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How To Hire a Fractional CMO

How To Hire a Fractional CMO written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I go solo and dive into the trend in the marketing consultancy agency world that is: Fractional Chief Marketing Officers or CMOs. This episode is a must-listen for business owners, marketing professionals, and consultants seeking a game-changing approach to business growth. […]

How To Hire a Fractional CMO written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I go solo and dive into the trend in the marketing consultancy agency world that is: Fractional Chief Marketing Officers or CMOs.

This episode is a must-listen for business owners, marketing professionals, and consultants seeking a game-changing approach to business growth.

Key Takeaways:

I explore the game-changing concept of Fractional Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), highlighting its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional hires. Emphasizing the importance of leading with strategy, I challenge the conventional project-based approach to marketing, advocating for a transformative focus on strategic direction. By intentionally evolving the customer journey, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth in 2024 and beyond. Tune in to discover how embracing Fractional CMOs and prioritizing strategy-first methodologies can revolutionize your marketing approach and drive long-term success.

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Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and I’m doing a solo show. Just me, nobody else in the camera, right? All right, so I’ve been doing a number of shows. We do a lot of education. We license our fractional CMO system to agencies and consultants and strategists all over the world. So I thought it might be interesting. A lot of small business owner listeners here might be interesting to do one that I might call how to hire a fractional CMO. Now, you can go to duct tape and you’ll find how we talk about our fractional CMO approach. You don’t really have to call it a fractional CMO, but it really is going to lead with strategy, and that’s really why I call it the fractional CMO approach, because that’s the implication that you’re thinking at the C-suite level about your marketing, that it’s going to be somewhat strategic.

(01:03): Now, what is a fractional CMO? I should start there, right? Fractional chief marketing. Now, you might not have chief anything in your organization, but you do have a marketing function, and wouldn’t it be lovely to have somebody that was their core laser focus? It is a growing trend fractional everything frankly is a growing trend out there in the business world. So why not marketing? Why not bring somebody in who is going to be at the highest level thinking strategically about your marketing today? Boy, there’s so many tactics. There’s so many things to know, so much that’s changing every single day. Having somebody that is focused on that at a very high level, I think has become really essential for any kind of business. Now, why would you consider hiring a fractional CMO? Well, probably the top line benefit is somebody that’s going to bring high level strategic marketing leadership, not just ideas without the full-time cost of an executive.

(02:12): I mean, I know you’re not thinking about probably hiring A CMO, but if you were, you’re going to be looking at north of 200,000, north of 300,000 in some cases. For somebody that’s got that kind of full-time experience, plus they’re not going to write the email copy. They’re going to hire people or they’re going to hire people to do that. So it’s a very expensive proposition, but you can actually get, I believe, an adequate amount of strategic thinking for your business without really spending anywhere near that. Well, literally a fourth maybe of that or a fifth of that. The right person, the right fractional CMO, the right consultant, whatever you want to call it, is going to bring an outside perspective with probably hopefully fresh ideas for your marketing. Now, we’re going to get to how to spot the right one, but hopefully that’s what somebody’s going to bring you.

(03:04): A lot of times people will think, well, I’m an accounting firm or I’m a remodeling contractor. I want somebody that’s got years of experience in my industry. Certainly some knowledge of your industry having worked with past clients can be a very good thing, but too deep or a specific niche only tends to actually bring kind of cookie cutter brings, like, this is what I do for this company in Des Moines. This is what I do for the one in Tokyo. This is what I do. Same exact thing, same exact approach, and some of certainly may work and been informed by years of doing that approach, but also it could be stale. There could be no innovation in it. Having somebody that’s worked in a variety of industries, I think actually brings you a better potential outside perspective and fresh ideas. A lot of times marketing tactics are just kind of a like, how do we make the phone ring?

(03:57): How do we get the email? How do we do this tactic? The right fractional CMO is going to help you. Marketing strategy and business strategy are not always the same thing. In many cases, they certainly support each other. There might be some overlap, but your business strategy might differ greatly from your marketing strategy, but the right person’s going to help you align your overall business goals really with your marketing objectives and hopefully keep you on track and hold you accountable for staying on track. I mean, the right one is not going to just let you say, I know we said last quarter our three priorities were X, but now we’re going to go this direction. Hopefully you actually look to that person to push back a little bit on holding you to what you’ve really the stated objectives are. There is a bit of flexibility in this approach.

