Agile Strategy

When to Consider a Fractional Marketing Manager

The concept of fractionalizing executive positions from CMO to CFO can be quite fruitful with the right partner. Now pushing it a little further, I believe the marketing manager position can be fractionalized for small to midsize companies

A few benefits at a glance:

  • Increased productivity at a fraction of the costs
  • Injection of specialization as needed
  • Effective leadership and execution

Let’s begin with what an in-house marketing manager does…

Taken straight from Indeed.com, a list of job responsibilities.

Marketing managers establish and direct marketing policies for their organizations, which may include identifying the target market, creating demand for their company’s product or service, developing pricing strategies, and monitoring market trends to maximize their company’s profit or market share. Examples of market manager duties and responsibilities include:

  • Developing marketing plans or strategies based on market characteristics and organizational goals
  • Collaborating with advertising or promotional managers to coordinate and direct marketing activities to promote products or services
  • Analyzing data to make informed decisions about marketing campaigns and activities
  • Estimating costs and potential sales to project marketing needs
  • Evaluating financial aspects of products or services including budgets, expenditures, return-on-investment, and profit-loss projections
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and adjusting strategies as necessary to achieve target goals
  • Developing pricing strategies to meet market demand and organizational objectives

Seems pretty straightforward, but what they don’t tell you, is that within quite a few small to midsize companies a marketing manager is expected to:

  • Create
  • Implement
  • Execute 

…. across multiple channels, and for most, they are also expected to be WordPress Webmasters and SEO experts. And don’t get me started on the expectation of time management when we are pulling everyone into a constant array of daily meetings.

[aside] Marketing managers, I feel your pain.

When does it make sense to hire a fractional marketing manager?

Let’s begin with a simple example. If you’re a B2B SaaS company running a multi-channel strategy, your company would require skill sets around:

  • WordPress (or your particular CMS)
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Content Creation
  • Paid Search + Display
  • Paid and Organic LinkedIn
  • Paid and Organic Twitter
  • Email Marketing
  • Graphic Design

Looking at the list above I see quite a bit of specialization and execution and it would be impractical for small-to-medium sized businesses to maintain all.

The best time to hire a fractional marketing manager is when your company:

  1. does not have the budget for a full-time employee or is seeing high turnover
  2. has multiple campaigns annually or product launches that are outside of the current marketing manager’s bandwidth and/or expertise
  3. has attempted to outsource to freelancers and found that you are losing cohesion in the overall strategy

Fractional marketing management offers both high-level oversight and a skilled team to execute.

The Benefits of Fractional Marketing Management

There are so many reasons this is a fit for a lot of companies.

For starters, let’s talk money

  • The average salary of a marketing manager is $59,858 per year and can range upwards of $133,000 (indeed.com)
  • The average time to train is 6-9 months
  • In-house marketing managers require paid time-off, 401Ks, and health insurance
  • The marketing manager role as stated above is not to create, implement and execute – therefore you must find other resources to fill the gap

Access to an entire digital marketing team

Behind every fractional marketing manager is a carefully selected team, built to the needs of your campaign(s). When we attempt to hire freelancers for “one-offs” we are not building towards a comprehensive digital strategy. This will lose you money in the long run – it’s not a statement or an opinion it is a FACT.

When you fractionalize this position you hire an experienced marketing manager with a team of subject matter experts to work alongside your team and execute every detail. 

Diversity and Fresh Perspective

Every time I jump into a campaign that has not been performing I can find at least 3 areas of opportunity. This is due to my unique experience and also because I have my team, three more sets of eyes, reviewing the campaign from their perspective. 

Effective Agility

The needs of your marketing strategy will change often for a myriad of reasons. Your fractional marketing manager will keep consistent as the team shifts to the needs of the engagement.