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Hiring a fractional CMO—ROI and how it works

A fractional executive leader is a very senior executive who brings many years of experience in strategic leadership, building teams, establishing processes, defining operational workflow, and working with other leaders and their teams for the org goals and vision.

They bring a fresh perspective to deal with the organization’s constraints, accelerate their operations, and challenge the status quo that could have been holding the org growth. 

For example the fractional CMO—Cheif Marketing Officers are not only marketing specialists, they build bridges towards the organization’s growth, work closely with GTM and growth teams, understand the revenue and unit economics, and focus their actions towards growth and revenue. (source: Executive Accelerators)

  • They design the team who can work on the action items in the roadmap—who stays focused, and know how to define the measurable goals. 
  • They work like architects with all the experience and knowledge of how content, message, positioning, branding—all these work together in the customer journey. 
  • They work in partnerships—with product managers, growth leaders, revenue department, and with design and content leadership.

“One way to remove enormous risk from the recruiting process is—hire the person as a contractor or consultant, try working together for 3 to 6 months, and if both sides are happy at the end of that period, then convert the candidate to regular employment. 

This works for some positions better than others— fractional CFOs and rent-a-CMOs already exist, whereas fractional CROs and CPOs (product) generally do not. This works for some situations better than others: it won’t work when recruiting a veteran CMO out of an existing job, but it can work nicely when considering a between-jobs, up-and-coming VP of Finance for their first CFO role. Be open, be creative. I have made some great hires this way—and avoided some train wrecks.” says Dave Kellogg

Experienced CMOs have this knack of working with the executive leadership to identify the goals first. Is it about customer acquisition, or reducing churn, or for growth and expansion, or for risk and compliance in a sensitive category (example—energy, forests).

A CMO sets up studio or lab where they build sub-systems for

  • competition and marketing research
  • customer journey and customer success criteria
  • capability development—matrix and quadrants view
  • product onboarding and retention loops
  • product positioning and brand storytelling
  • sales enablement
  • operations via actionable and measurable line items
  • communication system
  • metrics, revenue, and growth
  • customer experience, brand advocacy
  • customer development, platform development, community development, agency building


Other fractional executive leadership roles—CEO, Chief Design Officer, Chief Content Officer, Chief Product Officer

  • Value network
  • Value culture
  • Org design
  • System design and system thinking
  • Team design—incentives, culture, collective vision


Refer this Forbes story:  (screenshot saved for numbers)

The ROI of hiring fractional CMO, a few numbers and an example in this Forbes story.

Fractional Chief Product Offer

  • Intersection of product management, product marketing, product strategy itself, and he convergence of business success and customer success
  • Build systems that scale


How We Work

We start with at least two or three meetings to understand what you do, and how you work. We start it by understanding your core concerns but our eye is on the foundations first

Rather than reworking on your email marketing or social campaigns—we invest and reverse engineer your current product sentiment—your understanding of the market, the customer journey design, the content strategy, and the brand positioning.

Once we see the mapping and the gaps—we work on three streams in parallel:

  • Discovery—for evidence based design and right targeting in our marketing
  • Brand storytelling—for external audience
  • Employee experience—our collective vision, in the same language, towards the common goal

Our thoughts

  • Designing an intelligent bot—a case study, in an interview with Head of AI Content in Capital One (in 2018): link
  • A systems-driven content supply chain is the life blood of customer experience: link
  • Not Investing in product positioning is a disrespect to the product Itself: link
  • SaaS pricing page and the role of product content strategy: link
  • Aligning content principles with the product principles to have more relevant content systems: link
  • Our decisions framework: link
  • We need design and content systems that support product metrics: link


  • Growth design for startups, by First Round Review: link
  • The power of great product marketing:  Martina Lauchengco, Partner, Costanoa Ventures & SVPG (video): link
  • How capable leaders navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, John Cutler: link
  • Distribution and marketing—word of mouth, Reforge: link
  • Product Principles, Intercom: link
  • Recipe for system change, Helsinki Design Lab: link
  • Support content compliance using Generative AI, Michael Andrews: link
  • The product strategy stack, Reforge: link
  • Andrew Chen on marketplaces strategy, Stripe: link

If you are thinking something as

“We spoke to many customers but we are experiencing a high churn rate or inactive accounts rate; not sure how we could do it for the retention.”

“Our customers are loving the product and they see the value but our positioning is not very clear—we need to redo it and bring more customer-centric storytelling.”

“Our SaaS product page is getting a good traffic and they are seeing our pricing page but the conversions are too low—I wonder how we can build the urgency and confidence to help them sign up.”

Without overthinking, you can contact us to identify your needs, and if there is a merit in hiring us for fractional leadership roles. Just fill in this small form (Typeform). We shall write back within 72 hours.