Fractional Digital Marketing Manager Without the High Salary

With the annual cost of a full-time chief marketing officer reaching over $250k, it’s no wonder businesses are searching for alternatives.

This post will unpack how hiring a fractional digital marketing manager can provide top-tier expertise without breaking your budget.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways of Digital Marketing Manager Salary

  • A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager is a part-time pro. They help with smart marketing but don’t cost as much as full-time hires.
  • These managers are good for businesses in high – growth phases. They have skills to help your company grow at the right speed.
  • Choosing the right manager takes careful thought. Important factors include their past work, how well they work with others and if they know your market space.
  • Paying this type of manager can be done by the hour or with retainer fees. Both ways have pros and cons, so you should pick what fits best for your company’s needs.

What is a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager?

A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager is a part-time marketing pro. They give smart marketing help without the need for big wages like full-time jobs. Companies can hire them when they want, such as on contract.

This type of manager does not work all the time for one company only.

They are also known as a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). They serve as top marketing boss for a firm but don’t stay as lasting workers. These managers work well with others in areas like SEO and SEM, which helps make a full digital plan.

These hires come with lots of skills and know how from past executive roles. With their wisdom and hard work, they can boost strategies to get better results and lead firms towards long-term growth aims.

Benefits of Outsourcing to a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager

Outsourcing to a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager offers several benefits such as providing strategic guidance during your business’s high-growth phases. They are adept at filling empty CMO seats, thus ensuring seamless business operations.

Their expertise allows them to scale your business at the right time, and they can help navigate expansion into new markets with ease. Lastly, these professionals can efficiently tackle time bound redesigns and refreshes to keep your online presence competitive and engaging.

Provide Strategy During High-Growth Phases

Growth phases are a key time for companies. A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager can help with this important step. They have the skills to plan what will work best for your company when it is growing fast.

These experts know how to use all parts of marketing. They do this in a way that fits well with the company’s growth.

This type of manager will find new ways to reach out to people who might want your product or service. They build plans that match with the rate at which your company is growing. This helps you stay on top and keep growing at the right speed.

With them, you get more than just digital marketing support, you get a leader who knows about strategy development too.

Fill Empty CMO Seats

Filling an empty Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) seat is easy with a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager. Companies can get the same top-level skills without spending much money. No need for a full-time CMO and their high costs.

A part-time marketing manager takes care of all your needs, finishing key steps on time. This flexible solution helps companies save funds while still getting expert help.

Scale the Business at the Right Time

A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager steps in just at the right time. This is a key move if you want to grow your business. When work piles up, they take over and help with the heavy load.

With their skills, they will set up good plans that push growth forward fast. These are not simple tasks that anyone can do well. But for them it is easy because they have done it many times before.

They also bring fresh ideas from a wide range of past jobs they handled before yours.

Help Expand Into New Markets

Going into new markets can be tough. You need the right plans and skills to win over a new audience. A fractional digital marketing manager comes in handy here. This profession helps businesses grow into fresh regions with smart strategies.

Their team of experts brings many ideas to the table. They know what works and how to tweak it for your needs, whether you’re a fintech company or something else entirely. With their help, market expansion becomes less scary and more exciting.

Tackle Time-Bound Redesigns and Refreshes

A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager is good at doing redesigns and refreshes in a short time. They use digital tools to do their work fast. Their way of working suits the next-generation operating model well.

Firms can make their operations better with quick updates and changes.

These managers are also skilled at matching new looks with company goals. They help firms use new designs to show what they are about. It saves time for the firm and keeps them current in their market area.

Pros and Cons of Hiring vs Embedding Fractional Executives

Hiring fractional executives offers flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and access to expertise on a short-term basis, which can be beneficial during key growth phases or specific projects.

On the flip side, embedding fractional executives in your team brings a level of stability and consistency that could be essential for long-term strategic planning, however, it often involves higher costs and requires a significant commitment from both parties.

Short-Term vs Long-Term Solutions

Short-term help is often cheap but may lack depth. You hire a person to solve a problem and then they leave. Long-term solutions like hiring a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager give more value.

They stay with your company longer, learning your needs deeply. This type of manager has special skills for digital marketing that short hires might not have. For small companies, long-term hires can also save money because they work part-time or on specific projects only.

Cost Savings of Outsourcing Marketing Strategy

Outsourcing a marketing strategy can save you money. Having a fractional digital marketing director gives your team top-level expertise without the high costs. You only pay for the time they work, not a full salary or benefits.

