It’s not easy being a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) these days. According to research featured in Forbes, the average tenure of a CMO is just 3.5 years. Compare this to the average 6.9-year tenure of CEOs, and you get an idea of how sad that statistic really is. 

average c-level executive tenure graph

If you’ve dealt in marketing, you probably have some idea of why such a vital role can be so rapidly replaced. Marketing (read about why we’re not referring to it as “digital marketing” specifically by Clicking Here), is a very dynamic, evolving component of business these days, and the management of it is getting more difficult all the time.

It’s the wild west in the marketing industry right now. You have to accept that and realize that you may not be fully equipped to judge incoming marketing executives as effectively as you have in the past.

Why go through the pain, time, and expense of vetting and onboarding a CMO that might prove futile in under a year’s time? Why not test a potential CMO prior to hiring, or get a premium CMO to guide your existing marketing department temporarily while you get your next campaign in order?

That’s where the Fractional CMO comes into play. 

A fractional CMO is someone who acts as the Chief Marketing Officer for your company but is hired as a contractor or consultant. 

Why Are Long-Term CMO’s So Hard to Find?

Good CMO’s are actually REALLY easy to find. Put up an ad and you’ll probably get 100+ submissions from lots of qualified, experienced professionals. Many will be excellent during interviews, their past results will shine, and their references will sparkle.

The problem is that they won’t be long-term. Just think of your last CMO.

It’s not that your last CMO was bad per se, they just didn’t “fit” right. Or the revenue didn’t grow fast enough. Or they misjudged their projections. Or the CEO/CFO/COO/etc hated their guts. Or whatever.

The truth is that letting go of a CMO is easy because their results are VERY tangible and obvious. Whereas a CEO can blame a number of abstract factors like the economy, global events, competitor moves, and the actions of individual departments, the CMO’s performance analytics are simple. They look something like this:

ACTIONS OF THE CMO = REVENUE GROWTH/DECLINE

The revenue declines, they did a bad job and you can’t argue with hard numbers. You should have gone with that other candidate that seemed better. Then the cycle will repeat itself.

How to judge your fractional CMO graphic

Why Aren’t CMO’s More Effective?

The Chief Marketing Officer position looks a lot different than it did five years ago. Between new methodology, technology development, and societal change (Click Here for a more detailed breakdown), today’s CMO has a lot to think about.

Here are a few of the reasons why CMO’s are so short-lived in the business world today:

The Solution to High CMO Turnover: The Fractional CMO

With the role of marketing evolving every day, it’s easy to see how hiring a good CMO has become a monumental task. 

At DigitalMarketer, our whole business is built around the skills necessary to be a capable marketing professional in the 2020’s, and let me tell you, the list is not short.

Here are just a few of the benefits your business can glean by using a Fractional CMO for your next marketing push:

Why 2021 is the Year to Use a Fractional CMO

Outsourcing in general has seen a huge upswing over the last few years. In 2019, it was estimated that more than a third (37%) of all businesses were outsourcing a business process. Further, one of the greatest outsourced components was marketing.

After the healthcare difficulties of 2020 and 2021, you can see why that percentage may certainly increase. Everything has shifted, both the task of marketing and the environment it’s used in. You can’t afford to make a costly hiring mistake during such a vital, transitional period.

You need to start using Fractional CMOs.

Get Free Access to DigitalMarketer's Training Library