7½ Reasons to Hire a Fractional CMO

Have you ever considered hiring a part-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to help grow your asset advisory or asset management firm? Did you even know that there was such a thing?

More formally, a part-time or outsourced CMO is called a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer.

Think of a fractional, part-time, or outsourced CMO as your C-Suite level leader and executive team member. Unlike a full-time employee, the fractional CMO works part-time, and often off-site.

Fractional Chief Operating Officers, outsourced legal teams, and part-time Chief Investment Officers have been prevalent in the last decade or so, and more recently the model has been applied to the marketing field.

Why would you want to hire a fractional CMO? Consider these 7½ reasons:

1. You Can’t Afford a Full-Time CMO

If you are a relatively new or start-up financial advisor, or an emerging asset management firm, or any size firm on a tight budget, you may be able to hire fractional CMO services at well, a fraction of the cost of a full-time CMO. You save on recruitment, health care, taxes, and potential relocation costs. For some early stage firms, a fractional CMO may be persuaded to take a meaningful stock position instead of higher retainer fees.

2. You Need a Strategic Marketing Mentor

Do you need an outside opinion? By definition, a fractional CMO is an outsider with fresh perspective on how to grow assets, find and implement strategic partnerships, develop operational efficiencies, and mentor junior marketing people. A fractional CMO should be able to lead your firm, if needed, in a rebranding, repositioning or refashioning. By contrast, a project-based contract worker may be less likely to have the skills, or to provide the strategic big picture ideas that a more experienced fractional CMO could conjure.

3. You Need to Build a Team with One Hire

A fractional CMO can also be a turnkey solution for your marketing strategy, implementation, and staffing needs. The fractional can be one person, such as an experienced industry hand; a specialized marketing agency team with broad financial services marketing and distribution expertise; or a larger digital, content marketing, advertising, and PR agency. Whatever the form, your marketing partner should have a virtual or on-site team of industry experts and sub-contractors in strategy, lead generation, writing, design, and distribution at the ready.

4. You Need A Master Content Creator

Without an content marketing strategy, your firm won’t be able to make your website a top lead-generating salesperson. Without content, your firm may be invisible. Without a CMO, you could be nowhere. Your fractional CMO can lead the effort to review, audit, create, and/or repurpose for maximum impact your existing website, insight posts, white papers, pitch books, infographics, email nurturing campaigns, calls to action, and lead generation efforts.

5. You Need a Distribution Driver

A fractional CMO can also work strategically with your product development team, key account managers, and sales team leadership to integrate marketing efforts and launch campaigns.

6. You Need Social Media Savvy

Do you have a social media strategy for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook? Do you regularly and consistently post fresh and educational content for your highly targeted prospects? Do you have a personal and a business account, and do your employees have social accounts as well? A fractional CMO can help develop and execute a strategy to distribute your ideas, content and brand via social media – in a way that gets you leads while you’re sleeping.

7. You Need Search Engine Optimization Expertise

SEO refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in organic search results, making your website more visible to people who are looking for answers via Google. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal links, backlinks, site structure, design, visitor behavior, and more.

7.5 You Need to Make the Company Whole with a Fraction

Do you know enough that you don’t know what you need, but know that you need a C-Level executive to help guide the way? The answer to this question, and for a disciplined method to measure and evaluate results, may well reside in the hiring of a new business partner – the Fractional Chief Marketing Officer. They may even bring the pizza.

Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners. He helps asset managers and mutual funds grow. To read his previous Insight articles, click here. To schedule a complimentary consultation, click here.