How Do Other CxOs Collab with a fCMO?

In my role as a fractional CMO (fCMO), it is common to be introduced by other fractional roles into companies that need rapid help with growth. A company that has already experienced the C-level experience of one fractional will quickly see the benefit in more.

The world of fractional executives is highly collaborative and collegial. There is a lot of networking with each other and tons of virtual events that promote community and fast mutual learning among the disciplines. One such example is Fractionals United (full disclosure: I sit on the FrUn advisory board).

Fractional CxOs belong to professional communities and business networks where there’s lots of shared insights, best practices, and referrals to get businesses going quickly. fCHROs, fCPOs, fCMOs, fCEOs, fCTOs… all work great in collaboration with each other.

There are many different types of fractional roles, but they all package their C-level expertise in fractional time offerings to make them attractive to companies seeking to do more with less. Fractionals bring both cost-effectiveness and a higher level of direct ownership of your company’s success in the work they do.

When a fractional executive encounters a situation where a colleague’s expertise is needed, they recommend them based on trust and previous collaborations.

Why do other fractional CxOs recommend a fractional CMO?

The benefits of the fractional CMO are immediately obvious to other fractional leaders: growth, flexibility and high efficiency. fCMOs can “get more with less” and also cost way less so there’s more left over for campaign spending.

fCxO work is based on providing high value in a highly efficient format, meaning lots of flexibility to do what needs to be done.

Hiring a fractional CxO of any kind means your company receives strategic guidance, leadership and ROI from a top expert without a full-time commitment or lengthy hiring procedure.

The top two reasons fractional CxOs recommend fCMOs is to launch a new growth initiative efficiently or to remove costly frictions from an existing growth process.

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional CxOs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Financial Officer (fCFO) takes over the books for a company, starts computing growth metrics, and sees that there’s no way to tell where leads are coming from.
  • A fractional Chief Operating Officer (fCOO) is brought in to find new efficiencies and develop better processes. They realize that the growth function isn’t correctly coordinated with the rest of the company, causing serious dysfunction and budget waste.
  • A fractional Chief Technology Officer (fCTO) completes a deep survey of a company’s tech stack and sees poorly integrated systems and siloed data all over the marketing function.
  • A fractional Chief Human Resources Officer (fCHRO), tasked with doing more with less people resources, checks the budget and sees how bringing in a fCMO to lead the internal marketing team vs hiring a full-time CMO will save thousands and lots of time.
  • A fractional Chief Product Officer (fCPO) is nearing completion of a critical product development cycle and realizes that the company doesn’t have the correct internal resources to plan and execute on an effective launch and go to market.

Below is more information about the common fractional disciplines, what they do, and how they collaborate with fCMOs.

How does a fractional Chief Financial Officer work with a fCMO?

A fractional CFO (Chief Financial Officer) provides part-time or interim financial leadership. 

This means the company receives strategic financial guidance from a corporate finance expert, but there is no full-time commitment or lengthy hiring procedure. 

The fractional CFO plays a crucial role in aligning financial strategies with overall business objectives, ensuring financial stability, and driving sustainable growth.

Here are some key responsibilities and roles where a fractional CFO collaborates with a fCMO for a B2B company:

  • Strategic Planning: Get financial strategies aligned with overall business goals. Provide expert insights into financial implications of strategic marketing decisions. Help drive the company’s growth and hire fCMO as needed.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Collaborate with all stakeholders to create annual budgets aligned with strategic objectives.
  • Financial Forecasting: Develop financial models and forecasts to guide decision-making. Assess the financial impact of different scenarios, allowing for data-driven decisions.
  • Financial Performance Analysis: Conduct financial analysis to gauge every aspect of the company’s performance against key metrics. Identify trends, risks, and opportunities for improvement in growth.
  • Benchmarking: Compare company performance to industry benchmarks and competitors to assess relative standing. Identify areas for improvement.
  • Financial Reporting Oversight: Deliver accurate and timely financial reporting of marketing results. Oversee the preparation of financial statements and communicate financial results to stakeholders: executives, board members, and investors.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Due Diligence: Participate in due diligence processes for potential mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships. Evaluate the financial aspects and risks of any such transactions.
  • Cost Management and Analysis: Analyze cost structures. Identify opportunities for cost savings or efficiency improvements. Implement cost management strategies like hiring of fCMO instead of full time.
  • Board and Executive Collaboration: Collaborate with board of directors and executive team to provide financial insights and contribute current, accurate financial data to strategic decision-making.
  • Vendor Relationships: Negotiate contracts with marketing vendors to optimize terms and costs. Keep costs under control over time, renegotiating when in the company’s interest.
  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics: Leverage data analytics and business intelligence tools to provide actionable insights. Work with fCMO to ensure attribution of all marketing campaigns.

