What is a Fractional Marketing Director?
Fractional marketing directors are part-time contractors hired to help their clients plan, develop, and launch marketing campaigns. Their main job is guiding, managing, and leading businesses’ marketing departments. They often work with several companies simultaneously, working a handful of hours weekly with each of their current clients.
The best fractional marketing directors have ample experience in their field, stay current on the latest marketing trends, and understand the nuances of marketing across channels—e.g., digital, social, SEO, web, and events. Their primary responsibilities include researching, planning, and overseeing the execution of marketing campaigns that help their clients’ businesses grow steadily.
Fractional marketing directors are also an excellent option for filling your leadership needs. In addition to crafting strategy, they help you select and train team members to begin developing an in-house marketing department, foster interdepartmental collaboration, and mentor employees who need support or want to grow.
Fractional Marketing Director Duties & Responsibilities
Though fractional marketing directors are contractors, they’re prepared to assume a leadership role within your organization, take full ownership of your marketing strategy, and manage any marketing employees you may have.
Depending on your needs, the full scope of their responsibilities may include any combination of the following:
- Implement marketing goals
- Define a marketing budget
- Regularly perform market research
- Develop marketing strategies
- Set marketing campaign goals and key performance indicators
- Launch the campaign
- Analyze campaign results
- Optimize results to improve marketing effectiveness
- Develop, train, and mentor the internal marketing team
The fractional marketing director may perform some of these duties themselves and oversee others by delegating tasks across the marketing team.
How a Fractional Marketing Director Impacts Strategy
Fractional marketing directors aren’t employees at any of their client companies, so they’re usually not concerned about making themselves obsolete, protecting their stake in the company, or participating in office politics. Since their personal career success isn’t tied to your company, they’re more likely to be very candid with you, meaning you get a clearer, more realistic picture of how to craft an effective marketing strategy.
However, fractional marketing directors often become involved similarly to standard employees but for fewer hours during the week. This makes them seem more like an outside consultant.
They also bring objectivity and a fresh perspective to your marketing efforts. You may be seeing your campaign one piece at a time, while the fractional marketing director has the expertise to see the big picture and easily identify weaknesses and pain points.
Once they’ve identified these areas of improvement, they’ll take ownership of your marketing initiatives, freeing up other high-level employees to focus on other areas of business. They’ll also help you properly implement marketing best practices and policies so you can continue doing great things after their contract ends.
Why Startups & Businesses May Hire a Fractional Marketing Director
For mid-sized to large businesses, housing their own marketing team makes a lot of sense. At that level, it’s often cheaper than outsourcing, and the team has an internal view of the company’s brand, messaging, and mission.
By contrast, startups, small businesses, or solo entrepreneurs usually can’t afford—and honestly don’t need—that level of marketing personnel. These businesses have a limited hiring budget and want to avoid substantial marketing campaigns that could flop or draw more customers than they can reasonably handle. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a marketing expert on their side, which is where fractional marketing directors come in.
Hiring fractional marketing directors gives smaller businesses access to seasoned marketing executives with a proven track record and an affordable price point. In just a few hours a week, an effective fractional marketing director can bring focus and synergy to an unstructured marketing plan, show existing employees the finer points of marketing best practices, and help them build a scalable marketing strategy that grows with their business.
Teams a Marketing Director May Oversee
It may seem obvious that a marketing director would oversee the marketing department. However, some businesses simply aren’t large enough to have a dedicated marketing team. In these cases, a fractional marketing director may lead a collection of teams that each have a hand in contributing to the marketing strategy.
For instance, a marketing director may take ownership of communications experts, graphic designers, and project managers to create a part-time or semi-permanent marketing team. Team members may have responsibilities outside of marketing, but a significant part of their job would be to support your business’s marketing plans.
Fractional Marketing Director vs. Fractional CMO
Fractional marketing directors and fractional Chief Marketing Officers or CMOs share many of the same responsibilities, so there’s a lot of overlap in the role they play in your business. Both are part-time marketing resources to help you build a robust marketing strategy to grow your business. However, fractional CMOs may focus on higher-level concerns such as marketing strategy, budget, and creating a permanent marketing team, if needed.
Fractional marketing directors also often tackle these things. However, they’re positioned closer to the marketing team, meaning they may offer more guidance around the nitty-gritty details of each aspect of the marketing strategy and get involved in all elements of marketing from top to bottom. For instance, a fractional marketing director may weigh in on how to finesse content to accommodate various social media platforms, while an fractional Chief Marketing Officer may be more interested in the overall social media strategy.
Becoming a Fractional Marketing Director
Here at CMOx, our fractional CMO training gives you the tools and knowledge to become a world-class fractional director without the belabored learning process. We bypass the red tape by connecting you to other high-level fractional marketing professionals and the clients who want to hire you. With our program, you learn firsthand the best practices, systems, and processes of a successful fractional marketing director.
If you’re ready to learn more about our fractional CMO training, check out the CMOx Accelerator to see if our program feels right for you.
Finding a Fractional Marketing Director
Whether your marketing team needs fresh insight, stronger leadership, or a new outlook on strategy, CMOx’s experienced fractional marketing directors provide the guidance your business needs to succeed. We’ll provide effective marketing leadership to help your business identify and implement the right marketing strategy for you.
Contact us today to learn more about how CMOx can help your business. Call us at (219) 804-0797 or fill out a contact request form.