As labor costs and inflation continue to rise and the great resignation persists, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult and expensive to hire and retain quality talent. This is especially true in the case of full-time creators, marketers and designers.
While the digital landscape is rapidly changing, so are workers’ priorities. Many marketers are choosing to work for themselves, demand higher pay, become digital nomads, and leave the corporate world behind.
These shifts present a major challenge to employers seeking affordable and dependable marketing support. So what’s the answer?
Fractional marketing has entered the chat.
What is Fractional Marketing in 2022?
To put it simply, fractional marketing is a way of outsourcing – quite literally – a fraction of your marketing team. Employers can manage their full time internal team, while leveraging specialized part time workers, filling any gaps within their in-house marketing department.
If the idea of fractional marketing sounds familiar to you, that’s because the concept has existed for many years – we’ve just given it a rebrand.
The Quick History of Fractional Marketing
Employers have been outsourcing jobs long before the term ‘fractional marketing’ was invented. If we rewind back to the 1970’s, manufacturers began outsourcing jobs overseas to lower labor costs – this form of outsourcing is called offshoring. While some companies offshore aspects of their work today, most employers will seek support stateside when outsourcing certain roles.
In fact, if we fast forward to the 1980’s many computer companies began outsourcing payroll related duties to accounting firms instead of hiring finance professionals in-house. Businesses began realizing that it was far more economical to hire these firms for seasonal financial support instead of employing a full-time accounting department.
Over the years, corporations began outsourcing roles to cover traditionally internal responsibilities such as:
- Payroll and Benefits
- Information Technology
- Customer Service
- Web & App Development
Nowadays, most companies outsource components of their advertising in one form or another. Whether they seek branding strategy, creative support, or digital marketing expertise, there are many marketing agencies out there that specialize in one or more advertising services.
While we are focused on the concept of fractional marketing, it is important to note the different terms associated with outsourced marketing employees:
- Marketing Contractors: Individuals that are hired for a period of time outlined by a specific contractual agreement. Contractors are typically hired directly or through a recruiting agency.
- Outsourced Marketers: Contractors, agency relationships, and freelancers can all be considered outsourced marketers. This term can be applied to any marketer that you hire externally and is not in-house. Technically fractional marketers fall under this category as well.
- Offshored Marketers: These are any marketers that a company hires overseas or out of the country. Typically companies will hire designers or web developers overseas to save money on labor costs.
- Part Timers: A part time marketer can be outsourced or someone who works in-house on payroll working anything less than 40 hours per week.
- Freelancers: These marketers are usually independent workers, and are typically solopreneurs. They are usually project-based, but sometimes provide ongoing services as well. Many marketing consultants would fall into this category.
While the concept of outsourcing has been around for some time the term ‘fractional marketing’ is relatively new. It is common knowledge that you can outsource certain roles at a company, but what many people don’t know is that you can actually outsource leadership roles as well.
One of the first leadership roles to be outsourced was the position of a Fractional CMO or Fractional Chief Marketing Officer. As you know, leadership roles like these are very expensive for companies to maintain, which is why many CMOs recently began working for themselves and offering their marketing strategy and consulting services part-time. Thus the term, fractional marketing was born. If you want to learn more about hiring a fractional Chief Marketing Officer, read our article on What is a Fractional CMO?
While a company can outsource their overall marketing goals and strategy to Fractional CMOs, there still needs to be someone to execute on the actual strategy across channels. In fact,
Giant Propeller is the leading brand growth agency that offers fractional marketing services- in fact, we offer an entire Fractional Marketing Department consisting of every skill set your business requires. We create and scope a custom approach that is informed and guided by your business goals and then deploy the fractional marketing employees that you require. Learn more about how Giant Propeller can help elevate your brand and propel your marketing results forward.
Should You Hire a Fractional Marketing Agency?
There are many different reasons companies opt for fractional marketing services. Here are some definite signs that your company could benefit from fractional marketing:
- You don’t currently require full-time marketing services: Depending on your immediate marketing needs and brand growth trajectory, you might not necessarily require a department of full-time marketers. Maybe you have aspects of your internal marketing covered, but need extra support for a specific channel. Maybe you want to ramp up your marketing efforts around the holiday season or prior to a specific product launch. If this is the case, you might want to consider fractional marketing.
- You don’t have the payroll budget for internal marketing employees: Full time marketing specialists can be expensive. After all, you get what you pay for right? If your business does not have the budget for one or more salaried marketers or creatives, you should look into fractional marketing options.
- You’re spending a lot of time, money and resources on recruiting: Sourcing quality talent can be extremely time consuming and expensive. Even if you outsource your recruiting efforts, agency costs will add up. If you partner with a fractional marketing agency, you’ll never have to worry about finding or retaining your marketing team.
- Your internal marketing department lacks expertise with particular channels and strategies: Maybe your marketing department is a one-person show or maybe you have 2-3 full-time marketers on your payroll. Either way, it’s rare to be an expert in every marketing vertical, we call that a marketing unicorn. If you work with our fractional marketing agency, you’ll have access to an entire team of marketers highly specialized in their individual channels.
