Taking The Next Career Step: Becoming a Fractional CMO


Marketing is a constantly growing industry with lots of cool and creative career paths to choose from. Of these opportunities, a chief marketing officer, or CMO, is a great option for individuals who want a career that is centered around leadership, communication, and skills. A CMO leads the marketing team in a company’s development and implementation of their marketing strategy

A CMO is the highest level marketing position in the company and would give you the ability to oversee all of the marketing and advertising for the company you work for. However, not all companies are ready to hire a full-time CMO. If you are looking for more than part-time work, this career path could be appealing.

Becoming a fractional CMO would allow you to work for different companies to meet whatever hours you desire throughout the week. This position can also be an opportunity to build your portfolio with a variety of industries and companies instead of just one or a few. Fractional CMOs have the responsibility and skills of a full-time CMO, but with more flexibility.

Here is everything you need to know about becoming a fractional CMO.

What is a CMO?

A chief marketing officer’s main job within any company is to increase sales and foster growth by formulating a marketing strategy that will improve a company’s brand awareness. A good marketing plan will expose a business to new and existing customers, and shape its reputation.

A CMO is a c-level corporate executive, meaning it is a senior leadership position that would allow you to make decisions that will impact the company’s current and future business structure. CMOS often report to a CEO or COO and will be in charge of a variety of marketing and advertising tasks.

Mainly, a CMO will be responsible for understanding the company’s position within the marketplace, determining how it should be positioned in the future, developing a marketing plan that will meet desired goals, and executing this plan. In addition, CMOS will be in charge of customer outreach and delegating tasks to other members of the marketing team.

What is a Fractional CMO?

Especially when companies are just getting started or going through a transition, they cannot always spare funding for a full-time chief marketing officer, despite the benefits that come with hiring a highly skilled and experienced marketing executive. This is where a fractional CMO comes in.

A fractional CMO will perform the duties of a chief marketing officer, but for a fraction of the time. This means that companies can receive the help they need on a marketing strategy, without forfeiting the cost of hiring someone full-time.

As a CMO who chooses to work this way, you are given the opportunity to work with various companies, exposing you to different industries and business models. This can be beneficial if you are looking for more flexibility in your work, and how to add variety to your profile.


A chief marketing officer usually needs at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a closely related field, however, an MBA is often preferred or even required depending on the company. There are many other skills and degrees that can be applied to marketing, such as journalism, communications, advertising, or public relations.

In addition to education, experience is crucial to securing a position as a CMO. Many companies are looking for over 10 years of experience in the marketing industry, as well as several years of management experience. Acquiring skills over time is crucial to becoming a CMO that companies trust so building your understanding of economics, data analysis, and accounting can go a long way.


There are certain attributes and skills that will make a great CMO that go beyond just marketing knowledge. A CMO is responsible for organizing a marketing team that can execute a successful strategy and improve a brand, so you will need to possess great leadership skills. As a team leader, you also need to be able to manage not only your time but that of your teams as well.

How to Become a Fractional CMO

In order to pursue a career as a fractional CMO, you will first need to get an education. It is not always necessary, but a good idea to pursue an MBA either directly after receiving your bachelor’s degree or following some work experience.

As important as your education is, working experience, acquired skills, and certifications are just as valuable for reaching your career goals. After you have gained enough experience within the marketing field you can start searching for leadership positions.

Becoming a fractional CMO is a great option for those who are interested in a career leading a marketing team, with the flexibility to work for more than one company.


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