Being a fractional CMO has benefits, but it doesn’t mean that everyone has to choose the path.
There are parts of a general GMO that are ideal for some people, but very boring for others. You don’t want to finish your work when a broken CMO starts and then let it go. You want to be prepared and know what to expect from your new fractional GM role.
Over the years, as a marketer and with marketers, we’ve learned that there’s a big difference between fractional CMOs and full-time CMOS. Both have the same marketing experience but enjoy different parts of the marketing process.
For example, a partial CMO wants to dive into a company’s current and current marketing strategies and spend time researching what’s right or wrong about each campaign. A full-time CMO prefers to do this once and spend time analyzing placements and conversions.
What kind of CMO do you want to be?
Answer these 5 survey questions to determine if you want to become a split CMO or take a full-time CMO job.
Survey Question 1: Do you want to work freelance instead of full-time?
To some marketers, this may seem obvious. But freelance has many new responsibilities. As a full-time employee, your working hours are fixed. You know how much money you’re making each year and what projects you’re going to work on.
As a fractional CMO, there’s a lot more unpredictability in your life. Freelancers can set their own hours, which can be both an advantage and a challenge. You need to oversee the completion of your work schedule, which means learning how to market your services (however, we think you have a pretty good idea of how to do this) and managing a pipeline for you.
Ask yourself the following questions to find out if this part of the fractional GMO business works best for you:
• Do you like to promote and sell your services?
• Can you find your projects (and recipes) easily?
• What do you think of the learning curve of running a self-employed business?
There is no right or wrong answer to all these questions. Your answer depends on you and what works best for the career you are looking for.
Registry Question 2: Are you comfortable with new teams and often work with unfamiliar faces?
Fractional CMOs don’t work with their clients for long periods. They usually stay part-time until the company is ready to hire a full-time CMO. (The company can hire your partial CMO or find someone else.) This means you need to move from one company to another, as a fraction of a CMO. For some, it looks fantastic and for others, it seems overwhelming.
With each team comes new personalities, politics, and complexities that can take time to learn. Since you are a fractional GMO, much of your work will be effective with new teams as quickly as possible. The faster you learn how a team works, the faster your marketing results will be.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you want to become a broad CMO:
• Do you need to learn new names, personalities, and tricks regularly?
• Do you want to work with new team members throughout the year?
• Do you prefer to work with people for a long time and build a solid relationship with them?
Your answers will help you figure out if you want to become a split CMO, go full-time, or make the grass on the other side look greener (than it really is).
Survey Question 3: Are you willing to discover new systems for customers and work as hard as you can to disrupt your team’s workflow?
Be prepared to use new software tools regularly. As a freelancer, you need to know the systems your client uses to track your marketing strategies and data. Sometimes you know the tools and sometimes you need time to read the tutorials. This is a normal part of freelance work that shouldn’t be forgotten.
The last thing a team wants is for a split CMO to come together and move the team to the systems that work best for the CMO. As a split CMO, your job is to figure out what the team is currently using and how you can improve it without disrupting the workflow (as best you can). We’ll talk more about transitioning teams to new systems, but first, we need to make sure you like the idea of constantly learning new systems:
• Can you use systems you are not used to because it is (for now) better for the productivity of the rest of the team?
• Are you willing to watch instructional videos on how to use the new software?
Some CMOs like to hack into a new customer’s systems to find out what’s going on. Others avoid the possible confusion they experience. Knowing whether you are willing to provide regular information at the start of a project is an important indication that you want to be a generic GMO.
Survey Question 4: Do you know how to move teams to new systems without disrupting power?
It’s time to help your client team get the software you know will succeed. The question is: are you ready to experiment? When it comes to linking software tools, managers, administrators, and supervisors know it will be a learning curve for their team.
There will be many questions, sometimes several answers, and before the system works as it should. During the transition period, you can expect budget discounts and team members who may not accept the new software as quickly as expected.
This will require patience and perseverance. As a fractional GMO, you can create a template for yourself on how to proceed with each project. This will help you and your team prepare for the software change and ensure that all locks are checked and nothing is left behind.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if you like these transitions:
• Are you, patient when it comes to teaching people how to use new software?
• Can you model the best way to move a team from one marketing system to another?
• Want to lead your team through demo videos and learn the nasty basics to create the best system for your strategies?
Full-time CMOs don’t have to worry too much about these transitions. They may have to move their team to another system or add new technology to the launch instead, but they will never be a good CMO for the team again.
Organizing and improving a company’s marketing strategy will be an important part of your job. To make sure you have patience with these little details, you need to trust them before becoming a full-fledged CMO.