Ahhh, pie. Who doesn’t love a slice of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner? If it is good pie, just a slice will make you feel like you had a taste of the whole pie, without the burden of all those calories.

For so many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), hiring a full-time head of marketing or chief marketing officer (CMO) is like eating the whole pie, not just a slice. It is unappealing and simply out of reach.

The average salary of a CMO in the United States in 2020 was $244,930 per year according to salary.com. Figure in additional compensation in the form of health care benefits, PTO, 401K contributions, bonuses, equity and the rest, and total compensation averaged $397,473 last year.

After taking the option of a CMO off the table, many SMBs experiment with hiring a junior-level marketing staffer, only to be disappointed with their limited expertise, industry contacts, and pool of resources. These staffers rarely have the experience or vision to provide strategy and results. Hiring a junior marketing coordinator or manager usually means the CEO or owner will spend more time on marketing than in the past – hours that could be spent making major corporate decisions, managing overall operations and resources, and ensuring the company is implementing its vision, mission, and achieving goals.

Enter the fractional CMO. A fractional CMO is like getting a slice of pie. A fractional CMO comes from an outside company that provides resources such as public relations, graphic design, web development, copywriting, marketing automation, and so much more. The fractional CMO has many years of experience and can build strategies to help your company attain its sales goals.

Fractional CMOs can be available to you on-demand when a specific project requires marketing advice and help, or on a longer-term basis if ongoing market awareness and lead development are needed. With a fractional CMO, you will gain the knowledge and know-how of a full-time employee, but without the associated salary and compensation. Fractional CMOs can work within your scope and budget.

I have provided Edge Marketing clients with services similar to those of a fractional CMO for years. One company brought us on at first to generate marketing awareness and sales leads. We did so through public relations, industry events, and email marketing. A few years later, it shifted goals to position the company for sale. With increased market share generated from our years of work leading up to this point, Edge Marketing refocused to help rapidly increase sales. The company proved to be a desirable acquisition. For another client, Edge Marketing was brought on in the months leading up to the company’s launch and stayed on for several months after while the company’s sales grew, and staff were added. Eventually, the company was large enough to justify hiring a full-time CMO.

The bottom line is that fractional marketing services make sense for SMBs. Go ahead and grab a slice of the marketing pie!

About the Author

Cindy Kremer Moen has helped Edge Marketing clients with strategies and tactics consistent with fractional CMO services since 2006. She and her husband have two college-age children and are anticipating the return of DII football and travel without quarantines.