis, allowing you to set hours that suit your lifestyle and work with multiple companies at once. This means you can set hours that suit your lifestyle and work with multiple companies at once.

The key to successfully managing this type of schedule? Having excellent project management skills and being able to prioritize tasks effectively across all your clients’ projects.

Key Takeaway: 


Transitioning to a fractional CMO role involves adjusting your strategies, embracing flexible hours, and handling multiple companies. It’s crucial to align business objectives with marketing plans for success. Finding your niche enhances the value of your services while gaining relevant certifications can boost credibility. Effective project management skills are key in managing a flexible schedule.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

If you’re a business owner, the thought of hiring a full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) may have crossed your mind. But have you considered going fractional? A fractional CMO can offer some compelling benefits.

Cost-Effectiveness of Hiring A Fractional CMO

The cost difference between hiring a full-time and fractional CMO is staggering. In fact, opting for a fractional route can be significantly less costly than its full-time counterpart. You only pay for what you need – this flexible model lets companies save on overheads while still benefiting from top-tier marketing expertise.

Apart from savings in salary expenses, businesses also reduce costs associated with benefits and other employee perks that are usually provided to permanent hires. This makes it an affordable option especially for startups or small to mid-sized firms that want expert guidance without burning through their budget.

This financial advantage extends beyond just cost-saving; it’s about value maximization too. With no long-term commitment required, businesses can tap into seasoned marketing professionals’ skills and knowledge base as needed – getting maximum bang for every buck spent.

Fractional CMOS bring years of experience across multiple industries which means they’re quick off the mark when designing effective strategies tailored to specific business objectives. They understand current marketing trends like digital media landscape shifts or customer preferences evolution because they work with various clients across sectors concurrently.

In essence, hiring one is like having access to several experienced marketers at once but at higher rate efficiency. These specialists provide comprehensive solutions rather than disjointed efforts typical within large organizations where departments often operate in silos – making them great additions particularly if your company lacks an established marketing department yet needs strategic direction.

And let’s not forget about the flexibility. Unlike a full-time CMO who works standard office hours, fractional CMOs operate on a retainer basis. They can adjust their schedule to meet your company’s unique needs – providing extra support during product launches or scaling back in slower periods for instance – ensuring resources are optimally utilized at all times.

So, if you’re looking for different methods…

Key Takeaway: 


Choosing a fractional CMO over a full-time one can be an affordable, value-packed move. You get top-tier marketing expertise without hefty overheads and flexible support that adjusts to your business needs. Plus, you tap into the wealth of experience from multiple industries for effective strategies tailored to your objectives.

Skills and Expertise of a Fractional CMO

A successful fractional CMO is more than just a marketing expert. They possess the capabilities to think strategically, resolve issues, construct teams and direct businesses. But what exactly sets them apart? Let’s dive into their unique skill set.

Tech Savvy

The digital landscape evolves rapidly; therefore it’s crucial for fractional CMOs to stay ahead of the curve. Knowledge in key resources such as digital tools for day-to-day tasks can significantly impact their success.


Fractional CMOs typically juggle multiple companies at once, adapting strategies to various markets and customer bases with ease. This ability to switch gears swiftly while maintaining effectiveness is an invaluable trait that comes from extensive marketing experience.

Strategic Approach

An effective fractional CMO knows how to align current marketing strategies with overall business objectives – a task three times more likely to yield goal achievement according to studies. Strategic thinking combined with a deep understanding of the client’s target market drives great results in this role.

Salesmanship & Client Retention Skills

Beyond crafting stellar campaigns or setting up an efficient sales pipeline, these professionals also need excellent consulting skills – being able not only attract potential clients but keep them engaged over time too.

Pricing Strategy Development

An overlooked yet critical part of the job involves determining fair pricing structures based on value delivered rather than hours worked. This higher rate strategy allows businesses access top-level expertise without bearing full-time costs.

Leadership & Management Skills

Fractional CMOs are often tasked with leading the marketing team or department, requiring strong leadership skills. The ability to guide a group towards shared goals while fostering an environment of growth and learning is paramount.

