Fractional Marketing is a fairly new term in the digital marketing industry today.

In 2023, more and more businesses will be seeking out fractional marketing services. You might even have heard other terms such as fractional marketing director or fractional marketing consultant being used.  

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving throughout B2B industries. Most large B2B businesses have a marketing structure that generally consists of some or all the following:

  • Marketing Assistant, Coordinator and/or Manager
  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Head of Marketing
  • Head of Lead Generation 
  • Marketing Director
  • VP Marketing
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

The reality is though, there are many B2B businesses out there that simply don’t have the resources. Often, their marketing department consists of a small team of 3-4, or in some cases a one-man band.

This often means that marketing guidance and direction can be an issue because the skillsets aren’t present to execute the strategy. 

To run a successful marketing function, all elements have to be present. This includes digital marketing strategy and planning, identifying the right digital assets, correct channels, social media, and campaign management, not to mention marketing research, analytics and reporting. 

Many times, this is overwhelming for businesses, and as such, this is where fractional marketing services come into play. 

What is Fractional Marketing? 

Fractional CMO working on laptop
What is Fractional Marketing?

Fractional Marketing (or Fractional Digital Marketing) refers to when businesses choose to outsource their marketing needs, on a part-time basis. This may be to a fractional marketing team, or an individual specialist such as a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO), a fractional marketing director or even a fractional marketing consultant.

By hiring a fractional CMO or director, you and your marketing team have access to expert guidance and leadership.

Fractional CMOs will typically work a few hours per week as such, however, you pay less than a full-time CMO.

Why is Fractional Marketing Leadership Important? 

Within a business and marketing plan contains an important blueprint with objectives and end goals.  Each one, no matter how small, plays a part in achieving the big objectives such as growth and ROI.  

In digital marketing, there needs to be skilled leadership and team-working to successfully execute a strategy and promote a business effectively to meet objectives and strive for scale and growth. 

Some would even argue that the marketing department is one of the most important functions. Without it, how do you grow?  

Therefore, fractional marketing services are a worthwhile investment. You have the expertise of a full-time marketing leader but at a fraction of the cost.

Let’s explore why fractional digital marketing services are a worthwhile investment.  

A Fractional Marketing leader will help your business grow 

A fractional marketing leader focuses on the goals of your business. They will work with you to create, implement, and execute digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing is exceptionally broad and includes everything from search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, social media and campaign management, copywriting, content creation, website management, as well as research, and reporting.

As such, it can be difficult for businesses to figure out where to begin and invest their time and money.

Having strategic focus and direction is the first step to achieving your business goals. Furthermore, by utilising the right marketing guidance, digital assets, tools, channels and practices, this becomes achievable.

A Fractional Marketing leader will help you reach the right audience 

Targeting the right audience is a crucial component of any successful marketing strategy. 

Because a fractional marketing leader has knowledge of, and access to industry trends, the latest marketing tools and frameworks, they can help you reach the right audience. 

There are many marketing frameworks and models out there including (but absolutely not limited to): 

  • The 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place and Promotion)
  • Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
  • Customer Segmentation 
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Value Proposition Modelling
  • SMART frameworks
  • SWOT analysis 
  • Business Model Canvas 

And many, many more.  

A fractional marketing leader knows how to use these frameworks and models to help establish what group of customers and channels to identify.

A Fractional marketing leader will tell you what is, and what isn’t working 

A fractional marketing leader will have the skills, knowledge, and experience to assess what is and isn’t working.

In addition, by taking a holistic view of the whole marketing function, a fractional marketing leader will quickly assess strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. 

For example, this may be in relation to strategy development, lack of direction in the past, or it may be that you are targeting the wrong audience. Believe it or not, many businesses today still do not have a marketing strategy or plan, and some don’t know the difference between the two. 

By quickly assessing what’s not working, you can soon direct your budget and resources to where’s most important. You can then focus on ensuring your strategy and marketing plan are fully executed. 

What exactly does a Fractional CMO do? 

A photo of a close up chess board symbolising marketing strategy
What does a Fractional CMO do?

