Blog Post

How Authentic® matches our fractional CMOs to our clients

How Authentic® matches our fractional CMOs to our clients
Discover how Authentic’s fractional CMO match process ensures a strong client-CMO fit, with a Right-Fit Guarantee to back up every engagement.

Overcoming the marketing leadership conundrum

Filling marketing leadership roles is tough. With marketing encompassing so many micro disciplines, like digital, product, and communications, it’s difficult for entrepreneurial companies to know which type of marketer they need to drive growth in their business. 

For companies not ready to commit to a full-time hire, the landscape of fractional CMOs and independent consultants adds another layer of complexity. Many solo practitioners and agencies coin themselves “fractional CMOs” without the executive experience to back it up. This makes identifying the right marketer even more challenging for business leaders and risks undermining a fractional CMO’s strategic impact.

To address this challenge faced by so many of our clients, we’ve prioritized developing a fractional CMO match process that ensures a strong client-CMO fit — every time.

The Authentic difference in fractional CMO selection

To understand our CMO match process, it’s important first to know how Authentic differs from other options available:

  1. We are 100% focused on fractional marketing leadership.

Authentic is a highly specialized fractional CMO firm. All we do is qualify, hire, and enable executive-level marketers to build marketing maturity, fuel growth, and increase transferable value in small businesses. We are world-class, market-leaders in this space. 

  1. All of our fractional CMOs are W-2 employees.

To our knowledge, Authentic is the only fractional CMO firm that employs all CMOs on a W-2 basis. This makes a big difference for our clients, because our CMOs are supported by a values-led culture, a dedicated operating and client services team, and a collaborative peer group. Because our CMOs are employees and not independent 1099 contractors, we’re able to ensure the quality of our services delivery, and the consistent implementation of our proven Methodology. More importantly, our CMOs join us with the intention to stay long-term. They are not taking on a “gig” while looking for another full-time role. As such, our clients can expect longevity of relationships and results.

  1. We only hire true executives.

A lot of marketing professionals are interested in a career as a fractional CMO. But not all marketers meet our rigorous candidate standards. Our strict candidate requirements require 15 years of marketing leadership experience, with at least 5+ years at a Sr. Director, VP, or CMO level. We do not hire marketers who have only worked in agencies or as consultants – but only hire those who have held holistic in-house leadership roles. Our fractional CMOs are also trained on our proven methodology and are surrounded by our mindshare of peer and provider expertise— increasing the value we offer your business.

  1. We are not a staffing agency or contract-to-hire firm. 

We don’t ask clients what they want in a marketing leader and then initiate a search. Instead, we pre-hire fully vetted, true executive leaders – across a variety of industries and business models – and we match the right-fit CMO to the client. This means our match process takes days – not months. And because we do not offer a contract-to-hire option, our clients don’t need to worry about their assigned CMO being hired away by another client. Our CMOs join Authentic with the intention to work as a fractional CMO long-term, and through a 12-24+ month engagement with each client, lead them in hiring the right marketers and partners.

  1. We are not a loosely-affiliated marketplace of independent practitioners. 

Most fractional CMO firms pull resumes from a large pool of solo practitioners, presenting 3-5 CMO options to their clients. This approach not only creates variability between quality and approach but also puts the onus back on the business leaders to determine the right fit. We do CMO screening and matching every day, and we do it very well. We take the responsibility to present clients with the fractional CMO we deem the strongest fit and then kick off a meet-and-greet process so the client has the opportunity to affirm the fit.

Each of these factors enables us to find a strong CMO match for each client and offer every client a Right-Fit Guarantee (more on that below).

The Authentic Fractional CMO® match process

  1. Initial Meeting & Intake

Our first priority in the CMO match process is to ensure we understand your business model, goals, culture, and marketing needs. To do this, we have you complete a simple intake survey and meet with you to ensure alignment for the right-fit CMO match.

