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Navigating the marketing skills maze: Identifying and closing gaps in your team

What is fractional marketing and what could it do for your business’ growth?

Fractional C-suite leaders join a team on a temporary basis, leveraging their years of experience to help businesses grow. They are brought in to focus on specific business gaps and/or goals. Tenured, minted leaders have a business pedigree, a wealth of knowledge and a library of successful strategies that can be deployed quickly to identify business needs and opportunities, remove stifling blockages and ignite growth.

Interim, fractional leadership roles offer unique advantages that traditional in-house leadership roles may not. These non-traditional roles prioritize fresh ideas, streamlining efficiencies, bringing agility and adaptability to your business strategy, helping businesses to stand out, jump start new opportunities, building in flexibility, cost-effectively, while focusing acutely on the attainment of strategic growth. Hiring a fractional leader, at the right time, can add significant long-lasting value to a business. A survey conducted by Chief Outsiders found that companies that utilized fractional CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) experienced an average revenue increase of 17% within the first year. And, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, showed that the use of fractional executive leadership can save businesses up to 40% compared to hiring a full-time executive.

SO, what is a fractional executive?

Fractional executives are typically former, seasoned executives who provide their services and expertise toward an organization’s strategic goals, projects, or broader initiatives.

They can capitalize on their years of proven experience to get results. Having “been there, done that”, they can quickly diagnose or access and apply solutions to help jump start your business. They usually do so on a part-time, or contract basis, leading fractional executives to sometimes be referred to as part-time, interim, outsourced, contract, or even gig executives. Fractional C-suite employees are valuable growth minded members of a team. Think of fractional executives as highly-involved, pedigreed executives who offer their expertise in whichever sphere your company needs- CEO, CFO, CMO, CSO, CPO or COO; Fractional leaders can also be hired for more junior positions, at the VP and Director level when positions suddenly open and critical work needs to get done while you search for the right permanent hire. There is a tremendous difference between ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’. Meaning, sometimes you need a leader that thinks strategically, boldly and leans into the future, developing plans for emerging opportunities and growth. Once you have a new strategic direction solidified, now the leader you need may be one that can implement that plan, manage change quickly and with impact.  It is rare to find an executive that has a balance of both a growth mindset and the ability for flawless execution. Fractional leadership can provide the right skills, at the right time.

“As people take stock of their lives and leave their jobs in droves, seasoned leaders are looking for new opportunities to use their expertise and acumen but might not want to sign up for a decade of service,” Thacker wrote in an article for Fast Company. “As an alternative, companies that need to populate the C-Suite and plan strategic shifts can rely on fractional leadership to bring in fresh perspectives into the organization, while avoiding the headache of traditional executive recruiting.”

There are specific instances where fractional services can be of great value, including:

• If a company’s managers are lacking a specific set of skills, such as the skills a full-time COO or CMO. 

• When a company is in leadership transition, to fill a gap of an exiting leader to help keep the business moving ahead while you lead the search for the right incoming leader.

• When the organization’s financial, marketing, or operational duties are substantial but don’t yet require full-time personnel.

• When the organization's current operating model needs new thinking, direction shift or a creative boost.

One benefit of choosing to fill an executive position fractionally is that these managers are more closely associated, and vested in the success of the company than just outsourcing to a consultant, while also being more cost effective than full-time employees, according to a March 2022 article published in the Journal of Business Strategy. 

For example, fractional executive services are a particular benefit to businesses in transition, startups and small businesses. These part-time executives can immediately provide an organization with tenured skills to perform all of the activities that a marketing, strategy, or finance/accounting department would perform and provide a consistent leadership voice for whatever time frame you need, at a fraction of the cost.

How do part-time executive jobs work?

It's simple. Part-time executives are called in to get the job done. Their scope of work is usually tailored or limited, allowing them to be extremely focused and results-oriented. One of the many benefits of hiring an outside fractional executive is that you’ll get a fresh perspective into your organization’s strategies and processes. Plus, part-time executives have the benefit of being more involved team players, especially compared to consultants who may tend to deliver strategy without execution. Fractional executives are hyper-focused on growth and efficiency, are highly involved, or hands-on, and they often have ownership to the implementation plans they develop.

Why hire a fractional executive

Using a fractional executive can bring several benefits to a business:

1. Cost-Effectiveness: Fractional executives are typically hired on a part-time or project basis, allowing businesses to access top-level expertise without the expense of a full-time executive salary and benefits.

2. Flexibility and Scalability: Fractional executives offer flexibility in terms of their availability and the duration of their engagement. This allows businesses to scale their leadership resources up or down as needed, depending on their current needs and budget. It also allows the business to hire the skill they need, whether it’s a bold, out-of-the-box, strategic thinker that colors outside of traditional lines of business bringing fresh ideas, or a hard core, execution taskmaster pushing the business ahead for rapid growth.

3. Specialized Expertise: Fractional executives are often highly experienced, pedigreed professionals who have specialized skills and knowledge in a specific area, such as finance, marketing, strategy or operations. They can quickly provide valuable insights and guidance to help businesses overcome challenges, build efficiencies and drive rapid growth. A survey by the Fractional CMO Collective revealed that 95% of respondents reported that fractional CMOs provided valuable strategic guidance to their organizations.

4. Objective Perspective: Fractional executives bring an outsiders perspective to the business, free from internal biases and politics. They can provide an objective assessment of the company's operations, identify areas for improvement, and offer fresh ideas and strategies

5. Quick Results: Fractional executives are accustomed to working in fast-paced, high pressure environments and are skilled at delivering results quickly. They can hit the ground running, leveraging their expertise and experience to make an immediate impact on the business. For them, it is all about results.

6. Mentorship and Development: Fractional executives can also serve as mentors to existing staff, sharing their knowledge and expertise to help develop the skills of the internal team. This can lead to long-term benefits for the business by building needed internal capabilities and leadership.

Overall, using a fractional executive can provide businesses with a cost effective way to access high-quality, tenured talent with specialized expertise, and timely, flexible resources when needed, all of which can contribute to continuing business momentum and driving growth and success.

Maybe we can dig up actual resources to prove the below points and provide the articles on our website as resources of fact?

1. Increased Revenue: A survey conducted by Chief Outsiders found that companies that utilized fractional CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) experienced an average revenue increase of 17% within the first year.

2. Cost Savings: According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, fractional executive leadership can save businesses up to 40% compared to hiring a full-time executive.

3. Enhanced Efficiency: A report by Deloitte found that fractional executives can help businesses improve operational efficiency by implementing best practices and streamlining processes.

4. Strategic Guidance: Fractional executives bring strategic thinking and a wealth of experience to the table. A survey by the Fractional CMO Collective revealed that 95% of respondents reported that fractional CMOs provided valuable strategic guidance to their organizations.


Fractional executives, also known as part-time or contract executives, offer unique advantages to businesses seeking to grow. They bring years of market knowledge and expertise to help achieve specific business goals before moving on to their next client.

These non-traditional roles prioritize agility, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness, allowing businesses to remain flexible while achieving strategic objectives. Hiring fractional executives, such as a fractional CMO or CEO, can add significant long-lasting value to a business by providing specialized skills, fresh perspectives, and objective assessments.

These executives are hyper-focused, results-oriented, and offer business building and strategic development opportunities. Overall, using fractional executive services can bring needed leadership, specialized expertise, objective perspectives, quick results, and mentorship to businesses, contributing to future growth and business success.

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