5 Benefits of a Fractional Chief Creative Officer.

We’ve all witnessed a radical shift in the way people work. The pandemic, digital transformation, and the climate crisis sparked changes in almost every aspect of office culture. The way you staff, how you meet, the type of work you  spend your time on — everything’s in flux. 

 

Flexibility is the modern business’ secret weapon.

Today’s market demands flexibility in everything from staffing to scaling. With that, flexible solutions like the fractional executive are on the rise. Hiring fractional talent like Chief Creative Officers is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity for social change makers, environmental innovators, and purpose driven corporate leaders. 

This article walks you through what a fractional CCO can do for you and the five benefits your company will receive after hiring one.

 

What is a fractional Chief Creative Officer, and how can they help you?

Fractional executives are industry experts working on a part-time or project-based employment. A fractional Chief Creative Officer helps with the overarching brand and creative output for a company. 

There are many reasons why companies hire a fractional CCO. Maybe you’re not quite ready to commit to full-time senior staff, or you’re introducing a new product or service? Or you’re scaling in size and reach, but missing one essential piece? Maybe you’re struggling to reach your business goals.

Scaling the size and impact of your environmental and social organization is no easy task. A fractional leader has the tenure, experience and vision to help you get there — no matter where you’re headed. 

 New products, new ideas, and new industries need new ways of thinking. The creative and communications sectors are just the same. Gone are the days of hiring one big agency to come up with one big idea and execute one big TV campaign. The new world is about scaling up and scaling down with flexibility.

 

The benefits of a fractional CCO

The most successful organizations are the ones that have the vision and flexibility to adapt, scale, and grow. 

Investing in fractional leadership comes with a multitude of immediate and future benefits. At the very top, these include: 

• Financial,
• Time,
• Value,
• Innovation,
• Scale. 

A fractional leader works as an extension of your team and looks for ways to help you build it better. 

 

5 ways a fractional CCO can drive your business forward.

By paying only for what you need, a C-suite leader may be closer than you think. Here are five ways other companies with a fractional CCO have benefited.

 

1. Financial

Investing in a fractional Chief Creative Officer means getting top-level talent at a fraction of the price, with none of the commitment. They provide the same abilities, experience, and leadership without the extra time and financial commitments of permanent staff. 

The average annual Chief Creative Officer salary is around $200K. When you hire fractionally, you can save the salary, benefits, and bonuses tied to hiring a full-time employee. Plus, the hidden costs of the recruitment process. 

Once in motion, cost savings start to show up in a multitude of ways. Experienced creative leaders build strategically. By standardizing brand elements and optimizing marketing initiatives, and design tools, they create team efficiency. Every strategic decision comes with hidden savings. You’re left with more money in, less money out, and new money discovered.

 

2. Time

Ask any Founder, Executive Director, or VP what they could use more of, and they’ll say ‘hours in the day.’ 

Investing in a fractional Chief Creative Officer frees you up to focus on growing your business or spending time with your family. Your organization gets immediate C-level support without the lengthy process of searching, interviewing, and hiring additional staff. You’re timeline to ramp up is in weeks instead of months. 

Then, you can focus on what you’re good at and what’s important to your future, instead of doing both your job and the job of a CCO. When hiring fractionally, smaller businesses like scaling startups and impactful charities can benefit from the expertise larger corporations regularly invest in without the big bill. 

You don’t want to spend time learning the language of branding and communications. By hiring a senior creative, you’ll benefit from their years of experience without having to put the years in. 

What’s better, lining up a local guide fluent in your destination’s language or trying to find a hotel the moment your plane lands in a foreign-speaking country? Time is a limited resource. Hiring a fractional CCO helps you make more of it.

 

3. Value

The value of building strategic, enjoyable, and consistent communication can’t be overstated. Apple, Nike, BMW, Disney, and Coca-Cola all have one thing in common — they invest heavily in their brands.

When a brand is built well, investors are interested, employees are empowered, and customers become ambassadors. A trusted, integrated brand is shaped from the top down; an experienced creative leader is the talent to help you do it. What do Rogers, Nespresso, The NBA, and Crohn’s Canada have in common? I’ve helped each build their creative and communications. And I can do the same for you.

A CCO helps see the big picture and strategically align with your business goals while creating underlying value for the organization — today and into the future. The most valuable brands in the world have strategically invested in the same thing — themselves.

 

4. Innovation

The future is yet to be written, and those who embrace creativity will be the ones who write it. Look for a visionary with their finger on the pulse of today’s heartbeat and tomorrow’s possibilities. A good CCO is continually discovering novel and unique ways to help you solve problems. Finding synergies, seeing new patterns, and feeling what is about to come next. 

The hybrid thinker is a rare and growing in-demand talent. By hiring a ‘left and right brainer,’ you get logic, planning, and analytics AND innovation, intuition, and holistic thinking. Someone who is focused on solving your problems while bringing novel ways of thinking to your company. And sometimes, those answers aren’t found in spreadsheets or textbooks.

In-house agencies are fantastic for focusing but can fall back on tried and tested methods. Where standard agencies sell you a niche product or service, partnering with the right Chief Creative Officer has benefits outside of the obvious. 

Find a CCO who prides themselves on their unique outlook and track record. To find opportunities your company previously didn’t realize, you need a fresh way of seeing and doing things. Seeing is believing, so take a look at my  TEDx talk. Believing a better way is possible, a creative expert can be the light to guide you along the path.

 

5. Scale

Every organization reaches a growth gap. A period of scaling the business before it makes sense to hire team members or increase budgets. This could be the introduction of new products, markets, or partnerships. Or this could be a directional pivot and you need support in the process. 

When Rogers and the NHL were looking to create the largest broadcast deal in Canadian history, the growth took place in carefully launched phases — and I was lucky enough to be involved. 

A gun for hire — in this case, a fractional Chief Creative Officer — might be the bridge to solving your problems. Flexible, professional, and with a fresh perspective, they work with you intentionally and purposefully to see the big picture, pinpoint opportunities, and help you grow. They can oversee  creative output to help your brand reach new heights, new audiences, and new territories. Because what got you here won’t get you to the next level.

 

Is a fractional Chief Creative Officer right for you?

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not a fractional CCO is the right choice for you, go through the checklist below.

• Has your organization reached a plateau in growth?
Are you pivoting directions or adding new products or services?

• Is your internal creative or comms team at capacity or inexperienced?
• Is the quality of your branding starting to dip?

• Are the materials your company is publishing inconsistent?
• Has your organization been moving forward, but now it’s time to step up a level?

• Are the economic times causing you to think differently about hiring?
• Are you ready to play a bigger game?

If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time to invest in the next level of your brand. Partner with a Fractional Chief Creative Officer today.

 


 

Hey, I’m Keith, a Fractional Chief Creative Officer, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of a charity called Brandvan. After two decades of building some of Canada’s biggest brands, I started & Good Company, an idea design consultancy that helps people and the planet. I live with my amazing partner Vickie and our two sons in a century-old octagon house on a farm in Niagara. 

In the past, I’ve helped Rogers with a $35M rebrand; supported the NHL with a $6B / 12-year broadcast deal; launched professional sports teams like the Toronto Football Club; and designed the interior graphics and way-finding for 3M square feet of office space — the largest office transformation program in Canadian history.

To learn more about how a Fractional Chief Creative Officer can help your organization, email me at keithjones@andgoodcompany.ca