Fractional CMO: Making the Case to the C-Suite

by Taline Badrikian

A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a critical member of your C-suite team, directing your brand messaging, customer acquisition strategies, and planning for growth. Though many companies would benefit from a CMO, not every company can afford or justify having a CMO on payroll.

A fractional CMO fills this void, allowing more companies to access this powerhouse executive at a fraction of the cost. Still, some business owners, partners, and other C-suite execs are hesitant to bring a new executive on board, especially an outsourc

ed one. But everyone needs to be on board for this to work, whether you're the owner, founder, or COO. 

So, here's how to make the case with those leaders who don’t think there’s a need for a fractional CMO for marketing consulting.


Fractional CMOs will Bring Instant Marketing Expertise  

Fractional CMOs are top-tier marketing executives who've worked their way up because they're excellent at what they do. At the top level, they focus on broad strategy, efficiency, cost-cutting, and long-term growth. They've decided to divide their time and talent among several non-competing smaller companies instead of one big corporation, but there’s no mistaking it -- they bring all their skills, experience, people, and tools to each company.

If your company already has a marketing team, the Fractional CMO can also serve as a mentor and sounding board for younger or more junior marketing staff. This adds career development value as well as team management value, which your company might be lacking.


Save Money Without Sacrificing Knowledge

According to, a CMO makes 200,000-300,000 a year plus benefits, payroll, and recruitment costs. That's a bill many mid-sized businesses would struggle to foot, not to mention small businesses. 

Fractional CMO costs can differ throughout the country, but the typical charge is $200-$400/hour. This presents a huge savings for those businesses that need the expertise but not in a full-time role and not at the full-time cost. Keep in mind, fractional CMOs are masters of efficiency and can do a lot in one hour. 


High-level Thinking

Marketing directors and managers often struggle to see the forest through the tree because they're usually stuck in the midst of the trees. That's not to disparage those in these roles. It's just the reality they face as they try to "do it all".  

CMOs aren't bogged down in the day-to-day, so they can see the big picture and how the company fits into the market, how to position the brand, increase revenues, and grow into the future. 

A Deloitte survey found that nearly 60% of marketing leaders are facing increased pressure from C-suite to show consistent results and prove alignment with business goals. Many marketing departments struggle to do this without the big picture view a Fractional CMO digital marketer brings to the table.


Ownership, Tools, and Resources

Working with a Fractional CMO means that person is taking ownership of your company’s marketing strategy. This also means the company’s success is their success and likewise with failure.

Because their success is important to maintain or grow their relationship with you, these dedicated professionals are incentivized to be successful. And to do so they leverage their reliable freelance talent, they lean on automation, they provide metrics and highlight ROI, and more. These extras would cost you a fortune. So working with someone who uses these tools and resources on your behalf saves you even more money.

Note: You will still need to purchase company-specific technology like customer relationship management (CRM). CMO services certainly aren't all-inclusive. But they come with a lot of extras you'd otherwise have to pay for separately.


Get Faster Results

A Fractional CMO has been around the block. Even if you’re working with a CMO who has only just decided to offer their services on a part-time or contractual basis, they still have the knowledge of how marketing teams work and how successful marketing strategies are built.

Having experience in marketing channels, they can apply efficiencies and cost savings metrics, and identify risks that might otherwise go unnoticed. And they can employ their skills to reach your goals more quickly and with less money.


As someone who is making the case for a Fractional CMO, you must communicate the benefits using strong takeaways -- combined with your own company data, when possible. Busy C-suite execs will want high-level, high-value benefits to hire a Fractional CMO. Give them the winning points and be specific about what you want leadership to consider when evaluating whether working with a fractional CMO is right for your company. 

Gather company marketing data to prepare for this conversation. If you don’t know where to start, some marketing companies will offer you a "free assessment". Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how your digital marketing could be improved and start communicating the benefits to other leaders in your organization.



Topics: Tools, Tips, and Resources, Strategy and Planning

Taline Badrikian

Written by Taline Badrikian

Taline is the founder of Laveh Inbound Marketing. Using modern marketing concepts without the hefty price tag, Taline has a history of leading small businesses to explosive growth.