In conclusion, stepping into the shoes of a fractional CMO isn’t just about mastering traditional marketing roles. It’s all about welcoming change and smartly using technology to drive business success.

Key Takeaway: 


A successful fractional CMO is a tech-savvy leader who can juggle multiple companies, adapt strategies swiftly, and align marketing with business objectives. Their skills go beyond crafting campaigns – they’re also excellent consultants who develop fair pricing based on value delivered. It’s not just about mastering traditional roles; it’s about embracing change and leveraging technology for success.

Scaling Your Fractional CMO Business

If you’re a fractional CMO, growth is always on your mind. But it’s not just about gaining more customers; it is also essential to provide superior services and make sure clients stay. Scaling requires optimizing every facet of your business from acquiring new clients to delivering top-notch service.

Adopting Value-Based Pricing Models

The pricing model you adopt can significantly impact the scalability of your business. One strategy that many successful fractional CMOs use is value-based pricing.

In contrast to hourly rates or fixed retainer fees, value-based pricing models focus on the tangible results you deliver for your clients rather than how much time you spend working for them. This approach lets businesses see exactly what they’re paying for and allows fractional CMOs to scale their revenue without necessarily increasing workload.

You might be wondering how this ties into scaling a marketing agency-like operation where multiple companies are being served simultaneously by one chief marketing officer? Well, let me tell you – with such an arrangement comes great job responsibility but also higher rate earning potential. With this strategic approach in place, potential clients often feel more secure knowing they’re getting bang for their buck while certified fractional CMO’s get paid commensurate with the outcomes they drive rather than simply trading hours for dollars.

This shift towards outcome-driven work isn’t just good news for us marketers – it benefits our customers too because we become more focused on driving real change within their organization instead of ticking off tasks on our daily list. It helps create stronger relationships built around mutual success which leads to increased customer loyalty and therefore long-term sustainable growth both parties benefit from.

Remember, becoming a fractional CMO doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your work or client relationships. By adopting strategies like value-based pricing and focusing on results-driven services, you can effectively scale your business while continuing to deliver top-notch marketing leadership.

Key Takeaway: 


Growth Strategy: As a fractional CMO, scale your business not just by adding clients but delivering quality services and retaining them. Optimize all facets of your operations.


Value-Based Pricing: Making a shift from hourly rates to value-based pricing can be game-changing. This model gives you rewards based on tangible results, not just the hours worked. It’s an approach that allows your revenue to scale up.

Building Networks as a Fractional CMO

Networking is vital for any fractional CMO. It’s like the roots of a tree, spreading out to support growth and stability. Building professional relationships with other marketing leaders can open doors to new opportunities, help you stay updated on current marketing strategies, and provide key resources when needed.

Your network might include fellow fractional CMOs who understand your role intimately. They can offer advice based on their own experiences and even refer potential clients if they are unable to take them on themselves. Having a robust network of other fractional CMOs creates an ecosystem where everyone supports each other’s success.

The power of networking doesn’t stop at just connecting with peers though; it extends into the business world too. Your connections could be prospective clients or people who can introduce you to ideal clients within your target market.

Finding Networking Opportunities

To build these important connections, you need places that attract like-minded professionals in the field—marketing events (both online and offline), seminars, workshops are great starting points. But don’t forget about digital platforms. Social media sites such as LinkedIn make it easy for certified fractional CMOs typically involved in multiple companies simultaneously to connect across geographies.

An active presence here lets others see what kind of work you’re doing which adds credibility – because seeing is believing.

Nurturing Relationships

A well-built relationship requires more than just exchanging business cards or adding contacts on LinkedIn; nurturing those relationships through regular interactions is essential. This involves sharing insights from your consulting experience regularly or providing helpful feedback – remember that giving often receives.

The Payoff of Networking

Investing time in networking might seem like a daunting task with no immediate returns. By taking the time to build your network, you can create a strong support system for yourself when dealing with changing marketing trends and open doors to new clients or partnership opportunities.

