Maximizing Your Marketing Impact With Fractional CMOs

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Marketing Podcast with JP Maroney

JP Maroney, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview JP Maroney. He is a seasoned business strategist and Fractional CMO with over three decades of entrepreneurial experience. He is known for his strategic prowess, serving powerhouse clients like Wells Fargo and Century21, as well as growing companies, often as a Fractional CMO, Chief Strategic Officer (CSO), or Chief Strategist to numerous ventures.

Key Takeaway:

A fractional CMO can be a cost-effective solution for businesses to access top-level marketing expertise without the burden of hiring a full-time executive. JP highlights the importance of framing services in terms of results and outcomes, focusing on the value delivered rather than just the hours worked. Additionally, it’s important to consider the power of strategic marketing alliances through this model and how this can have the potential to bring fresh ideas from other industries into a business to drive growth and success.

Questions I ask JP Maroney:

  • [01:37] How would you describe what is a Fractional CMO in your own words?
  • [04:31] Is there a way to scale a business model like a Fractional CMO or is it just a way to be highly paid for your time?
  • [07:44] Is there a certain type of market that you target to get clients, or is it really more that you organically attract the clients and decide if the Fractional CMO model works for them?
  • [13:51] Have you seen any change in the market for businesses being more interested in strategy?
  • [16:51] Do you prefer long-term engagements or short-term engagements, or is it really different for every client?
  • [18:50] There are different types of Fractional CMOs; some provide implementation, and others are just third parties to delegate or help you build or manage a team. Do you have instances where you’ve maybe done all of those and what maybe are the pitfalls or upside to those different approaches?

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John Jantsch (00:00): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back. Sound interesting? All you have to do is license our three step process that it's gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here's the best part. You can license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you can have 'em today. Check it out at DTM world slash certification. That's

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jans. My guest today is JP Moroney. He's a seasoned business strategist and fractional chief marketing officer, Fractional CMO, with over three decades of entrepreneurial experience. He's known for his strategic prowess serving clients like Wells Fargo in 20 Century 21, as well as growing companies, often as a Fractional CMO or Chief Strategic Officer, or CSO I guess we'd call that to numerous ventures. So jp, welcome to the show.

JP Maroney (01:30): Hey, thank you sir. Appreciate the invitation.

John Jantsch (01:33): So I've been talking about this topic of a Fractional CMO frankly, for 10 years, but I've really leaned into it the last couple years because I think the market's caught up. But I, I'd just love to hear from you, I'm gonna do a few shows on this topic. If somebody asked you what's a Fractional CMO, how, how would you describe that in, in your words?

JP Maroney (01:51): Well, I think that other business models or other business categories have paved the way with fractional ownership. So jet ownership fractional, all sorts of things, you know, so yachts and housing and everything else. So that kind of gives people the general idea, but it's essentially, in fact, I put a header on my LinkedIn sometime back that said, rent My Marketing Mind . And I basically look at it like that. I've done a lot of consulting over the years, done a lot of business coaching over the years. I've built my own companies. But in this particular model, you're giving someone a very quantified access to your time and expertise at a quantified rate. And they can correlate that in some ways to a budget. They can also look at how that relates to where they're trying to take their company. Yeah. You know, fractional, one of the benefits, I'm sure we'll get into this, but one of the benefits for business is for fractional professionals is that a company either may not have the budget or they may not have the demand Yeah. For a full-time person. And so when you bring a high level executive like yourself or myself on, if you try to do it for an employee, the load and the drag that's on top of just the salary is so substantial. And this gives them a budget friendly way, sort of to get into that.

John Jantsch (03:26): Yeah, I looked at recent survey on and a chief marketing officer somewhere in the range of two 50 to 360, um, thousand. So, so yeah, I mean, I think you're absolutely right. In some cases it's budget, so it's a way to get, you know, some strategic thinking at a fraction, uh, of the cost. But I think the bigger point, like you said, is, you know, what's a full-time CMO gonna do at an, at an organization that, you know, because they're not writing ads, theoretically, they're not, you know, they're not designing campaigns or executing campaigns necessarily. So you have to have a pretty significant almost marketing department probably to afford a, a full-time CMO I would think

JP Maroney (04:06): Either the Yeah, either have your own existing or that CMO needs to bring a team with them if they're not gonna get in the trenches and do, and they shouldn't, by the way, if you're paying a guy, you know, like I based my CMO rates on a half a million, roughly a half a million dollars, so like 40 grand a month kind of thing. Yeah. And so a quarter share, say $10,000 a month or whatever, but, um, you don't want a guy that you're spending that kind of money on doing work that could be hired out for 20, 50, a hundred, even $150 an hour.

