Fractional CMO for B2B SaaS: Get Predictable Growth
Last updated: March 18, 2021
There are two common scenarios we see among B2B SaaS companies who look for a Fractional CMO:
- They can afford a team for execution OR a full-time CMO, but not both.
- Their executive team (often including their CMO) wants an outside perspective to understand additional opportunities for growth.
Recently, we’ve begun offering the service equivalent of a Fractional CMO for B2B SaaS.
We’ve crafted it specifically for companies that want to increase growth and have the following qualities or characteristics:
- Their in-house staff are consumed with day-to-day marketing operations. They feel they’re lacking the expert level guidance that would help them achieve more. Marketing feels tactical rather than being strategic and holistic.
- They have a minimum of 3+ marketing team members who can handle execution.
- They’re doing $10M+ ARR with an annual contract value of $25K+.
What follows is an in-depth look at our Fractional CMO service for companies that meet the criteria above.
First, we’ll lay out how our service is different than other market offerings. Then, we’ll walk through the details of our service.
You’ll see an in-depth example of the monthly scorecards we use to help our clients benchmark and improve their results.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your B2B SaaS company get more out of your marketing, schedule a Free SaaS Scale Session today.
If you prefer to listen to posts like this, you can subscribe to our podcast SaaS Marketing Bites. It’s available on all popular podcast platforms or you can listen right here:
How Our Fractional CMO Service Is Different: A Proven Methodology Plus a Team (vs. an Individual) to Guide You
There are two core ways in which we differ from other Fractional CMO services:
- We’ve developed and mapped out a holistic marketing framework for execution. It’s specifically designed to achieve predictable growth for trial and demo-based B2B SaaS companies.
- Because we’re an agency, instead of one high-level marketing leader advising you, you get support from a team of channel experts.
Before we dive into what our service entails, let’s look at these two points of difference more closely.
1. The Predictable Growth Methodology
Over the last decade spent working with SaaS and technology companies, we’ve developed a detailed framework for helping our clients grow.
It helps us solve the number one problem that we see holding companies back: deploying a buffet of tactics without a well defined strategy.
We built our methodology on principles that can lead to predictable growth when followed.
Some of these key principles include:
- Customer-Channel Fit: Finding the optimal channels for turning prospects into customers.
- Customer-Content Fit: Understanding how to communicate your positioning through your content in a way that reduces friction on the path to signing up for a trial or demo.
- Journey-Offer Fit: Matching what you offer customers to their current place in the sales funnel.
And based on these principles, we’ve mapped out a detailed process for increasing B2B SaaS leads through PPC and SEO.
With this process laid out (the map pictured above), we have a tool to pinpoint where our clients are performing well and which areas they need to improve.
We’ve written several in-depth case studies about applying the method to demonstrate how it works.
To find a synopsis of each, check out our post on SaaS marketing case studies. If you’d prefer to read the individual case studies, start with these:
- How We Grew TouchBistro’s SQL’s to over 130 Demos per Month Through Facebook Ads
- How We Increased Hurdlr’s Google Rankings 70% for 21 Strategic Keywords
2. Support from a Team, Not an Individual
Most Fractional CMO services consist of one experienced marketing leader. That lone executive is then relied on to offer the same high-level guidance as an in-house CMO.
While this strategic guidance is valuable, it’s often disconnected from the inner workings of day-to-day execution.
This can be problematic. For strategic guidance to be really effective, it needs to also be in sync with the specific channels and tactics your marketing team uses.
In contrast, we’re an agency. With our Fractional CMO service, you gain access to not only one expert leader, but a team of SaaS marketers who specialize in PPC and SEO.
By pairing leadership with channel experts intimately versed in day-to-day execution, we’re able to deliver more value than a single strategic consultant.
Now, let’s dig into the details of our service to paint a clearer picture of what you can expect if you work with us.
Our Fractional CMO Service, Explained
Before beginning an engagement, we’ll start by asking and understanding the specific areas you wish to improve.
From there, we’ll audit your current performance in that area and create a scorecard to benchmark it against relevant subcategories.
For example, if you wanted to improve your SEO results, we might create a scorecard that measures your capacity in:
- Technical site health
- Content quality
- Keyword rankings
- Organic traffic
- Organic conversions
Note: The subcategories and content of a scorecard are always strategically chosen based on each clients’ specific context and goals.
Next, we’ll work with your in-house team to create a roadmap for moving forward. That will also include mutually re-ordering what’s already on deck. Every quarter, we’ll set up a new roadmap with milestones for us to achieve over the next 12 weeks.
We’ll conduct regular advisory sessions to go through wins as well as work-in-progress. These helpful coaching sessions will provide an objective point of view, and offer you perspectives you may not have seen before.
We’ll also use those calls to identify and fix any bottlenecks. And we’ll review your progress and come prepared with observations and feedback before every session.
Importantly, we’ll look at your whole funnel holistically. For example, if we’re focused on PPC, we won’t just be looking at your PPC accounts. We’ll be extending our analysis to your landing pages, content, and the way your funnel conversion rates break down.
To track weekly progress, we’ll continuously update your scorecard. Think of the scorecard like a dashboard that provides a high-level overview of performance in our area of focus.
