Why do businesses buy “fractional” support, like fractional CFOs, fractional CMOs, or what I do – fractional CTO?
People struggle to explain this, but most of it is pretty easy. We’re told fractional means “part time”, but it really means “freelance” – i.e. it’s someone external to the business that you buy some support from.
Businesses will employee a FULL TIME CFO, CMO, or CTO when that business identifies a strategic need for CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT in that area. You don’t hire a CFO because you need a fancy accountant; you hire a CFO because you want the business to get continuously better at financial governance.
A fractional CxO is about making a continuous improvement TACTICALLY. But the actual value comes from the fact that rather than just outsourcing a “done for you” problem, a fractional will help you get BETTER AT whatever specialism the fractional has.
e.g. outsourcing marketing means the agency is getting better at doing marketing. Engaging a fractional CMO means YOUR COMPANY gets better at doing marketing.
So it’s about making a tactical improvement in a strategic area.