The list goes on and on!

This is why a fCFO is so invaluable to any rapidly growing organization, especially in convert with a fCMO’s expertise. 

By engaging the right fCFO, B2B companies can access the power of a seasoned financial leader without the full-time commitment and cost associated with hiring a full-time CFO. 

Why do fractional CFOs recommend fractional CMOs?

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional CFOs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Financial Officer (fCFO) takes over the books for a company, starts computing financial metrics, and sees growth is lacking.
  • A CFO wants to commission a project to research and present a new plan for growth to a company that needs more revenue.
  • A fCFO notices that a key growth metric, such as churn, has suddenly taken a turn for the worse and wants an outside expert to take a look at customer success factors and messaging.

How does a fractional Chief Technology Officer work with a fCMO?

A fractional Chief Technology Officer (CTO) provides part-time or interim technology and systems leadership to drive innovation, efficiency, and technical excellence. 

The role of a fractional CTO involves a variety of responsibilities, all of them aimed at aligning technology strategies with company OKRs. 

Here are key functions and activities where a fractional CTO collaborates with a fCMO in a B2B setting:

  • Strategic Technology Planning: Develop and communicate a technology strategy aligned with overall business goals. Define the technology roadmap and prioritize initiatives. Collaborate with the finance team to develop technology budgets aligned with overall financial goals.
  • Marketing Tech Stack Evaluation: Assess and recommend technologies and tools that align with business needs. Evaluate and select appropriate technology stacks for development. Collaborate with fCMO on marketing stack.
  • Technical Leadership: Provide technical leadership and oversight of development. Collaborate with development teams to deliver high-quality software products and landing experiences for marketing and sales. Define and oversee the architecture of software systems. Ensure that architectural decisions align with scalability, security, and performance requirements.
  • Security Planning: Develop and implement security strategies to safeguard the company’s customer data.
  • Data Management and Analytics: Develop a data strategy that includes data governance, analytics, and business intelligence. Ensure effective data management practices, especially with sensitive customer data.
  • Scalability: Plan for the scalability of technology solutions to accommodate business growth. Address performance optimization challenges.
  • Vendor Relationships: Manage relationships with marketing technology vendors and service providers. Evaluate and negotiate contracts for technology services.
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Develop and oversee disaster recovery and business continuity plans for marketing technology systems.
  • Cost Control: Implement cost control measures to lower marketing technology expenses.
  • Internal Tech Training: Provide training and education on marketing tech tools and processes, ensuring that the team is equipped with the necessary skills.

By engaging a fractional CTO, a B2B company can access the expertise of a seasoned technology leader without the full-time commitment. Combined with a fCMO, two fractional leaders are still far below the cost of even one full-time C-level exec.

The fractional CTO plays a crucial role in shaping the technology vision, ensuring technical alignment with business goals, and driving innovation and efficiency across the organization. That’s why they are frequently working in close collaboration with me as a fractional CMO.

Why do fractional CTOs recommend fractional CMOs?

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional CTOs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Technology Officer (fCTO) completes a deep survey of a company’s tech stack and sees poorly integrated systems and siloed data all over the marketing function.
  • A fractional CTO has a new plan for developing new capabilities for sales and marketing, but it will require an extra level of planning, execution and training to make sure the transition is smooth.
  • A fCTO is developing a tech budget to encompass marketing systems like automation, machine learning, attribution, dashboards, CRM, customer records and more and needs a marketing expert to recommend the correct investments.

How does a fractional Chief Human Resources Officer work with a fCMO?

A fractional Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) provides part-time or interim leadership to a B2B (Business-to-Business) company, focusing on the strategic management of human resources functions. 

The role of a fractional CHRO involves various responsibilities aimed at maximizing the potential of the company’s workforce and creating a positive work environment. There are many intersections between this role and that of the fCMO.

