Fractional Marketing Director Laura Gatsos Young on how to know if you need to hire a marketing director

Do You Need A Fractional Marketing Director?


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I'm an experienced conversion copywriter and marketer. Here I share what I've learned working with global luxury brands, founders and small business owners. Rallying cry: Belong to Your Customers.

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As a successful business owner who’s done it all and wore every hat in your business, there comes a point when you ask yourself a crucial question: Is it time to consider a fractional or part-time marketing director?

If you often find yourself rushing to write emails just before you hit send or wish you had planned better to increase your earnings or generate more leads, the answer may be yes.

Rest assured, you’re not alone.

Many small business owners and founders reach a point where marketing becomes an uphill battle.

It’s not for a lack of passion or ambition; it’s simply a matter of time and expertise.

The truth is, marketing today can feel like screaming into an abyss.

That’s why having a presence isn’t enough. Smart marketing that resonates with your client needs to be strategic, creative, and consistent.

It’s about knowing which platforms to use, what stories to tell, and how to reach your audience effectively.

In this blog post you’ll learn:

  • what a fractional marketing director is and the role they play in your business
  • whether you’re ready for one (workload, budget, gaps to fill)
  • how they can help you streamline your marketing efforts so you can stay consistent and grow your audience

We’re about to answer the question keeping you up at night: Could a marketing director help me with that?

What is a Fractional Marketing Director?

The marketing director plays a crucial role in guiding your business through the dynamic landscape of opportunities and challenges.

But what exactly does a marketing director do, and why is their role so pivotal?

A marketing director is essentially the captain of your brand’s marketing ship. They are responsible for overseeing your marketing efforts across various channels, ensuring that every strategy aligns with your business goals.

From crafting comprehensive marketing plans to executing creative campaigns, they’re the driving force behind your brand’s success.

Here’s why their role matters:

  • Strategic Vision: A marketing director is your strategic compass, charting the course for your brand. They analyze market trends, study your competitors, and identify opportunities that others might miss. With their guidance, you can navigate the market’s complexities with confidence.
  • Creative Strategy: Marketing is both an art and a science. A marketing director brings creativity to the table, designing campaigns that capture attention and leave a lasting impression. They craft compelling stories that resonate with your audience, turning casual consumers into loyal brand advocates.
  • Consistency and Cohesion: Have you ever felt like your marketing efforts lack a unified theme? A marketing director ensures that your messaging and branding are consistent across all platforms. This cohesion builds brand recognition and trust, making your business stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: In the digital age, data is essential. A marketing director knows how to mine data for insights. They analyze metrics, monitor campaign performance, and use data-driven insights to refine your marketing strategies. This not only saves you time and money but also ensures you’re always moving in the right direction.

In essence, a marketing director is someone you can rely on to create and execute your marketing tactics to support your business. They bring order to chaos, creativity to campaigns, and strategic vision to your business.

If you’ve reached a point where marketing feels like an unsolvable puzzle, it might be the right time to bring in this expert.

How a Fractional Marketing Director Differs From An In-House Role

A fractional marketing director is a seasoned expert who can breathe life into your marketing efforts, create an organized plan, and help you execute it.

The main difference between an in-house marketing director or manager and a fractional one is that they are independent consultants.

There are many benefits for small business owners so let’s explore why this model is gaining traction:

  • Cost-Effective: Hiring a full-time marketing director can be expensive, especially for small businesses. Fractional marketing directors provide you with access to top-tier talent without the high salary and benefits costs. You pay for the expertise you need, when you need it.
  • Scalability: Small businesses often experience fluctuations in their marketing needs. One month, you might need a comprehensive strategy; the next, you may need help executing a campaign. Fractional marketing directors adapt to your changing requirements, ensuring you get the right level of support.
  • Diverse Expertise: By working with fractional marketing directors, you can tap into a diverse pool of expertise. Most seasoned marketing directors bring extensive experience to the role, and a unique skill set. This allows you to benefit from proven and fresh ideas and perspectives.
  • Quick Onboarding: Unlike full-time hires, fractional marketing directors don’t require lengthy onboarding processes. They can hit the ground running, delivering results faster and saving you valuable time.

The fractional marketing director model is all about flexibility, expertise, and efficiency.

It’s an ideal solution for small business owners who want the benefits of a marketing director without the constraints of a traditional hire.

Whether you need strategic guidance, campaign execution, or a marketing overhaul, a fractional marketing director can tailor their services to meet your specific needs.

Signs Your Business Needs a Marketing Director

Now that you have a better understanding of the role of a fractional marketing consultant and the benefits, it’s time to determine if your business is ready for this transformation.

Here are some signs that indicate you might be ready for a strategic thought partner:

  • Overwhelmed by Marketing Tasks: If marketing tasks are piling up on your to-do list and you find it challenging to keep up, it’s a clear sign that you need a dedicated expert.
  • Inconsistent Content: Is your content all over the place? Do you struggle to maintain a consistent tone and message across various platforms? A marketing director can help unify your brand identity.
  • Stagnant Growth: Despite your best efforts, if your business isn’t experiencing the growth you envisioned, it’s time to reassess your marketing strategies. A marketing director can provide the strategic insights needed to revitalize your growth trajectory.
  • Lack of Time and Expertise: As a small business owner, your time is precious. If marketing is consuming too much of it and you’re not seeing the desired results, it’s a sign that you need help from a professional.
  • Falling Behind Competitors: Are your competitors outpacing you in the digital arena? If your online presence is lagging, it’s a sure indicator that you need to step up your marketing game.
  • Inefficient Spending: If you’re spending money on marketing but not sure if it’s delivering a return on investment (ROI), a marketing director can help you allocate your resources more effectively.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement with any of these signs, it’s time to consider the next step: choosing the right marketing director for your business.

