Categories: Blog Posts

by Wendy O’Donovan Phillips


Election year, wonky economy… we saw this combination before in 2008 and 2020, and we all know what it means. Our phones and inboxes light up with friend after friend laid off from their marketing positions. Is 2024 another of those weird years?

Is your marketing team shrinking?

Here’s a possible remedy:

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a part-time or contract executive who provides strategic marketing leadership to a company without being a full-time employee. This role is typically filled by a seasoned marketing professional who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the organization for a fraction of the cost of a full-time CMO.

A solid fractional CMO can support Stage II to Stage III organizations systemize marketing to achieve growth goals in these ways:

  • Marketing Strategy Development: A fractional CMO can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy aligned with your company’s growth objectives on an as-needed basis, such as annually or quarterly. This includes market research, strategic marketing planning, competitor analysis and identifying target customer segments.
  • Campaign Management: The right fractional CMO can design and manage marketing campaigns that effectively promote your company’s products or services, ensuring consistency and alignment with the overall strategy.
  • Process Optimization: Your fractional CMO implements and refines marketing processes to ensure the efficiency and scalability of your marketing and brand. This includes automating repetitive tasks and standardizing workflows.
  • Performance Metrics: The fractional CMO establishes and reports key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, adjusting marketing efforts to maximize effectiveness. This helps in tracking progress and making data-driven decisions.
  • Building and Leading the Marketing Team: When it’s time, a fractional CMO can recruit, mentor, train, develop and lead the marketing team, ensuring the team is aligned with the company’s strategic goals.
  • Resource Allocation and Cost Optimization: Your fractional CMO efficiently manages the marketing budget to maximize return on investment (ROI), prioritizing marketing activities that offer the highest impact. All the while, she identifies cost-reduction opportunities without compromising the quality or effectiveness of marketing outcomes.
  • Brand Development and Management: A good fractional CMO will enhance the company’s brand identity and positioning in the market to differentiate it from competitors, ensuring that marketing messaging is consistent with the brand’s voice and values across all media.
  • Customer Insights: A seasoned fractional CMO leverages data to gain insights into target audience behavior and preferences, and then uses that data to inform marketing strategies and bolster content. Moreover, she develops strategies to enhance customer engagement and loyalty through personalized marketing and customer-centric initiatives.

With a fractional CMO, Stage II to Stage III Organizations get access to high-level marketing expertise without the full-time salary burden. They also gain the ability to scale marketing efforts efficiently as the company grows from the growth stage to expansion stage and beyond and focus on core competencies while the fractional CMO handles the complexities of the marketing function. IStrategic and well-executed marketing initiatives under the guidance of a fractional CMO can significantly accelerate the company’s growth trajectory.

If your marketing team is shrinking, keep calm and explore the possibility of engaging a fractional CMO.

Since 2007, Big Buzz® has helped Stage II to Stage III organizations systemize marketing to achieve growth goals. Founder and CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of two books available on Amazon, Kaboom and Flourish, multiple data-driven eBooks, has been published in McKnight’s, in Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News, and Chicago Tribune. She has lectured for the American Dental Association, Argentum, several chapters of LeadingAge, and dozens of other organizations in front of audiences ranging in size from 25 to 3,000. She has been honored by the American Marketing Association for excellence in her field and has been named a Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association. In her two-decades-long career, she has consulted with hundreds of organizations globally to support improved marketing clarity, strategies and outcomes. Get details: visit and follow Wendy.

by Wendy O’Donovan Phillips



Join the 13,000+ care professionals who read our weekly insights.

Get actionable learnings to apply now to attract warmer leads.