Which Route is Best for Your Business – CMO, Fractional CMO, or Marketing Agency
Podcast by Clarence Fisher
Fractional CMO

About This Episode

Exploring the Marketing Strategy for Your Business

In this episode, we take you through the nuances of three key options for upleveling the marketing strategy for your business: hiring a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), opting for a Fractional CMO, or partnering with a Marketing Agency. By comparing the strengths, weaknesses, and best-fit scenarios for each, we'll help you navigate which route is best for your business.

Understanding the Options: CMO, Fractional CMO, and Marketing Agency

We begin by defining what a CMO, Fractional CMO, and a Marketing Agency are. We also discuss the key roles they play in a business.

Each option brings unique strengths to your business, and understanding these is the first step in making an informed decision.

The Full-Time CMO: Strengths and Drawbacks

Next, we explain the role of a full-time CMO. We explore the benefits of having a dedicated marketing leader within your organization and the potential drawbacks.

A full-time CMO can be a valuable asset to a business but might be more than smaller businesses need.

The Fractional CMO: Flexibility and Expertise

We then explore the concept of a Fractional CMO, a part-time role that can offer expertise and flexibility, particularly for smaller businesses or startups.

A Fractional CMO can provide high-level expertise and flexibility, often at a lower cost than a full-time CMO.

Partnering with a Marketing Agency: Broad Capabilities and External Perspective

Lastly, we explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of partnering with a Marketing Agency. We discuss how an agency can provide a breadth of services and an external perspective.

A Marketing Agency offers a wide range of services and an external perspective, but it might not provide the same level of business-specific insight as an internal CMO.

Making the Decision: Factors to Consider

Finally, I outline the factors you should consider when deciding between a CMO, Fractional CMO, or a Marketing Agency. I provide practical tips and guidance to help you make the best decision for your business.

The best option for your business depends on various factors, including your budget, size, and specific marketing needs.

Join us in this insightful episode as we dissect the CMO, Fractional CMO, and Marketing Agency options.

Then make a well-informed decision that suits your business best!

author avatar
Clarence Fisher

Disclaimer: The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Clarence Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Local Market Monopoly. I'm Clarence Fisher, your host. This is episode 89 and we're diving into which is the best for your business is do you need to hire a CMO? Should you hire a Fractional CMO? Should you hire a marketing agency which is going to be best for your business? I'm going to give you some define each and then give you some tips to kind of look out for each. And by the end of this episode, you will know, I promise.

Intro: Whoa, You're listening to Local Market Monopoly with Clarence Fisher uncovering the tools, tactics and strategies the most successful small businesses used to dominate their local market and own the block.

