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Throw a BullsEye Using a Fractional CMO



The vital role of marketing during your startup phase can and should vary depending upon how much traction you currently have and how much of your go-to-market you’ve defined and tested. A very experienced senior marketing leader usually doesn’t enter the picture until after a growth Series A or Series B to become full-time. The challenge becomes finding a talented person, something you can’t buy off the shelf. It takes time to get to know their strengths and understand how they mix into your team. There is no reason to wait to get that level of help when you can easily achieve traction prior to those hiring goals. 


One strategy you can take when trying to incentivize a skilled advisor is to agree to equity of your company. If that’s the route you are thinking to move forward with, be prepared to have a plan to engage consistently; otherwise, you’ll get a few months of leisurely effort. The reality is that everyone needs to pay the bills, and if they are not receiving actual dollars in their palms, they really don't care like you. Their efforts and the quality of the work will show ultimately affecting your outcome. Another strategy to consider is to hire a Fractional CMO. Typically these folks are more hands-on, are retained for a duration of time, and will become more reliable to produce what they agree too. They work side-by-side with the current executive team to put in place the right processes, systems, and people to properly position your company for scalable and successful growth. By outsourcing this talent at a fraction of the cost, you are freed up to lead your organization.  


Whatever path you head down, the lead for marketing should determine a specific category to focus on and what differentiates your product. Crafting this type of story will require knowledge and expertise to resonate in the hearts of your audience, emphasizing your unique benefits that will help them. At [n] reach, we recommend that you search for a fractional CMO who has versatility, can keep alignment with sales, and possesses the “know-how” from a tactical level. Their efforts should aim to prove out their strategies and to test everything. We also recommend working with someone who has ideas to facilitate a deep understanding of your audience.


How a talented, fractional CMO views your situation:

  • Does the company have a viable marketing strategy for their current situation and their ultimate objective, and how well do they know either?

  • How is the company executing on its product marketing strategy?

How to engage a fractional CMO:


Tactical Extra Bandwidth:

  • New Market or Product launch

  • Maximizing ROI for on an upcoming event

  • Implement a Content Marketing engine

  • Lead and interpret qualitative market research

Strategic Transformation:

  • Cultural transformation

  • Organizational alignment and design

  • Methodology and skills upgrade

  • Market or product pivot

“The work of a Fractional CMO always starts with research and segues to puzzle solving. We work to discover the optimal target markets, understand their points of view, polish our messaging, create compelling stories likely to resonate with audiences, and architect a personalized outreach program. Probably the most important trait of a successful fractional CMO is our ability to translate the CEO’s vision into an insightful, measurable, and actionable marketing plan.“  -- Ron Shulkin fractionalcmogroup.com 

Get through challenging startup times from the “been there, done that” experts at [n] reach. We de-risk and accelerate venture scale startups to raise capital through the lens of investors. Gain key insights with hands-on productivity for business growth and to get fit-for-funding.

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