4 Key Benefits of a Fractional CMO for Startups

Launching a startup is an incredibly difficult and risky feat—but every year, the United States leads the world in the number of new businesses launched per year, averaging over 70,000!

Unfortunately, many of these new companies won’t last for long.

Startups face complex challenges, but the reason most companies fail isn’t due to a lack of funding, resources, or talent. It all comes down to not having a solid business plan with leaders to set it in motion.

Leadership is especially crucial in any new business’s marketing department. If no one knows about your business, you won’t have customers! However, startups also have a tricky time hiring a chief marketing officer right off the bat. This is a high-level position that requires years of experience and expertise—and that often comes with a high price tag.

Hiring a fractional CMO for your startup can be a solution.  By connecting with a fractional CMO from River Avenue Digital, you’re ensured a vetted and qualified marketing professional that is ready to step into this high-level position. It is similar to outsourcing, meaning this person won’t work in-house, but they will communicate and work with your team as needed.

Here are just a few key benefits that new businesses and startups can expect if they hire a fractional CMO:

1. A Fractional CMO Can Set the Foundation

One of the greatest things about working for a startup is that you are launching from the ground level. There are no past perceptions or branding you have to work around; you have control of the narrative and strategy. But this is also incredibly challenging, as there are countless options and little room for error.

Bringing on a fractional CMO can help your entire team determine the key aspects of your brand that will carry on into the future.  Our fractional CMOs step in as leaders to help support your team by providing services like:

  • Establishing a brand vision and a positive internal company culture
  • Directing marketing strategies
  • Nurturing multiple marketing channels
  • Implementing an effective business practice model
  • Offering insight and guidance for marketing plans

It is important to understand that a fractional CMO is not a replacement for an entire marketing team,  nor are they a traditional employee. A fractional CMO’s role is to help your team get organized and execute ideas successfully. This can help set a foundation for your startup to expand upon as it grows.

2. Fractional CMO Costs Are Lower Than Agencies or In-House Teams

A startup’s access to funding varies widely depending on the industry and the number of investors. But most startups are only able to allocate about 11% of their total budget to their marketing strategies.

This leaves little money to be allocated specifically towards the head of the marketing department. Thankfully, the cost of a fractional CMO for startups is often far less than hiring an agency or in-house leadership.

The latest statistics show that the average annual salary for a CMO is over $200,000, plus the added costs of recruiting, benefits, and training. And that’s just for one person; you’ll need several more in-house marketing executives on the team. Most startups can’t afford that investment right off the bat.

A fractional CMO, on the other hand, has a far lower cost since they don’t necessarily need to be full-time employees. Most fractional CMO agencies are contracted, often for a month at a time, for a “fraction” of the time and cost of a traditional CMO. This gives you more control over the amount spent so you can stay within your budget.

3. A Fractional CMO Gives You More Control

Fractional CMOs are working with you as a dedicated resource. While they are not an in-house employee, they are available to help your startup whenever needed. But most importantly, you still have the final say and the power to set expectations for your company culture or brand, your expectations, and so on.

You also have control over timelines for how long their services are needed. A fractional CMO is not intended to be a permanent employee. They serve as a fill-in, making them ideal for startups until you are at a place to bring on a full-time CMO. You can also hire a fractional CMO for contracted time, such as for several months to a full year.

4. You Can’t Afford to Wait for Results

Another reason a fractional CMO is a smart move is that it guarantees you’ll have a qualified leader as part of your team.

Not every experienced employee wants to work with a startup in the beginning. There are many risks involved in working for a new business, so finding a solid team can be challenging at first. Startups are also looking to turn a profit as soon as possible. They have investors to impress and they need to prove their company will succeed. You can’t afford to waste time figuring out marketing.

A fractional CMO can step in and get to work right away—there’s no need for training. Plus, they’re motivated to bring you results quickly and help your business grow. 

Is a Fractional CMO the Right Move for your Startup?

Hiring a fractional CMO can kickstart your startup’s growth and ensure the entire marketing team is on the right path. No business is too small to benefit from bringing a fractional CMO on board. If you’ve got more questions about how to hire a fractional CMO, please reach out to River Avenue Digital. We are happy to provide you with more information about our fractional CMO services and how we can help your startup succeed.

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Sal
Graci

Digital Marketing Manager

Walkout Song: Piano Man – Billy Joel

Bio: Sal Graci is an experienced and enthusiastic marketing professional with a broad range of skills. He has more than 10 years of experience designing, developing, and implementing a variety of marketing campaigns and projects. Sal has a proven track record of helping companies grow and achieve their goals through his own agency and private companies.

Education: Sal graduated from St. Joseph’s University in 2004 with an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology. He specializes in search engine optimization, PPC, and the overall design and development of marketing strategies. He also has extensive experience with a variety of marketing automation tools like Hubspot, Active Campaign, and SendInBlue.

Community: Believing in staying active within the community, Sal performs musically for a variety of charity events including fundraisers for CHOP. He also donates and works with various food banks throughout the Philadelphia area.

In his free time… Sal enjoys playing with his band Good Night Graci and recording/writing music. He also has a love for sports and is a regular host on a bi-monthly podcast called Enough Said.