The rise of the Fractional CMO

The rise of the Fractional CMO

The role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has always been an important one, yet for some businesses maintaining the position full-time can be challenging. Additionally, organisations that do have a CMO in place, may require extra support to complement their existing marketing resources. Enter the Fractional – a solution that provides flexible support to businesses, filling gaps where needed and offering specialised expertise on a part-time or project basis. 

According to Wayne Brophy at Cast UK, the last 12 months (currently in February 2024), have seen a rise in the use of fractional C-suite leadership, particularly with SMEs & start-ups. Fractional CMOs can reshape the way organisations approach marketing leadership. In our personal experience, we’ve found this approach is very common and beneficial in scale-ups. 

So, let’s discuss how Fractional CMOs can specifically help the growth of scale-up businesses.


Marketing needs for scale-up businesses

With recent funding secured and pressure to meet key performance indicators (KPIs), scale-up businesses need to nail their marketing to drive growth, especially in such a fast-paced market. As mentioned above, maintaining a full-time marketing team can be difficult, especially for smaller, expanding organisations. They may lack the resources or budget to support a larger team, so they need help supplementing these requirements.

Fractional CMOs are a great option in these instances. With their experience, scale-ups can access the specialised knowledge and guidance they need to effectively carry out marketing and meet their KPIs. The ability to tap into high-level strategic thinking without the long-term commitment, is usually exactly what these businesses need. 

In other instances, when businesses have progressed past their initial growth phase and are in a later growth phase, their needs and requirements may change depending on where they are in their lifecycle. At this point, they may find they need additional resources that they didn’t previously have. It’s not uncommon to move from a Fractional CMO focused on brand, to a Paid Marketing or Growth Marketing specialist.


The benefits of Fractional CMOs

We’ve already mentioned the cost-effectiveness and advantage of specialised knowledge gained from a Fractional CMO, so let’s talk about those in more detail, plus some of the other benefits.

  • Cost-effectiveness – By employing a Fractional CMO, businesses gain access to high-level expertise without the financial commitment of a full-time hire. This allows organisations to allocate resources strategically while still benefitting from an experienced marketer and following their budget.
  • Specialised knowledge – Fractional CMOs bring specialised knowledge and experience to the Marketing team. With industry and strategic insights, Fractional CMOs can offer invaluable, specialised, guidance specific to the needs of the business.
  • Flexibility – Fractional CMOs offer flexibility which allows businesses to scale their marketing resources up or down as needed. This may be ramping up for a campaign or slowing down operations during quieter periods.
  • Customised solutions – One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing strategies. Fractional CMOs deliver customised solutions that help deliver towards the business goals. 


The future of marketing leadership

As a Fractional CMO supported by a team of specialist marketers, we’ve noticed a trend towards the outsourcing of marketing leadership in recent years. This shift demonstrates the growing demand for refined expertise tailored to meet specific business needs and budgets. It also reflects that a lot of the marketing tasks can be managed on a project basis if required.

Moreno has assisted many scale-ups in their growth phases and in meeting the KPIs set out during investment. To explore our success stories and the impact we’ve made within expanding organisations, take a look at our case studies page.