Why a Fractional CMO Makes Sense for Small Business 

by Paige Hewlett in February 26th, 2021

The ability to focus on their core business and increased peace of mind are two major reasons why a fractional CMO makes sense for most business owners. Your passion is rooted in your business. It gives you joy … until you’re confronted with marketing details. 

Your talent and passion is aligned with your goods and services. You’re comfortable in knowing your limits. However, your goods and services still require marketing strategy and implementation.

It’s time to outsource. You have the option of using a marketing agency, consultant, or a fractional CMO.

What Does a Fractional CMO Do?

Like marketing initiatives, the job description of a fractional CMO depends upon the needs of a small business. A CMO may be responsible for customer acquisition, sales development, or overall business growth.

In context, an ecommerce startup may seek someone with pay-per-click experience. Alternatively, a local brick-and-mortar may desire a fractional CMO with a rich history in public relations and email marketing. Or, an online learning platform may require the technical skills of a search engine optimization specialist.

Regardless of specific needs, let’s explore why a fractional CMO makes sense for many small businesses.

5 Reasons Why a Fractional CMO Is Right for Small Business

1 A Fractional CMO Means Limited Risk

The level of risk is limited in using a fractional chief marketing officer. Your time is valuable and better spent on what you do best. The fractional CMO, seasoned in using marketing tools, takes care of your established marketing goals. If goals are not met or the partnership is not a great fit, there’s opportunity to pivot without interrupting regular flow of your business.

2 A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer Fosters Faster Growth

It requires time and effort to onboard a marketing director. Furthermore, some small businesses are limited in what they can afford. Hiring an inexperienced marketer means it will take longer for their contributions to impact the business and help it grow.

However, a fractional CMO has the experience in using tools and the wisdom in working with small businesses. A seasoned fractional CMO with a lot of experience may do more for a small business in a few hours as compared to an inexperienced, full-time employee.

3 Throttled Cost Is Possible with Fractional CMO Services

A lot of arguments are going to compare the cost of a fractional CMO to that of a full-time, in-house marketing employee. Obviously, the upfront costs of hiring a fractional chief marketing officer are much lower. You’ll need to pay a full-time marketer salary plus benefits, along with investing in marketing tools, industry shows, etc.

Did you hire a fractional CMO with expertise in working with startups? If so, maybe you’ll want to heavily invest in their services for the first couple years and then reassess. Alternatively, a particular season or campaign may warrant more attention; you can hire a marketer full time to meet short-term needs.

The ability to throttle cost is why a fractional CMO makes sense for small businesses. 

4 Fractional CMO Services Deliver Targeted Attention

Often, small businesses seek the help of marketing agencies, get aligned with a campaign representative, and then quickly feel lost amid a myriad of marketing clients. A fractional CMO delivers targeted attention, the kind needed to maintain your peace of mind and get the results to vindicate your investment.

Rather than sharing your marketing officer, the fractional aspect enables you to avoid a long-term commitment while benefiting from the brand of attention an experienced fractional CMO can provide.

5 A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer is Like You

Often, a fractional chief marketing officer doubles as a small business owner. This dynamic makes it easier to relate to clients. You need more results and less headaches. It’s very likely your fractional CMO can relate.

The future of your small business may rely on efficient partnerships, a reason personal branding is so important. Your potential fractional chief marketing officer needs the same

Fractional CMO Vs

Congratulations! It’s gotten to the point where you need marketing help, but you’re unsure of how to proceed. You have a few options:

  • Hire a fractional CMO
  • Seek the services of a marketing agency
  • Find a full-time employee
  • Outsource needs to a marketing consultant

Let’s consider the advantages of a CMO versus other options:

Fractional CMO vs Marketing Agency

What’s the advantage of a fractional CMO versus a marketing agency? As mentioned, it’s easy to feel lost among the crowd when using a marketing agency. Also, agencies thrive off of set procedures that may not be optimal for your marketing needs. Furthermore, agencies usually provide clients with inconsistent weekly updates and confusing monthly reports.

A fractional CMO offers better availability along with opportunity for tailored marketing, much like that of an in-house employee. Layer-in the fact that you can throttle cost, and the answer is clear.

Fractional Chief Marketing Officer vs Full-Time Employee

Small businesses host higher risk than larger enterprises. If a large bank hires an employee and things go sour after six months, it doesn’t impact the business much. However, if a hired full-time employee does not perform as anticipated, it can greatly hinder the momentum of a small business.

Many small businesses hire fractional CMOs because the associated expertise and wisdom has value. A kind of value a full-time employee may not be able to match, especially if they are new to marketing or your business.

Often, fractional chief marketing officers worked in-house at some point in their careers. So, you’re getting a specialist with the knowhow and business experience without the onboarding hiccups and learning curves associated with younger professionals.

Marketing Consultant vs Fractional CMO

Theory versus implementation is a major distinction in deciding whether to hire a marketing consultant or fractional CMO. Consultants are great in providing a list of suggestions and proposed remedies.

However, you’ll need someone to implement the suggestions. This might mean WordPress development, using Google Analytics, or contacting journalists regarding an upcoming campaign.

Consultants can lead a small business back to its initial need - someone to actually do the marketing work. That’s where a fractional CMO steps in.


We provide you with the tools, resources, and dedicated professionals necessary to succeed. Peace of mind, effective marketing, and agile options are an action away. When your marketing needs get too much to handle, it’s time for Margo.