Networking might just be the key to landing your next big client or unlocking a profitable partnership opportunity. It’s a must to concentrate on creating those ties.

Key Takeaway: 


As a fractional CMO, think of networking as the roots supporting your growth. It opens doors to new opportunities and keeps you in touch with current marketing strategies. Not only fellow CMOs but also potential clients are crucial parts of this network. Remember, places like marketing events or digital platforms such as LinkedIn can be excellent hubs for building connections.

Future Trends in Fractional CMO Practice

The practice of fractional CMOs is not static; it evolves with the ever-changing marketing landscape. It’s no secret that technology advancements and market growth are shaping this evolution, making for exciting future trends.

One major trend to note involves digital transformation. Today’s digital age necessitates tech-savvy leaders who can navigate the sea of data analytics, AI-powered tools, and automation platforms. This demand aligns perfectly with a key strength of fractional CMOs: their vast experience across multiple companies gives them an edge when implementing new technologies or refining current marketing strategies.

Fractional CMO services are also growing due to economic factors like budget constraints and fluctuating business needs. For startups seeking high-level marketing leadership without the full-time cost commitment, a certified fractional CMO fits right into their strategic approach.

Tech-Driven Marketing Strategies

A big part of future trends revolves around how we use technology to enhance our marketing efforts. The power vested in advanced analytics allows us marketers to pinpoint ideal clients better than ever before by evaluating customer behavior patterns down to minute details—giving rise towards more personalized messaging strategies.

Growth Potential Highlighted By Ad Spend

To understand just how much potential there is for growth within the field itself, consider this stat: Global ad spend is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2024. That figure underscores the potential of the fractional CMO business. As ad spend grows, so too does the need for experienced marketers who can strategically allocate those funds.

Consulting Experience Pays Off

Many fractional CMOs have a consulting background, which provides them with a unique skill set to navigate changes in the marketing landscape. The ability to adapt and provide expert guidance is essential as new trends emerge—be it shifts in consumer behavior or advancements in MarTech tools.

So, if you’re eyeing career paths that can stand strong against economic ups and downs and tech advancements—consider a Fractional CMO role. It’s an option that offers stability in uncertain times.

Key Takeaway: 


With your consulting background, you’re well equipped to adapt and strategize fund allocation in this fast-paced market. Navigating data analytics, AI tools, and automation platforms becomes a breeze with your cross-industry experience. As we approach an era where ad spend is projected to skyrocket past $1 trillion by 2024, the demand for seasoned marketers like you who can tactfully navigate these waters has never been more vital.

FAQs in Relation to Become a Fractional Cmo

How do you become a fractional CMO?

To morph into a fractional CMO, amass experience in marketing leadership roles, master the latest strategies and tools, then offer your services on an as-needed basis to businesses.

How much do fractional CMOs make?

The cash pull for Fractional CMOs can range widely. Based on their skills and client base, they may bank anywhere from $60k to $200k yearly.

How much should you pay a fractional CMO?

Forking over between $1.5k-$10k monthly is typical when hiring a Fractional CMO; however this depends heavily on their expertise level and your business needs.

What does it mean to be a fractional CMO?

A fractionally-employed Chief Marketing Officer provides top-tier marketing strategy part-time or per project rather than full time – helping businesses cut costs while maintaining quality.


Cracking the code to become a fractional CMO isn’t as complex as it seems.

The role is all about flexibility, impact and mastery in marketing. You’re stepping into multiple businesses, helping them align their marketing strategies with business objectives without requiring full-time commitment or cost.

You’ve learned that transitioning from a full-time CMO to a fractional one requires certain skills – strategic thinking, experience in various industries, proficiency in digital tools – but brings significant rewards too. Cost-effectiveness for your clients and scalability for your practice being just two of them.

Beyond this though lies networking opportunities with other professionals who are walking similar paths; sharing insights can help you navigate future trends and market growth potential more effectively.

You can build all of this on your own or you can license our entire Fractional CMO system and start scaling your business today.