Fractional CMO | Growth Hacking with a Chief Marketing Officer

A Fractional CMO is a great way to grow a business without incurring huge costs.

A Chief Marketing Officer without the need to fork out full time costs can be exactly what some businesses need to go to the next level.

Unstoppable growth is no coincidence, you need somebody with experience, project management skills and high-level knowledge.

I began my journey in SEO some time ago and have since grown into new positions, including a growth hacker, marketing consultant and more recently a fractional CMO.

Read on for details on what a Fractional CMO is, what they do and whether your business needs one.

What is a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO is a part-time Chief Marketing Officer.

They provide strategic leadership and marketing expertise without the need for a full-time commitment. This role is ideal for businesses that need high-level marketing direction but cannot afford or do not require a full-time executive.

A qualified Fractional CMO guides the marketing strategy, manages the marketing team, and ensures alignment with business goals. They help businesses grow by implementing effective marketing campaigns and optimising existing strategies.

Fractional CMOs bring a wealth of experience from various industries, offering fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. They typically work on a contractual basis, providing flexibility and cost savings for companies.

The Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

Hiring a Fractional CMO offers numerous benefits. These include cost-effectiveness, expertise, flexibility, and quick impact. Businesses can access senior marketing leadership without the full-time salary commitment.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Pay only for the time and expertise needed, saving on full-time salaries and benefits.
  • Experience: Gain insights from a seasoned marketer with diverse industry knowledge.
  • Expertise: Gain an addition to your team that has a skillset to benefit you. This could be in SEO, digital marketing or otherwise.
  • Flexibility: Scale marketing efforts up or down based on business needs without long-term commitments.
  • Fast Results: Identify areas for improvement and implement effective strategies swiftly.

These benefits make a Fractional CMO an attractive option for companies looking to drive growth efficiently.

My Role as a Growth Hacker & Fractional CMO

Starting out as an SEO specialist, I’ve gained years of experience in digital marketing, growth hacking and as consultant.

I now pride myself in the roles of investopreneur and fractional CMO.

In recent years I have been asked to join big companies and brands, to help them as a Chief Marketing Officer.

This has been an enjoyable role where I get to add a new perspective and encourage fast growth, taking businesses to another level using my past experience and the expertise I have learned in this time.

Key Responsibilities of a Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO’s responsibilities include developing and managing marketing strategies, leading the marketing team, and ensuring campaign success. They focus on aligning marketing initiatives with business objectives.

Here are some of the roles that a Fractional CMO does:

  • Strategy Development: Crafting short-term and long-term marketing plans.
  • Team Leadership: Inspiring and managing the marketing team.
  • Campaign Management: Overseeing the execution of marketing campaigns.
  • Budget Management: Allocating resources efficiently to maximise ROI.

By fulfilling these responsibilities, a Fractional CMO ensures that marketing efforts are strategic and results-driven.

Why You Need a Fractional CMO

There are many reasons to hire a Fractional CMO, including:

  • Strategy & Leadership: A CMO offers direction, being able to come in and offer a fresh perspective to drive growth and new strategies.
  • Developing Your Brand: Brand positioning, messaging and identity are all things a CMO will look at improving and making clear.
  • Analysing Customer Behaviour: You must analyse your customer data to understand them better. Use analytics to get insights and improve marketing campaigns.
  • Getting Ahead: Get ahead of competitors by analysing the data and the industry as a whole. Your CMO will likely have prior knowledge and experience.
  • Gelling the Team: Get the team working well together, you don’t want fragmented positions. Your team should be working as one and each department benefits another.
  • Revenue Growth & Budgeting: Budgeting and revenue growth comes from more sales and better budgeting overall. A CMO will give you a return on investment.
  • Online Reputation: Reputation management is important, it is a part of increasing your brand’s visibility. Actively shape and cultivate what people think of your brand with exact strategies.

What Business Needs a Fractional CMO?

All businesses can benefit from a Fractional CMO but more specifically companies looking to go in a new direction, emphasis a new branding strategy, startups or a business aiming to go to another level.


A company looking to enter a new market or expand services could benefit from a fresh, high-level perspective.

