How to Choose the Right Fractional CMO

How to Choose the Right Fractional CMO

Making the decision to hire a fractional CMO for your business is only the first step. Once you’ve determined that additional C-level support is needed, even if only on a part-time basis or in an interim capacity, you still have more important decisions to finalize—such as how to choose the right fractional CMO for your business.

For the best possible results, you must find someone who understands your business, your brand, and your team. Beyond that, you’ll need someone who can set goals, meet—or even exceed them—and share key performance indicators throughout the process with your management team. And speaking of your team, your fractional CMO must be a part of leadership from day one.

So, how can you go about finding the right person for your business?

Check the Track Record

When you choose a fractional CMO, you’ll want to see proof that they can deliver on their promises. Have they helped strengthen similar businesses, whether in size or industry, in the past? Do they have a proven history of increasing revenue and ROI during previous positions?

Don’t be afraid to ask about their past experience. Some fractional CMOs may have a portfolio filled with examples. Others may rely on references from previous clients. Follow up on all information to ensure their track record is solid and reliable.

Investigate Marketing Strategies

The right fractional CMO for your brand will not only have in-depth knowledge of marketing strategy, but they’ll also understand exactly which marketing tactics—including branding, digital, traditional, influencer, content, and paid marketing—will work best for your business. This means they can not only create strategies to meet marketing goals, but they can also oversee the execution of those plans.

In some cases, the right person comes with a strong, experienced team of professionals who have specific expertise in one or more of these tactics. This is an indicator that your chosen fractional CMO can, and will, execute all elements of your marketing strategy rather than simply focusing on the areas they’re “good” at.

Explore the Culture

It’s okay if you don’t mix well with everyone. However, a desire to hire a fractional CMO who can deliver on track record and marketing strategy without making sure they’re a good culture fit could cause more problems than your new CMO can solve.

Before you hire a fractional CMO, you want to explore the team dynamics. Yes, you do want someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo, and you, as the business owner, CEO, or President, must be willing to listen to suggestions and take requested actions. Don’t be afraid to take a test run by approaching a specific marketing problem together. This will allow you each to see how the other thinks, how you both approach problem solving. You may also involve other team members during this process to ensure everyone feels included and empowered in the final decision.

Set Up for Success

A fractional CMO knows they’re exactly that: fractional. They won’t be with you on a permanent basis, and their work in the meantime should reflect that. Find a candidate who will set you up for success long after they depart, whether you’re in between CMOs right now or planning to hire your first full-time marketing executive.

The right fractional CMO will be interested in mentoring your team and implementing systems and strategies that can be used long after their gone. In some cases, a fractional CMO may also help you build out your new marketing team and even help identify the right candidate for your permanent full-time CMO.

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Author: Liz Papagni

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