What is a Fractional Marketing Director?

by | Jul 25, 2022

You are well into a marketing campaign. Your team is frantically writing content and posting it on social channels, and you’ve even taken out a few ads. All hands are on deck, chasing after the latest hot marketing trend. However, you don’t see results. Worse, you have no idea what kind of results you want to see.

Do these aimless marketing pursuits frequently describe your marketing efforts? Is your team working in short frantic bursts while your efforts go without a boost in revenue or brand growth?

A lack of direction plagues the marketing efforts of many small businesses, resulting in a mishmash of tactics, missed deadlines, and poorly planned results. Here’s how a Fractional Marketing Director can guide your efforts, keep your team on track, oversee your actions, and to achieve results quickly.

What is a Fractional Marketing Director?

A Fractional Marketing Director (FMD) is an experienced marketing professional who joins an organization on a temporary, contractual basis for a fraction of the week, typically 15 to 20 hours. They are usually hired by small to mid-sized companies that don’t have the budget to hire a full-time senior marketing executive.

Solopreneurs and start-ups typically employ FMDs at significantly less than it would cost to hire a seasoned marketing professional with that caliber of experience and talent. These smaller businesses are thus able to execute their marketing plans under the guidance of a seasoned marketer, a resource that formerly would only be available to their larger competitors.

Top Signs Your Business Needs a Fractional Marketing Director

While many business owners understand that marketing and a solid online presence is critical to success in today’s digital marketplace, many struggle with defining their brand, setting goals, creating a comprehensive marketing plan, and implementing the proper strategies to attract consumers’ attention. If any of the following apply to your company, you might want to consider hiring a fractional marketing director.

  • You have an idea of what should be done, but you don’t know how to structure your efforts or measure success.
  • Your on-staff team and freelancers produce decent content for your website and social posts, but you still miss the most substantial opportunities.
  • More often than you would like, you must look the other way when you see off-brand messages, blurry images, and typos in your content.
  • You know that you are spending a lot of money on digital ads, but you cannot confidently say they make a difference.

What Does a Fractional Marketing Director Do?

In a nutshell, a Fractional Marketing Director stops aimless marketing initiatives.

Suppose you don’t have a documented strategy. Your FMD will work with you to create one. They do this by internalizing your business’ mission and vision. They will conduct a detailed situational analysis of your business, customers, market, and competitive situation and how your business fits into this landscape. Your FMD will define your unique selling proposition (USP), messaging, and the most effective channels to deliver your message to your target. Timing and key performance indicators (KPIs) will be identified along with a budget.

Once your strategy is approved, detailed marketing plans will outline who will do what and when. Your FMD will then collaborate with your team to assign responsibilities, establish deliverables, refine budgets, confirm timelines, and oversee your team’s execution of these plans.

What Qualities Should I Look for in a Fractional Marketing Director?

To build a dynamic strategic brand, you need an experienced strategic marketer. One that can assess the market and develop plans for you to succeed. But that’s not enough. The ideal Fractional Marketing Director must also execute these plans.

While being visionary, they must also be tactical. Your FMD must define implementation plans and rally your team to deliver on those plans.

Many marketing professionals that are great visionaries lack the tactical skills to get things done. And many tactical project managers don’t have the marketing experience to step back, see the big picture, and determine how each element fits together.

The best Fractional Marketing Directors are both visionaries and project managers. When choosing a Fractional Marketing Director to work with your team, be sure to look for professionals that are:

  1. Strategic Thinkers – Your FMD must create a vision for your organization, document it in a strategy, and translate it into actionable marketing initiatives. They always need to see one step ahead.
  2. Analytics – While your FMD does not need to be a data geek, they must be able to find and decipher the relevant “big data” required to meet your goal setting and measurement needs.
  3. Problem Solvers – While managing teams in an ever-evolving technological landscape, issues will inevitably arise. An FMD that can break down problems, investigate solutions, and decisively resolve them will save valuable time and angst across your organization.
  4. Experienced Professionals Across Traditional and Digital Marketing Channels – While an FMD doesn’t need to have tactical expertise in every marketing channel, knowledge of best practices in SEO, email marketing, social, and traditional marketing channels is a must. A great FMD understands how to leverage the appropriate channel to provide the best user experience and achieve the desired user action.
  5. Project Managers – Taking your organization’s vision from concept to reality requires planning, assigning roles, tracking performance, and measuring results. While reacting to changes along the way, delivering to firm deadlines requires a detail-oriented project manager.
  6. Communicators – Top-notch verbal and written communication skills are critical to deciphering technical information into digestible nuggets for marketing team members and senior management.
  7. Listeners – It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is for your FMD to listen and absorb information from all levels and functions in the organization while staying attuned to the voices of your customers and users.

What is the Best Way to Find a Fractional Marketing Director?

Start by doing your research. Before looking into any external resources, take the time to understand and document where you are in your marketing efforts and your organization’s needs.

  • Do you have a marketing strategy in place?
  • Are you ready for someone to engage and manage your team to implement your strategy?
  • What is your marketing budget?
  • How many hours per week do you think you need to do the job?
  • Is industry knowledge necessary?

Finding a trusted organization specializing in screening and hiring only experienced marketing professionals with proven performance records can be challenging. Equivity can help. Our strategic team of marketing professionals has worked with large corporations and small businesses across industries, successfully developing and implementing strategies. Contact us today!