Many startups are started and lead by the chief technologist. Maybe their title is CEO, but their skill set is technical development and vision. With customer acquisition to validate traction the highest priority, the first non-technical hires should focus on marketing and sales.
In the early days, the technical CEO often delays hiring a marketing professional due to cost and equity considerations and attempts to cover marketing functions. In doing so, they often struggle with marketing issues:
The longer the startup struggles with these core go-to-market issues, the more likely sales goals won't be met, competitors will gain space, investors won’t lose interested, and the risk of company failure raises. Is there a way to get a marketing executive on board earlier? Absolutely.
A Fractional CMO is a cost-effective means of having expert marketing leadership on your team without the full-time overhead costs associated with hiring a top-level executive. They combine in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing and communications, bringing real-world experience and perspective to crystallize strategy and manage implementation. Also, they work as an external member of your company’s executive management team, available for strategic projects and coaching services. Most importantly, a Fractional CMO provide support to the startup growth plans.
Why is a Fractional CMO a good option?
1. Can be hired quickly and provide instant value
2. Bring decades of marketing expertise and lessons learned
3. Eager to work part-time, willing to put in full-time energy as needed
4. Offer broad industry knowledge: technology, products, and markets
5. Bring industry respect and connections
But even better, a Fractional CMO is a great option for a startup because the executive is open to flexible compensation options including cash and equity, aligned with the company current status and potential.
With over 15 years of experience, I have worked since 2015 as a Fractional CMO for industry leaders and emerging companies focused on business growth. I served each company with the same level of dedication and commitment to their strategy as a full-time CMO. My engagements have been long standing, partnering with the company to deliver on their growth plans.
As the Fractional CMO, you need to contribute to the company's strategy and participate in executive meetings. You want the CEO to treat you as a member of his/her team, peer on the executive team, and you are always "on call" to solve a problem or provide advice. Sounds like a full-time job, right? From experience, I can tell you that all of that and more can be achieved in a part-time capacity. The Fractional CMO model works very well for early-stage firms or startups that can't afford an experienced executive and don't require a full-time employee.
A Fractional CMO can help you increase lead flow, build integrated sales and marketing processes, and gain more business faster by optimizing current customer acquisition efforts. Sound appealing? Get in touch with us, and we will be happy to discuss how outsourcing marketing could benefit your company.
DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisors, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.
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