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If you’re a modern CMO or a business owner who needs strategic marketing leadership but can’t justify the cost of a full-time CMO, a fractional CMO agency may be a solution. However, before deciding if a fractional CMO is the right fit for your business, you may ask: How much does a fractional CMO cost?

The cost of a fractional CMO can vary based on factors such as the level of engagement, expertise, and pricing structure. An average hourly rate of a fractional CMO is between $200-375 an hour, with some providers charging hourly, while others work on a retainer.

While many fractional CMO service providers tout cost savings as their primary value proposition, it’s essential to reframe the cost of a fractional CMO. A fractional CMO can provide more than just cost savings. It can drive quicker impact and be less risky than a full-time hire.

A good fractional CMO agency should provide different levels of engagement, value assessment, and accountability. For example, some fractional CMOs provide “flyover sprinkle-down strategic guidance,” dividing their time between five to ten clients, while others intentionally work with 1-3 clients at one time, dedicating more time each week to your business.

The value of a fractional CMO also lies in driving quick impact for businesses. Authentic Brand Fractional CMOs use a tried, tested, and proven Authentic Growth Methodology™, a structured process to establish alignment between executive leadership, sales, and marketing. It can drive quick impact for businesses of various types and sizes, and Authentic Brand Fractional CMOs can also be less risky than a full-time hire.

One of the most painful and expensive lessons is the cost of not having an experienced marketer at the helm. Without clear marketing direction, focus, and accountability, businesses often burn through their resources without knowing what’s working and what’s not. A fractional CMO can provide strategic marketing leadership and direction, just like a full-time CMO, but at a more affordable cost.