John Jantsch (04:38): Yeah. So, so one of the things that, um, I think is a challenge for, I think a lot of people jump, you know, they've got CMO experience, they jump out, say, oh, I can be a Fractional CMO. Um, one of the challenges is how do you, how do you keep it from literally selling your time? Or maybe that's it for you. I mean, if, is there a way to scale a business model like that? Or is it just a way to be high, highly paid for your time?

JP Maroney (05:04): Yeah, it's, it's not my preferred. This kind of came about as demand people were asking about it. And I said, Hmm. And I, the, before I actually offered this, my oldest daughter who is in her early twenties, well now mid twenties I guess, she'd graduated from college and a business degree and was very marketing minded, had actually started her own social media marketing company before getting out of college. But I recommended that she do this and she offered herself as a fractional marketing director Right. For some companies. And I got, I got a chance to see it work, and I also got a chance to see some of the holes in it. 'cause there are some pitfalls with the model. But yeah, I, like you, I've coached and, and advised a lot of other consultants and coaches and stuff over the years, and I've always said to them, I, I never want the meter running.

(05:56): Like, I don't want to correlate my time to dollars per hour. And so there is a little bit of a trap of doing that with, with CMO work or fractional, uh, C X O. So any fractional executive, there's a little bit of a trap of doing that. I always tell people, I say, look, you're buying approximately a quarter or a half or whatever of my time, but we're not gonna have a clock running. And that's both in your favor and in my favor. There're gonna be times when the demand might be higher and there's no way that you could get me for a half a day for that amount of money a month. So you're gonna win. And then there's other times when maybe that week I have less hours in it mm-hmm. , but I always try to base, you know, I don't think, you know, it goes back to the old thing. People buy results, not features or whatever benefits not features. You know, I, I don't think that most founders are entrepreneurs who are mostly who hire people like us, U n I as CMOs, fractional CMOs. I don't think most of them want to judge it by dollars. So you just have to frame and hours, you have to frame it correctly in the beginning. And if you do that, in most cases it works out. Okay.

John Jantsch (07:19): Yeah. I, I tell you, the trap I've seen a lot of people fall into is it's totally undefined. Yeah. You get a fourth of my time, but what does that mean, ? It's like, I'm gonna be in every staff meeting. I'm gonna be on this, I'm gonna be in that. And I think that one of the real keys is, you know, we talk about scope in projects, right? And engagements. Well, I think there's no different in this. I mean, there needs to be a defined scope. This is what I'm gonna do, , you know, this is what you're going to get, uh, type of thing. And I think that's, that's, well, that's the problem we've tried to solve for many years. You know, we license our Fractional CMO system , which kind of teaches people how to do scope. Is there a certain type of market you or client that you target? Or is it really been more that, you know, you organically attract a client, you decide if that type of arrangement works for them?

JP Maroney (08:06): Yeah, it, it's weird. Uh, I have not proactively marketed my CMM Fractional CMO services and, and I'm booked solid. So I, it's more of an attraction thing. I'm a big believer in providing content upfront. There's a guy out there, you probably know Frank, but Frank Kern, I, maybe he did or didn't coin the phrase, coin the phrase results in advance. But I love that phrase. Yeah. I've used it. And I believe in that. I believe that in business and in life, the more you give, the more you get. But you gotta give before you get, get that's law. And so, um, I've always just given value in advance and it never fails to come back to me.

(08:54): I tell people all the time, it's funny, I don't wanna answer your question about certain types of businesses, but I find that a lot of consultants, or even fractional CMOs, let's say people that were in the employment space and now they've gone out and hung out a shingle as a Fractional CMO, they're afraid of giving away the goods, right? Like there's some sort of secret deal or whatever. And I have told many coaches, consultants, CMOs, you know, people that are in advisory positions that all you have to sell and give is your knowledge. So that's your currency to buy your way into a relationship. It's not the secret sauce, so to speak. So I'm a big believer that you give. And so because of that, I have a lot of people that send people to me and they'll say, Hey, can you hop on a call and help this guy?

(09:46): And I'll hop on. And I've generally the, you know, the old strategy call thing, it's like a way mm-hmm. has unfortunately become a way to manipulate people into buying from you in some business models. But I believe in the, the pure version of strategy call, which is, let's get on a call. Let me lay it out. Let me ask you a lot of questions. Let me lay it out for you how I think it should be done. And then if you want me to help you accomplish that, great. If you don't, fine, no harm, no foul. So as a result, I attract a lot of different types of businesses, but I think that's a positive, not a negative. Right. In the 30 plus years, 33 years or so that I've been building companies and helping other entrepreneurs build companies, I have found that the greatest impact can often be realized from bringing ideas and strategies from other industries into an industry where it hasn't been historically practiced. And it has a great impact because you're sort of a purple cow, or you're sort of like doing things differently. And you know, I think a really brilliant guy that wrote a book called Duct Tape Marketing might have written about that in the past.

