Difference Between Full-Time and Fractional CMO

Nov 7, 2023

When it comes to steering your company’s marketing, you have options. The choice between a full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and a Fractional CMO is like choosing between owning a luxury car or hiring an Uber-luxury ride only when you need it.

Fractional Marketing Director leading a meeting A full-time CMO, similar to owning that luxury vehicle, requires more resources – from salary expenses to office space. They’re part of the C-Suite executives’ circle, involved in office politics and daily operations. This high-level involvement can sometimes blur their focus on strategic marketing guidance due to operational distractions.

In contrast, think of a Fractional CMO as the ultra-luxurious hired ride which provides specialized expertise without demanding garage space. For medium-sized businesses with limited resources but big aspirations, this model offers incredible value.

The key differences lie in time commitment, experience level cost considerations & flexibility:

  • Time Commitment: Their dedicated time varies based on what your business needs – unlike full-timers who work standard hours irrespective of workload variations. So why pay for idle hours?
  • Critical Experience Level: An experienced Fractional CMO brings senior leadership knowledge gained from working across multiple sectors helping them offer fresh perspectives (‘fresh eyes’). Their cross-industry insights identify areas needing improvement within current marketing efforts better than full-time CMOs who might have tunnel vision.
  • Cost Considerations: A Fractional CMO works on a retainer basis. They’re not employees, so no employee benefits or bonuses to worry about – just the Fractional CMO cost for their services. It’s like having an executive-level marketer without the executive price tag.


Key Takeaway: 

With a Fractional CMO, you’re getting executive-level marketing insights without having to pay through the nose. It’s like hiring an Uber-luxury ride when you need it, rather than buying a luxury car outright. They offer specialized expertise that doesn’t require resources such as office space and come with flexible time commitments and high-level cross-industry experience. And the best part? Their services are cost-effective.


FAQs: Using a Fractional Marketing Director

What are the benefits of Fractional Marketing?

Fractional marketing gives access to top-notch expertise without a full-time salary. It’s cost-effective, flexible, and ideal for small to mid-sized businesses needing strategic guidance.

What does a Fractional Marketing Director do?

A Fractional Marketing Director develops strategies, oversees campaigns, and guides your team – all part-time. They’re seasoned professionals offering their knowledge on an as-needed basis.

How much does a Fractional CMO charge per hour?

The hourly rate varies but is typically lower than hiring full time. You can expect anywhere from $100-$400/hour, depending on experience and market rates.

Should I hire a Fractional CMO?

If you need expert guidance but aren’t ready for a full-timer, yes. A Fractional CMO provides senior-level insights while saving costs associated with full-time employment.


Want to learn more?

Learn more about the benefits of using a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for your business. Beyond the financial savings, Fractional CMOs bring a fresh perspective and wide expertise. Need more information? Contact us for a free consultation to see if Fractional CMO services are a good fit.