This is much cheaper than having a full-time employee on staff.

Many businesses spend between $90 to $250 per hour or $3,500 to $10,000 per project. Yet even at this rate, the cost-effective price of a fractional marketing director can reduce overall costs.

The flexible budgeting model helps companies manage their funds better while still getting best in class digital marketing services.

Choosing the Right Fractional Digital Marketing Manager

Choosing the right Fractional Digital Marketing Manager requires thorough evaluation. Relevant industry experience is a crucial factor to consider in your selection process. Communication and collaboration skills should also play a significant role as they determine how effectively your marketing goals will be executed.

Lastly, ensure the manager has an understanding of your specific industry, enabling them to develop targeted strategies for maximum impact on business growth.

Look for Relevant Experience

Choosing the right fractional digital marketing manager needs thought. You need to focus on their past work. They should have done jobs that are like yours before. These kinds of people know your needs better.

A manager with global experience is good too, especially if you want to grow beyond borders. This kind of experience makes growth smooth and easy for you and your company.

Consider Communication and Collaboration Skills

Good skills in communication and teamwork are key. This holds true when picking a fractional digital marketing manager. They should be able to talk clearly about ideas and plans. Also, they need to work well with others in your team.

Managers who can solve problems together with others are the best choice. They can build strong work ties and lead others well. So, look for these skills when picking a manager for your business needs.

Evaluate their Understanding of your Industry

You should see if they know your industry well. A good fractional digital marketing manager needs to have a deep grasp of it. They use this knowledge to make the best plans for you.

They can spot trends and changes that others might miss. This will help them make strong strategies that work just right for your business. Their understanding also helps them judge what will work and what won’t in your market space.

When to Hire a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager

There are optimal times to bring in a fractional digital marketing manager such as during significant growth phases, when your company lacks the necessary expertise or needs specialized skills.

Continue reading to learn more about these scenarios and others, all aimed at leveraging your business growth.

High-Growth Phases

High-growth phases are key times for a company. The business is growing fast and needs to make smart choices. A fractional digital marketing manager can help during these periods. They know what works in growth marketing and can make the right calls.

This means your company keeps getting bigger without bumps in the road. These experts have seen it all before and won’t be scared by high growth or tough choices that need making.

Lack of In-House Expertise

Your company may run into a roadblock if it lacks the needed marketing skills. This happens quite often. You don’t need to worry, though. A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager can fill this gap.

They come with top-notch marketing skills but without high costs of full-time hires. They step in and do the job just right even when you don’t have a full team on board. So, if your firm doesn’t have enough marketing know how, turning to a part-time digital manager is smart move.

Need for Specialized Skills

In a fast-paced online world, special skills set your business apart. A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager brings these to the table. They are experts in areas like SEO and content marketing.

Plus, they know how to use data for making smart choices. Skills in social media and brand management can boost your company’s image on the web. On top of that, they are pros at using tools for automating tasks and managing customer relations.

How Much to Pay a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager

Assessing the compensation for a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager involves considering factors like their experience level, scope of work and whether you’re opting for an hourly rate or a retainer fee.

Hourly Rates vs Retainer Fees

When considering a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager, one significant consideration is the cost structure. This can be either in the form of hourly rates or retainer fees.

Payment Method Definition Advantages Disadvantages Hourly Rates This is a form of payment where the marketer is paid based on the hours they work. It offers flexibility in adjusting the level of service as required. The company only pays for the actual work done. There is less predictability in expenses, and costs can escalate if tasks take longer than expected. It requires meticulous tracking of hours worked.

Retainer Fees This is a predetermined fee paid in advance for a specified amount of work or time. The company enjoys consistent, predictable costs and guaranteed access to the marketer’s services. It’s preferred by freelancers and clients alike. It may lead to overpayment if the actual workload is less than anticipated. If the company doesn’t utilize all agreed hours, they may lose money.

In making a decision, a company should weigh the benefits of each payment method against their business needs and budget constraints. It’s worth noting that an average 16 -hour retainer with an agency can cost around $5,000 per month approximately $60,000 annually. This figure may be less or more depending on various factors.

