Marketing and media management is increasingly complicated where achieving stand out marketing results requires specialists. Often a Chief Marketing Officer is the next step for growing companies in need of a higher level of strategic marketing and sales support. Many mid-sized companies are unable to afford a CMO, which has led to the newer model of a fractional CMO. I recently caught up with Sheila Kloefkorn, founder of the award-winning KEO Marketing, and an authority on the concept of fractional CMOs.
Robert Reiss: What has led to the growing popularity of Fractional CMOs?
Sheila Kloefkorn: “Digital marketing is more complicated every day, and it’s often difficult for an organization’s in-house marketers to be experts in all aspects of marketing. That’s where a Fractional CMO comes in to act as an extension of a company’s team, augmenting the skills and expertise of their in-house talent. A part-time CMO or Vice President of Marketing can give you the expertise and strategy of a full-time Chief Marketing Officer without the full-time cost. So if companies do not have the resources they need to staff a full in-house marketing department or move fast enough to support their growth, a Fractional CMO plus marketing team can step in and bridge the gap. They can often take advantage of this part-time senior leader and team concept for about the same cost as hiring a full-time CMO.”
Reiss: How has the pandemic impacted this concept?
Kloefkorn: “COVID has accelerated the shift from conventional advertising to digital marketing. With this change came increasing digital advertising costs and complexity for business owners. Companies increasingly need a guide to help them through the changes caused by the pandemic. During the pandemic, businesses with a Fractional CMO by their side actually had the expertise they needed with capabilities beyond digital marketing that aided them in surviving the tough times.”
Reiss: What’s an example where you were a fractional CMO?
Kloefkorn: “A nationwide commercial cleaning company where I was their fractional CMO faced significant challenges during the pandemic. Most of their business focused on the education market. When COVID hit, schools shut down, and their cleaning business in that industry stopped. As fractional CMO I was able to help the company reposition and innovate their brand message. One part of the program took advantage of the deep cleaning and disinfection needed in healthcare. Their revenues were restored and eclipsed pre-COVID levels in a couple of months. Now, with schools coming back, they have a substantially bigger business and market penetration in both industries.”
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