Especially from a Fractional CMO with prior knowledge to the industry. Use an expert Chief Marketing Officer to help strategise your next move without the need to commit to a full-time position.

Start Ups

Starting a business is arguably the hardest part of any company. Most won’t last the year and that’s why it should be done with strategy.

A Fractional CMO is invaluable for a startup business. Providing exact strategies that can be measured.

This will help your brand become visible and gain leads.

Looking for Growth

For businesses looking to take their service to another level, it’s important to bring an expert in

A fresh perspective is important in these situations. If you want to reach a new level, then a CMO is ideal – offering you new skills and approaches that could benefit you.

Skills Needed to be a Successful Fractional CMO

Successful Fractional CMOs possess a blend of strategic, analytical, and leadership skills. They must adapt quickly to different business environments and drive marketing success.

  • Strategic Planning: Ability to create comprehensive marketing strategies.
  • Analytical Skills: Proficiency in analysing data to inform decisions.
  • Leadership: Strong leadership and communication skills.
  • Digital Marketing: Expertise in SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing.
  • Demand Generation: Knowledge of customer journey mapping and lead generation techniques.

These skills enable Fractional CMOs to deliver impactful marketing results.

How to Become a Fractional CMO

Becoming a Fractional CMO involves gaining extensive marketing experience, developing leadership skills, and building a strong personal brand. Networking and continuous learning are also crucial.

Here are six strategies to become a fractional CMO:

  1. Gain Experience: Accumulate marketing experience across various industries.
  2. Develop Leadership Skills: Lead teams and manage budgets effectively.
  3. Specialise and Certify: Obtain certifications in digital marketing or strategic management.
  4. Build a Network: Establish connections with industry professionals.
  5. Market Yourself: Showcase your expertise on platforms like LinkedIn.
  6. By following these steps, you can successfully transition into a Fractional CMO role.

Cost of Hiring a Fractional CMO

The cost of hiring a Fractional CMO varies. Hourly rates typically range from £300 to £400, while monthly retainers can be between £2,000 and £10,000. These costs are generally lower than those of a full-time CMO.

Costs depend on the size of the company, scope of responsibilities, and industry. Despite the cost, a Fractional CMO offers significant value by providing strategic expertise and driving marketing success.

When Should Your Business Hire a Fractional CMO?

Businesses should consider hiring a Fractional CMO during periods of growth, product launches, or when specialised marketing expertise is needed. They are also beneficial during budget constraints or organisational transitions.

Hiring a Fractional CMO can provide the strategic oversight needed to navigate challenges and leverage opportunities effectively, ensuring sustained business growth.

Comparing Fractional CMOs to Full-Time CMOs

Fractional CMOs offer flexibility, cost savings, and fresh perspectives. Full-time CMOs provide dedicated leadership but come with higher costs and long-term commitments.

Fractional CMOs are ideal for businesses needing part-time expertise, while full-time CMOs suit companies requiring consistent, day-to-day marketing leadership.

Who is the best Fractional CMO?

James Dooley is recognised as the best Fractional CMO by the Digital Search Awards.

He brings extensive experience and a proven track record in driving business growth through innovative marketing strategies. James is grateful for this recognition and continues to provide exceptional service to his clients, helping them achieve their marketing goals and grow their businesses.

I didn’t think this was fair for me to answer, so we asked someone else and they answered the above.

FAQs about Fractional CMOs

What does a Fractional CMO do?

A Fractional CMO provides part-time strategic marketing leadership. They develop and manage marketing strategies, lead the marketing team, and ensure alignment with business goals.

How is a Fractional CMO different from a full-time CMO?

A Fractional CMO works part-time, providing flexibility and cost savings. Full-time CMOs offer dedicated, daily leadership but come with higher costs.

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James Dooley

James Dooley is a forward-thinking AI entrepreneur, known for pioneering innovative solutions in the field of artificial intelligence. James has led numerous successful projects, cementing his reputation as a leader in the AI industry and leverage SEO as a digital marketing strategy for growth. He loves to talk about betting, SEO, entrepreneurship and AI.