A good fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) or fractional marketing director will walk into your company or organisation and understand your direction. They can then build out your strategy and plan that dictates how you will achieve your business objectives and budget.

They will be a natural-born leader and will bring out the best in your current marketing team.

 Most importantly: a fractional CMO knows how to implement their strategy

Let’s dive right in and look at some of the roles of the Fractional CMO 

A Fractional CMO knows Marketing Strategy

Every business should have a digital marketing strategy. If you don’t, creating, implementing, and executing marketing strategies is like bread and butter to a fractional CMO. 

They will come in and set out your vision in addition to helping you establish your target audience. Getting your brand messaging is crucial and having a blueprint that sets out all your goals, targets market and how you are going to reach them, will ensure you are best positioned for success. 

A Fractional CMO will have budget experience 

A fractional CMO or fractional marketing director will have experience managing budgets that outline the money your business intends to spend across different marketing streams.

This might include recruitment costs, marketing automation software, paid to advertise, or event sponsorship.

Whatever your budget is set aside for, a fractional CMO will know how to best divide it up so that it aligns with your marketing strategy and for achieving the largest ROI. 

A Fractional CMO understands goal setting

To effectively achieve business objectives, it is important to set short- and long-term goals aligned to your marketing strategy and plan. 

Short-term goals tend to focus on daily, weekly, and monthly marketing initiatives. These might be around digital marketing campaigns, paid campaign performance, content creation, website activity and performance. 

However long-term objectives represent the foundation upon which your short-term objectives are built. Long-term marketing objectives include writing articles or blogs optimised for SEO, and boosting brand awareness through social media. Others include achieving ROI or even changing your business’s competitive positioning.

Long-term objectives take time and patience but a fractional CMO will help you set realistic objectives for achieving growth. 

A Fractional CMO is a natural-born leader, communicator, and team player

A digital marketing team is unlikely to be successful in executing strategies without a strong leader, communicator, and team player. Moreover, a fractional CMO with those skills acts as the glue, holding the marketing function together. 

A fractional CMO or fractional marketing director has the leadership skills to bring out the best of your marketing team, to help motivate them and achieve marketing goals. They can also ensure coordination amongst your team, and set the roadmap for success.

A Fractional CMO resolves problems quickly

Have you ever encountered problems within your marketing department that require swift action? 

A fractional CMO has experience dealing with problems and can take a realistic and holistic view to solve them.

Problem-solving is one of the most important qualities a marketing leader can have. A fractional CMO is best placed to minimise the occurrence of these and tackle the head-on. 

A Fractional CMO works well with third-party agencies and freelancers

There might be times when you require delivery on a specific project, and you don’t have anyone to deliver.

A fractional CMO often has a portfolio of contacts built up from years’ experience working with third-party agencies or freelancers and can lean on them to help deliver specific projects. 

This might require some PR outreach, or even a web developer to help improve the technical aspects of your website. Whatever the task, a fractional CMO can assist.

A Fractional CMO can hire and onboard new employees

Choosing to hire a fractional CMO relieves the extra burden of hiring and onboarding new marketing employees.

Plus, your fractional CMO has the experience and knowledge to ensure only the best quality candidates are employed.

Qualities to look for in a Fractional CMO

To summarise the qualities you should look for in a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO), or fractional marketing director, I have compiled the table below.

Fractional CMO Qualities Description of Quality
Strategic visionA good fractional CMO will live and breathe marketing strategy. They should be able to identify and create a roadmap for the future that helps your business achieve its objectives. Building differentiated and competitive brands in the right channels are what they are good at. 
Leadership skillsA fractional CMO should be a natural leader and inspire and motivate your team. Building trust and rapport with your team is a priority in a good fractional CMO
Marketing managementManaging the marketing function requires attention to detail, organisation skills, budget management and control, industry knowledge, and excellent reporting skills. A fractional CMO will have all of these. 
Ability to achieve Marketing ROIThe goal of any business is to achieve ROI. A good fractional CMO has experience delivering measurable results and has the ability to measure the impact that every marketing activity has. 
An understanding of business strategy A fractional CMO can’t just have the strategic vision that sits within the marketing department, they also have to have that same vision for the business. A good fractional CMO understands vision, mission and business objectives across the top, business and functional levels of a business.
Qualities to look for in a Fractional CMO/Fractional Marketing Director

Why is Fractional Marketing lucrative to Businesses? 

