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Scaling Your Startup with a Fractional Marketer: 9 FAQs Answered

by Loic Jeanjean on
As a startup founder, you know that marketing is crucial to driving growth and achieving success.
You've hired a marketing team that has taken your startup this far, but recently they have started to hit a glass ceiling.
You need someone to come in and challenge the status quo, but you've been struggling to find the right marketing leadership.
You're not alone. They are so many skilled marketers out there! No doubt it's a challenge to find the right person for your startup. And by right, we mean, a marketing leader who can deliver results, provide guidance, and fit your budget.
But what do you do when you can't afford to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer?
Enter the fractional CMO (or fCMO)... A marketing leader who can own your marketing and drives predictable, sustainable growth. Without breaking the bank!
We answer 10 of the most frequently asked questions startup founders have about working with a fractional marketer.
  1. What is a fractional CMO, and how does it differ from a full-time CMO? A fractional CMO is a part-time Chief Marketing Officer who works on a contract basis for a few clients. They provide the same strategic leadership and guidance as a full-time CMO but at a fraction of the cost.
  2. How can a fractional CMO help my business grow? Like a full-time CMO, fCMOs bring a fresh perspective to your marketing. They will identify new growth opportunities, challenge the current plan, and act as a catalyst to drive growth.
  3. Can a fractional CMO help me with my team's development? Yes, they can help you level up your existing marketing team through weekly coaching and mentoring. They can also implement new processes and operating models, and oversee hiring, onboarding, and training.
  4. Will a fractional CMO work with my existing marketing team? Absolutely. A fractional CMO will absolutely want to work closely with your existing marketing leader, and her team. They will give them the support they need to optimize output and create a culture of continuous improvement.
  5. How does working with a fractional CMO compare to outsourcing marketing services? Unlike most outsourcing marketing services, a fCMO is a dedicated marketing leader who is embedded in your team, and invested in your business success. They'll work closely with you to develop an actionable marketing strategy aligned with your business goals.
  6. What is the typical engagement length for a fractional CMO? Usually, fractional CMOs tend to work with a client for 6-12 months and require at least a 3+ month minimum contract commitment. This allows them enough time to learn the business, revamp the strategy, and drive significant impact. At LH2, we are so confident in our abilities, that we do not have any minimum commitments.
  7. How can I ensure that a fractional CMO aligns with my business values and goals? First and foremost, you want to find someone who has experience in your industry and shares your values and goals. For ex: if you run an accounting software company for small businesses, you will want to retain a fractional CMO with B2B SaaS experience, targeted at SMBs. When conducting your interviews and reference checks, make sure you test their values against your startup's core values.
  8. How can I measure the success of a fractional CMO engagement? First, make sure you establish clear goals and KPIs with your fractional CMO at the beginning of your engagement. Try to align them to your startups north star goal (revenue, logo, magic number etc). You can then track metrics such as marketing sourced/influenced revenue, qualified pipeline growth, or brand awareness.
  9. How can I find the right fractional CMO for my business? Word of mouth first! Start by asking for referrals from your network. Ask your investors, partners, or other startup founders. You can also work with a recruiting agency that specializes in fractional CMOs. You want to avoid stretch fCMOs, and focus on those who have already experienced your current growth stage, and the one following. For ex: if you are at $5mil ARR, and want to grow to $10mil ARR in 18mo, avoid hiring a fractional CMO whose experience is in the sub $5mil or above $25mil.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what to expect when working with a fractional CMO and how it can benefit your business. Working with a fractional CMO can really be a game-changer for your startup.