What is a Fractional CMO?


5 minute read

What is a fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and what are the costs and benefits of using this strategy for marketing leadership?

Hello, and welcome to the C-suite. This is where the company executives live; the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Fractional Chief Marketing Officer… 

Wait, what? The Fractional CMO doesn’t need an office!

Let’s back up. 

First of all, what is a Fractional CMO?

According to Forbes Magazine, a fractional CMO (or Chief Marketing Officer) is a marketing professional who works with businesses for a fixed amount of time in a given month – usually just a handful of hours. In other words, they dedicate a fraction of the time that a regular CMO would spend on the company. 

What are the benefits of using a Fractional CMO?

time and money

It really boils down to time and money.

You get the benefits of hiring a professional marketer without having a professional marketer on your payroll as a full-time employee. There are no benefits to pay, no bonuses to figure out, no long-term commitment, or upfront investment. 

The other advantage to using someone outside your office is that they have their eyes everywhere. Working with a handful of clients at a time, a Fractional CMO sees more and hears more about the competitive landscape than a traditional CMO would have access to.

What Does a CMO Cost?

If you’re considering whether or not a Fractional CMO benefits are right for your business, your first question is likely to be: What does it cost? 

There is no one easy answer to this question because different CMO professionals and companies offer different levels of engagement, expertise, and pricing structures. There is a Fractional CMO that will meet your marketing needs and stay within your budget. 

To better understand the comparison between Fractional and Traditional CMOs, you might consider the yearly salary of the traditional CMO to the hourly wage you’d likely pay a Fractional CMO. 

Avg Comp for Fractional CMO @ 50hr/mo.

Per Glassdoor the average base for a CMO is $190,000. ZipRecruiter puts the national average salary for a CMO at $154,000. In addition to the base salary, there are other benefits, incentives, and bonuses to consider when adding up the potential cost of adding a full-time CMO. Another full-time executive employee will more likely cost you around $275-400,000.00 per year.

The hourly rates for a Fractional CMO will vary, of course. Still, you can typically expect to pay a Fractional CMO between  $50 – $1500 per hour. For budget planning, factor in your Fractional CMO to spending at least 40 – 60 hours a month to drive change.

Not all Fractional CMOs are the Same

When shopping for a CMO, don’t forget the old adage; “you get what you pay for.” While there is a CMO for every budget, you will want to make sure you find a partner who is designing your marketing plan with you and your future in mind. 

At Dia Creative, our philosophy is simple:

Empower our clients to own their marketing and digital assets. 
  • Design with the future in mind

The platforms we customize and design for our clients are flexible and powerful enough to be the cornerstone of your business as you grow and evolve.

  • Empower our clients to own their marketing and digital assets

Every deliverable comes with training, including ensuring that you can manage your digital assets and execute your marketing strategy without us.

  • Have fun creating beautiful things. 

We love creating things together that share your passion for what you do in an engaging way. 

Getting Started

Once you decide working with a Fractional CMO is the best decision you could ever make, it’s time for your new partner to get to know you. At Dia, we like to dive in and learn as much as we can about you. Who you are, what you do, and why you’re unique. Then, we look at everyone else to analyze the current market, competition, trends, and figures. This allows us to gather as much competitive data as possible to build your plan.

Ready to go? Schedule a consultation today. 


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