What is a Fractional CMO? And Does Our Company Need One?

NIM What is a Fractional CMO

The Fractional CMO + Expert Marketing Team service is a structured strategy with the marketing team to execute. We create the strategy and execute it for you as your marketing department. This process aligns all your efforts, ensures you’re efficiently targeting the right audience, and sends out a compelling message. It moves you from picking and choosing only a couple of marketing tactics, thereby shooting in the dark, to a well-aimed, consistent, data-driven, effective approach.

What does this look like? Here’s a high-level overview:

  • Creating a B2B Client Centric Marketing Strategy:
    This isn’t just a high-level plan. It’s your roadmap to reaching your clients effectively. This strategy will be built after deep-diving into your business, products, services, clients, and marketplace. More importantly, your marketing strategy needs to be client-centric. This means not making best guesses based on internal assumptions – but instead talking to your clients and building a strategy around what actually works for them.
  • Setting up a B2B Marketing System:
    This is where your strategy comes alive. It’s all the marketing, sales, and educational materials you need, interconnected and guiding your clients’ journey. And it’s not just a marketing system for your prospects – it’s a system to make sure you’re continuously engaging and adding value to your customers – so you can turn them into raving fans who refer you to others.
  • Activating B2B Sales Enablement:
    This is all about making sure marketing and sales are working together, not in silos. It means continuous brainstorming with your sales, customer success, and product design teams to produce materials that really hit the mark and provide the sales team with what they need to help nurture those leads to closed business.
  • Implementing Thought Leadership Content Marketing:
    Once the strategy and processes are up and running, you can concentrate on generating high-quality content that draws in your ideal clients and positions you as a leader in your field.

When all these elements work together, the result is a powerful, robust B2B marketing foundation you can plug in all of your marketing activities and campaigns into – whether it’s attending a tradeshow, sending out direct mail campaigns, or running online ads, or testing out a new way of promoting. All this can be done with a great deal of flexibility, once your marketing foundation is established.


What is a Fractional CMO?

Let’s break it down: Fractional means not whole. This person does not spend all their time working on your company business. They would spend a portion or a fraction of their time each week working on your company.

CMO is the short form for Chief Marketing Officer. This person would work on your company’s marketing at the C-level or executive level. This person would have enough experience and expertise to provide this level of insight, strategic thinking and recommendations to lead the marketing for the company. This person would not execute the strategy, only create and guide it into action.

Fractional CMO combines those two. This is a person who works with several companies at once as their highest-level strategic marketing lead.

The term is not unique to marketing, in the financial world, the fractional Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has been a service many financial leaders have offered for more than a decade.

What is the benefit of a Fractional CMO?

The ideal client for a Fractional CMO is a specific type of company, and there are lots of them.

At a certain level of company size, typically $3M-$10M, well let me put it another way, in the words of a famous Canadian who has built and scaled a few technology companies to successful exits:

“At $3M+ you’re going to want to look at the fractional C-Level model. The $3M-$10M is the really annoying phase
in a business where you have to hire senior leaders or Director-level but you don’t really monetize enough to support in-house
hires at that level because the volume is not there on the top-line revenue.”
Dan Martell – award-winning Canadian entrepreneur, investor, best-selling author, and coach to over 1000+ SaaS founders

The benefit is that when you’re a growing company in that $3-10M size, you need the brain power, insights, strategy, talent and execution of a CMO with an expert marketing team but you probably don’t have the financial capacity, never mind the time to find your team and ensure they fit into the company and work well together to bring on the full-time, in-house talent you need. The fractional model can give you what you need, rapidly, and at a price point that can work for where you are right now.

How is your company different from other Fractional CMOs?

Our strength has always been in the expert execution of marketing strategy. The details. The getting it done. The putting it into action. We have a strong team and processes in place to support the rapid and effective execution of marketing strategies.

We took this superpower and matched it with the Fractional CMO service for a complete offering for the client. The result is a marketing strategy, leadership and ability to execute by an expert marketing team.

Most Fractional CMOs only offer strategic expertise. We don’t know how they get their strategy into action.

Are you experienced enough to offer CMO services?

At the moment there are two client-facing Fractional CMOs at NIM.

One of them is Nicole Croizier who has led marketing for several technology and manufacturing companies with 20+ years of marketing experience. She has senior-level experience.

The other is me, Jen Kelly. My career started in 1994 in marketing and I have had in-house corporate roles as well as starting and running NIM since 2009. I’ve had the role of company partner and CMO at Inner Armour Sports Nutrition since 2020 and have worked with the executive team to build that company up from 3 to its current size of 21 full-time employees with a growing export business. I have the experience.

We are searching for more Fractional CMOs to join our team. Please spread the word.

We have a CMO, we just need the marketing team

If you are a company in this situation, we can help. We know that the lone in-house CMO or VP of Marketing is a fact of business today. We are working with a few clients in this situation and we’re providing excellent support via our expert marketing team service.

Our service offering adapts to support the in-house CMO. The benefit to the CMO would be that they would be working directly with our Fractional CMOs. This is ideal for the client as they can rely on our deep expertise and senior marketing experience. Half the battle for clients when working with a marketing company (or any vendor), can be wondering if they really understand what you are saying or wondering if they are just order-taking rather than offering ideas, pushback (when appropriate) and recommendations on how to tackle problems that will arise. As our clients have this senior-level support, they feel they are in good hands and can rely on us to lead and manage our expert marketing team to tackle their work.

We have a CMO, we have a team, we are over $10M, can you help us?

If you are a company in this situation, we can help. We’ve worked to support large ($2B – $70B) company marketing departments with outstanding results. Typically it is a very tailored offering we need to discuss. If this is an area we can assist, please get in touch.


About the Author: Jen Kelly leads New Initiatives Marketing, Inc., a Fractional CMO & Expert B2B Marketing Team company. For more than 14 years, our team of senior marketing leaders and expert marketing specialists has been helping B2B CEOs with the strategic leadership and real-world marketing execution needed for practical, long-term results.  Contact us to see if our model is a good fit for your B2B company today.

Next Steps: The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building a B2B Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World 

To help you make important decisions around your B2B marketing investment, we’ve created a comprehensive 33-page eBook: The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building a B2B Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World

In this eBook, we walk you through the six most important questions B2B CEOs need to answer in order to build their first marketing team and choose the right B2B marketing model for their stage of business:

  1. How Do You Know It’s Time to Invest in Marketing? 
  2. What are B2B Marketing Best Practices?
  3. How Has B2B Marketing Become More Complex?
  4. What Are the Top Challenges in Getting Started in Marketing?
  5. What Does a B2B Marketing Team Look Like?
  6. Should You Hire In-House or Outsource?

You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE

If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email RIGHT HERE or book a consultation time RIGHT HERE.

Sign up for our Ask a Fractional CMO Newsletter to follow my answers to the top questions from our B2B CEO clients and followers. 

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