  1. Authentic Chooses Your Right-Fit CMO Match

Once you’ve decided to move forward with hiring a fractional CMO via Authentic, we choose one fractional CMO to introduce you to based on our deep marketing expertise, all the information you’ve provided, and the following criteria: 

  • Relevant business model expertise: Whether your business operates B2B, B2C, D2C, or through a distribution or partner channel, your fractional CMO will have that relevant model expertise. We view your business model as the backbone of what shapes your marketing program.
  • Relevant industry alignment: We choose a CMO that understands how your industry functions and the markets you serve. We do not match by sub-industry or segment because that limits our ability to make a right-fit match. Requiring too niche of industry expertise limits your pool to otherwise qualified candidates. Diverse industry perspectives bring you additional competitive advantage.
  • Culture fit: We dig into your organization’s leadership, values, and personality dynamics to ensure your fractional CMO is a strong culture fit. Culture and values are critical to our own hiring process, so a client whose values complement Authentic’s values is already halfway to finding a strong culture fit. The rest is a matter of matching personality and style.
  • Right capacity for the level of retainer: Our fractional CMOs work on retainer with our clients anywhere from 4-20+ hours a week, depending on the size, stage, pace, and budget of the client. We will only introduce you to a fractional CMO who can get started on your business soon, if not immediately.
  1. Meet & Greet

After our team determines which Authentic Fractional CMO we believe is the best fit for your business, we make an email introduction and set up a meet-and-greet. During that one-hour meeting, you can get acquainted with the CMO, learn more about their background, and affirm their fit for your team. Simultaneously, our fractional CMO – together with our Client Services team – is validating the fit to ensure we have the strongest match.

  1. CMO Quick Start & Discovery

Once you and Authentic are confident in the fit, it’s time to sign the contract! From here, we are usually ready to start the engagement within three to ten business days. We can get started quickly because we only introduce you to a CMO who is ready to start immediately or very soon. Since we extensively train all fractional CMOs on our proven process, they can efficiently onboard your team to start delivering value quickly.

Authentic’s Right-Fit Guarantee

We believe so strongly in making strong fractional CMO-client matches that we offer every client a Right-Fit Guarantee. While we can’t guarantee that an employee will never leave our organization, we can guarantee that we will never leave you without a strong marketing leader.

This is the promise we make to each of our clients in our statement of work:

If at any time during the course of our engagement, you are not satisfied with the fit of your Authentic CMO™ to your organization, or if we experience employee turnover, we will cover the cost of onboarding another CMO from our team.

Because of our team’s continuous Mindshare collaboration and our shared Methodology, we have a track record for making successful handoffs within 1-2 weeks, while maintaining continuity of services.

Though we stand behind our guarantee fully, the good news is we rarely need to use it. We credit our strong track record to the fact that we only hire marketing executives who embody our values, are experienced business builders, and are passionate about helping entrepreneurial organizations grow. As W2 employees, our fractional CMOs are deeply committed to each other and making a meaningful impact on our clients.

Ready to meet your match?

We’d love to discuss how Authentic could support your business and introduce you to a fractional CMO capable of building a mature marketing program for your business. Get in touch to start the conversation.


  • Authentic®

    Authentic® is a national fractional CMO firm, serving clients across the United States and beyond. We were early pioneers in our industry, and continue to set the standard for fractional CMO excellence. Our unique approach combines Marketers + Methodology + Mindshare to help growing businesses Overcome Random Acts of Marketing® and increase maturity, growth, and transferrable value. We are Authentic Fractional CMOs™ Tested. Trusted. True Executives.

    View all posts

Related Posts

Authentic Headquarters
4600 W. 77th St. Suite #385
Minneapolis, MN 55435

Additional Offices
California • Illinois • Massachusetts • New York
North Carolina • Texas • Washington • Wisconsin

© 2024 Authentic Brand LLC | Privacy Policy

Best Places to Work
we run on eos
fast 50 - white
Table of Contents


Table of Contents