Go further, faster with a Fractional CMO for Managed Service Providers

Marketing leadership that delivers strategic impact—now.

Have you ever wished that there was a faster, less painful way to drive predictable growth?

You probably know what needs to be done, but can’t get it all aligned:

  • Move upstream to larger clients and engagements
  • Cross-sell all your firm’s services
  • Identify new, high-potential markets
  • Allocate marketing investments for the highest ROI
  • Increase selling effectiveness and productivity
  • Develop stronger lead generation capability
  • Tell your firm’s “story” in all its growing complexity, more simply and consistently to open up opportunities for everyone

I can get you and your team there.

As your Fractional CMO, I develop a more strategic approach to sales and marketing that sets your growth strategy in motion.

I personally advise and coach a small group of managed service providers to expand reach, drive predictable revenue, and increase strategic impact. 

What do I do?


  • Driving marketing & brand strategy for the firm and practices
  • Partnering with CEO & executive team on strategic initiatives
  • Leading the intellectual capital strategy & innovation


  • Increasing sales and marketing alignment & productivity
  • Establishing KPIs and driving performance
  • Serving as the voice of the customer
  • Determining which marketing strategies and tactics are best to meet your goals


  • Leading the marketing department and developing the team
  • Hiring and onboarding new team members
  • Managing agency & vendor relationships
  • Advising the CEO on marketing and branding-related issues and opportunities

How I Do It

We work together to pull the levers that enable your firm to deliver above-industry growth rates, reduce sales cycle time, and deliver a differentiated client experience.

I’ve sat in the Marketing leadership hot seat at some world’s leading firms including Andersen, Hewitt, and Towers Perrin. I’ve helped brands grow and enhance the performance of firms, practices, and people. I’ve worked with global thought leaders, developed world-class solutions, and marketed services to c-level executives around the world.

I can apply that level of expertise to your firm and set your growth strategy in motion—today.


Prudent Pedal Professional Services Growth Model

As fractional CMO, Jeff contributed far more to the organization than we could have dared to ask.

He stepped in and led the marketing team as if he had been there for years, serving as mentor to support their professional development; he successfully ran and improved the marketing processes during a series of high pressure and time-sensitive work supporting several large software releases; he provided strategic consultative guidance to the management team; and he served as a very helpful sounding board for all kinds of topics for colleagues from every function.

Stratford Dick

Head of Product Management, Autosoft DMS

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but it’s no way to build your marketing organization.

While managed service providers share attributes, the optimal marketing organization is unique to each firm. Your marketing organization shouldn’t be your competitor’s marketing organization.

Brand mistakes professional services firms make
Jeff’s work creating our client segmentation model was excellent. That work alone paid for the broader engagement.
Ed Staehlin, Jr.

Head of Global IT Operations, Strategy & Change Governance, Marsh

Jeff leads by example, is strategic, visionary and looks for opportunities to help his direct reports grow in their careers. He transformed the role of regional marketing at Towers Perrin while also managing the brand re-launch of the firm. He has helped me to excel in my career as a marketing professional.

Maria McGowan

Executive Director, DuPage Medical Group

Jeff was in complete control, educating our team about a very complicated business space, imagining and defining strategies for brand development, managing a very smart and senior client team, and just generally driving the project forward. His personality and the way he interacts with his clients and partners is wonderful. He’s got a great, supportive, positive energy that fosters creativity and open expression. In short, Jeff McKay is a top-notch marketing, business and branding strategist, and I recommend him and his agency as highly as I can.
Mark Skoultchi

Partner, Catchword Branding

 Frequently Asked Questions About Fractional CMO Services

What are the benefits of a Fractional CMO?

By hiring a fractional CMO, firms can access the best thinking and practices of leading firms, gain operational flexibility, and better manage budgets and priorities.

Here are some other considerations:

1. Cost savings: The fractional framework adds C-suite level experience and perspective to your team, without the comp package that accompanies a full-time senior leadership role. The average salary of CMOs in New York and Silicon Valley is $270,000+. In Chicago, the average is $245,000. And, this is before benefits, options, and perks. Hiring a fractional CMO gives you the benefit of having an executive-level marketing expert at a fraction of the cost.

2. Strategic Spend: Many companies spend a large portion of their spend hiring someone senior on a full-time basis to do their marketing strategy, only to have that person spend 80% of their time executing. If your marketing leader is posting to social media, writing copy, or designing graphics – you’ve got an overpaid marketing coordinator on your team. By strategically breaking up your spend you can have both a marketing leader and a marketing executor (or many)

3. Fresh Perspective: A CMO who serves multiple industries can bring ideas and proven tactics from one industry to another.

What situations are Fractional CMO services best for?

Here are some scenarios that a Fractional CMO makes sense:

  1. Fractional CMO

You’re not ready for a full-time CMO (you either don’t have the budget or the work to justify it), but you know that you require that level of expertise to guide your strategy and team. 

 2. Interim CMO

Your company needs a temporary marketing leader while you hire a permanent VP of Marketing or CMO.

 3. Turnaround CMO

If you need to “fix” an under-performing marketing team quickly. 

 4. Spin-out CMO

Pulling off a major transaction or carve-out and need to both strategic marketing input on the business and to build a marketing team fast.

5. Coaching CMO

You have a capable marketing person but they just don’t have the strategic chops you need yet. Bringing on a fractional CMO to serve in a coaching/advisory role can help him/her think more strategically, develop leadership abilities, and make better decisions.

What level of marketing budget do I need to hire a Fractional CMO?

