Fractional CMO or marketing manager – why are they on the rise?

Fractional CMO or marketing manager – why are they on the rise?

New terminology for things that have been around a long time affects every industry and in this case, I want to discuss the increasingly popular term ‘fractional CMO’ (Chief Marketing Officer) or ‘fractional marketing manager’ and fractional resourcing in general. 

If you are familiar with Flex Marketing, you will know that one of our main services is ‘outsource marketing’. Essentially the form of outsourcing we provide our clients is ‘fractional’ and we act as their fractional marketing manager in most cases. We have been fractional marketers since 2013 when we started providing this service for a reputable accounting and business advisory firm. So, it’s nothing new around here…but with each year, the benefits have been increasingly recognised.

With the role of marketing being paramount to growth in a business, the demand for fractional marketing resourcing is on the rise – particularly in a challenging economic climate where internal teams need to be as lean as possible. Even in buoyant times, not every business has the resources to maintain a full-time, in-house Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or a dedicated marketing team. This is where the concept of fractional CMOs or marketing managers steps in, offering a flexible solution tailored to the needs of modern businesses.

What is a fractional CMO or marketing manager?

A fractional CMO or marketing manager is a seasoned professional who provides strategic guidance and expertise to businesses on a part-time or project basis. Instead of hiring a full-time CMO, which can be cost-prohibitive for many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), companies can leverage the services of a fractional marketing expert to access high-level strategic insight without the commitment of a full-time salary (which could be in excess of $150k NZD p.a.).

In reality, Flex Marketing usually assists clients with both the strategic AND implementation aspects of the their marketing. We represent our clients businesses in many respects and sometimes even use a client’s email address. We do all the typical marketing manager tasks; everything from liaising with suppliers on the client’s behalf and managing agency relationships, through to internal matters such as attending meetings with sales teams and staff communications. We can even help in the recruitment process for growing the marketing function and get really involved in the business…often acting in this capacity for many years. One of Flex Marketing’s clients has been using these outsource marketing services for over ten years.

Benefits of the fractional outsourcing model

Cost-effectiveness: Fractional CMOs offer a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to enhance their marketing efforts without the overhead expenses associated with a full-time hire. Companies can pay for the specific services they need, whether it's strategic planning, campaign execution, or performance analysis, without the burden of a long-term contract

Expertise on-demand: Fractional CMOs bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the table. These professionals have often worked across various sectors and understand the intricacies of marketing in different business environments. By tapping into their expertise, companies can gain valuable insights and perspectives tailored to their unique challenges and goals. Flex Marketing is even able to help with your graphic design requirements.

Flexibility and scalability: One of the key advantages of the fractional outsourcing model is its flexibility – it’s no coincidence we are called Flex Marketing! Businesses can scale their marketing efforts up or down as needed, depending on market conditions, budget constraints, or project requirements. Whether it's a short-term campaign or a long-term strategic initiative, companies can adapt quickly without being locked into rigid contracts

Continuity: There is a tendency for marketing employees to move on after a couple of years working for an organisation. The bonus of using an outsourced marketer or fractional CMO is that you enjoy better business continuity because a self-employed marketer often sticks around longer – which means you get to retain knowledge for longer and minimise disruption even if you have internal marketing personnel moving on.

What type of businesses are ideal candidates for fractional marketing services?

While fractional CMOs can benefit businesses of all sizes and industries, they are particularly well-suited for:

Small Businesses: Startups and SMEs often lack the resources to hire a full-time CMO but still require strategic marketing guidance to establish their brand presence and drive growth

Mid-sized companies: This is Flex Marketing’s “sweet spot” and main target audience…mid-sized companies looking to expand their marketing efforts or enter new markets. These types of businesses can particularly benefit from the expertise of fractional CMOs to develop and execute targeted strategies

Companies undergoing transition: Businesses undergoing restructuring, mergers, or leadership changes may require interim marketing support to maintain momentum and navigate transitions smoothly. Whilst Flex Marketing has not yet performed this role in New Zealand, owner Andie Johnson has previously helped transition a marketing team in the UK when they were restructuring and relocating. We are well positioned to help businesses experiencing such change navigate their way through it – so if this is your situation, get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Introducing Flex Marketing: your partner in growth

Flex Marketing specialises in providing tailored fractional marketing solutions to businesses of all sizes. Whether you need strategic guidance, campaign management, or marketing analytics, our experienced professionals are here to help you achieve your business objectives. With our flexible outsourcing model, you can access top-tier marketing expertise without breaking the bank.

Don't let limited resources hold your business back. Partner with Flex Marketing and unlock your growth potential today!

Contact us to learn more about our fractional marketing services and how we can support your business success.