Clarence Fisher: Okay, so let's see if I can hold up to that promise on whether when you listen to this episode at the end, if you'll know whether you should hire a CMO, a Fractional CMO, or a marketing agency, I think we could hold to that. First of all, MainStreetMarketingCoach.com. If you go there, you can check out our offering for, ah, I guess it's kind of like a Fractional CMO. I don't, but really what it is is coaching for your head of marketing, whoever's doing your marketing, you can get coaching for them. Training access to the tools and strategies that we teach at a very, very low introductory prize for our founders are founding members, not our founding fathers. I don't think that they needed that at the moment. So mainstream marketing coach.com. Let's get into it. Fractional CMO a regular CMO or a marketing agency, well, first of all, what is a CMO?
You probably already know this, so your Chief Marketing Officer businesses typically bring on a Chief Marketing Officer when they need someone to handle the role of strategy. Bringing a winning strategy to the business also are executing that strategy. A lot of times startups bring on CMOs too quickly, I think, and that kind of leads into, I'll put it like this, if you are listening to this podcast, you probably don't need to bring on A CMO and I'm going to say that because unless you're doing I would say excess of 50 million a year, then you probably don't need a CMO, maybe even 30 million. You'd have to make that decision. But here's why. Generally, A CMO is going to, I don't want to say cost to you, but you're going to invest on average anywhere between 170 and some salary.com. It's like 250, but I think in general it's like 170, 180 a year.
So you need to have the revenue to make that happen. And that's what typically happens is like startups a lot of times will hire a CMO too quickly and because we'll put it like this, if you're, you're generating a million bucks a year, seven 50 million bucks a year, and you say, we're going to hire a CMO, well, I just told you that's at least one, that's 175 to about 250. Now imagine that much revenue going to one person. That's going to be pretty tough. So what happens is they will require, or maybe if it's a good CMO, they're going to want, they're going to pitch in and start actually doing the thing. So they're going to actually start posting, making posts to social media and writing the emails and sending the emails, and that's a really expensive social media manager that is trying to do the technical things and also do the strategy for the business.
It's not really where you want to be. So that brings us to the Fractional CMO. Okay, and wasn't trying to dis you by saying if you're listening this, you probably don't want to bring on a full-time CMO, but our audience, most of our audience is not doing 50 million a year. So let's look at fractional CMO. Fractional CMO is a part-time version of the CMO, and typically what happens when you come in as a fractional CMO, and I've been brought in as a fractional CMO with the companies where this is how the normal course of events happens. You are growing and you grow enough to where you really need a chief marketing officer. So you kind of give that responsibility to either someone on your team right now, someone that has a background in marketing and they've run some campaigns.
So you give them the quote CMO role, or you hire someone who has, they have a marketing degree and you put them in charge of it. Well, what typically happens is that person can do really well with sending the emails, sending the social media, but when it comes to the strategy, bringing a new and better strategy to the table, a lot of times that person can become overwhelmed because they have some technical expertise, but not the executive expertise that comes with the CMO role. And a lot of times they've done, they work with one company, so they don't have the experience of seeing working with broad spectrum of companies and seeing what strategies actually work. It's like that real world experience. And so that happens, or the other path is the company hires a CMO, as I said, and so much money is going to the CMO that the CMO is forced to do the social media posting and which irritates the CMO and also irritates the company.
So that's kind of a lose for each. So now that we have those, the difference between CMO fractional CMO, a lot of the things that a fractional CMO does is going to be the same as a CMO except the fractional CMO is going to work for you five to say maybe 10 hours a week. So when they show up for a meeting, it's going to be a very pointed meeting. They're not going to be in every meeting when they show up to a meeting, it is like on point, but they're going to cover the same things, the leadership of the marketing. They're going to establish the KPIs that need to be hit. They're going to manage the marketing team, manage the lead generation process, the digital ad management, not necessarily hands-on digital ad management, but whoever's handling the ads, they are looking at the reports.
They're again, the KPIs to make sure that everything is being hit. They're creating the marketing strategy. They are coming into it and saying, Hey, this is the strategy that we need to look at, and they've got preferably years and years of experience of what works and can bring that into your business. Then also, whether it's a person on the team freelancers or marketing agencies, the CMO is managing all of that for you. It could go a couple of different ways. You could have a CMO that is managing your outsourcers and your agency. You could also have a CMO that is managing the marketing director who manages all of that stuff. It just depends on the size of the business. The good thing about a fractional CMO is they're going, they're going to run about 200 to $300 an hour. And so again, if you're hiring that person for five hours a week, 10 hours a week, I mean, you're looking at anywhere from 48 grand to about $72,000 a year versus that 177 to 250. And this person should have some experience in leading not only campaigns, but in leading a team. A good thing too is the contract can be like, you can start a fractional CMO and stop a fractional CMO contract depending on what's happening with your business. It's not like you hire someone and then you have to deal with that.
