Beth Thouin and Trevor Turnbull | Fractional CMOs & The 90-Day Win

This video is a podcast interview with Beth Thouin and Trevor Turnbull discussing the role and strategies of fractional Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) in achieving significant business wins within the first 90 days of engagement.

Fractional CMOs play a crucial role in aligning leadership on product-market fit, uncovering customer insights, and establishing foundational marketing documentation to drive growth. Their strategic input and ability to identify early wins are essential for achieving scalable and repeatable growth.

Key points
🎯 Product-Market Fit: Misalignment within the leadership team on what constitutes product-market fit is a common initial issue.
πŸ” Customer Research: Conducting thorough customer research to uncover real value propositions is vital for developing effective growth strategies.
πŸ”„ Foundational Documentation: Building foundational marketing documentation is often overlooked but essential for a successful marketing organization.
πŸ“ˆ Data Utilization: Many companies lack proper data utilization, making decisions based on assumptions rather than insights.
πŸ’‘ Iterative Testing: Implementing iterative testing and making offers to understand customer preferences can drive growth.
πŸ“Š KPI Clarity: Clear communication on KPIs and success metrics helps align the team and measure progress effectively.
🀝 Collaboration with Sales: A strong relationship between marketing and sales is crucial for optimizing customer experience and driving revenue.
πŸ‘₯ Stakeholder Engagement: Identifying and engaging key stakeholders early on is essential for a successful engagement.
πŸ”§ Strategic Advisor Role: Fractional CMOs should be leveraged as strategic advisors, focusing on revenue, business models, and market expansion.
πŸš€ Fractional Benefits: Fractional CMOs bring a breadth of experience and a holistic view of the company’s operations, making them valuable for startups and established businesses alike.

  1. Introduction: The podcast introduces the topic of fractional CMOs and their impact within the first 90 days.
  2. Initial Challenges: Beth discusses common initial problems, including misalignment on product-market fit within the leadership team.
  3. Understanding the Vision: Trevor emphasizes the importance of understanding the founder’s big vision to recommend effective strategies.
  4. Early Wins: Trevor focuses on finding the greatest pain points and opportunities for quick wins.
  5. Customer Insights: Beth highlights the importance of customer research in uncovering valuable insights and shaping growth strategies.
  6. Foundational Documentation: Beth explains the need for foundational marketing documentation to build a successful marketing organization.
  7. Data Utilization: Trevor discusses the importance of using data to make informed decisions and avoid assumptions.
  8. Value of Fractional CMOs: Both guests emphasize the strategic value that fractional CMOs bring, focusing on iterative testing and leveraging structured time effectively.
  9. Signs of Readiness: Beth and Trevor discuss signs that a client might not be ready for a fractional CMO, such as micromanagement and lack of clarity on strategic direction.
  10. Hiring Heads of Sales: Trevor and Beth provide insights on what to look for when hiring a new head of sales, emphasizing alignment with company values and existing networks.


  1. 00:36: “What I see most often at the beginning of an engagement would be a misalignment of product-market fit inside of the leadership team.” – Beth Thouin
  2. 01:20: “I come in as a CMO fractional and I need to be building growth strategies. Most of the time I’m coming in with a startup who has hit a stagnant growth stage.” – Beth Thouin
  3. 03:34: “The quick win stuff is to just find the greatest pain that a lot of times the visionary entrepreneur can’t even see.” – Trevor Turnbull
  4. 04:25: “The very first thing that I do, and I even put this into contracts before I get started with anybody, is customer research.” – Beth Thouin
  5. 05:14: “Every single time I do this, I come out with these mind-blowing insights for CEOs.” – Beth Thouin
  6. 07:34: “What we sell and what customers buy are not the same thing.” – Dean Waye
  7. 08:25: “They often don’t know how to build foundational documentation to build up a marketing organization inside of the company.” – Beth Thouin
  8. 09:40: “The advancement of technology has almost created a paralysis for founders.” – Trevor Turnbull
  9. 10:30: “As fractional CMOs, we’re not with you 40 hours a week, so it’s using structured time well.” – Beth Thouin
  10. 12:15: “When it doesn’t work, there’s micromanaging happening, and the founder is not ready to really let go.” – Beth Thouin
  11. 14:05: “If that founder CEO is not willing to trust and give up the reins to the C-level suite team that they’re hiring, it’s just destined to implode.” – Trevor Turnbull
  12. 15:40: “My goal is to replace myself at some point so that I can evolve to the next level of conversation with that person.” – Trevor Turnbull
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