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Read about Brand & Marketing, Strategy & Planning and, being a consultant.

  • Writer's pictureAmandine Aman

That's the million-dollar question. A million dollars that you might be losing right now by not working with the right leader. Here are why Series A and B companies should hire a fractional CMO today.

1. Save time and money by skipping the hiring

In your wildest dreams, you'd love to hire a marketing leader that is very good at building your brand, hiring a team, and managing your performance teams. You spend a lot of time interviewing candidates but they all leave you with an "I wish they had more" feeling. I hate to break it to you, but, there are very few marketing talents who can do it all. These people are in high demand and they can choose where they work. Some are willing to do the heavy lifting work but some are not...because they don't have to. These people are not short of options and opportunities. Hiring a fractional CMO who is experienced in branding and growth, saves you time and money. They've done it before and they can do it again. The only concession you have to make is time. I've seen many CEOs being stuck trying to hire a unicorn - it's better to have an expert CMO for a fraction of their time than somebody who's only good at 50% of their job.

2. Try tomorrow without too long of a commitment

The beauty of working with fractional CMOs is that they are contractors. If they have time for you, they can start tomorrow. I've seen many CEOs debating if they need a brand-oriented leader or a growth-oriented leader or a little bit of this and that - not knowing what direction to take. Why don't you try tomorrow with someone who's very good at branding and see for yourself? If it doesn't work out, you can always change. Hiring a fractional CMO is flexible. It's not like hiring the wrong person and having to stay with this leader for a while. Try and see for yourself - you can always start on a 3mo contract.

3. Boost your internal talents and your team morale

Your team is probably in need of a leader. You have internal talents but they are in need of a clear direction. You could always promote an internal candidate. Most of the time, these candidates still have a lot to learn and mistakes can be made. It's always a risk - and, success is not guaranteed. Working with a fractional CMO can be a great solution to coach your team and boost your internal talents, leaving them the authority and the freedom to operate but with more expertise. Team satisfaction and team happiness have always increased after I joined marketing organizations as their fractional CMO. It feels good to be driven by an expert and it's also nice to be coached by someone who understands your work and cares about you.

4. Buy expertise and increase your visibility

While it's not guaranteed that everything will work as you dreamed of, you're still reducing considerably the risks of failing by hiring someone who has done it all before. Fractional CMOs have been CMOs in the past, they have been to board meetings, they have hired a team and they have track records. They can accelerate branding projects, recommend people to the company, and increase the visibility of your organization - what you won't have with a more junior marketing leader. So, you're buying expertise but also credibility and a deep network.

Don't hesitate to reach out! If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn. I'll be sharing more content like this post on regular basis. Thank you for your time!

First of all, let's clarify what a Fractional CMO is. A Fractional CMO is a Part-time Chief Marketing Officer. As a marketing leader, it is when you're hired by a company to be its Chief Marketing Officer but only a fraction of your time as a consultant. As I've been a Fractional CMO for the past 4 years and probably the first in my Silicon Valley and European network, I've decided to share some of my learnings with you. Spoiler alert: Not everybody is ready to be a Fractional CMO. And, there must be solid reasons why you choose to be a Fractional CMO. If you dream of becoming a Fractional CMO, please make sure you assess the following parameters before starting your journey.

1. Is your resume convincing enough?

Have you already been a CMO before? Have you worked at companies that everybody knows? Is your expertise unique or truly specialized? Before you're able to sell a consulting gig, you must be able to get a full-time CMO job in the first place. If you can't get CMO, Head of Marketing jobs, VP of Marketing jobs, you won't get Fractional CMO gigs. If you don't feel ready, my best advice for you is to continue to build your resume.

2. Do you really need flexibility?

I've started being a Fractional CMO because I needed time to reach my artistic objectives. I'm also a DJ and a music producer. I would have probably never started being a Fractional CMO without my strong need for flexibility. This flexibility allowed me to produce music that is now signed by record labels. I also got the chance to play at major US Nightclubs in front of thousands of people. If you're planning on combining part-time gigs, I just want to let you know that it requires a specific type of skillset. If you want to make it a growing business, I'll write more post about this soon.

3. Do you enjoy zooming in and out of topics?

I would say that the number one quality of a good Fractional CMO is their ability to add value fast without having been there the whole time. Their ability to jump deep into a topic where they left off and be relevant and helpful as if they were with the team and the other execs the whole time. Remember that you won't be there full-time. So, you need to be able to catch up quickly and jump from one topic to the other in an accelerated fashion. I personally find a lot of joy in multi-tasking, but some people don't. I also have no problem catching up where I left off even weeks later and I barely use notes. If that's something you're struggling with, this Fractional CMO path is doable but might be more challenging for you at the beginning.

4. Can you build trust?

Imagine being an Exec but you're not there full-time. It's kind of weird for your peers. Imagine managing a large org, but you're not there full-time. Try to picture what can happen when you're not there - your team members commenting on your absence, some team members not happy about it. So, you need to be very good at building trust and finding people you can trust. If your colleagues, your boss, or your peers naturally trust you or if you're known as someone who brings stability to a group, you can be great as a fractional CMO.

5. Are you a good salesperson?

You're selling a service and the money you're making might replace your current salary. Logically, your hourly rate or your monthly retainer needs to be higher than your hourly rate or your monthly salary (because of taxes, health insurance, etc). While people and VCs might know you, you also need to be great at managing clients and closing deals. There won't be clients without a strong network and an excellent reputation. Finally, your ability to close sustainable deals is crucial.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn. I'll be sharing more content like this post on regular basis. Thank you for your time!

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