According to Gartner’s annual CMO spend survey, the average marketing budget fell from 11% of company revenue in 2020 to just 6.4% in 2021. For many businesses, this decrease in spending is due to the budget cuts made in response to the pandemic. While a business may get away with cutting costs in some areas, the top place cutting costs isn’t advised is within marketing leadership.

As companies look for ways to do more with less, many are turning to fractional CMO services. A fractional CMO is a Chief Marketing Officer who is hired on a part-time or project basis. This can be a cost-effective way for businesses to get the expertise they need without the overhead costs of a full-time employee.

But is the cost of a fractional Chief Marketing Officer worth the investment? 

Let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider.

1. Full-time vs. Part-Time Fractional CMO Services

First, take time to consider how many hours of work you will need from your CMO. For example, do you need a full-time executive to lead your marketing team, would a part-time consultant suffice, or do you just need someone on an as-needed basis? The answer to this question will largely depend on the size and complexity of your marketing operation.

Fortunately, there is flexibility that comes with fractional CMO services. You can hire a fractional CMO for as little as a few hours per week or month, or you can bring them on for a full-time period if your needs warrant it.

For instance, you may want to hire a fractional CMO team during a period of change or growth – such as launching a new product. Then, once the product is launched, their hours can be scaled back as-needed.

With fractional CMOs, you’re not locked into a long-term agreement, so you can easily make changes as your business evolves. 

This flexibility also gives you the ability to control costs without sacrificing the level of expertise you need – which brings us to…

2. Fractional CMOs Are More Cost-Effective than Traditional Options

Another factor worth considering is the cost of a full-time CMO compared to a fractional CMO team. When you hire a traditional CMO, you’re responsible for their salary, benefits, and other associated costs. 

According to PayScale, the average base salary for a full-time chief marketing officer is over $175,000 per year. This is a huge investment, especially for smaller businesses. Not to mention,  there is always the risk of hiring a bad employee that could end up costing you even more money.

Fractional CMOs, on the other hand, are often more cost-effective. This is because you’re only paying for the time they work, typically on an hourly basis or a flat monthly rate. There’s no need to worry about benefits or other associated costs.

Additionally, since fractional CMOs are typically experienced professionals, meaning you can avoid the risk of hiring a bad employee. In fact, with fractional CMO services, you can often get access to a team of experts for the price of one traditional CMO.

This is a major advantage, especially for small businesses that may not have the budget for a full-time CMO. Instead of sacrificing quality, you can get the expertise you need without breaking the bank.

3. Businesses Can’t Afford to NOT Have a Marketing Leader

Forgoing a CMO or having someone who is unqualified take this position can do more harm to your business than good. A CMO’s job is to ensure that marketing efforts align with business goals and focus on the target customer. 

Without this level of strategic planning, it’s easy for businesses to waste time and money on marketing campaigns that don’t produce results. 

Let’s take a look at a few specific ways fractional CMO services can benefit your business:

Increased Brand Awareness and Recognition

In today’s marketplace, differentiating your business from the crowd is more important than ever. Marketing teams need to understand how to leverage certain channels and present the brand in a way that resonates. CMOs play a crucial role in this process. When you hire a fractional CMO, you can afford to be picky in partnering with one who has the proper skillsets to achieve your goals. For example, you may be leveraging a specific social platform or in-person events. You can hire an fCMO specialized in these areas. Whether through online ads, PR campaigns, or anything else, they’ll deploy the best marketing techniques to get your name out there.

Improved Sales Figures 

Fractional CMOs are generally hired to increase sales and help grow your business. By analyzing your customer data, they’ll work closely with your team to develop marketing strategies designed to convert leads into customers.

In addition, a fractional CMO can coordinate with your sales team to ensure that they’re using the most effective methods in connecting with prospects. 

A Better Return on Investment  

A fractional CMO’s primary duty is to make sure your marketing efforts deliver a positive return on investment (ROI). They’ll track key metrics and analyze your data to ensure your marketing budget is used effectively.

If they see that certain campaigns aren’t performing, they’ll help usher in the necessary changes to improve your ROI. This level of accountability is essential for any growing business. 

In Conclusion 

As you can see, there are many advantages to hiring a fractional CMO. 

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, a fractional CMO team can provide the expertise and support you need to reach your goals – at a cost that fits your budget.

At River Avenue Digital, we specialize in helping businesses of all sizes reach their full potential. Our fractional CMO team will work closely with you to develop and implement a custom marketing strategy that achieves your business goals.

Interested in learning more about how a Fractional CMO can help your business accomplish? Contact us today.