Factors that Affect Pricing

A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager’s cost can vary greatly. Here are some factors that impact the pricing:

  1. Size of your company: Bigger companies may need more work than smaller ones, leading to higher costs.
  2. Complexity of tasks: If the job needs a lot of skills or knowledge, it will cost more.
  3. Manager’s experience: Managers with a lot of good experience will charge more than those just starting out.
  4. Your industry: Some industries call for higher rates due to their unique demands.
  5. The manager’s location: Those in big cities may charge more as they have higher living costs.
  6. Work hours needed: More time spent on the job can lead to higher fees.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fractional Digital Marketing Managers

This section addresses common queries about fractional digital marketing managers, discussing their responsibilities, benefits they bring to a company, and the cost involved in hiring them.


A fractional digital marketing manager has key roles. Setting and guiding marketing policy is one job they do. They spot the target audience and plan marketing drives to reach them.

Also, they deal with many parts of marketing like online ads, content making, or running social media.

They keep an eye on all the campaigns they manage too. This helps to make sure that these drives are a success. To do their jobs well, they need certain skills and must meet special job needs.

Many firms choose to outsource their work to fractional marketing teams because of this.


A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager gives many gifts. He makes your business bigger at the right time. If you need to go into new parts of the market, he will help you. When it’s time for a change or update, he will be there to get it done fast and right.

You don’t have a CMO? No problem. The Manager can do that job too while your company grows fast. There is money saved because you pay per project. There are no big bills like when having full-time staff members.

In short, hiring such a manager adds value and saves costs in many ways.


You can save money with a fractional digital marketing manager. A full-time team of two to four experts costs $250,000 to $500,000 each year. It’s much less if you opt for a fractional manager.

Their price ranges from $2,500 to $12,000 each month or $50 to $500 per hour. Some charge by project at a rate of between $1,000 and $7,500. The final cost depends on their experience and the services they offer.

Alone or as part of a team, these managers are often more budget-friendly. This way your company gets great service without breaking the bank.

Examining Digital Marketing Manager Salaries

For those exploring digital marketing manager roles, an important consideration is compensation. According to Glassdoor data, the average salary for a digital marketing manager in the US is $76,567 per year.

Digging deeper, we find:

  • The average base salary is $70,750, with $5,817 average additional cash compensation likely from bonuses.
  • More experienced managers can earn over $90,000 annually. Those in leadership roles like Senior Marketing Manager exceed $100,000.
  • Salary varies by factors like location and company size. In major metro areas, salaries range from $85,000 – $110,000.
  • Managers at top tech companies earn $120,000 or more in total compensation.
  • The highest paid 10% of digital marketing managers make $141,000 or greater.

While specific figures fluctuate based on role scope, high demand in the marketplace continues to push digital marketing manager salaries upward. But beyond pay, these roles provide the opportunity to drive tangible business impact through data driven digital campaign leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Marketing Manager Salary

1. What is a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager?

A fractional digital marketing manager is a part-time expert who helps businesses with their online marketing strategies.

2. Why Would I Need a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager?

You may need one if you want professional help with your company’s online presence but do not have enough work for a full-time employee, or can’t afford the high salary.

3. Can Small Businesses Benefit from Hiring a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager?

Yes, small businesses can especially gain from hiring such managers due to limited budgets and resources.

4. What Tasks Does a Fractional Digital Marketing Manager Usually Perform?

They commonly manage advertising campaigns, social media channels, website updates, and SEO tactics among other things related to online promotion.

5. How Affordable are these Services Compared to Hiring Full-Time?

The cost of hiring part-time is generally lower than hiring full time since you only pay for what you need, thus it’s more budget-friendly.

Conclusion and Summary of Fractional Digital Marketing Manager Without the High Salary

A Fractional Digital Marketing Manager brings strategic leadership to guide a brand’s digital presence, without the costly commitment of a full-time executive. Blending hands-on expertise with an aerial view of the digital landscape, these fractional executives elevate marketing capabilities for organizations of all sizes.

Whether overseeing paid campaigns or optimizing organic visibility, fractional digital marketing chiefs pilot performance. Their specialized abilities allow brands to nimbly adapt to emerging technologies and tactics. While boosting online impact, their flexible model provides cost efficiency.

For budget savvy businesses seeking high-level digital marketing leadership, a fractional executive offers heavy hitting skills without the heavy price tag. They steer companies through key phases of growth and expansion with proven expertise. When talent needs run high but budgets run tight, fractional digital marketing leadership delivers elevated marketing at an accessible cost.

Marty Stewart