Here's What Your Fractional CMO Needs To Accomplish In 30, 60, And 90 Days

The Why, How, and What of a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer

If you’re looking to hire a CMO, taking the route of recruiting a fractional CMO is one of the best things you can do as a startup. With a fractional CMO, you get access to the expertise and experience of a seasoned marketing leader with, usually, 10+ years of marketing experience. And the best thing is that you gain that valuable person without the cost of a full-time employee.

A fractional CMO can help you achieve your business goals and objectives and take your marketing to the next level. 

The overall objective of a fractional CMO is to achieve sustainable (and significant) growth through your marketing by implementing a data-driven strategy across all your marketing channels. Just some of the results of that strategy should be increased brand awareness, qualified lead generation, and general customer acquisition. 

Five specific areas of focus of your CMO should be: 

  • Marketing strategy and planning. Here, a fractional CMO creates a comprehensive marketing audit so that they understand where marketing can improve. On top of that, they develop a data-driven marketing strategy, define target audiences, and create buyer personas. Last but not least, they establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and track if they’re being fulfilled. 
  • Brand positioning and messaging. They refine and articulate your brand story; they do so through assessing and revising the story of your (unique) value proposition. Once that’s been refined, they develop a consistent message across all channels so that there’s brand consistency no matter the communication channel. 
  • Channel marketing. A fractional CMO leads the execution of the marketing strategy across all channels, such as website, social media, email marketing, paid media, and content marketing such as blogs, articles, case studies, and whitepapers. Good fractional marketing officers will go into the nitty-gritty; they will optimize paid media campaigns so that they perform efficiently and they will oversee the content creation so it’s aligned with the overall marketing strategy. 
  • Sales and marketing alignment. Fractional CMOs don’t work in a vacuum— they work with other people in the startup and that’s why they need to be good communicators. Sales and marketing need to be in alignment if the startup wants good results and a fractional CMO will do anything in its power to create alignment between those two. Collaboration and nurturing strategies are needed to support the sales team, the sales cycle, and the GTM strategy. 
  • Marketing technology and automation. Last but not least, a fractional CMO should recommend the implementation of new technology that would allow automation and a more streamlined marketing process. No matter the size, a startup should consider investing in tech solutions such as CRMs and marketing automation platforms. 

What should a fractional marketing executive do in the first 90 days?

The first 30-60-90 days are essential for every single employee, and that includes external roles such as fractional executives. We wrote extensively about the importance of the first 90 days HERE, but in short, the five elements that make or break that period are communication, culture, expectations, trust, and momentum. 

Specifically looking at fractional CMOs, they should do the following in the first 30-60-90 days: 

Initial Assessment  30 days 

A good fractional CMO should spend the first 30 days in understanding how the startup operates, how its culture functions, and how its people operate. 

Here’s a list of activities that a fractional CMO should do in these 30 days: 

  • Analyze and assess the startup’s current marketing strategies, their goals, objectives, and challenges, and their strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Talk with key stakeholders to understand the current reality of the startup and pinpoint growth opportunities
  • Review the current strategy, especially the marketing material of the startup such as the website content, social media profiles, and promo materials. If the business relies heavily on SERP rankings, they should also conduct a content audit. 
  • Compare the current strategy with the latest industry trends and emerging growth strategies. 
  • Analyze the current performance metrics and indicators to see if the startup “measures what’s right.” 
  • Review the startup's current data on its audience and the audience behavior to understand how to better market to that segment. 

Strategy Development 60 days 

After the initial assessment, the fractional CMO should develop a strategy to solve the startup's challenges and problems. 

Here’s a list of activities that a fractional CMO should do in these 30 days: 

  • Develop a personalized marketing strategy that’s aligned with the startup’s objectives, goals, and target audience(s). 
  • Decide on the specific marketing channels that would bring the highest return on investment. 
  • Determine specific tactics that the startup should use to reach its audience, such as content marketing, email campaigns, social media, or paid advertising. 
  • Create a comprehensive marketing strategy that would achieve organizational objectives. 
  • Go in-depth when it comes to the target audience and refine the parameters that have been set before. 
  • Plan a multichannel approach that would reach their ideal customers, both using traditional and digital marketing methods. 
  • Launch marketing campaigns with marketing partners and influencers, refine, and later analyze the results to achieve even more success when repeated. 
  • Define clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that would motivate everyone in the team to pursue things that matter. 
  • Align the marketing team to use new marketing channels, strategies, and tactics. 
  • Provide necessary training to the team members to ensure everyone’s up-to-date with the latest tech stack. 

Implementation and Optimization 90 days

After the initial assessment in the first 30 days and strategy development in the subsequent 30 days, it’s time for implementation and optimization. In the last 30 days, the fractional CMO should do the following: 

  • Execute the marketing strategy, which can include campaign creation, various content development, and setting up paid advertising.
  • Monitoring, analyzing, and assessing the performance of the marketing campaigns and adjusting them accordingly to achieve better results. 
  • Communicating with all stakeholders and providing regular updates to everyone, emphasizing any key achievements, challenges, and insights. 
  • Creating a recommendation document that would ensure great results once the fractional CMO is gone. 
  • Implementing a content strategy that would include a comprehensive content calendar. 
  • Signing partnerships with other content creators and influencers that would create a bigger reach for the marketing strategy. 
  • Listening to customer feedback and implementing the comments in future campaigns. 
  • Refining the campaigns on a daily basis to ensure the efficiency of the strategy and no wasted resources (money and people). 
  • Develop a “post 90 days” roadmap with strategic priorities and long-term marketing goals that would provide direction to the startup leaders on what to do after this period. 

A fractional CMO does all of this for a fraction of the cost of a full-time marketing person. You would pay around $200-350/hour for a fractional CMO while a full-time marketing executive would cost you $235,000 to $433,000

Avoiding Common Marketing Pitfalls

There are a couple of pitfalls that can deter your marketing efforts. If you avoid these pitfalls, you increase the chance of having a successful 90-day period: 

  • Tying the hands of the fractional CMO. When you bring in a fractional CMO, you need to allow them to do what they do best; fix your marketing. For them to do so, they will need some liberty when creating and implementing a strategy. During this time, don’t “tie their hands.” What that means is that you shouldn’t limit their activities so much that they can’t accomplish anything impactful. You brought them to your startup for a reason; support them so they can achieve your business results. 
  • Allocation of the resources for activities. A fractional CMO will need plenty of resources to execute their strategy. They will need access to relevant stakeholders, a marketing team that can implement the strategy, content writers for blogs and articles, and conversion rate optimization marketers for ad campaign management. Provide them with the people (and funds) they need and they will repay that by achieving your organizational goals. 
  • Listening to the recommendations from the fractional CMO. A fractional CMO can do a lot in 90 days, but if you want sustainable growth, you would have to listen and implement their recommendations even after the 90 days. This period creates early wins and jumpstarts your marketing efforts, but it’s not an end all be all in itself. Listen to the fractional CMO recommendations and see how your startup grows through marketing activities that bring results. 

Hire a fractional CMO today

Hiring a fractional CMO doesn’t have to be difficult; simply use Hiper and start working with your ideal fractional CMO in a matter of days!