Here are key functions and activities for which a fractional CHRO collaborates with a fCMO in a B2B setting:

  • Strategic Human Resources Planning: Develop and communicate a human resources strategy aligned with overall business goals. Define priorities for talent acquisition, development, and retention. Collaborate with fCMO on deciding best practice setup for marketing support.
  • Employee Training and Development: Implement programs for marketing employee training and development. Identify skills gaps and create plans to address them.
  • Performance Appraisals: Oversee performance management processes, including regular evaluations, goal setting, and feedback. Implement strategies to improve overall marketing employee performance.
  • Employee Engagement Initiatives: Develop and implement initiatives to enhance marketing employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall workplace morale.
  • Strategic Workforce Planning: Plan for the current and future marketing workforce needs of the organization. Align staffing levels with business objectives.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Develop and oversee compensation strategies to ensure competitive and fair pay practices for marketing. Oversee marketing employee benefits programs, including health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.
  • Succession Planning: Develop and implement succession planning strategies to identify and develop future leaders within the organization. Communications for sensitive succession plans and timing of announcements is in close collab with fCMO.
  • Remote Work Policies: Develop and implement policies and strategies for remote work, considering the needs of a distributed marketing workforce. Many marketing teams are remotely distributed globally.
  • Culture Development: Foster a positive and values-driven organizational culture. Implement initiatives to reinforce the company’s mission and values within marketing.
  • Change Initiatives: Lead and support change initiatives within the organization. Communicate effectively during periods of organizational change. Interim CMOs often work here.

By engaging a fractional CHRO, a B2B company can access the expertise of a seasoned HR leader without the full-time commitment. The fractional CHRO plays a crucial role in shaping the company’s human resources strategy, creating a positive workplace culture, and ensuring that HR practices align with business objectives.

Because the fCMO is always thinking about market conditions and the outlook for growth ahead, a fCMO and fCHRO can be close allies in planning effectively and efficiently for what is coming soon.

Why do fractional CHROs recommend fractional CMOs?

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional CHROs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Human Resources Officer (fCHRO), tasked with doing more with less people resources, checks the budget and sees how bringing in a fCMO to lead the internal marketing team vs hiring a full-time CMO will save thousands and lots of time.
  • A fCHRO is part of a company-wide digital transformation project. The company is noticing a lack of horizontal and vertical coordination between marketing, sales, customer success that is holding back progress. 

How does a fractional Chief Operating Officer work with a fCMO?

A fractional Chief Operating Officer (COO) provides part-time or interim leadership to a B2B (Business-to-Business) company. Their job is to develop, manage and optimize operational aspects to drive extra efficiency, effectiveness, and overall business performance. 

Fractional CMOs and fCOOs commonly work together on developing ideas that may lead to more business performance down the road. They also collaborate to wring more results out of existing processes, marketing spends, tech stacks and people resources.

The specific responsibilities of a fractional COO can vary, but here are common roles and duties where they can collaborate with a fCMO:

  • Operational Strategy: Develop and implement operational strategies aligned with the company’s overall business objectives. Collaborate with other executives to ensure a cohesive approach.
  • Process Optimization: Identify opportunities for marketing process optimization and efficiency gains. Streamline workflows and operations to enhance productivity.
  • Marketing Quality Control: Implement and oversee quality control measures to ensure that products or services meet or exceed customer expectations.
  • Marketing Vendor and Supplier Negotiations: Negotiate and manage relationships with vendors and suppliers. Optimize terms, costs, and delivery schedules.
  • Performance Metrics and KPIs: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to monitor and evaluate marketing and growth performance. Use data-driven insights for decision-making to lower customer signals and lower excessive churn.
  • Risk Management and Risk Assessment: Identify operational risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. Implement risk management practices to ensure business continuity.
  • Regulatory Compliance Oversight: Ensure marketing compliance with industry regulations, safety standards, and other relevant requirements.
  • Cost Control: Implement cost control measures to lower operational expenses for marketing.
  • Scaling Operations: Develop plans and strategies for scaling operations to accommodate business growth. Ensure that systems and processes can adapt to increased demand.
  • Strategic Partnership Development: Identify and cultivate strategic partnerships that can enhance operational capabilities, reach new markets, or drive innovation.
  • Change Initiatives: Lead and support change initiatives within the organization, ensuring effective communication and employee engagement during transitions.

By engaging a fractional COO, a B2B company can access the deep expertise of an experienced operations leader and increase company performance. However, there’s no need for a full-time commitment and expense to reap these benefits. 

The fractional COO plays a crucial role in optimizing processes and managing resources. This makes them a key stakeholder and partner in the fractional CMO’s work. 

Together, they can ensure that the company’s operational functions support its overall marketing and objectives.

Why do fractional COOs recommend fractional CMOs?

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional COOs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Operating Officer (fCOO) is brought in to find new efficiencies and develop better processes. They realize that the growth function isn’t correctly coordinated with the rest of the company, causing serious dysfunction and budget waste.
  • A fractional COO is considering several different configurations for restyling legacy marketing teams that service various marketing functions inside a large company. Developing the right structure, leadership and vision for this new direction in a way that builds employee engagement and finds more efficiency is key.

