How to choose the right fractional marketing expert for your needs
The field of marketing has radically changed in recent years and has moved well beyond the remit of just sales support, or being a major cost burden to your business. More and more businesses are recognising the impact that marketing (particularly Directors and CMO’s), can have on their business as a whole. From valuable input into business strategy setting, developing and launching new products, and helping raise investment. They can also take ownership of business growth and profitability, as well as P&L. This means that marketing functions are now becoming more integrated in business practice than ever before.
Linkedin currently lists over 26,000 senior C-suite CMOs in the UK, which is a testament to the importance that businesses place on these roles to drive business growth. This is great if your business can afford to recruit a skilled marketer with board-level experience, but what if your business can not bear the cost of a highly paid executive, or your business is not big enough to justify a full-time role?
This is where fractional marketing experts come in. In this helpful guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about fractional marketing, including the benefits it can offer your business. Plus, we’ll help you choose the right one for your needs, so you can get started reaping the benefits of this new way of working.
- What is a fractional marketing expert?
- The benefits of using a fractional marketing expert
- How to choose the right one for your needs
- Tips on how to get started
What is a fractional marketing expert?
There are lots of myths around this, but a fractional marketing director is usually a senior marketer that has previously worked in-house at a variety of companies; choosing one that has the correct background for your business will be critical to success. Most will have occupied board-level positions, managed multi-functional teams, and will have experience in building new teams. They will be adept at stakeholder management and be able to influence at a C-suite level as well as motivate a marketing team.
Engaging with one would typically involve hiring them to work with your company on a part-time or project basis. This can be an especially beneficial arrangement for small and medium-sized businesses or startups that may not have the budget to hire a full-time marketing consultant or director.
Fractional marketing experts can be used to help set strategy, build virtual or in-house marketing teams, oversee and manage marketing plan execution and develop new product offerings.
The benefits of using a fractional marketing expert
There are many benefits of working this way, including:
Access to experienced marketing talent without the high cost or commitment of a full-time hire. This gives your business flexibility in your approach and you can increase or decrease your commitment over time based on your needs. Your business will benefit from the insight and experience that an expert can bring, but only pay for the time you need.
The ability to scale your marketing efforts up or down as needed, without a long-term commitment. Many professionals will be prepared to work on a project-by-project basis allowing you to link costs directly with results, making this a very efficient way to work. This can be a great way to start the relationship, by getting some short-term help and building confidence in their abilities.
A good fractional marketing expert will have also been in the industry long enough to have a wealth of contacts that you can utilise as a part of your business. They will be able to identify what functions and activities you are currently missing in your existing plan.
They will know which marketing suppliers and tech are best suited to your use case, as well as be able to bring in specialists in areas such as SEO or PPC to supplement your own team. If you have limited skills in-house, they can even build you an outsourced fractional marketing team.
Perspective is an often under-recognised benefit of using a fractional marketing expert. Because they work on your behalf but are annexed to your business, you will benefit from their greater objectivity.
Quite often an external perspective can be useful to identify issues within your business, that a full-time employee may not feel comfortable voicing. Also due to the nature of working this way a fractional marketer will not get caught up in the politics of your business, and are there to deliver rather than climbing a corporate ladder or bolster their CV.
As a result, they will focus on your business needs and the role you have assigned them to deliver on your objectives.
A good fractional marketing expert will be able to enforce some rigour into your marketing function. Marketing ultimately exists to grow your business profitably. Having a senior manager looking after the needs of your business, rather than working on vanity projects, will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Tasks such as implementing processes, measuring effectiveness, customer research, and understanding lifetime value should become much clearer within your business. They will also instil this rigour within your existing team, as well as be able to teach best practices and call out poor performance.
These are just some of the few benefits your business will enjoy by using a fractional marketing expert, but if you are still not sure, there are some key signs that your business could need one.
Choosing the right one for your needs
When choosing a fractional marketing expert, it’s important to consider their skills, experience, and areas of expertise. You’ll also want to make sure that they’re a good fit for your company culture and that they understand your business goals.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right person for your needs:
1. Define your needs. Before you start your search, take some time to think about what you need from them. What skills and expertise do you require? What kind of personality do you want them to have? What is your budget? Once you have a good understanding of your needs, you’ll be able to narrow down your search.
2. Do your research. Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start your research. Check out websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find fractional marketing experts in your industry or region. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or business contacts who have used one in the past.
3. Compare proposals. Once you’ve found a few fractional marketing experts that you’re interested in working with, ask them to provide you with a proposal outlining their services and fees. This will give you a chance to compare apples to apples and make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money.
4. Ask for references. Before making your final decision, be sure to ask each of the prospects you’re considering for a list of references. This will give you a chance to speak with other business owners or marketing professionals who have worked with them in the past and get a sense of their quality of work and professionalism.
Tips on how to get started
Once you’ve found the perfect fractional marketing expert for your needs, it’s time to get started. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your partnership:
1. Set clear goals. Before getting started, take some time to sit down with them and set clear goals for your marketing strategy. What are your business objectives? What are your targets for leads, sales, or website traffic? Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve will help you focus your efforts and measure success.
2. Communicate regularly. One of the benefits of working with a fractional marketing expert is that you can tap into their expertise and experience. But in order to get the most out of your partnership, you need to communicate with them regularly. Keep them updated on your business goals and progress, and let them know about any changes or challenges you’re facing.
3. Be open to feedback. A good fractional marketing expert will be honest with you about what’s working and what isn’t. They may also have suggestions for how you can improve your marketing strategy. Be open to their feedback and take it to heart; after all, they’re the experts in their field.
4. Celebrate successes. When you achieve your goals, take a moment to celebrate your success. This will not only motivate you to keep going, but it will also show your hire that you value their expertise and are willing to listen to their advice.
By following these tips, you can get the most out of your fractional marketing partnership and achieve your business goals. If you’re ready to find a fractional marketing expert to help grow your business, get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to chat with you about your needs and connect you with someone who will be great for your business.