If you’re a business owner or executive, you’ve probably heard the term ‘fractional CMO’ or ‘fractional marketing’ in recent years. But what exactly is a fractional CMO, and how can fractional marketing grow your business?

As experts in marketing recruitment, we’ll explore everything you need to know about fractional CMOs, from what they do to how much they cost and the results you can expect.

What is a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is a chief marketing officer who is hired part-time, working as a strategic marketing executive with more than one business at a time. They allow smaller to mid-sized companies access to experienced, high-level marketing strategy and leadership for either a short or longer-term period of growth or change.

The role of a fractional CMO is to help businesses develop and execute effective marketing plans that align with their overall goals and objectives.

What is fractional marketing?

Fractional marketing is a dynamic approach to marketing management that allows organisations to tap into specialised marketing expertise and resources on a part-time or fractional basis, rather than maintaining a full-time, fully in-house marketing team.

It involves outsourcing specific marketing functions to experienced professionals or agencies who work collaboratively with the company, providing their expertise when needed. This approach offers flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to access a wide range of marketing skills, from strategy development and digital marketing to content creation and analytics, without the commitment and overhead of hiring full-time staff.

Fractional marketing enables businesses to adapt to changing marketing needs and scale their efforts efficiently, making it particularly valuable for smaller companies or those with fluctuating marketing demands.

Fractional marketing: roles and responsibilities

  • Strategic planning: developing and implementing strategic marketing plans that align with the organisation’s goals and objectives.
  • Brand development: developing and managing the brand identity to ensure consistency and differentiation in the marketplace.
  • Marketing communications: executing marketing communications strategies that effectively reach and engage the target audience.
  • Sales support: supporting the sales team by providing marketing collateral, sales tools, and lead generation programs.
  • Market research: conducting market research to understand customer needs, industry trends, and competitive landscape.
  • Product development: working closely with product development teams to ensure that new products meet customer needs and align with the brand’s overall strategy.
  • Budget management: managing the marketing budget, allocating resources effectively, and ensuring that all programs deliver a positive return on investment.
  • Team management: managing the marketing team, setting clear objectives, providing feedback, and mentoring team members to help them achieve their goals.
  • Stakeholder engagement: engaging with key stakeholders, including customers, partners, and industry influencers, to build relationships and promote the overall brand.
  • Metrics and reporting: monitoring marketing performance metrics, reporting on progress against objectives, and making data-driven decisions to optimise marketing programs.

The objectives of a fractional CMO may vary depending on the needs of the business, but common goals may include increasing brand awareness, generating leads and sales, and improving customer engagement and loyalty. Hiring a fractional CMO provides companies with a higher level of experience and strategic leadership than they would otherwise have access to. This often brings the strategic focus and direction that releases the potential of the full-time team members.

The outcomes of a successful fractional marketing engagement are typically measurable in terms of improved marketing performance, such as increased website traffic, lead generation, and revenue growth.

What is the difference between a fractional CMO and a CMO employed on a fixed-term contract?

A fractional CMO differs from a CMO employed on a fixed-term contract in that they work part-time and on a temporary basis. A fractional CMO typically works with multiple clients simultaneously, while a fixed-term CMO is a full-time employee of a single company. Fractional CMOs are often brought on for a specific project or initiative, while fixed-term CMOs are employed for a set period of time, such as a year or two.

The advantage of a fractional CMO is that businesses can access high-level marketing expertise on an as-needed basis, without the long-term commitment and costs associated with hiring a full-time executive. This fractional marketing flexibility allows businesses to scale their marketing efforts up or down as needed, without the risk of over-hiring or under-utilising talent.

What is the difference between a fractional CMO and an Interim CMO?

Whereas a fractional CMO splits their time (and cost) across a few companies at any one time, an interim CMO usually works full-time for the same company. Both can be on a fixed-term, or project-based contract. If you need a full-time CMO to cover whilst yours is on leave, try our Interim CMO recruitment service.

Why hire a fractional CMO?

There are several scenarios in which a business might consider the fractional marketing route. These may include:

Limited marketing resources

A business that lacks the resources or expertise to develop and execute effective marketing strategies might consider hiring a fractional CMO to provide the necessary guidance and support.

Rapid growth

A business that is experiencing rapid growth may need a fractional CMO to help develop and implement scalable marketing strategies that can support continued expansion.

New product launch

A business launching a new product may require the expertise of a fractional CMO to help develop and execute a comprehensive product launch strategy.

Shift in market conditions

A business that is facing changes in market conditions may need a fractional CMO to help develop and implement new strategies that can help them adapt and stay competitive.

Restructuring or rebranding

A business that is restructuring or rebranding may need a fractional CMO to help develop and execute a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the brand’s new goals and objectives.

Short-term need

A business that needs marketing expertise for a specific project or time period may consider hiring a fractional CMO instead of a full-time marketing executive.

The benefits of fractional marketing

There are several benefits of fractional marketing to the business, including:

Access to high-level marketing expertise

Fractional CMOs are typically experienced marketing executives with a proven track record of success. By hiring a fractional CMO, your business gains access to this expertise without the expense of a full-time hire.

Flexibility and scalability

Fractional CMOs can work on a part-time basis, which allows businesses to scale their marketing efforts up or down as needed. This flexibility is especially important for smaller businesses with limited budgets or those going through periods of growth.

Cost savings

Hiring a full-time CMO can be expensive, and may not be feasible for smaller businesses. A fractional CMO provides high-level marketing expertise at a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.