(04:46): I mean, you can scale it up. Maybe you have a seasonal business, maybe you have a business that really in the winter really almost practically shuts down. Well, this is an approach that you can scale up and scale down. I don’t necessarily recommend shutting marketing off ever, but you might actually have the need to think strategically or even oversight of what you’re doing might actually come down dramatically. The right person is going to actually drive marketing results and ROI with proven methodologies and best practices, they’re going to be experienced. Hopefully they’ve actually developed some methodologies, some frameworks that they can bring and immediately bring to your business. I already mentioned this idea of holding you accountable. I think that’s a big deal for a lot of businesses. It is really easy, especially if you’re working or making a lot of the decisions on your own.

(05:40): It’s really easy to just wander off course because seems easier to go this way. You get the idea of the week. The one last piece I want to tell you that I think is extremely important because as a business owner, as A CEO, sometimes we get very bottom line oriented. We get very, this is easier for us to do it this way. This is more efficient to do it this way, and we lose sight of what’s best for the customer. Sometimes the right, I mean in a traditional organization, A CMO is going to actually be the advocate for marketing, going to be the advocate for the customer. So what if you brought a little bit of that, even a fractional little bit of that, somebody who’s saying, well, why are we doing it this way? That may be easier for those two people to communicate that way, but it’s not good for the customer.

(06:26): So customer experience is it’s actually how you charge a premium. It’s actually how you keep your customers. It’s how you build momentum. So what if you had somebody that was very focused on the customer, very focused on the customer experience? Alright, let’s get down to, let’s say you’re thinking about doing this. What would you look for in the right? I use the word right, fractional CMO. Well, first and foremost, it should be somebody that’s got some expertise in track record, and by track record I mean of results. Have they helped other people get the results or move in the direction that you want to move? It’s very easy to hang a shingle out and say, I’m a fractional CMO. I mean, maybe the highest level I’ve ever been in an organization was a marketing manager, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to have Fortune 500 CMO experience.

(07:13): You’re not a Fortune 500 company. I’m guessing maybe one or two of you are, but I’m guessing that you’re not, and so you don’t necessarily need that level. You actually need somebody who’s worked in a company like yours or worked with organizations that are the size of yours or that comes of yours that are experiencing the growing pains that you’re experiencing, that kind of track record, that kind of deep expertise is what you should be looking for. It doesn’t hurt if they’ve worked with multiple companies. They’ve been in business for a while. But again, some of that just has to do with the track record that they can prove. Do they have case studies, references, really, that are not just saying they’re nice people that really help demonstrate the ability to drive growth? I mean, is there social proof? Do they have their thought leadership published in places that would demonstrate that they do maybe know what they’re talking about?

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(09:14): Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign today. Next thing I’d really be looking for is a structured, we call it strategy first, by name, by brand name, but it’s still, it’s an approach, right? Do they have an approach that says, well, before we get into doing X, Y, and Z, we are going to study what our strategic direction is going to be. We’re going to study how we’re going to differentiate. We’re going to study how to narrow our target market focus. I mean, if they’re not coming with that strategy first approach, and they’re really just coming with saying, what do you need? What random acts of marketing do you need and not have a proven process, that’s a red flag. Now, a proven process doesn’t mean cookie cutter.

(10:04): It just means that a process that ticks certain boxes allows you to discover things very quickly and move in maybe new directions very quickly. That proven process that we have, a very repeatable process that we install, and what it’s done is it’s allowed us to get very good at delivering results very quickly, because we’ve done it so many times. Now, this is going to include auditing your current marketing building, hopefully a full strategic plan that you can look out in the future and say, okay, I have an idea now of not just what we’re going to do next quarter, but the next quarter, the next quarter, maybe the entire year. Now, most businesses, at least the size that I work with, small, mid-size businesses, they can’t really afford to hire somebody that’s going to lay a plan on their desk and say, good luck. So the right or maybe the ideal fractional CMO that you might hire, marketing strategist that you might hire, would also come with execution, the ability to then actually execute the plan for as long as you need them to be there.

(11:12): Now, while I stress this idea of a proven process, there obviously needs to be some flexibility. They need to have a wide sort of depth of channels that they might play in or have an expertise or be able to bring partners to the table, expert partners to the table, because every business has, maybe this sounds cynical, 20% that’s unique, 20% that really is a variant because they’re B2B or B2C, or because they’re a local business or a national business, or they’re primarily their customers. Find them online. I mean, those are the variations that need to be taken into play. I mean, there’s no question that somebody who has deep expertise for in e-commerce is probably not the same person that has deep expertise in marketing, say professional services at the local level. So you do want somebody that has certainly the ability to tailor and create a flexible engagement model for you that might involve flexible packages, but also flexible pricing.

