Fractional CMO Salary: How Much Do Part-Time CMOs Make?

Fractional CMO Explained

A fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is an external marketing executive companies can hire in place of a full-time CMO. Fractional CMOs are experienced in their field and bring expertise in leading marketing/branding strategies, sales development, and general leadership.

Hiring a fractional CMO is great for smaller businesses and businesses that are in desperate need of outside support of their marketing efforts. If you’re interested in learning more about the specifics of hiring a fractional CMO, click here.

Casey Stanton - Fractional CMO

Casey Stanton
Fractional CMO & CMOx Founder

Casey S. Stanton is a marketing strategy expert and founder of CMO Exponential (CMOx), the Fractional CMO company. For over 10 years Casey has been leading marketing strategy for 7 and 8 figure businesses in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets. 

Read Casey’s Full Bio Here.

Typical Fractional CMO Salary

Fractional CMO Salary Range

A fractional CMO provides the skills and expertise of a full-time CMO for a fraction of the cost. They offer value in the form of less risk and greater impact on your marketing, meaning they allow you to quickly adapt your marketing and implementation to bring your product or service to market fast. They’ll direct your marketing, lead your team, and perform the daily activities of a full-time CMO based on a rough hourly rate and agreement.

Some may work held on retainer for a certain amount of hours per month. For example, if a fractional CMO comes on as a retainer for $8,000 and 40 hours per month, that works out to $96,000 a year for just one client.

Average CMO Salary

The cost for a CMO varies depending on the level of expertise they have or the company they work at. In some businesses, a full-time CMO salary can be upwards of $200K a year. According to, the national average is about $174,000. You should also consider that in addition to the hefty salaries, a full-time CMO position more than likely comes with benefits which the company pays for.

Fractional CMO Hourly Rates

Unlike a full-time CMO, a fractional CMO is not an ongoing expense. In most situations, a fractional CMO has an hourly rate for their services between $200-$350. For the best results, hire a fractional CMO on a retainer and clearly outline their time. You can hire a fractional CMO at your convenience, so consider your needs when determining how many hours they need.

Full-Time Chief Marketing Officer vs. Fractional CMO Salaries

When considering a year of work for both options, ask which model works best for your needs. Ideally, smaller companies with dedicated marketing departments should be allocating around $7,000 to $9,000 toward a fractional CMO. The math shows that a fractional CMO would cost in the range of $84,000 at $7,000 per month. Compared to the $174,000 national average for the full-time position, this is much easier for smaller companies to justify.

Choosing the Right CMO for Your Business

Fractional CMOs offer all the benefits of a full-time CMO at a fraction of the cost. Some businesses don’t need a full-time CMO, and the majority of the goals can be accomplished in about 10 hours per week. If you are a smaller company and recognize the need for strong marketing leadership, then a fractional CMO is the best option. Even in situations when your business likely needs a full-time CMO, a fractional CMO can bring your marketing department up to speed and ready for the transition.

How CMOx Helps Your Business

At CMOx, we streamline the process of getting your marketing up to proficient levels. We bring with us the expertise you need to develop long-term marketing plans, bring in new employees, increase sales, and lead your team toward sustainable growth.

If you’re interested in learning more about the fractional CMO services we offer, contact us today for a free consultation at (219) 804-0797 or fill out a contact request form here.