Not every great marketer is cut out to be a CMO or Fractional CMO. In fact, the inherent personality traits and characteristics of marketers tend to be the opposite of what a CMO needs to succeed. However, there are a handful of marketers with the organization and analytical thinking needed to become not just a CMO or Fractional CMO, but also a high-performing one.
Identifying a high-performing Fractional CMO is very different from identifying a high-performing marketer. Conceiving, developing, and deploying successful marketing campaigns is only one small pixel in the huge marketing picture. Healthy marketing leadership involves much, much more. So how can you recognize a high-performing CMO or Fractional CMO? Here are a few things to look for.
Deep Interest in the Company
While marketers do keep an eye on a company’s brand story, voice, and messaging, some may not dig deeper than their day-to-day work. That’s where you’ll see the biggest difference between a CMO and a great CMO.
A high-performing CMO or Fractional CMO will want to know about your company’s goals for today, tomorrow, and even five years from now. They need to know your trajectory and where you hope to land so that marketing strategies can be developed and implemented to help you reach those goals. They also want to be included in company culture discussions and development, with significant focus on your employer brand to ensure you’re always attracting top talent and retaining it.
Every CMO worth their salt will pay attention to marketing metrics. They’ll want to track how many people your messaging reaches and how many leads convert to customers. That’s a given. Where a CMO or Fractional CMO really shines, however, is using the data they receive to dig out valuable little nuggets that have incredible revenue-increasing power.
For instance, you may think you know who your target audience is, but your high-performing CMO can use your data to uncover a whole host of potential customers that you may not have considered. Data can also inform their marketing strategies. With new information rolling in each day, week, month, and year, a great CMO or Fractional CMO can continually refine and improve all marketing efforts.
Levelheaded Approach to Innovation
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that your CMO probably has their finger on the pulse of the latest marketing technology innovations. They probably drool over some of the MarTech tools entering the marketplace at a breakneck pace. Omnichannel tools, contact segmenting automation, even AI chatbots and content production—all of these are likely on any marketing leader’s radar.
Where a great Fractional CMO stands out is in their ability to determine which of the latest tools will actually be helpful and which are just shiny new toys. They also are aware of any potential drawbacks, and when waiting to implement new technology might be prudent. There is a strength in turning to tried-and-true methods when necessary and augmenting those efforts with marketing technology that makes sense for your brand, your marketing strategy, and your goals.
Provides Structure and Clarity
Great marketing leaders know that a fractured or disorganized team will get nothing done. There is no way to get consistent results by throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, though many find enough success with this method to carry them from job to job. A solid, high-performing CMO, however, knows that a solid marketing team requires tight planning and collaboration.
That tight planning and collaboration means that structure is paramount. The team isn’t responsible for this, either. The CMO must establish that structure so that any team could perform well within the parameters. A high-performing Fractional CMO is a master at implementing structure and clarity, because they often have a short amount of time to produce incredible results. Their job is to leave a strong, collaborative team for the full-time CMO, or to maintain that solid team spirit even when they work on a fractional basis.
Trust of Their Team
When a high-performing CMO sets up a structured team environment, they will, without fail, earn the trust of their team. With a full-time CMO, that team is often in-house and has the benefit of working together each day. A Fractional CMO may also manage an in-house marketing team, but in many cases, they bring their own.
And a Fractional CMO’s team will be as creative, talented, and structured as any team could be. They must be in order to work with various industries on a fractional basis, just as their high-performing Fractional CMO leader is.
If you’re seeking a high-performing marketing leader who can bring these things and more to the table for you, don’t hesitate to reach out right away. I’m here to help.