Benefits of Hiring a Fractional Marketing Agency

While a recent report reflects growth in most middle-market companies in 2023, many challenges remain for executives hoping to achieve continued business success in 2024 – notably hiring issues. Attracting and retaining top talent can make or break a company, along with making meaningful connections with customers, engaging them on an integrated digital and physical level in a rapidly evolving business landscape. One prevailing solution for business leaders is to rethink existing business models like the marketing function and consider hiring a fractional marketing agency. Is fractional marketing support right for your business?

What is fractional marketing?

Fractional marketing is an alternative to traditional marketing models of in-house professionals and high-ticket marketing agencies, which typically fail to deliver a high ROI. In a fast-paced digital world, it’s nearly impossible for internal marketing professionals to remain current and innovative, and for many companies, big agencies that bring a wide range of skills and experience often come with inflexibility and inflated costs that make them unaffordable and ineffective.

Also considered outsourced marketing, fractional marketing flexibly allows companies and brands to rightsize their resources while leveraging a wealth of experience and industry expertise, at a fraction of the cost of hiring and retaining full-time employees (hello healthcare, benefits, taxes, training, etc) or those bloated one-size-fits-all agencies.

Hiring a fractional marketing agency means your business has a partner who can help navigate the intricacies of the buyer’s journey, engage target audiences using the latest and tried-and-true strategies, as well as build your brand – all within a determined framework connected to growth goals. Cut waste, add value, and tap into game-changing performance with fractional marketing.

How does fractional work?

Working with a fractional marketing agency involves partnering with one or more marketing experts who provide services on a part-time or project basis, rather than full-time. This approach is tailored for businesses that need specialized marketing expertise but don’t want full-time marketing employees. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Assessment of Needs: The fractional marketing agency first evaluates your business’s marketing needs to understand where you need the most help—whether it’s strategy, digital marketing, content creation, or other areas.
  2. Engagement Model: Depending on your needs, the agency proposes an engagement model. This could be a set number of hours per week, a project-based arrangement, or other flexible options.
  3. Integration with Your Team: The fractional marketing professionals integrate with your existing team during a discovery phase. This includes reviews of brand assets, research, interviews, and more.
  4. Strategic Planning: The agency contributes to strategic marketing planning, offering expertise in areas such as market analysis, branding, digital marketing strategies, and campaign management.
  5. Execution and Management: The fractional team oversees the execution of marketing strategies, coordinates with other team members or departments, and ensures marketing goals are being met efficiently. As your business grows or needs change, the fractional marketing agency can scale its services up or down.
  6. Reporting and Evaluation: Regular reporting on marketing KPIs and campaign performance is provided, allowing for ongoing evaluation and strategy adjustment.

Why hire a fractional CMO (fCMO)?

Topping out the expertise in a fractional marketing agency are fractional Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who add executive level leadership to any team or organization. With a growth mindset, these highly experienced marketers – usually with 15+ years – often bring deep industry knowledge to help your company make big moves and decisions like re-brands, product launches, and investor relations.

Whereas staffing a full-time in-house CMO takes months of executive search committees and high salary offerings, a fractional CMO can offer the same (and often better) quality of work and guidance, and with added benefits like:

  • Immediate start – assimilating into your organization quickly
  • Customized support – you decide what gaps to fill, work to assign
  • No recruitment fees – forget those executive searches
  • Flexible contracts – short- and long-term opportunities abound

Plus, the fCMO can oversee the relationship between your company and the fractional marketing agency, making for a seamless working relationship.

How much does a fractional CMO cost?

According to, the average salary of a CMO is $357,747. So how does this vary from a fractional CMO, especially one with a hefty hourly rate?

Inevitably, rates will vary based on the individual fractional CMO, whether they are a solo practitioner or placed as part of a fractional marketing agency model, as well as other factors like geography and depth of experience, especially within a certain sector or industry. Expect a fractional CMO’s hourly rate to vary greatly, from $200 – $500. Another model may include a monthly retainer, giving a company flexibility for how a bank of hours is used and identifying a fixed cost that aligns with your company’s budget.

A quick calculation will show you that a fractional CMO working 20 hours per week over a one-year period at the highest hourly rate would cost you more than a full-time CMO. However, with the highly specialized skills, efficiency, and results of this executive marketing leader, your company will quickly realize that this capable, on-boarded fractional CMO is worth their weight in gold as you see your company’s bottom line grow.

When considering the cost of a fractional CMO, consider the value they bring and their ability to showcase results quickly. While a newly hired, full-time CMO may take a year to get acclimated and show their worth, a fractional CMO is accountable for KPIs and is used to hitting the ground running, knowing their performance is paramount.

Choosing the right fractional marketing agency

At &Marketing, we have been offering fractional marketing services since 2017, strategically building our bench of experts to now include fractional CMOs. Both came about from being early adopters of a fresh way to work and elevate brands and identify a market gap. The success of our clients is what compels our continued growth and new service offerings to help them meet their goals.

Fractional marketing agencies solve top business issues like hiring and retaining employees, breaking through the clutter of the digital marketing space, and finding ways to grow and outperform the competition. Are you interested in being part of our team? Connect with us to learn more about how you can join our thriving community!

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.