John Jantsch (10:59): . Yeah. Well, thank you. I appreciate that. But I, yeah, I've said that all along. 'cause the current advice, I mean, you know, take you five minutes to find 15 people saying niche, you know? Right. And there are some pros to that, except that it's boring as all get out. Right. , I think, I think it's a lot more fun to work with first and foremost people that you enjoy regardless of, of the industry, rather than saying, I'm just gonna work with dentists. No offense, Dennis.

JP Maroney (11:24): No, I got you. I just, poor Dennis , I just attracted a, a group. It's a small chain of cinemas, movie cinemas. And I've been on a couple of calls with them now, and I did what I said I do. I just laid it out. I did a lot of research. I actually listened to a bunch of podcasts and things from the industry, read a bunch of articles and things. And then I took that and combined that to sort of some of my go-to strategies. You and I both know and have a lot of respect for Jay Abraham. And one of the things Jay's done over the years is, you know, what he calls host beneficiary or host parasite piggybacked marketing. All of us have our version of that. But that's one of the, just as an example, that's one of my go-tos that I look at and I say, okay, would this work in this industry? How it, yeah. You know, so it's, I think it, like you said, it gets boring if you do the same things over and over again. Same industries over and over again. It can definitely get boring for people that are sort of creative like us and lack a challenge.

John Jantsch (12:23): Yeah. So, so that idea of strategic marketing alliances, same thing. I've, you know, I try to look at that for everybody that we work with, particularly professional services. I think people really underestimate the leverage , you know, that's available from that approach. And they just, you know, they, they want to make the phone ring and yet this person over here might have 500 prospects they could introduce you to. So really potent approach.

JP Maroney (12:48): Yeah. I've done a couple of training programs on that and I've got a book coming out on that whole alliance idea because it's so powerful. And in fact, we're building a business model. I just got off the phone with my partner and we're building a business model across the country doing that in the home services industry. But it's, it is so powerful and it's definitely overlooked and it's not used in very many industries. So huge big believer in it.

John Jantsch (13:12): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back. Sound interesting. All you have to do is license our three step process that it's gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here's the best part. You can license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you can have 'em today, check it out at DTM world slash certification. That's

(13:59): So theoretically, somebody who wants a fractional CMO is, is interested in strategy . I say theoretically, but have you seen any change in the market? I mean, I've been doing this a long time, you know, used to say the word strategy to a business owner and they're like, ah, I don't need that. You know, I just need the phone to ring. Right. It feels like the last four or five years, um, people have, and I, you know, blame it on the pandemic 'cause it's so easy. It feels like a lot of businesses really got caught, you know, off guard and didn't have any kind of business strategy. And do, do you see a, at least more of a hunger for that, or at least an appreciation for it?

JP Maroney (14:36): Maybe , if I'm being honest, not

John Jantsch (14:39): Watching the video. It took JP a long time to think about that one. .

JP Maroney (14:43): Yeah. Well I wanted to give you an authentic answer. So yes, maybe. But here's the deal. I don't know very many entrepreneurs or founders that wake up in the morning and say, what I really need is more strategy in my life.

John Jantsch (15:00): Zero

JP Maroney (15:01): Any more than they wake up and say, what I really need is some tactics like Facebook ads or whatever. Yeah. That's not what they're looking for. They're looking for an outcome. So they're looking for, how can I make enough money to be able to ultimately get off the treadmill and sell this business or get off the treadmill and let somebody else manage my people or whatever. So they, their version of it is so different. I find ironically, and I imagine you have to, ironically that marketers, and that includes fractional CMOs, really suck at marketing and selling their own services, .

John Jantsch (15:39): So how is business going is lead generation for agencies.

JP Maroney (15:44): Yeah, exactly right. . And so, so the, my point to that is that if you're selling these services, you have to learn to frame things properly. You and I know good marketing enters the conversation going on in the mind of the prospect. You can't sell them what you wanna sell them or what you produce or what services you have to sell them the result that they're already seeking. And I've used this phrase, I didn't make it up, but you know, the idea is sell them what they want and give them what they need. So they need strategy, but I don't lead with, you know what I'm gonna do, Bob, is help you get some more strategy. You know, so I talk to them and I say, you know, what is it that you're trying to accomplish in the business? I ask them the right questions and then I say, look, the way for us to accomplish that is to put together a blueprint or a plan or whatever, and here's how I would go about that. And so I speak in terms of results and outcomes and I operate that way. And it just so happens that my toolbox contains strategy.

