Debbie Oster and Joe Fitzpatrick | Fractional CMOs & The 90-Day Win

This video is a podcast interview with Debbie Oster and Joe Fitzpatrick 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 emphasize the importance of having clear business goals, leveraging data, and integrating into the team to drive growth. They highlight the necessity of being open with information, providing infrastructure, and maintaining clear and consistent communication to ensure success.

Key points
πŸ” Business Goals: Establishing clear, documented business goals is essential for setting effective marketing strategies.
πŸ“Š Data Utilization: Leveraging data to understand the current state of the business and making informed decisions based on that data.
πŸ—£οΈ Consistent Messaging: Ensuring consistent and clear messaging across all channels to build a strong brand presence and avoid confusion.
πŸ“ˆ Early Wins: Focusing on quick, impactful wins to demonstrate value and build trust with clients.
πŸ’‘ Customer Insights: Conducting thorough customer research to understand their needs and how they perceive the brand.
🀝 Team Collaboration: Working closely with internal stakeholders to align strategies and improve overall effectiveness.
πŸš€ Execution and Resources: Developing realistic and executable marketing plans with measurable goals and ensuring the necessary resources are in place.
πŸ‘₯ Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging key stakeholders early on to ensure alignment with the company’s vision and strategy.
🧠 Marketing Education: Educating clients on the importance of strategic marketing and the iterative nature of positioning.
πŸ“‹ Long-term Objectives: Establishing both short-term and long-term goals to guide marketing efforts and ensure accountability.

  1. Introduction: The podcast introduces the topic of fractional CMOs and their impact within the first 90 days.
  2. Debbie’s Background: Debbie introduces herself and discusses her experience with Entrepreneurs Edge, helping small businesses identify and reduce wasted marketing spend.
  3. Business Goals: Debbie emphasizes the importance of having clear business goals to set effective marketing strategies.
  4. Joe’s Background: Joe shares his experience with ad scientist, focusing on understanding high-value audiences and turning them into customers.
  5. Data Utilization: Joe highlights the need to leverage data to understand the current state of the business and make informed decisions.
  6. Internal Biases: Joe discusses the importance of addressing internal biases and aligning goals with actual data.
  7. Maximizing Value: Joe explains how CEOs can maximize value from their fractional CMOs by sharing their thought processes and being open with information.
  8. Team Integration: Debbie emphasizes the importance of integrating into the team, understanding the current state, and providing the necessary infrastructure for success.
  9. Team Collaboration: Joe highlights the need for collaboration with existing teams, even in low-touch engagements, to ensure alignment and effectiveness.
  10. Full-time Employee Impact: Joe and Debbie discuss the impact of hiring a fractional CMO on full-time employees, emphasizing the need for clear direction and role definition.


  1. 00:59: “The first kind of thing that I identify is whether or not they have business goals in place.” – Debbie Oster
  2. 01:25: “As the marketing expert, I can’t come in and reasonably set marketing goals or create a strategy for their business if I have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish in their business overall.” – Debbie Oster
  3. 02:11: “We really work with clients to understand who their high-value audiences are, how to engage those audiences, and turn those audiences into customers.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  4. 02:44: “It’s kind of taking the blindfold off the business is one of the first things I do, trying to get in and understand and educate them about their data.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  5. 03:10: “Goals have been set without understanding what they’re doing right now.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  6. 04:09: “Bringing them in from the cold, but also giving them an insight into their thinking, not just saying like, ‘This is what we’re doing,’ but why are they doing it.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  7. 05:05: “They have to be willing to kind of let go of the reins a little bit and let you do your job, do the role that they’re putting you in.” – Debbie Oster
  8. 06:45: “Getting to know the lay of the land, like what has been happening, how are people doing things, what are they measuring and how are they determining whether the work that they’re doing is working.” – Debbie Oster
  9. 08:25: “You really have to win allies on the team. The best way to do that is to ask what they are doing now, why they are doing it, and what they want to achieve themselves.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  10. 09:08: “You can’t manage if you try to manage lead; you’re going to fail. You really want to come in and give them, as a leader, you have to inspire and motivate people.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  11. 10:20: “If the right person is put in place, I would feel like now there’s someone flying the plane, there’s someone to give me direction, to give me more purpose to my role.” – Debbie Oster
  12. 11:40: “I think that with a lot of small businesses, especially in competitive or saturated markets, sometimes it takes a while to test things and figure out what’s going to get the market’s attention.” – Debbie Oster
  13. 13:25: “Sometimes with startups, we need to hit these targets to get the series A, or we need to do forecasting to get the series A. That’s like a short sprint where there’s a successful thing at the end.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  14. 14:10: “You’re paying for somebody to come in and guide you into how to build a marketing function within your business, not be the marketing function.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  15. 15:55: “Marketing is no longer the arts and crafts department; components of marketing should be extremely data-driven.” – Debbie Oster
  16. 16:40: “You need to come in and give them the structure to be successful but also win them over and really empower them to be successful.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  17. 18:50: “Some companies need it now, and then other companies are willing to engage with a process.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  18. 19:20: “You can find me on LinkedIn, Joe Fitzpatrick, or at ad scientist.” – Joe Fitzpatrick
  19. 19:30: “Any small business owners, established or startups, that are looking to take their business to the next level.” – Debbie Oster
  20. 20:10: “Contact me at Entrepreneurs Edge. Biz, I’m also really active on LinkedIn under Debbie Oster as well as Instagram and Facebook.” – Debbie Oster