The pressure is on in SaaS marketing. And an expert's guidance is a wise choice.
So, let’s look at the average salary for a chief marketing officer (CMO) in the U.S.
As you can see, the average pay for a CMO with 7+ years of experience is more than $200,000.
Unfortunately, hiring a resource like this isn't always feasible for many SaaS.
That’s where bringing on board a fractional CMO for SaaS makes sense.
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In this article, let’s explore 9 signs that suggest you should hire a fractional CMO. And how having one could benefit your SaaS team in many ways.
What is a fractional CMO for SaaS?
A fractional chief marketing officer (also known as a part-time CMO or a CMO-for-hire) for SaaS is an outsourced senior marketing executive who works for a set amount of time, providing strategic SaaS marketing leadership.
In essence, a fractional CMO for SaaS performs all the functions of a traditional CMO without the financial commitment of hiring a full-time executive. They are usually better employed by startups or mid-sized businesses that like to optimize budgets and drive growth.
Benefits of hiring a fractional CMO for SaaS companies:
As mentioned, hiring a fractional CMO is a very cost-effective approach to tapping into a marketing executive’s expertise at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Along with that, here are some benefits of hiring a SaaS fractional CMO: (but believe us, there’s a ton more!)
- It gives you flexibility.
Naturally, you expect your business to scale. And with it, your business needs evolve. Fractional CMOs can easily customize their services to fit your SaaS organization's needs. Whether it's for a specific project or ongoing support, their flexible engagement adapts to your requirements.
- It lets you leverage expertise.
When you bring in a SaaS fractional CMO, you're not getting a newbie. He/she has a lot of experience in marketing around the SaaS industry. Let's just say you've got a pro giving you a competitive edge.
- It helps you get a fresh marketing perspective.
Ever heard that the closer you look, the less you’ll see?
(Yes, it’s from that movie—Now you see me)
Well, sometimes, when you're too close to a project, it's hard to see it objectively. So, a fractional CMO for SaaS can bring a fresh perspective to your marketing efforts, identify gaps in your strategy, and even offer a unique insight that you may have missed.
- It delivers immediate impact.
It’s a fractional CMO’s focus on driving growth for your business. They’ll execute a specific marketing strategy with precision. with precision. They will swiftly work with your team, assess your marketing ecosystem, and start making immediate contributions.
- It promotes knowledge transfer and skill development.
The huge advantage of hiring fractional CMOs is that working with them is also an opportunity for your SaaS marketing team to learn. Your company's team (particularly the rookies) can benefit from their experience and expertise. A part-time SaaS CMO can guide your team through the industry marketing best practices and hone your team’s marketing skills before their contract concludes.
What do they do?
Feeling good with all the benefits? Here are the actual services—including but not limited to—that fractional CMOs offer:
- They create and execute a specific project’s marketing strategy:
Fractional CMOs work with your SaaS team to develop a marketing strategy that meets the company's individual goals, target audience, and objectives. They strategize the tactics to meet that objective and also monitor campaign performance.
- They optimize the positioning of your business:
Positioning is differentiating your business from competitors. And it’s an important task of a fractional CMO for SaaS. It includes analyzing your product or service, your target audience, and your competition to develop your unique product messaging.
- They manage the SaaS marketing campaigns:
A Fractional CMO will oversee marketing campaigns from start to finish. They will also assess its effectiveness and report back to stakeholders.
- They manage the marketing team.
The Fractional CMO will work with your internal SaaS team, including the graphic designers, content writers, and social media managers. They’ll give direction and guidance to ensure that the marketing campaigns are effective, consistent, and aligned with the business goals.
- They lead SaaS content creation:
A Fractional CMO will oversee content creation efforts. They’re responsible for leading content production for SaaS businesses—from ideation to publishing. And this includes researching and finding relevant topics and creating editorial calendars. They also ensure that those content are optimized to get traffic and search engine. This covers everything from SaaS blog posts and social media updates to email campaigns and SaaS website copy.
- They optimize conversion rates and lead generation:
Lead generation goes hand-in-hand with optimizing conversion rates. An experienced fractional CMO for SaaS is skilled in creating campaigns that generate qualified leads. They will analyze the website, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns. And optimize them for better capture and conversion.
9 signs that your SaaS company could use a fractional CMO
If you hear yourself saying (murmuring or out loud) the following statements, it’s a clear sign proving that you would benefit from a fractional CMO for SaaS:
- We can’t afford a full-time CMO.
