Most B2B technology companies have no shortage of demand but lack a robust sales and marketing presence to seize the opportunity for growth. Engineering-driven companies have a healthy skepticism about marketing and often lack the core competency internally.
There has always been a gap between marketing, sales, and engineering, and now with increased acquisition activity, the disconnect is widening. At the same time, customers demand a seamless, digital omnichannel experience—order status, product configurators, reorders, chat-based customer service…the complexity increases daily. Fully 2/3 of your customers’ company interactions are online.
For small to mid-sized companies and the US divisions of global companies, fully staffing a strategic marketing department is a big jump. There’s a lot of talk recently about Fractional CMOs—are they a fit for your organization?
What is a Fractional CMO?
Increasingly popular is the use of a fractional CMO - an outsourced marketing strategy expert - who can help smooth transitions while increasing market share, boosting profitability, and expanding into new markets by clearly defining where the company fits and why. Fractional CMOs fill a gap for companies that are at a critical growth phase and need marketing strategy but aren't able to commit to a full-time, six-figure hire.
What Does a Fractional CMO Do?
As an outsourced strategic executive with an outsider's perspective, a fractional CMO brings immediate value to an organization at a lower risk. Typically, these marketing experts provide the following:
- Market research and analytics
- Market positioning
- Competitive landscape
- Voice of the customer
- Brand development
- Persona development
- Key messaging
- Digital marketing, automation
- Product launch
- Marketing budgets
- Internal communications, external communications, campaign development
- Buyer's journey mapping, customer engagement, lead generation, and conversion
- Reporting and optimization on key marketing KPIs
The right fractional CMO brings experience, leadership, and perspective companies need by quickly understanding priorities and spearheading activities that move the dial.
Marketing strategy is not a one-time event.
How is Fractional CMO different than Outsourced Marketing?
A fractional CMO offers strategic guidance to a marketing team, who can execute the plan. Outsourced marketing can be tactical marketing support or your marketing partner for both strategy and execution of your marketing plan.
Launch Team outsourced marketing retainers run the gamut, depending on your strengths and staffing internally.
|VP of Marketing, Americas, who has access to the global marketing team and toolkit but needs a strategy for product launch and messaging that resonates with a US audience.||Fractional CMO and as-needed execution in specialties like content and account-based marketing (ABM).|
|Mid-sized advanced manufacturing company looking to move up the value chain. The team is a Marketing Coordinator and long-time freelancers/vendors.||Outsourced marketing retainer to support the existing team in certain areas and offer strategic ideas to evolve the brand and increase the ROI of marketing activities.|
|Market-leading photonics company with a dedicated US marketing team.||As digital activities ramped up, this company added a marketing retainer to level up the entire mixed team, allowing more time for creativity and adding new specialties.|
Who is a Fractional CMO the right fit for?
A fractional CMO may make sense for companies at a point of change: pursuing growth organically or through acquisition, entering new markets, launching new products, or changing their offering. A fractional CMO can take a seat at the strategic table with operations, sales, and engineering, bringing the voice of the customer to key decisions, and can help your marketing team turn it into action.
A fractional CMO cannot fill all marketing roles. Whether outsourced or internal, several marketing specialties are needed for an omnichannel marketing strategy—no one person can be the designer, social media expert, content writer, digital marketing, or web developer, to name a few.
How to Use Fractional CMO to Manage Change, Boost Profits
Michele Nichols, President and CEO of Launch Team, will present at the upcoming FABTECH 2023 conference on September 11-14 in Chicago, IL.