Helen Cox Marketing Consultant Kent and London

Does your B2B firm need a fractional CMO or a traditional CMO?

Marketing is something that any B2B firm is going to need to get right to be successful in what they do, but it is something that can be hard to master. This is particularly true if you are already spreading yourself across several other aspects of your business, and feel that you simply do not have the time to give to marketing.

Many B2B firms find this to be the case, which means that they need to think of a different way to approach marketing themselves. This means that they decide to hire a Chief Marketing Officer or a CMO.

When it comes to CMOs there are two main options that you can consider. These are fractional CMOs and traditional CMOs. But, what makes them different and which one might be the right choice for you?  

What is the difference?  

The best place to start is to think about what the key differences are between a fractional CMO and a traditional CMO.   

A traditional CMO is employed by the company, they work a standard working week, usually around the 40-hour mark and handle only the marketing tasks for that business.   

A fractional CMO only works the number of hours that they are needed for that business. This may be set or it may change depending on the marketing that the B2B firm is currently getting out there. A fractional CMO will often work for many clients at the same time, providing similar services to them all, rather than being employed solely by one.   

How will I know which one is right for me?  

The next question that you are likely to ask is how you will know which CMO is going to be right for you and your needs. To do this, it is best to ask yourself some questions that can help to point you in the right direction.   

What are your expectations?  

A great place to start is to think about what expectations you have from your marketing plans. If you have grand ideas that are going to take lots of time to achieve, then you may want to hire someone in-house as a full-time employee to work on those goals. They can tackle a wide range of tasks and they will be dedicated to ensuring that the goals that you have, are reached.   

If you have smaller goals and more realistic ideas for your B2B firm, then you may find that a fractional CMO is a much better idea. They are going to only be needed (and paid) for the time that you need them, which means that you can save yourself money. It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that they won’t be as dedicated as a traditional CMO. They will want to achieve results for you as this will help you to remain loyal to them and use their service in the future.   

What budget do you have?  

Next, you need to think about money. The great thing about fractional CMOs is that they are budget-friendly. You only need to pay them for the time that they work with you, which means you can make it work within the marketing budget constraints that you have.  

Also, they will be working with you for every moment that you pay them, which means that you are going to be getting value for money and a good return on your investment too.   

In comparison, a traditional CMO can be more costly, and, as you are paying them as an employee, you are going to find that you pay them whether they are doing work for you or not. Which may feel like a waste of your money.   

What size is your business?  

You need to ask yourself what size your business is. The bigger the business, then the greater the marketing plans they are likely to have. If you have lots of marketing ideas for the future, and you are looking to take your empire as global or as national as possible, it might be better for you to hire a CMO through the traditional methods. That way you know that they are going to solely be working on your brand rather than spreading themselves out.  

If you have a small business, then you may have smaller needs, which means that you will be much better placed to have someone who is only working with you for a fraction of their time.   

How well are your teams aligned?  

Finally, you need to think about how well the teams within your business fit together. If you find that your teams fit together well and all work seamlessly to ensure that your marketing goals are met, then this is going to be a great opportunity to bring a traditional CMO into your firm. They can fit right in with the flow that you already have and ensure that marketing becomes something that you focus on.   

What if you have found that your departments and teams are not quite working as well together as they should?

You may not want to dive in and hire a marketing CMO. Instead, you could dip your toe in and choose a fractional CMO. They can work with you and your departments to ensure that marketing happens, as well as work on a way to bring all of those departments together for the future.   

Ultimately the main thing to remember is that you need to make marketing work for your B2B firm, which includes whether you choose a fractional or traditional CMO. The best person to know what is right for them is you, so, why not consider the answers to the questions and find out what you should sign up for to improve your B2B firm’s marketing efforts?   

Take a look at some of my other blogs you may be interested in:

The Fractional CMO Playbook: Mastering Crucial Competencies

What is a fractional CMO and why does my B2B business need one? 

Need help?

If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe as well as specialising as a Legal Marketing Consultant. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.