To help you visualize this, let’s walk through an example of a PPC scorecard we created for a client.
Client Example: A PPC Scorecard for Pre-Click and Post-Click Performance
We recently began providing this service to a client who needed help improving their Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
In our audit, we discovered their main focus centered around pre-click elements of their PPC funnel. These were things like targeting, messaging, and budgeting. What they missed were their funnel’s post-click elements such as landing page engagement and conversions.
Because of this, they could’ve been doing everything correctly (like getting great click through rates, costs per click, etc.), but still falling short on converting landing page visitors into MQL’s andSQL’s.
So we set up a scorecard for them to benchmark key subcategories of the pre and post-click performance of their PPC campaigns.
In contrast to audits or roadmaps that dig into unnecessary minutia, the key to our scorecards is that they’re built to prioritize effort and impact.
For both pre-click and post-click, we chose three categories where our clients had the most to gain relative to their current performance. We then identified three metrics in each of those categories to grade and track progress on.
We use red, yellow, and green color coding to signify the grade or numerical score of each metric. Red-coded metrics are elements their in-house teams must focus on first. Getting all those scorecard metrics to green is the equivalent of getting an “A” grade in school.
In this case, we chose targeting, messaging, and budgeting as the pre-click categories of the scorecard. Meanwhile, we chose engagement, micro conversions, and acquisition as the post-click categories.
For each, we chose to benchmark, track, and improve the following three metrics:
- Demographics, Interests, Behavior: A qualitative measurement of how well they’ve structured their core audiences for reaching new prospects.
- Retargeting: A measurement of how effectively they’re re-engaging people familiar with their business online. This might include people who have visited their website or previously downloaded a lead magnet.
- Lookalike Audiences: An assessment of how well they’ve structured their Facebook Lookalike audiences. This includes an assessment of what lists they’ve used to build them and what percentage they’ve chosen for targeting (1%, 2%, 5%, etc.).
- Headlines: A qualitative assessment of how well their headlines engage visitors and communicate their positioning.
- Subheadlines: A qualitative assessment of how well their subheadlines communicate the “pros without cons” of their product. In other words, whether they communicate how their product solves a specific problem for their target audience.
- Calls to Action: A qualitative assessment of the copy, design, and placement of their CTAs — as well as how many they use on their landing page.
- Impression Share Loss Due to Budget: A metric to measure whether they’re appropriately budgeting, or whether they’re losing significant impressions due to under-funding.
- Budget to CPA Ratio: A measurement of whether they’re allocating enough budget in relation to their target cost per acquisition. Typically, we want this to be around 5:1 in order to get an adequate number of impressions for a campaign.
- Wasted Ad Spend: The number of search queries that yielded zero conversions and how much money was spent on them.
- Bounce Rate: A metric to measure the percentage of people who visit their landing page and leave without taking any further actions.
- Scroll Depth: A measurement of how far down visitors scroll on their landing page.
- Interaction Events: A measurement of actions that visitors take on their pages such as watching their explainer video or clicking through their testimonial slider.
- Purchase Path Visits: A measurement of how many visitors move from their landing page to view their product or pricing pages. This is a good indicator of buying intent.
- Educational Material Interaction: A measurement of how many visitors view blog or resource pages.
- MQL Opt-In: A metric to view how many visitors opt in to download their lead magnet or sign up for their email list.
- Trial or Demo Signups: The number of visitors who fill out a form to begin a free trial or schedule a demo.
- Trial Activations or Demos: The number of visitors who filled out a form and then actually activated their trial by signing in or attending their scheduled demo.
- Trial or Demo Conversions: The number of trial users or demo attendees who become paying customers.
Ready to Level Up Your Growth with a Fractional CMO?
Even with the most advanced and competent in-house marketing teams, gaining outside perspective is a way to uncover the blind spots that limit your growth.
With our Fractional CMO service, you’ll gain access to a team of experts who are well versed in both strategy and execution. As such, they’ll have a heightened understanding of how to communicate and coach your team.
To recap, you’ll receive:
- An audit to benchmark your current performance in the area you wish to improve.
- A roadmap (updated quarterly) for improving your performance based on effort and impact.
- Weekly or bi-weekly coaching sessions to troubleshoot and guide your in-house team — complete with a custom scorecard for tracking performance.
If you’re a B2B SaaS company with a talented in-house team but looking for outside guidance to break through your growth ceilings, reach out and schedule a Free SaaS Scale Session to see if we’re a good fit.
What you should do now
Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways we can help you grow your B2B software or technology business:
- Claim your Free SaaS Scale Session. If you’d like to work with us to turn your website into your best demo and trial acquisition platform, claim your FREE SaaS Scale Session. One of our growth experts will understand your current demand generation situation, and then suggest practical digital marketing strategies to double your demo and trial traffic and conversion fast.
- If you’d like to learn the exact demand strategies we use for free, go to our blog or visit our resources section, where you can download guides, calculators, and templates we use for our most successful clients.
- If you’d like to work with other experts on our team or learn why we have off the charts team member satisfaction score, then see our Careers page.
- If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.