How to Choose the Right Fractional Marketing Director

If you’ve tried to work with marketing consultants or even copywriters only to be disappointed, you’re like many of my clients.

Finding the right fit for you and your business is not just about finding an expert. It’s about finding the person who aligns with your unique needs, goals, and values.

Here are some essential tips and criteria to consider when evaluating potential fractional marketing director candidates:

1. Expertise and Experience

Look for professionals with a proven track record in your industry or a related field. Experience matters, as it indicates their ability to navigate industry-specific challenges and trends. They also bring a wealth of knowledge and perspective based on their experience.

2. Portfolio and Case Studies

Review their portfolio of past projects and case studies. This provides insights into their approach, creativity, and the results they’ve achieved for other clients. Don’t hesitate to ask for the receipts!

3. Strategic Alignment

Ensure that their approach aligns with your business’s long-term goals and values. A good fractional marketing director should be a strategic partner who understands your vision and helps you achieve it.

4. Clear Communication

Effective communication is crucial. Look for candidates who can explain marketing strategies in a way that you and your team can understand. This ensures everyone is on the same page and can work collaboratively.

5. Adaptability

The marketing landscape evolves rapidly. Your chosen fractional marketing director should demonstrate adaptability to staying updated with the latest trends and adhere to sustainable marketing strategies.

6. References and Reviews

Seek references from past clients and read candid testimonials. Hearing about their experiences can provide valuable insights into the candidate’s professionalism and reliability.

7. Customization

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in marketing. Ensure that the fractional marketing director can tailor their services to your specific needs and budget.

And speaking of budget …

8. Budget Considerations

While cost-effectiveness is a benefit of fractional marketing directors, it’s still essential to have a clear understanding of their pricing structure and how it aligns with your budget.

Remember that choosing a fractional marketing director is not just about their qualifications; it’s about finding a partner who shares your vision and can help your business thrive in the complex world of marketing.

It helps to find someone as passionate about your business and audience as you are who wants to be a part of your team.

Next let’s take a look at some real-life results.

Case Study #1: The Sales Trainer

When I first met with Josie, she’d been writing all of her marketing copy, including a semi-regular newsletter and blog posts whenever she had an idea or a free minute.

As a seasoned business owner, she knew how important it was to nurture her audience through email and LinkedIn but as her business got busier, her marketing took a backseat to client work.

Whenever she sent a newsletter out, or posted a short blog, she had the sinking feeling that it didn’t represent her business or her expertise. because she scrambled to make it happen.

Because she was scrambling to make marketing happen, it started to feel like a burden.

Josie wanted to become more strategic with her marketing to support her current consulting service and grow her audience for a forthcoming offer.

Together we looked at her promotional calendar and came up with cornerstone blog posts that would support her business ongoing. We also planned two blog posts a month that we could repurpose for email newsletters and LinkedIn posts.

Our efforts resulted in an increase in open rates (now trending at 60%) and click-through rates. She’s also getting more replies to her emails and more engagement on her monthly free webinar.

Overt time, these increases will result in more one-to-one engagements, however she’s now full!

Case Study #2: The Keynote Speaker and Author

Penelope is a former corporate C-suite executive who is an in-demand keynote speaker, author and executive coach.

She brought me on to help her devise a short, concise and actionable marketing plan and oversee the execution.

The key words there? Short, concise and immediately implementable.

Before working together, Penelope didn’t do any marketing apart from connecting with people on LinkedIn and the occasional blog post.

Her goal was to get a streamlined system where all contractors were promoting her work on all channels with the same messaging, so the brand experience was consistent at every customer touchpoint.

She also needed to grow her email list to get pre-orders and book sales.

We collaborated to create a content plan to execute on LinkedIn, Instagram and to her email list. We also built in messaging to promote her speaking, executive coaching and book offers.

Here are some of the results:

  • Scheduled email newsletter to her segmented email list monthly to add value and nurture leads
  • Increase in LinkedIn connections and engagement through a LinkedIn Live weekly series
  • Podcast interviews for her forthcoming book
  • Press placements and mentions for her forthcoming book
  • Consistent email list growth
  • Key messaging across her website, landing pages, opt-ins, and social media platforms
  • Speaking notes based on key messages of the book for all interviews
  • Leveraged opportunities at speaking gigs to promote the book

In a customer interview, Penelope shared that she feels relieved to know she has a strategic marketing plan that feels organized, efficient and effective.

No more stress about not knowing what to do when, and waking up in the middle of the night panicking about not doing any or enough marketing.

Are You Ready For a Fractional Marketing Director?

As a small business owner who’s felt the struggles of marketing, a fractional marketing director may be the solution you’re looking for to get your marketing back on track and stay consistent.

In this blog post, I’ve shared the common signs that indicate that you may be ready for a marketing director, the benefits of choosing a fractional marketing director, and how to evaluate potential candidates.

Making an informed decision about hiring a marketing director, whether traditional or fractional, can be a transformative moment for your business. It’s an investment in your growth, brand, and future success.

If you’d like to learn more about how a marketing plan can support your sales, click here to read about 5 Star Sales. It will give you an idea of the things you should be considering as you hire marketing help.

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I've worked with entrepreneurs and corporate brands to sell their offers and communicate their value for over 15 years.

When you hire me, you benefit from my experience working with the the best marketing minds in the game (Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors), because I've learned all I know from working with them.

If you're looking for a seasoned copywriter to capture your voice and the attention of your audience, you've discovered the numbers-obsessed, detail-possessed copywriter you need.

Hi, I'm Laura.
Your new trusted copywriter & marketing strategist.

Former luxury goods pr director, mama, coffee-obsessed lover of the longread

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