John Jantsch (16:54): Yep. Absolutely. Nobody wants what we sell. They want the problem solved. Do you, do you prefer long-term engagements, short-term engagements? Or is there, is it really every, everyone's different? Or do you have a type that you really try to go after?

JP Maroney (17:09): Well, I say this a lot, so it's kind of ingrained and wake up at three in the morning probably and say it, I'll say to a client, look, I like 90 day minimum, 90 day engagement. Mm-hmm. mm-hmm. because it's long enough for us to create some results, but it's short enough that we won't get sick of each other if we decide that this shouldn't be long term. So I like a 90 day as a minimum. And so I'll usually go 96 months in one year. Um, you know, that's, it just, again, depends on the circumstances and the need, but you know, the business changes, they're gonna run into things, it'll pivot. I also find that, hey, this is the dirty side of the business of any kind of consulting or advisory work, is that for the first 60 to 90 days, you are a freaking genius.

(18:04): , they can't leave all this amazing stuff, six to 12 month range . They're wondering, man, why do I even need this person? Because I, I know this stuff. Yeah. I already do it. You know, so yeah, there is that measure and that's why I'm not a big, you know, like long-term, the things I like to do is I, I really prefer, and I do this in probably 80 to 90% of my engagements now, is I take a fee plus a piece of the business mm-hmm. and that keeps me engaged for the long term. And it also puts me on the same side of the table as them instead of the opposite side of the table. Yeah. Yeah. I'd prefer that. And it certainly

John Jantsch (18:52): A growing model.

JP Maroney (18:53): Yeah. Yeah. I like the upside

John Jantsch (18:56): Do there, again, thinking about the fractional CMOs I've spoken with, in some cases they also will provide implementation, even if it's just third party, you know, delegation. But another model is we'll help you build a team , another model is we'll manage the team that you have. Is there, do you have, do you have instances where you've maybe done all of those and what maybe are the pitfalls or upside to those different approaches?

JP Maroney (19:22): This doesn't just go to the Fractional CMO work. This also goes to being a business advisor or advisory board member, or even a consultant. So over the years, historically I've probably done all of that, right? The most challenging to me is coming in where there's an existing team because I gotta try to re indoctrinate people to my way of thinking. And that's

John Jantsch (19:53): Not to mention there might be some initial sort of resistance period, right? Because it's like, wait, we got this, why are they bringing this?

JP Maroney (20:00): Absolutely. A hundred percent. There's definitely, you know, I was on a call with a prospective client about 60 days ago, and you could tell that the person who's responsible, not for all the marketing but for the social media, was in a very defensive posture. Right. And she was really worried about her job because I mean, when I come in, I ask the hard questions. Yeah. You know, in some cases, as I said, I'm taking a piece of the business, but in all cases I act as if I own that company. And so I asked really hard questions that I would ask if I was the one writing the checks every day. So when I do, it makes a, you know, it's like shining a flashlight in an abandoned house. You know, you never know what you're gonna find and well, social people get nervous social media of

John Jantsch (20:56): Course. It's like, you know, what's our R o I on that? Right? It's

JP Maroney (21:00): Like, right. Like, like in that example, they were doing nothing for attribution. They were doing nothing to track links. They were doing nothing to measure results. And I told them, I said, you know, this old, I forget who it was that said, half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. I just can't figure out which half, you know, I said, the day the internet popped up and you had links, those days are over. Even phone calls are trackable with track, with phone tracking numbers for a dollar a month, you can get another number on Twilio and track every call that comes from every source, every flyer, every postcard, every ad or whatever. So I don't buy this. Well, we believe it's working, we think it's working, we hope it's working. And that makes a lot of people nervous.

John Jantsch (21:45): Yeah. So JP, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the show and talk about, uh, this interesting and growing topic. Uh, you want to invite people where they might find out more about your work or connect with you in some way?

JP Maroney (21:56): Yeah, they can connect with me on LinkedIn. That's where you and I were talking most recently. Yeah. Um, JP Moroney, JP m a r o n e y, everywhere. And I'm @JPMoroney on almost every platform where it has that kind of a handle. So YouTube, it's at JP Moroney. I have a lot of content there. And, uh, then go to jp and it has like a little link tree type of jumping off platform.

John Jantsch (22:18): Gotcha. Gotcha. Awesome. Well, I appreciate you taking a few moments. I know you told me you're in an Airbnb, so, uh, hopefully you're doing something fun, but, and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

JP Maroney (22:28): Fantastic, John, look forward to meeting you in person someday. Take care.

John Jantsch (22:32): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it,, dot co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.


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