Interested in contract work as a Chief Marketing Officer?

4 minutes

As specialist marketing recruiters, we understand that Chief Marketing Officers of...

As specialist marketing recruiters, we understand that Chief Marketing Officers often find it tricky to know where their marketing career should take them next. There are a wide variety of opportunities to pursue, from Non-Executive Director to CEO, so it’s important to identify the right career move for you. 

For many CMOs, the next natural step in your career will be to pursue contract jobs. These advisory positions can be a great option for those looking to gain more experience before transitioning to a more senior position, such as a Non-Executive Director role.

So, how do Chief Marketing Officers become contractors? This blog post will be exploring the interim opportunities available to senior marketing leaders and how you can decide which is the best for you.

What are your options to becoming a contractor as a CMO?

There are two main options for becoming a contractor as a CMO:

  1. Fractional CMO
  2. Interim CMO

Whilst both are advisory contractor jobs, each role has different goals, commitments and responsibilities. Understanding which position works best for you and your career is fundamental to your personal and professional development.

What does a Fractional CMO do?

Fractional CMOs are part-time Chief Marketing Officers, who's primary goal is to build and establish a company’s marketing team. Working with a business for a set period of (c. 18-24 months), Fractional CMOs are employed to develop a marketing strategy before passing it on to more junior, permanent marketers.

Sitting on the leadership team, a Fractional CMO works collaboratively with the entire business in order deliver effective marketing support. Whilst you might be asked to get into the weeds if the business requires, the primary role of a Fractional CMO is to strategise, advise, challenge and mentor.

What does an Interim CMO do?

Interim CMOs are temporary Chief Marketing Officers that a company usually employs to support them through a transitional period. This means that you could cover a temporary gap in the marketing team or trial the need for a Chief Marketing Officer within the business.

Interim CMOs tend to work full-time during their tenure with a company and are employed on a shorter period of time (c. 6-12 months), although this can be extended. As an Interim CMO, your main goal is to work directly with the marketing team and maintain consistent leadership.

The growing demand for Fractional and Interim CMOs

Hiring a Fractional CMO or Interim CMO is a great option for companies who are looking to engage senior marketing leaders on a temporary, flexible and advisory basis. They are especially popular among smaller businesses that might not have the right budget or requirements to engage a Chief Marketing Officer on a permanent basis but would benefit from the guidance of a senior marketing leader. 

There are a number of benefits for companies to hire temporary Chief Marketing Officers, including:

  • Access to cost-effective marketing leadership
  • Flexible support for training marketers, developing campaigns and co-ordinating strategies
  • Support in building and retaining marketing teams

With more and more organisations recognising the benefits of employing contractors, there are a wealth of job opportunities for senior marketers looking to take their career in this direction.

Why should Chief Marketing Officers consider contract jobs?

It's never too late to switch from your permanent job to contracting. In fact, many would argue that it’s easier for senior marketers to make the transition, as they have already accumulated a wealth of experience that will benefit employers. 

Of course, contract jobs also offer a variety of benefits for Chief Marketing Officers who are looking to further their careers. These include:

  • Develop your CV – pursuing fixed-term contracts will allow you to build your expertise across a variety of industries and roles
  • Flexibility – contract jobs tend to be more flexible, providing you with the opportunity to develop the work-life balance you desire
  • Increase your earning potential – contractors are often paid more per hour than permanent employees. To find out more about this, check out our 2023 salary guide
  • Become your own boss – contractors are essentially their own bosses, giving them increased control over their workload

Looking for further support in becoming a contractor?

If you’re considering becoming a contractor, be sure to read our full guide on how to move from permanent employment to contract to understand the full benefits of contracting and how to make the transition. This blog details the steps you should take to successfully build a contracting career. 

Searching for senior contractor jobs? Get in touch with our Executive Search team.

3Search is a specialist digital marketing recruitment agency, that delivers the best recruitment experience you will ever have. With over 500 Google reviews and a five-star average, you can rest assured that we put people at the heart of everything we do.

If you’re looking for a senior contractor job, be sure to get in touch with 3Search Executive. Our specialist recruitment consultants can support you with your next job search, no matter if you’re becoming a contractor for the first time or you’ve worked a number of contracted roles – we can help you.

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