Generally, Fractional CMO services require a departmental marketing budget, including costs of staff, as well as marketing initiatives, of $200,000.

What are your fees?

Fees are value-based and vary depending on client size and complexity. Fractional CMO packages start at $5K per month. 

What does Fractional mean?

Fractional means that multiple non-competing companies share me as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

What if I don't have a marketing team?

This is a common problem for many of my clients. Good marketing talent is difficult to find and retain. I’ll help you craft job descriptions and hire for in-house positions, or identify agency and freelance partners to fill immediate voids. I have an extensive network of marketing experts, agencies, and vendors that I can recommend.

What industries/firms do you work with?

I specialize in professional/business services and B2B SaaS.

Our clients sell sophisticated solutions to sophisticated buyers through complex buying cycles. Their markets are competitive, demanding, and dynamic. Their employees are intelligent, driven, and client-centric. Their organizational structures are matrixed and geographically dispersed.  

Firms we help:

  • Consulting firms
  • Accounting firms
  • Managed service providers
  • Strategy consultants
  • IT consultants
  • Engineering consultants
  • B2B SaaS

We do NOT work with law firms.

Why Managed Services Providers Should Hire a Fractional CMO

When firms are ready to grow, but not quite ready to hire a full-time CMO, an outsourced or fractional CMO can be a great solution for firms that want marketing to deliver strategic impact—today. Here’s why.

Your firm has demonstrated incredible success. You have clients who love you and you’re confident that your solutions and culture offer incredible value to your clients. You know that growth provides opportunity. You feel now is the time to take your firm to the next level. That level could be bigger engagements, larger clients, broader cross-selling, new markets, new solutions, or even an acquisition.

Almost every managed services providers reaches a point where it must make a leap to the next level in order to continue providing the best array of services, recruiting top talent, increasing profitability, and providing opportunities for its people. Unfortunately, as the adage says, “what got you here won’t get you there.” You know that it’s time for a new approach and skill set.

More and more companies are getting to the next level without the risk and expense of hiring a full-time senior employee. Fractional or part-time leaders are bringing more sophisticated systems and processes to HR, Accounting, and IT. Now firms can do the same to reach their growth objectives. Savvy Managing Partners who know they need a real marketing strategy and the leadership to actually implement it are finding tremendous success when they hire the right part-time or fractional chief marketing officer.


7 Reasons for a Managed Services Provider Firm to Hire a Fractional CMO

1. Strategy is King

Every successful sports team has one thing in common: Strategy. They have a playbook that says “When that happens, do this.” They have a coach that is able to step outside of the game, see what’s actually happening on the field of play, and devise a strategy to get the key objective met.

Your business is no different. Without a strategy, your company is probably trying to do too many things, dabbling here and there, and running in five directions simultaneously which leads to not moving forward at all.

A CMO can provide the strategy to meet the growth objectives you set as CEO.

2. Firms need execution, not just strategy.

Strategy alone isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need people to get the work done. Hiring a full-time CMO who won’t get his hands dirty and needlessly sucks up financial resources can inhibit your team’s ability to both invest in campaigns and execute them.

It doesn’t matter if your business relies on content marketing, events, paid ads, or word-of-mouth; you need more of the right execution happening more often. By hiring a part-time CMO, you’re able to invest in the right campaigns AND tacticians.

3. A process gets predictable results

Most marketing leaders and marketing strategists do the best they can with what they have. What do they typically have? A few years of experience doing the same thing over and over and a pile of books/blogs they’ve recently read that chase marketing fads. They lack a well-formulated process.

A top Fractional CMO brings a proven execution process specifically applicable to your strategic objectives, situation, and industry that helps you drive predictable growth.

4. Your team wants to know what to do

Maybe you’ve heard your team say “I just want to know what to do!” For so many, work gives meaning and without a clear understanding of what it takes to do a satisfactory job, team members feel lost and lack confidence.

By having a part-time CMO step into your organization, you’ll be giving these well-meaning employees and contractors the leadership they’ve been yearning for. It takes a world-class marketer to develop a world-class marketer.

5. Short-term commitment, long-term results

When you hire a part-time CMO, you are signing up for 90-days of CMO service. While the average contract length lasts 9 months, you’re only committing to a 90-day sprint. That means you’re able to mitigate the financial risk to your company and get the insights of a qualified CMO.

6.  No benefits, no problems

Glassdoor.com states that the average CMO is paid between $190,000 and $250,000 a year, plus benefits (and equity!). Most companies can’t afford this level of insight and those who can often don’t need to tie their capital up in a single C-level hire.

By hiring a fractional CMO, you’ll have the brainpower, leadership, process, and leverage of a CMO, without the full-time cost.

There are many more reasons and situations where a fractional CMO makes sense, but the bottom line is a fractional CMO makes sense for your firm if you are striving for the next level, expect marketing to deliver strategic impact, but aren’t ready to bear the investment of a full-time CMO.

To decide if a Fractional CMO makes sense for your firm, schedule a call.


The BS of PS: Strategic Marketing Leadership’s Impact on Managed Service Providers

Quote of the Show:

“You cannot develop a world-class marketer unless you have a world-class marketer developing them.”

– Jeff McKay

Let’s Get Started


Schedule a 15-minute call to see if a Fractional CMO is a good fit.


Then, we’ll get on a longer call to deep dive into your needs. Then, I’ll share the steps I recommend with a proposal.

Marketing Transformation

In the first 30 days, you’ll have a comprehensive marketing plan and the leadership to execute it over the rest of the quarter.