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So when should you hire a fractional CMO? This is if you want to improve your marketing, you want to grow the business without committing to a full-time CMO. That for sure is a reason to hire. If you want fresh digital marketing strategies and some marketing initiatives to come down without you having to, you want someone to bring that to the table. That's going to be your fractional CMO. If you need leadership on your marketing team, for sure, you have inconsistencies with your marketing message. You want to get all of that together, that's going to be a fractional CMO. If you need someone to delegate all of these marketing tasks, that's going to be a fractional CMO. What you do not want to hire a fractional CMO for is if you just need someone to write blog posts. If you need someone to send emails for you, if you need someone to create a social media post for you, if that is the case, then you need to hire either a marketing agency or hire a specific technician for that role.
Again, even with the fractional C M O at 200, $300 an hour, you don't want that person being the social media manager. You want that person possibly managing the social media manager, making sure that everything is on brand, looking at the reports, all of the analytics, the Google, and again, this is on a fractional CMO level. For my audience, this is really, I'll tell you, this is really the reason we created Mainstream Marketing Coach, because I started our agency and then I realized that a lot of the businesses that I was working with, they didn't need a marketing. They didn't need someone to post the social media. They had someone to do that. They didn't need someone to send emails. They had someone to do that. What they did not have was the strategy you needed. The four Rs that we always talk about, the reputation, reach, repeat sales, referral systems, the retargeting strategy, all of that was missing.
So I would be brought in the exact same scenario that I ran with you is they would hire, give that responsibility to someone on their team, someone with a marketing degree, someone with a marketing background. But what was missing was the strategy. And so I would be brought in and I would work with that marketing person I would work with that. Someone else will be doing Google ads, like you have all these different vendors that are doing different things for you, but no one's there to be able to read the reports and make sure that the business is going where we wanted it to go. So that would happen, and we're looking at 1500, 2000 bucks a month for that part right there. I really wanted to help smaller businesses as well. So we started Main Street Marketing Coach so that in a group setting I can serve, I give some of these as many of these same strategies as a business is willing to handle in that setting for a much, much lower investment.
So that's how Main Street Marketing Coach came to be was me doing this fractional CMO work for companies. We also had the marketing agency, and I was always quite transparent as we don't have to, my marketing agency doesn't have to do the work. If I'm in the capacity of a fractional CMO, if there are things that we're not the best at, then my job as the CMO is to go out and find out who is the best at that and negotiate that for the company. And it worked, and it was really, really cool. If you notice, the theme that I have here is I'm always trying to find out a way to help small businesses because I have a heart for that. When I very first started, it was just difficult to have access to the strategies that the bigger businesses had.
So that's something that I wanted to give with Main Street Marketing coach, and this did. I didn't want this to be a commercial for that, but it really is. If you're looking for a fractional, fractional CMO, you might want to check that out. So anyway, that is the difference. CMO 175, 250,000 comes in. They are going to lead the strategy. They're going to lead your marketing team. You need a marketing team that needs to be led in order to bring on a full-time CMO. A fractional CMO will benefit quite a few businesses. I mean, you're between, if you're between a million and you're really, you could be a little less than a million, but if you're between 1,000,025 fractional CMO is definitely going to be where you want to go. You're going to end up paying anywhere from 200 to 300 bucks an hour.
I have seen some fractional CMOs getting started at a hundred bucks an hour, but n I have not seen anything less than that, and they're going to come on board and bring the strategy. They're going to bring the pain and or bring the gain, and they're going to manage the team for you. And the great thing about it is, again, you can start and stop as you need to. So those are the difference, and you can tell right now, did I deliver on the promise of whether you need A CMO, whether you need a fractional CMO or whether you just need a marketing agency or even less than a marketing agency. Maybe you just need to go to Fivver or Upwork or find an individual technician for that individual thing that you need done. All you need is social media. Find a social media manager and you don't even need a full-time social media manager.
Find a freelancer. If you need emails written, you can get that from a marketing agency or you can get that from a freelancer. Okay, so there you have it. I do want to end with our sponsor, Local Marketer, pro all in one marketing software. If you haven't gone and checked that out, you definitely want to do that because that does everything. Not everything. I mean, it's not going to go out and get snacks for the snack box, but as far as marketing goes, it does quite a bit. Go check that out. Until next week, this is what I would like you to do. If you like this, go ahead and share it. Tag me at Clarence Fisher, hashtag Local Market Monopoly, and next week, what are we going to cover next week? What do we have on the list? Oh, You've been hacked. Next week we're going to talk about Facebook hacking. It is going it crazy right now. The invites that I get from people who I'm already friends with, oh, I had a really, really crazy experience. I'm going to tell you that. I'm going to share that with you on the next episode next week, so make sure you tune in until then. Go do what you need to do in order to own your block.

Closing: We appreciate you listening to Local Market Monopoly. Be sure to rate, review and subscribe to the show and visit localmarketmonopoly.com for more resources that will help you dominate your local market and own the block.


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