Demand for Growth-Oriented CMOs Accelerates Through COVID-19, Into Post-Pandemic Landscape

Nation’s Leading Fractional CMO Group Grows More Than 57% YOY

Chief Outsiders, the nation’s largest and fastest growing Chief Marketing Officer firm with more than 80 fractional CMOs with Fortune 500 experience, revealed that demand for growth-oriented marketing executives accelerated during COVID-19 as many businesses faced the challenge of restarting their growth engine, and it continues to be the driver for the company’s rapid pace of expansion post-pandemic. Year-over-year, the company grew more than 57% compared to June 2020 ​and is on track to reach $30 million on a full year basis.

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“Our clients, be they small or mid-size, enterprise-class, or private equity organizations and their portfolio companies, are increasingly seeking growth-minded executives who can lead efforts to jumpstart growth, which is why we’re seeing our fractional CMO solutions explode. It’s happening with our firm and across the fractional CMO market which we pioneered,” said Art Saxby, CEO, co-founder and principal of Chief Outsiders. “As a recent CMO Council report stated, management and boards are looking to marketing leaders to bring new and inspired thinking to business recovery and as a result, our senior marketing talent is being increasingly tapped for key growth roles.”

Chief Outsiders’ private equity portfolio company business has grown more than 50% year-over-year as topline revenue growth has become even more critical to PE value creation, especially in a very competitive market where the price of new deals has continued to rise. In fact, they have worked with over 120 different PE firms and 202 different portfolio companies in total.

“More and more PE firms and their portfolio companies are realizing that they must unlock rapid growth in a post-COVID environment or risk being left behind or even crippling their exit timetable,” said Pete Hayes, CMO and principal of Chief Outsiders. “The fuel driving this business segment has been CEOs recognizing that they need robust topline growth in a short time frame. It’s why our PE portfolio business is up 183% over the past two years, and threefold in the past three years.”

“C-Suite stakeholders are looking for growth-oriented leaders who can bring new ideas to the table, with proven best practices and playbooks, which is why we only hire experienced CMOs and VPs of marketing with a clear track record of success,” said Saxby. “In fact, with our rigorous selection process fewer than two percent of fractional executive applicants met our standards last year.”

In 2020, Chief Outsiders fielded more than 700 applicants, but only hired nine CMOs. This year, the firm expects to hire 30 or more CMOs to keep up with surging demand. And since January, the firm has added 13 new CMOs, and promoted four to partner.

“Since our founding more than 10 years ago when virtually no one had heard of fractional or part-time CMOs, we’ve experienced steady and continued growth as companies realized they could tap marketing and growth-oriented leaders with wealth of knowledge and experience for a fraction of the price of a full-time CMO,” said Hayes. “In part, the pandemic served to further legitimize our model, especially in a market where savvy, seasoned leadership is in short supply and being able to drive sustainable growth is more important than ever. Add to that a strong economic tailwind in most industry segments and we now have a recipe for dramatic growth.”

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