The role of chief marketing officer (CMO) is well-established. The creation of “chief marketing officer” as a position dates back to the 1990s in response to the increased complexity and strategic importance of marketing as a business growth driver. Today, most every company listed on the Fortune 500 has one and the broad parameters of the role are well understood. In recent years however, organizations began experimenting with a new twist on marketing leadership: the “fractional CMO.” 

Frequently used by startups and small and mid-sized firms looking to grow, the fractional CMO can be hard to define for those unfamiliar with the approach. Not quite a consultant, certainly not a full-time employee, it creates a good deal of questions for companies weighing their options for strategic marketing leadership. 

If you’re testing the waters on adding some strategic marketing horsepower to your stable, lucky you! This blog is all about identifying the differences between a fractional CMO and a traditional, full-time CMO.



Whether you’re leaning toward hiring a full-time or a fractional CMO, either route can take your marketing function to the next level. The real key is deciding which kind of marketing executive is going to be the right fit for your organization’s strategic needs and how much budget you have to devote to it. 

Still can’t make a decision? Reach out to ClearEdge Recruiting now and spark a conversation about how we can help you achieve your strategic goals for growth.