(12:15): Not every business has the same needs. Not every business wants to run at the same speed. So certainly the ability to charge appropriately based on revenue, based on growth is something that you want to look for. Make sure that you have the strategy first approach should help you define a very clear scope of work. What’s going to be a deliverable, and most importantly, how we’re going to measure what we’re doing. A lot of, sadly, a lot of marketing folks just throw magic fairy dust out there and print off a couple reports that don’t really indicate that we’re first off even tracking the right things. Somebody who’s going to come in and immediately help you identify the key performance indicators, identify how you’re actually going to extract that data for a lot of businesses, figuring out what their cost to acquire customers, no easy task. So somebody that is very focused on helping you not only develop the process for that, but then track and hold themselves accountable.

(13:17): If you have team, very few people have a full marketing team or anything that you would call a department ahead of marketing even, but a lot of companies have maybe one or two people that are doing marketing functions. Maybe it’s social media or maybe it’s producing a newsletter, or you’ve hired freelancers to write content or to do SEO work or something. So the right fractional CMO can help you do one of two things. Build and manage and integrate with that existing team, help you build additional resources or be able to demonstrate that they can bring their own team. A lot of times, one of the challenges with hiring marketing folks inside of your organization is if marketing’s not your full-time job, which most CEOs or owners it is not, then even managing those assets, those resources, I should say inside your organization can be a real challenge or it can just be a distraction.

(14:16): So if somebody who can actually help you manage your existing team and also manage and help orchestrate all of the implementation is a great asset as well. If any of you who are listening to this have hired the SEO person content person, web person, it’s as much work to manage those multiple resources, certainly as it is to get a lot of the work done. So having somebody who can help you orchestrate that, I probably don’t need to say this, but certainly cultural fit chemistry, you’re going to work very closely. In fact, some people come to view this role as almost a member of the team. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to have a seat at the table in every leadership discussion, but a lot of times they will be involved in some of the deeper discussions about where you’re going, about your overall business strategy.

(15:07): They’re going to get into the books. I mean, they should help you understand revenue and profit and expense and your cost to acquire customers. So they’re going to get deep into your business. So chemistry and cultural fit, I mean, one of the best ways probably to measure how the relationship’s going to go is communication style. Understanding their communication style and how it meshes with you, how it aligns with really your values or the values of the organization indeed aren’t important to try to see if you can get, so having that good rapport is, it’s not everything, but it’s certainly a piece that is going to make working together easier. Lastly, I would say somebody who is not talking about quick wins are important. Quick wins are nice, but long-term results oriented mindset is really what you’re after. Somebody who understands where you are today, but also understands where you want to go, where you want to be, and can help guide you that as your marketing matures, so are they going to not only focus on long-term success, but then start thinking in terms of building infrastructure around marketing processes, SOPs, things that will actually scale as you start to scale the business and viewing it almost as a partnership.

(16:27): I know that’s kind of cliche, but to talk about, a lot of people are like, we’re partners with you, but that’s how you want to view their relationship and you hope that they do as well. Alright? There’s no question that marketing leadership, it can actually become one of your greatest competitive advantages if you can figure out how to do this role, right? The model itself allows you to get real business systems for a fraction of the cost. It’s also, I hate to be on a negative, but it’s also if the relationship doesn’t work out, the fractional model is an easy one to fire as opposed to hiring somebody. So again, if any of this made sense to you, if you’re thinking about this, it doesn’t matter what you call it. You don’t have to call it a fractional CMO if you don’t want to call it that, but if you believe that your business would benefit from a strategy first approach, there’s tons of information on our website about it, you can actually find, we license this methodology of ours to other consultants around the world, other agencies around the world.

(17:31): So you could find somebody there, or we’d love to talk to you about how the fractional CMO plus implementation model might work for your business. It’s just duct tape That’s D-U-C-T-A-P-E Love to hear your feedback always on this. It’s just, and if you’re a regular podcast listener, heck, if this is the first time you’ve listened to the podcast, we love reviews on whatever platform you listen to, the Spotifys, the apples out there of the world gives us a review. Alright? That’s all. Hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

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