Can you afford a fractional CMO?

The cost of a fractional CMO is significantly less than that of a full-time CMO. You can use a fractional CMO for as little as a few hours per week. The typical hourly fractional CMO rate is between $200 and $375.


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Answers to Your Questions

How much does a fractional CMO cost?

Value-wise, a fractional CMO can be a great investment. You get all of the benefits of having a Chief Marketing Officer without having to pay for someone who is dedicated full time. Price-wise, it will depend on what you’re looking for and how much help you need. Generally speaking, the cost will be proportional to the level of service you require.

A fractional CMO’s hourly rate varies based on expertise. Rates start at $150 and can go as high as $500 an hour. The typical hourly fractional CMO rate is between $200 and $375.

 What’s a typical fractional CMO hourly rate?

A CMO’s hourly rate, retainer fee or day rate is determined by the scope and time commitment. Fractional CMO rates begin at $150 and can reach as high as $500 per hour depending on industry. The typical hourly fractional CMO rate is between $200 and $375.

What’s included in a fractional CMO retainer?

The fractional CMO retainer fee entails occupying your head of marketing seat. They will audit, own, and strategically guide marketing toward your business revenue goals:

  1. They are hired as a part-time marketing executive for their expertise, leadership, and skill
  2. They will develop a plan and process for actionable customer acquisition and retention activities
  3. This is a long-term commitment to invest in marketing that will take time and effort to achieve tangible results

What is NOT included in a fractional CMO retainer?

  • A set of prescribed strategies, tactics, or tools
  • A guarantee of leads and revenue results in a short period of time
  • A substitute for paying for outside expenses to get additional work done (i.e., advertising, content development, technical SEO support, public relations)


How much should I budget for a fractional CMO?

If you’re looking for someone to help with just strategy and planning, the “salary” cost will be lower than if you’re looking for someone to do both strategy and execute those plans. That said, it’s always important to get quotes from several different fractional CMO’s in order to find the best fit and pricing structure.

The amount you budget for a fractional CMO will depend on the scope of work and the time commitment required. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from 1-10 hours per week or over 40 hours per month on this type of arrangement.

If you have a small organization or are just getting started, you may only need 1-3 hours per week for tasks like developing marketing strategy, coordinating campaigns and collateral, measuring results, and creating monthly reports. On the other hand, if you have a larger organization with an existing marketing team in place, you may need 10 or more hours per week to provide strategic oversight, manage initiatives and projects, and act as a mentor and coach to your team.

Is it expensive to use a fractional CMO service?

No. In fact, one of the benefits of working with a fractional CMO is that you can get started with a smaller budget. You’ll still need to invest in marketing, but you’ll get a higher return on investment by working with a fractional CMO.

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they need to spend a lot of money on marketing in order to see results. But that’s not always the case. In fact, by hiring a fractional CMO, you can avoid many of the common mistakes made in marketing and improve your business growth without breaking the bank.

What should I pay for a fractional CMO?

We have a cost calculator that can help you determine the price (see above). Typically, businesses pay for a fractional CMO based on how many hours per week they want the CMO to work, and what specific marketing deliverables they need help with. For example, if you need help developing and implementing a marketing plan, you will likely need to pay for 10 hours of work per week.


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