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Retaining Your Right-Fit Fractional CMO

Retaining Your Right-Fit Fractional CMO

Understanding Our Retainer Structure: Tailored Solutions for Your Marketing Needs

At Authentic®, we specialize in providing Fractional Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with annual revenues ranging from $5 million to $100 million. Our CMOs are seasoned marketing executives who serve as the contract, part-time heads of marketing for our clients across diverse industries and business models. To help you understand how our retainer structure works and how we determine the best fit for your organization, let’s delve into the details.

Proactive and Structured Retainers

Our engagement with clients is based on a monthly flat-rate retainer. Unlike passive retainer models where you might “call us if you need us,” our approach is proactive and structured. Our fractional CMOs maintain regular office hours and utilize all available time to advance your marketing strategies, develop your team, and manage your marketing programs. This ensures continuous progress and alignment with your business goals.

Flat-Rate, Monthly Retainers

All our CMO employees are compensated at the same rate, enabling us to offer services on a consistent flat-rate, monthly retainer basis. This simplicity allows you to budget effectively and ensures you receive high-quality, dedicated support without any hidden costs.

Flexible Engagement Levels

Our clients engage our fractional CMOs for retainers ranging from 4 hours per week to 20 or more hours per week. We also offer “flex” hours, which can be pre-approved or approved as needed, to accommodate periods when additional CMO capacity is beneficial. This flexibility ensures that you have the right level of support when you need it most.

Criteria for Retainer Recommendations

To recommend the ideal initial retainer level for your organization, we consider several factors:

  • Size of the Overall Business: Larger businesses typically require more marketing leadership and strategic input. 
  • Structure of the Existing Marketing Team and Program: The composition and capabilities of your current marketing team influence the level of support needed for leadership, management, coaching, and strategic guidance.
  • Marketing Budget: Your budget determines the scale and scope of marketing activities that can be undertaken. We will make budget recommendations based on industry benchmarks and your goals, but we will also work within your existing budget to make the most of those resources.
  • Desired Pace of Activation and Growth: If you’re looking to rapidly accelerate your marketing efforts, a higher retainer level (and a larger activation budget) will be important.
  • Appetite for Change: Your organization’s readiness for change and innovation (or pressure from investors / board / the market) helps us determine how much CMO firepower you need right out of the gates.
  • Existing Marketing Foundation and Maturity: A well-established marketing foundation means we’ll spend less time filling gaps, and can invest more energy toward activation and scale sooner. With the seven components shown in the image below, our Authentic Growth™ Methodology helps us quickly assess your foundation and readiness for go-to-market activation.
Authentic Growth Methodology

Rolling Quarterly Retainer Structure

Our retainer commitments are structured on a rolling quarterly basis, meaning your commitment is always for the current month plus the next 60 days. This approach fosters a strong, ongoing partnership while providing the flexibility to adjust as your business needs evolve.

When you sign our contract, we pre-commit our CMO’s capacity to your business, ensuring that your assigned CMO is not available for other engagements that could interfere with your retainer. This dedication allows us to focus on delivering consistent value and building a long-term relationship with your organization.

Demonstrating Value Early and Often

Our short-term retainer model is designed to offer you the freedom to change course as your business needs shift. The current month + 60-day notice terms ensure that we commit to a professional relationship that respects and protects both parties. This structure drives us to demonstrate our value early and often, earning and retaining our seat at your table through continuous performance and results.

Tailoring Your Retainer & CMO Match

At Authentic, we understand that every business is unique, and our tailored retainer structure – along with our Right-Fit CMO Match process – reflects that. By providing proactive, structured, and flexible marketing leadership, we help you achieve your marketing goals and drive your business forward.

If you’re ready to explore how a Fractional CMO can benefit your organization, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to discuss the best retainer level for your needs. 


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