- Your in-house marketing team is feeling the burnout: Even if you have some marketing unicorns on your team, after a while they might start to get burnt out or suffer from creative fatigue. Add some fractional marketers to level up your current team.
- Your current marketing is inconsistent across channels: While you might have some great ideas, you could be lacking a holistic marketing strategy. If you hire a team of collaborative fractional marketers, you’ll see a synergistic effect across your marketing efforts, and an immediate impact on overall performance.
What Are the Benefits of Fractional Marketing Services?
Now that we’ve discussed the pain points, let’s talk about the key benefits. If you decide to partner with a fractional marketing agency, your company will be able to:
- Cut back on time, resources and money spent on recruiting
- Save huge on labor & overhead costs for full-time employees
- Prevent burnout for your in-house marketing team
- Employ a full team of dedicated marketing experts that specialize in particular channels (or just hire who you need)
- Work with a leadership team of marketing professionals
- Set strategic marketing goals and receive detailed performance reports
- Harness the power of a holistic marketing strategy which will ultimately lead to better ROI and overall performance
What Kind of Fractional Marketer Do You Need?
Depending on your individual marketing needs, you might seek several fractional marketers or an entire fractional marketing team. Here are some examples of fractional marketers available at Giant Propeller:
- Brand Strategist: When it comes down to it, your brand strategist will know your brand better than you do. They’ll study your competitors, truly understand your audience, and be an expert in your industry. They can support an already established brand or build a new brand from scratch. Your brand strategist is the foundation of your marketing strategy.
- Organic Social Media Marketer: This content marketing guru creates organic content for one or more of your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) They will tailor the content to each platform based on your brand, audience, and a particular social platform’s best practices, keeping your brand relevant and top of mind. They’ll also support your efforts with influencer marketing across social channels.
- SEO Specialist: This next content marketer knows how to get your website to rank on page 1 for search engines like Google. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. They’ll optimize your website, so that you can start ranking for keywords your customers search for.
- Paid Media Specialist: You guessed it, this growth marketer is focused on all things ‘paid strategy’. They might execute a marketing campaign using tactics like Paid Search, Display, Paid Social, or other paid channels. Think of paid media like the billboards of digital marketing.
- Lifecycle Marketer: This strategist is heavily focused on your marketing funnel. They target each stage of the customer journey through marketing tactics like SMS or Email Marketing. From segmenting your audience, catering your messaging, marketing automation integrations, and crafting impactful CTAs, a lifecycle marketer follows your customers from that initial point of brand discovery to their final purchase.
- Copywriter: This creative writer collaborates with every channel lead, and works closely with the brand strategist to create the voice, tone, and overall messaging for your brand. They craft copy across your website, social media posts, email sequences, paid ads, and other content.
- Graphic Designer: This marketer knows the Adobe Suite like the palm of their hand. The expert behind your company’s visual identity, they’ll bring your brand to life and deliver impactful content across your website, social, email, and other channels.
- Web Designer: Your web designer will be with you every step of the way – from site mapping, wireframe development, UX design, and CRO before they pass off your approved web designs to the web development team. If you ever want to add new pages or sections to your website, they’ll be available to you.
- Web Developer: Your full stack web developer will bring your web designs to life and execute the launch of your brand’s website. Once your website is live, your web specialists will be there to provide ongoing web maintenance and answer all of your web-related questions.
- The Whole Gang: If you’re interested in all of these marketing specialists, you should consider partnering with a fractional marketing agency like Giant Propeller. Contact us to learn more about our service offerings and customized plans.
Fractional Marketing and Leadership Roles
As mentioned earlier in the article, fractional marketing extends to leadership roles as well. If you are interested in filling an in-house marketing executive role with a fractional marketing leader, you should consider the different options available:
- Fractional Chief Marketing Officer: Maybe you are looking for a long term fractional CMO or an interim CMO. Either way, If you work with a fractional marketing agency, you essentially have all the benefits of a CMO at your fingertips. Not only will you be provided expert strategy, but you’ll have specialists all executing on their strategy across channels.
- Fractional Marketing Director: Maybe you don’t need fractional CMO services. If you have a Marketing VP or CMO in-house, and you’re looking to fill a fractional executive role at a director level, this is an excellent option.
- Fractional Creative Director: Our next fractional executive provides creative direction to your marketing team. If you are seeking marketing leadership in the creative realm, this is the role to fill.
It’s important to note that you can have a marketing executive in-house, and also partner with a fractional marketing team to help execute on strategy. Your internal senior marketing leader can act as the point of contact between your company and the fractional marketing agency.
How to Hire a Fractional Marketing Team
Now that we covered everything you need to know, you might consider partnering with a fractional team of marketers. Whether you need support from a digital marketer, content creator, branding strategist, or even a marketing executive, with fractional marketing you can pay for exactly who you need when you need them.
To hire a fractional marketing team, it’s as simple as contacting Giant Propeller. To take that first step, fill out our contact form on our website. We’ll explain our process, showcase some awesome work and results, and discuss how we can customize a marketing plan that aligns with your business goals.