If you’re thinking about bringing in a fractional CMO for your company, then one of the more likely reasons is because you need someone to fulfill that function until you see fit to fill that position permanently. There are other reasons that you might bring someone in for fractional consulting, but one thing is certain: there are specific qualities that such a person must have, regardless of whether you intend on hiring them for the post going forward or if you plan on parting ways with them in a few weeks or months.
A fractional CMO must be able to block out all external noise and focus on the business at hand. Chief marketing officers have to be “big picture” people: they must have in mind at all times what your principal marketing goals are, and they must strive every day to bring you closer to them. The fact that you brought them in for fractional consulting, which is to say that they might not be with the company in six months or a year, should not enter into their dedication to the task. They should also instill that attitude in all the people who are working under them.
Your fractional CMO should be able to communicate with the other members of the marketing department, and also those outside of it, in a clear and concise fashion. There should be no ambiguity about what they need and when they need it. They need to know how to ask the right queries of their superiors and subordinates to get whatever information is required to form a sound marketing plan, and then they must know what steps to take to implement it. This is the essence of fractional consulting.
A Wealth of Experience
Part of what makes a person a good fractional CMO is that they have plenty of experience in different areas of marketing on which to draw. That means that no aspect of marketing will be foreign to them. Even though they will have to learn the specifics of what it is a company does, and what their goals are, the fractional CMO will know how to quickly form a workable plan based on available resources and what the company’s immediate and long-term goals are.
Finally, someone who is gifted at fractional consulting should be able to get consistent results, and that boils down to work ethic. They must be able to show up for work every day with enthusiasm for the job that is contagious. Even if they are there on an interim basis, that does not mean that they should be any less dedicated than someone who has been working for the company for the past twenty years.
The best fractional CMOs are a rare breed. If you can find someone who does it well, then they might be of tremendous benefit, even if they are only going to be with you for a relatively short period.