Hiring a marketing expert on a budget

By Matthew Rowe, MJR Marketing & PR Consultancy Ltd.
For some businesses, securing seasoned marketing expertise can feel out of reach due to budget constraints.
Published in UK Director Magazines Summer 2024

Marketing, PR & Communications: Matthew Rowe, MJR Marketing & PR Consultancy Ltd

The traditional route of hiring a full-time chief marketing officer comes with significant financial commitments, from high salaries to overhead costs and benefits.

This predicament leaves many businesses at a crossroads, torn between financial strain and compromising on the quality of marketing leadership. Do they risk overextending themselves financially or settle for a less experienced candidate? Neither option is ideal.

Enter the fractional chief marketing officer (FCMO).

An FCMO operates by partnering with multiple firms simultaneously on a part-time basis, offering a cost-effective alternative to accessing premium marketing leadership. Engagements can vary in duration. For instance, FCMOs can be brought in on a project-by-project basis, retained for ongoing strategic guidance, or hired for specific initiatives like product launches.

With businesses facing challenging economic conditions, this flexible model is gaining traction, but equally the agility that the FCMO role provides can be crucial during periods of rapid growth. It allows companies to scale marketing efforts up or down quickly according to demand.

Strategic and Tactical

One of the key advantages of engaging an FCMO is the strategic insight and experience that they bring to the table. They offer an unbiased, fresh perspective, enabling them to assess current marketing strategies, identify gaps, and craft tailored plans aligned with specific business objectives.

Moreover, outsourcing marketing leadership to an FCMO empowers business owners and executives to refocus on core competencies and strategic decision-making, unburdened by day-to-day marketing operations. The FCMO assumes responsibility for setting strategic direction and supporting its implementation to optimise the return on marketing investment.

Extensive Networks

FCMOs tend to be seasoned experts who can hit the ground running, delivering immediate impact. Leveraging their extensive industry networks, they possess the connections to enhance your business’s marketing reach and effectiveness. This network is likely to extend to trusted suppliers, enabling them to negotiate competitive rates and secure advantageous partnerships.

Expertise, Support and Mentorship

Beyond strategy and execution, FCMOs offer deep market knowledge, competitor insights, and client understanding. They are likely to have been around the block a bit, and therefore equipped to manage and nurture junior colleagues, strengthening your internal marketing capabilities.

FCMOs can also serve as interim marketing leaders during periods of leadership transitions or while businesses are searching for a permanent CMO. They can stabilise marketing functions, assess internal capabilities, and provide valuable insights to aid in the selection of a long-term marketing executive. It is essential to find the right person for the role, so be sure to evaluate potential candidates’ track records and clarify the areas of marketing expertise your business needs.

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Matthew Rowe is the Director at MJR Marketing & PR Consultancy Ltd. Get in touch if you think your business may benefit from the expertise of a FCMO and would like to discuss your requirements.

T: 07905 160129
E: matthew@mjrmarketingandpr.co.uk
Or visit

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