If your budget is a concern (a startup with limited funds), but you need expert marketing guidance, a fractional CMO is a cost-effective solution. You get high-level expertise without the financial strain of a full-time hire.
- We’re a mess after our CMO left suddenly.
Losing a CMO unexpectedly can disrupt your marketing efforts—and they can be hard to fill. A hired fractional CMO can step in promptly to stabilize marketing operations and assist during this transitional phase.
- We have traction and are ready to level up, but can’t commit to a full-time marketing manager.
Hooray! Your business is gaining traction. But if any long-term commitment isn’t an option, bringing in a fractional CMO is the way to go. It’s a practical solution if you haven't reached that “level” of growth just yet. Because hiring a full-time marketing manager may not be suitable for your SaaS company's current goals at this point.
- We’re producing random content and have no idea why.
If your content marketing strategy is not working, perhaps you don’t have a clear strategy. Surely, it’ll be scattered. No clear vision and purpose. A fractional CMO for SaaS can align your content creation efforts with your overall marketing strategy, ensuring each piece serves a specific purpose.
- The marketing team has no clear direction.
If your marketing team is lost, a fractional CMO can help. They can help you define your marketing goals and set up a strategy and execution plan. Plus, give your internal marketing team the direction they need to overcome marketing hurdles.
- We’ve been doing the same things in marketing, and nothing’s happening.
If your current marketing strategies have hit a plateau, stop for a moment. You need to know what's working and what's not. A fractional CMO can do that and shake things up by offering new strategies— breaking the cycle of stagnation and driving growth.
- We’re behind the latest digital marketing expertise.
SaaS is fast-paced. Falling behind is dangerous. You should select a fractional CMO for SaaS that highlights being up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. They’ll modernize your strategies and put you back in the race.
- We need someone with a huge network to turbocharge our growth.
Strong B2B relationships are super important. A fractional CMO with an extensive network can connect you with the right industry players, potential partners, or even customers. This connection can help open doors to new business partnerships, collaborations, and other growth opportunities.
- We have great marketing ideas, but we just can’t execute them.
Even impressive marketing ideas can fail if not executed correctly. Ideas are valuable, but execution is key. A fractional CMO can turn those ideas into actionable plans, ensuring your marketing goals are realized effectively and efficiently.
Tips when hiring a SaaS fractional CMO
Here’s what you must do if you decided to hire a fractional CMO for SaaS.
#1 Define your expectations
When hiring a fractional CMO, say it upfront your expectations regarding their role. What their responsibilities are, and the results you aim for. You must discuss the scope of work and the level of involvement you are looking for.
Here at CaaSocio, we’ll have a deep-dive strategy call during your onboarding when you can fully share objectives, and from that, we’ll also assess your needs.
#2 Seek relevant expertise in marketing challenges
When hiring a SaaS fractional CMO, you should search for individuals who have specific experience with solving marketing challenges like yours. So, look for a candidate with a proven track record, whether it's customer acquisition, product launches, or scaling strategies.
Aiza Coronado, CaaSocio co-founder and copy chief, was hired by SplitDragon as their fractional CMO for almost 6 months, where she led:
- web copy/positioning change
- building a team
- getting leads
#3 Start with a small project
Try collaborating with a fractional CMO on a smaller project first. Before committing to a long-term contract, consider starting with a small project to evaluate and see if he/she is the right fit for your needs. It’s also an opportunity to see if the CMO’s approach aligns with your goals.
#4 Evaluate their collaboration skills across teams
A fractional CMO will be a key member of your SaaS team, so he/she should seamlessly collaborate with your internal teams. That means smooth communication with your developers, sales, and customer support. Yes, skills and experience are important. But if your candidate doesn't connect well with your team, it might not work.
Do you have the sign?
SaaS marketing is competitive. So, C-suite-level leadership may make sense. But with the corresponding fees, it’s undeniably not for every SaaS.
If your financial reality calls for a more flexible and cost-effective approach, consider hiring a fractional CMO for SaaS. It’s a solution for businesses that need marketing leadership and have budget constraints.
We've reviewed 8 signs you should hire a fractional CMO for your SaaS company. And if you've recognized any of these signs within your SaaS, it might be the perfect moment for a discussion of partnering with a fractional CMO.
Don’t forget that CaaSocio is here. 😎 Book a consultation with our SaaS copywriting agency, and you may find a good candidate in our team! Or let us be your SaaS content partner that’ll fuel your SaaS growth.