How does a fractional Chief Product Officer work with a fCMO?

A fractional Chief Product Officer (CPO) provides part-time or interim product leadership for a B2B company looking to do more with less but still have incredible products. 

A fCPO is a great way to focus a company quickly on the development and management of the company’s product strategy. Anything that potentially maximizes the value and impact of the company’s products falls within the purview of the fCPO. 

Here are key functions and activities for a fractional CPO where they collaborate with a fCMO in a B2B setting:

  • Strategic Product Planning: Develop and communicate a clear product strategy aligned with overall business goals. Define the product roadmap and prioritize features and enhancements.
  • Market Research & Competitive Analysis: Conduct market research and competitive analysis to identify market trends, customer needs, and opportunities for differentiation.
  • Product Roadmap Development: Prepare for big announcements in the product roadmap, outlining the planned features, enhancements, and releases over time.
  • Product Lifecycle Planning: Oversee the entire product lifecycle from concept to end-of-life. Make decisions regarding product enhancements, updates, and retirements.
  • Collaboration with Marketing Teams: Ensure alignment and effective communication between product development and everyone doing marketing.
  • Customer Feedback and Insight: Gather customer feedback and insights to understand user needs and preferences. Incorporate customer input into product decisions.
  • User Experience (UX) and Design: Ensure that product development is guided by user-centric design principles. Oversee the creation of intuitive and user-friendly interfaces with input from fCMO.
  • Feature Prioritization Frameworks: Develop and apply a framework for prioritizing features based on strategic objectives, customer impact, and market demand. Data and research provided by the fCMO can be critical here.
  • Product Go-to-Market Strategy and Launch Planning: Develop go-to-market strategies for new product launches. Coordinate with marketing and sales teams to ensure successful product introductions.
  • Product Monetization Strategies: Develop strategies for revenue growth, including pricing models, upsell opportunities, and expansion into new markets.
  • Data-Driven Product Analytics and Metrics: Use data and analytics to inform decision-making. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and adjust strategies based on performance metrics.
  • Risk Management: Identify and manage risks related to product development and launches. Mitigate potential issues that could impact product success.
  • Strategic Partnership Development: Explore and cultivate strategic partnerships that can enhance the product offering or expand market reach.
  • Continuous Improvement: Establish feedback loops to continuously gather insights from customers, sales teams, and other stakeholders. Use feedback for continuous product improvement.

When a B2B company hires a fractional CPO, they leverage the expertise of a seasoned product strategist without the full-time commitment. 

The fractional CPO plays a vital role in shaping product vision, aligning it with business goals, and driving innovation and customer value.

Making sure that the hard work of creating great products is matched by a big customer launch is a common goal for the fractional CMO. Because the fCMO is a customer advocate, just like the fCPO, they are a great resource for feedback and trials for products before release. They can help focus products on targeted personas that have clearly expressed the pain points that the product was developed to relieve.

Why do fractional CPOs recommend fractional CMOs?

Typical scenarios that lead other fractional CPOs to recommend a fractional CMO to their clients are: 

  • A fractional Chief Product Officer (fCPO) is nearing completion of a critical product development cycle and realizes that the company doesn’t have the correct internal resources to plan and execute on an effective launch and go to market.
  • A fractional CPO is considering a host of expensive product attributes and needs more market and competitive research to guide the final features.
  • A fCPO is working on pricing strategy for a new product line and needs guidance and data from the marketing function that is not available internally.

Let’s Improve Together: Cross-Functional Collabs for Fractional CxOs

Fractional executives thrive on optimization of their personal and professional lives in a way that makes big things happen for their clients.

This collaborative synergy is real among fractional executives – I’ve seen it all over the USA and around the world as well. 

Whether they specialize in marketing, finance, operations, or technology, working in a fractional format fosters a nimble approach to addressing complex business challenges. Since I specialize in rapid growth, I’m always excited to hear feedback and new ideas from the leadership teams I’m part of as well as other fractional leaders.

The shared commitment to delivering exceptional value to clients allows fractionals to leverage their collective knowledge and skills. This profoundly benefits the clients. 

By building nimble teams of fractional execs like fCMOs, fCFOs and fCOOs, companies get a versatile and high-caliber set of boardroom leaders who will bring mission-critical results. With none of the time wastage and extra cost of full-time employees.

Let’s keep growing together as CxOs and be collaborative as we can in getting our clients to their goals!

https://snohat.com

Founder, Fractional CMO