Why Venture-Funded Startups Are Hiring Fractional CMOs (And You Should Too)

Every year thousands of venture-backed startups ambitiously go-to-market, challenging entire categories and industry incumbents. The handful that have achieved unprecedented success, from Airbnb to Zappos, consistently share one commonality: from the earliest stages of growth, the founders prioritized strategic marketing leadership.

To successfully take on long-established leaders, startups must have a clear and resonant value proposition alongside a calculated Go-To-Market strategy. Developing this isn’t easy and often requires the hiring of an expensive team that will take time to gel. When resources are tight, and time is of the essence, engaging a fractional CMO that has successfully delivered growth for a variety of startups can be an efficient solution to gain much-needed expertise, fast.

Fractional CMOs Drive Growth

The CMO is responsible for growing a company’s customer base and increasing revenue; driving engagement and retention; and building cohesive brand, creative and communication strategies. The role is critical to a company’s success, and it’s often essential to hire an experienced executive that will give them a competitive edge.

An experienced fractional CMO is akin to engaging the special forces - they are trained to take on all of the above responsibilities as a part-time addition to the team using both traditional and untraditional tactics and techniques. Companies that engage experienced fractional CMOs stay nimble, effectively scaling without straining resources. More so, an experienced fractional CMO brings a wealth of perspective gained from working across multiple industries and companies. When they’re not solving challenges for your startup, they’re working on solutions for other fast-growing startups. Given how quickly the world is moving, it is critical to hire marketing leadership that is in tune with relevant challenges.

So are fractional CMOs consultants? It’s important to note that a fractional CMO is a career executive, not a career consultant. They understand what it is like to be part of a startup team because they’ve done it. They have experience delivering measurable results with limited resources. They immerse themselves in the company culture and become part of the team. Not only does the CMO build the overall marketing and growth strategy, they then roll up their sleeves and make it come to life – with or without the marketing resources that the startup currently has. After all, an idea is only as good as it’s execution.

Who Needs a Fractional CMO?

Here are the most common scenarios where a fractional CMO is the best solution for teams:

Absence of a marketing team. Startups sometimes focus so heavily on building a product or service that they haven’t yet hired a marketing team. In these instances, they need interim leadership and a marketing team while they staff up.

Teams lacking a seasoned marketing leader. Startups often get by with a junior growth lead and marketing team, and could benefit from executive level guidance to help them get to the next level.

Marketing mentorship or second opinion. The leadership, be that the CEO or CMO, would like an independent, outside perspective on their company and current marketing strategy.

Interim leadership. The current marketing leader has decided to leave, or was let go, and interim leadership is required to ensure the company doesn’t miss a beat.

Growth acceleration. A venture capital firm would like to accelerate growth in one of their portfolio companies.

5&Vine Fractional CMO Services

5&Vine is the VC-funded startup agency of choice for strategic marketing leadership. Simply put, we’re the marketing resources you wish that you had in-house, but don’t.

Rahul Raj takes on the role of fractional CMO with 5&Vine clients: from articulating strategy to framing narratives, Rahul firmly embeds himself and manages client budgets and resources as if they were his own. Rahul’s own expert team fills in the gaps of existing client teams, or becomes the team, to effectively deliver results without wasting time or money.

At 5&Vine, we work with a variety of startups from Fintech and Smart Home to Direct-to-Consumer. The team brings clarity to brand strategy, and the experience to execute with excellence. Select clients include:

Xicama | Green Beaver | Greenlight | Borrowell | drop | notion | HUB6 Home Automation

Are you a fast-growing startup that’s ready to win? Engage 5&Vine as your fractional CMO to achieve profitable growth.

Get in touch with us here.