In the world of digitisation, we are surrounded by the internet of things, and technology continues to put increasing demands on marketing teams. Therefore, the idea of investing in fractional marketing services and hiring a fractional marketer is one that appeals to many, and here is why. 

Marketing teams require all the help, skills, knowledge, and direction they can get. It is even more important than ever that marketing teams, and business owners keep up with the latest industry and technological trends so as not to fall behind and lose focus. 

Often this is difficult, and it affects a business’s ability to market effectively. But hiring a fractional CMO, a fractional marketing director, or a fractional marketing team, is often the solution that a business needs. They have all these qualities to effectively stand back and take a holistic view. 

Many businesses, especially small ones can quickly become overwhelmed with success. While initially, it provides short-term satisfaction, they soon realise to continue that success, scale and growth are required. Many times, this falls within the marketing department, as the success rate is realised. 

Often businesses just don’t have the budget, resources, or training abilities to bring in new team members. However, bringing in a fractional CMO lifts this burden and allows for strategic direction, and budget allocation to where it needs the most, and importantly, where the business can afford to put it. 

Tips for choosing a Fractional CMO

You will likely come across a lot of fractional marketers during your research phase, and this can become overwhelming when deciding who to approach. To try and ease this process, below are some tips for consideration when selecting the right fractional marketing services for your business. 

  • What are their qualifications? At a minimum, a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) should have a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree with a focus on marketing or marketing strategy is desired. 
  • What is their experience? Consider their overall marketing experience and leadership qualities, previous promotions, industry experience and recommendations. Often, you can find a lot on their LinkedIn profile. 
  • Do they understand your business and culture? Very often fractional CMOs will offer a free introductory call. This is an excellent opportunity to speak to them and ask questions and see if they will likely be a good fit. 
  • Do they come across as knowledgeable? Do they have a vision? During your introductory call, this is another great way to assess how they think, if they have a vision for long-term success, and can apply recommendations within your marketing function. 
  • Do you get a sense of strategic thinking? This is a must for any fractional CMO, and they should be able to apply strategic thinking to deliver and execute your business model after all that describes how your business will create and deliver value to your customers. 

How much does a Fractional CMO cost?

This varies, but you can rest assured it won’t be as much as hiring a full-time chief marketing officer. It is an extremely cost-effective option, and a great trade-off for getting that expertise and strategic support you require, for less. 

A fractional CMO will typically work around 5 hours per week for a period of 3, 6 or even 12 months. This can vary on your requirements. You can expect a fractional CMO to charge anything from between £3000 and £7000 per month which equates to £36,000 to £84,000 per year. 

Whereas if you were to hire a full-time CMO in the UK, you can expect to pay anything above £134,000.

Fractional Marketing for the B2B Technology Industries

The B2B marketing industry is worth £1.7 trillion and accounts for around 44% of turnover for UK businesses. 

More and more businesses are driving their incomes from B2B marketing activities, and it is only expected to increase as technology brings about better opportunities for businesses and contributes to deals being closed. 

As technology evolves, so does digital marketing, and it is even more important than ever that businesses keep up to date with the latest marketing technologies, industry trends, and practices. Search engine optimisation continues to be a big organic strategy for many whilst for others, this may be paid advertising. 

Whatever the driver, a fractional CMO, director or consultant, can ensure that B2B Tech businesses get the most out of their marketing team and budget, and achieve the goals set out within their marketing strategy and plan. 


If you feel you are ready to take the next step, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to understand your business needs and requirements, and for you to ask me questions. 

If fractional marketing services are something you are looking for, then please reach out, I’d love to chat. Alternatively, if marketing consultancy is more relevant, I also provide these services.