Fresh perspective

Fractional CMOs bring an outside perspective to your business, which can help identify new opportunities and innovative solutions to marketing challenges.

Measurable results

Fractional CMOs are typically focused on achieving measurable results, such as increased website traffic, lead generation, and revenue growth. This focus on outcomes helps ensure that your marketing efforts are effective and aligned with your business goals.

How much does a fractional CMO cost?

The salary of a fractional CMO can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size and industry of the company, the scope of the engagement, the fractional CMO’s level of experience and expertise, and the location of the company.

Typically, they charge on a project or retainer basis rather than a fixed salary. The fees can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds per month, depending on the above factors.

It’s worth noting that the fee is typically less than what a full-time CMO would cost as they are not working on a full-time basis, and they do not receive employee benefits such as health insurance or paid time off.

What results can I expect from a fractional CMO?

The results you can expect from your fractional marketing efforts will vary depending on your business goals and the scope of work. However, common outcomes of successful engagements may include:

  • Increased website traffic: by executing effective SEO and content marketing strategies that drive more traffic to your website.
  • Lead generation: by developing targeted messaging and lead generation campaigns, a fractional CMO can help generate more leads for your business.
  • Revenue growth: Ultimately, the goal of any marketing initiative is to drive revenue growth. A fractional CMO can help identify and execute strategies that achieve this goal.
  • Improved customer engagement and loyalty: By developing effective messaging and marketing materials, a fractional CMO can help improve customer engagement and loyalty, leading to increased retention and repeat business.
  • Improved marketing strategies: A fractional CMO can provide valuable expertise, experience and insights to help businesses develop more effective marketing strategies that align with the businesses goals, objectives and ROI expectations.
  • Increased brand awareness: using always on brand building marketing activities as well as short term lead generation to build brand awareness and recognition among the target audience.
  • Improved lead generation: by executing lead generation programs that can help them attract more marketing and sales qualified leads and increase conversion rates.
  • Better market positioning: A fractional CMO can help businesses identify and target the right audience, differentiate themselves from competitors, and position themselves as a leader in their industry.

Fractional CMO job description

A typical job description may include the following:

Company Overview: We are a technology company that specialises in developing innovative products for our customers. Our products are used by businesses and individuals around the world, and we are dedicated to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and innovation.

Job Overview: We are seeking a Fractional CMO to help us develop and implement effective marketing strategies that will help us grow our business and expand our reach. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with our business goals and objectives, and helps us build our brand and drive revenue growth.

Key responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the company’s goals and objectives.
  • Lead the development of the company’s brand strategy and ensure that it is consistently applied across all marketing communications channels.
  • Develop and implement lead generation programs that can help the company attract and convert new customers.
  • Manage the company’s marketing budget and ensure that all marketing programs are delivered within budget and on time.
  • Work closely with the product development team to ensure that new products are developed with a deep understanding of customer needs and market trends.
  • Conduct market research to stay up-to-date on industry trends, customer needs, and competitive landscape.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including customers, partners, and industry influencers.
  • Provide leadership and direction to the marketing team, and mentor team members to help them achieve their goals.
  • Develop and report on key performance metrics to ensure that marketing efforts are delivering a positive return on investment.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest marketing technologies and trends, and identify opportunities to leverage them to improve marketing effectiveness.


  • 10+ years of experience in marketing leadership roles within the technology industry.
  • Strong understanding of the technology industry and the unique challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • Proven track record of developing and executing effective marketing strategies that have driven business growth and revenue.
  • Experience in developing and managing budgets, and delivering programs within budget and on time.
  • Strong leadership and management skills, with a proven ability to motivate and mentor team members.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated ability to build relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with an ability to make data-driven decisions.
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or related field required. Master’s degree preferred.

This is a part-time, contract position. Candidates should be able to commit to at least 20 hours per week, with some flexibility around scheduling. The position is remote, but candidates should be able to work within UK business hours.

Fractional marketing skills

A highly skilled fractional CMO should possess the strategic acumen to develop comprehensive marketing plans aligned with the organisation’s goals, while also demonstrating leadership and management prowess to guide the marketing team and oversee projects successfully. Furthermore, expertise in data analysis is crucial for making data-driven decisions, measuring campaign effectiveness, and optimising marketing strategies for maximum impact. Budget management skills are paramount, ensuring resources are allocated efficiently and spending is optimised to achieve a strong return on investment. Finally, a fractional CMO should possess a creative and innovative mindset, capable of devising unique marketing campaigns that set the business apart in a competitive landscape. These skills collectively empower a fractional CMO to drive marketing efforts effectively and contribute significantly to achieving business objectives.

Fractional CMO agency

Collaborating with Intelligent People, an experienced fractional CMO agency, streamlines the process of hiring a CMO to serve as a senior marketing leader in alignment with your executive team. Intelligent People ensures your chosen fractional CMO has a proven track record in marketing leadership, tangible results, and fits seamlessly into your corporate culture. This partnership secures a seasoned marketing industry executive, who acts as a crucial part-time member of your leadership team, guiding you through rapid growth and bolstering market traction efforts.

Fractional marketing: conclusion

In conclusion, a fractional CMO can provide businesses with high-level marketing expertise and leadership on a part-time, temporary basis. By hiring for this role businesses can access the expertise they need to develop and execute effective marketing strategies, without the expense and long-term commitment of a full-time hire. Whether your business is launching a new product, going through a growth phase, or simply lacks in-house marketing expertise, this hire can provide the guidance and leadership you need to achieve your marketing goals and improve your bottom line.

Fractional Cmo