Digital Marketing

The best outsourced leadership role will be THIS in 2021


It’s not easy to be a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) these days. According to a study by Forbes, the average tenure of a CMO is only 3.5 years. Compare that to the 6.9 year average tenure of CEOs and you’ll get an idea of ​​how sad that statistic really is.

If you’ve studied marketing, you probably have an idea of ​​why such an important role can be replaced so quickly. Marketing (read why we don’t specifically call it “digital marketing” by clicking here) is a very dynamic, evolving component of business these days, and it’s getting harder and harder to manage.

It’s the wild west in marketing right now. You need to accept this and realize that you may not be able to assess in-depth marketing managers as effectively as you have in the past.

Why should you put up with the pain, time, and cost of reviewing and engaging a CMO that could prove useless in less than a year? Test a prospective CMO before hiring, or let a Premium CMO temporarily guide you from your existing marketing department while you get your next campaign in order.

This is where the Fractional CMO comes in.

A partial CMO is someone who serves as the chief marketing officer for your company but is hired as a contractor or consultant.

Why are long-term CMOs so hard to find?

In fact, good CMOs are REALLY easy to find. When you post an ad, you will likely get 100+ submissions from many skilled, experienced professionals. Many will be excellent during the interviews, their past results will shine, and their references will sparkle.

The problem is that they are not long term. Just think about your last CMO.

It’s not that your last CMO was bad per se, you just didn’t “fit” properly. Or the income did not grow fast enough. Or they misjudged their projections. Or the CEO / CFO / COO / etc hated their courage. Or what ever.

The truth is that letting go of a GMO is easy because its results are VERY tangible and obvious. While a CEO can blame a number of abstract factors such as the economy, global events, the movements of competitors, and the actions of individual departments, the CMO’s performance analysis is straightforward. They look something like this:


Revenues are falling, they did a bad job and you can’t argue with hard numbers. You should have gone with that other candidate who seemed better. Then the cycle repeats itself.

How to Assess Your Broken CMO Chart

Why aren’t CMOs more effective?

The position of Chief Marketing Officer looks very different than it was five years ago. Between new methodology, technology development and societal change (click here for a more detailed breakdown), today’s GMO has a lot to think about.

Here are some of the reasons why CMOs are so short-lived in today’s business world:

  • Traditional CMOs lack the experience to effectively manage current marketing techniques
  • Lack of understanding of the company they are marketing for
  • Too much focus on short term results than long term goals
  • Lack of support from other managers
  • Lack of resources or adequate marketing budget to implement plans

The solution for a high CMO turnover: The fractional CMO

As the role of marketing evolves every day, it’s easy to see how hiring a good CMO has become a monumental task.

At DigitalMarketer, our entire business is based on the skills needed to be a capable marketer in the 2020s. Let me tell you, the list is not short.

Here are just a few of the benefits your business can get from using a fractional CMO for your next marketing push:

  • Easily evaluate results based on fixed-term contracts and campaigns
  • Create an effective branding process as you transition through multiple F-CMOs
  • Save money in the form of employment-related expenses (insurance, workers comp, etc.)
  • Test different CMO personality types before committing to long-term agreements

Why 2021 is the year a partial CMO is used

Outsourcing in general has seen a huge boom in recent years. It is estimated that more than a third (37%) of all companies had a business process out in 2019. One of the largest outsourced components was marketing.

After the health problems of 2020 and 2021, you can see why that percentage can certainly increase. Everything has changed, both the role of marketing and the environment in which it is used. You cannot afford to make a costly hiring mistake during such an important transition period.

You need to start using Fractional CMOs.

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Jeffrey Rabinowitz