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Interim or Fractional Marketing Leader: Which Does Your Orginization Actually Need?

June 23, 2022   By Susan Rylance

Have the titles Interim Marketing Leader or Fractional Marketing Leader come up as you’ve considered temporary support in marketing roles for your organization? They may sound similar, but the terms are not interchangeable. Implementing one when you need the other could end up costing your organization in the long run.

You might need an Interim Marketing Leader if:

  • You’re midsize to a large organization that recently lost a leader and needs coverage during the transition period (while looking for a full-time hire).
  • You need expert help defining a new role or upskilling because you recognize that the business context has changed since the start. You’re ready to rethink the position so your organization can evolve.nterim Marketing Leader fahren

 Many organizations miss the opportunity to redefine the way they work because it’s in direct tension with finding someone ASAP to manage the day-to-day responsibilities. However, solving each problem shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. This scenario is when an Interim Marketing Leader brings value beyond measure to an organization.

The Fahren team recently worked with a client searching for a new hire. They felt like none of the candidates were the right fit. After having conversations about their vision and objectively observing the situation from inside, we realized the client didn’t like the candidates because they were stuck using outdated evaluation criteria rather than criteria that fit their vision for the future.  

To get them back on track, we brought in an Interim Marketing Leader to help articulate the new role. This advisor was able to assess the situation from an objective lens, model the unique skills and behaviors desired of a future hire, and help define the type of leader the organization needed.

The beauty of an Interim Marketing Leader is that they provide critical time for broader leadership to consider how to upskill the role and hire for where the business is going rather than where it has been. And because they originate from outside the organization, they aren’t clouded by the past, which creates a more open playing field for defining a new role, setting a strategy, and being a catalyst for change. 

fahren ebook digital product team leadership

In contrast, you might need a Fractional Marketing Leader if:

  • You’re a small to medium-sized business that needs part-time marketing leader representation within the company because you aren’t yet in a position to hire a full-time marketing leader. 

 A Fractional Marketing Leader operates in a part-time capacity – typically 10-20 hours per week – to provide strategic expertise and handle execution exclusively. They can help scale and build until the business is ready to hire a full-time Marketing Director, however long that takes. 

Still not sure which option is right for your organization? Learn why flex leadership is the tool you didn’t know you needed, then send the Fahren team a note so we can help you find the best path forward.

VP Growth

Susan has over 20 years of experience helping companies grow their marketing teams and have built a network of seasoned marketing and digital professionals across the country. She has helped many SMB and Fortune 500 companies build their marketing and digital teams allowing them to focus on their overall business strategies and goals.

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