Stacey Danheiser and Maria Botta | Fractional CMOs & The 90-Day Win

This video is a podcast interview with Stacey Danheiser and Maria Botta 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 focus on identifying gaps in marketing, aligning strategies with business goals, and achieving quick wins to build momentum. Their expertise in stakeholder engagement, customer insights, and strategic planning is crucial for driving growth and improving overall marketing efficiency.

Key points
๐Ÿ” Gap Analysis: Identifying what has and hasnโ€™t been done in marketing to understand current capabilities and areas needing improvement.
๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Stakeholder Interviews: Conducting stakeholder interviews to gather insights and understand expectations.
๐Ÿ“Š Competitor Analysis: Analyzing the competitive landscape to position the company effectively.
๐Ÿ“ˆ Customer Insights: Conducting customer research to understand their needs and expectations, which often reveals misalignments with what the company delivers.
๐Ÿ’ก Strategic Planning: Developing a comprehensive strategic plan, including goals, strategies, execution plans, and necessary resources.
๐Ÿš€ Early Wins: Identifying and implementing early wins to build credibility and momentum.
๐Ÿค Collaboration with Sales: Ensuring strong collaboration between marketing and sales teams to drive revenue.
๐Ÿ“ Execution and Resources: Ensuring that marketing plans are realistic and executable with the available resources.
๐Ÿ‘ฅ Education and Alignment: Educating non-marketing leaders on the strategic value of marketing and aligning the team on marketing goals.
๐Ÿง  Complexity of Marketing: Educating clients on the complexity of marketing and setting realistic expectations regarding timelines and outcomes.

  1. Introduction: The podcast introduces the topic of fractional CMOs and their impact within the first 90 days.
  2. Initial Challenges: Maria discusses common initial problems, including the lack of previous marketing leadership and the need for a comprehensive audit.
  3. Stakeholder Engagement: Both guests emphasize the importance of conducting stakeholder interviews and competitor analysis.
  4. Customer Insights: Stacey highlights the importance of understanding customer needs and expectations, which often reveals misalignments with what the company delivers.
  5. Strategic Planning: Both guests stress the importance of strategic planning and not rushing into execution to ensure sustainable success.
  6. Early Wins: Identifying and implementing early wins, such as optimizing marketing processes and aligning with customer needs, helps build credibility and momentum.
  7. Marketing Complexity: Stacey explains that many clients do not understand the complexity of marketing and the importance of strategic foundations.
  8. Collaboration with Sales: Both guests provide insights on collaborating with sales teams and ensuring alignment between marketing and sales.
  9. Leadership Alignment: Ensuring that the leadership team understands the strategic value of marketing and is committed to supporting it.
  10. Finding Stacey and Maria: Information on how to connect with Stacey Danheiser and Maria Botta through LinkedIn and their respective websites.


  1. 00:30: “One of the first things I always look for is whether there’s anyone in the C-suite who has handled marketing before.” – Maria Botta
  2. 01:15: “It’s a rush to see what has been done and more importantly, what hasn’t been addressed.” – Maria Botta
  3. 02:45: “Stakeholder interviews are really important for me in the first 90 days.” – Maria Botta
  4. 03:40: “Often, some B2B companies and startups haven’t even looked at their competitive space.” – Maria Botta
  5. 04:30: “I also look at what kinds of investments they’ve made and their appetite to invest in marketing.” – Maria Botta
  6. 05:30: “The first problem I usually see is a massive gap between what the C-suite thinks marketing should be doing and what the marketing team is actually doing.” – Stacey Danheiser
  7. 06:30: “I look at marketing mindset and skillset, how we’re thinking about marketing, and if we are really a customer-focused organization.” – Stacey Danheiser
  8. 07:45: “I look at execution. Are they biting off more than they can chew? Are the resources they need actually there?” – Stacey Danheiser
  9. 08:20: “There’s a lot of education that I have to do, explaining what marketing is and what it is not.” – Stacey Danheiser
  10. 09:25: “Quick wins are directly aligned with how marketing is perceived. I look for what everybody’s complaining about.” – Stacey Danheiser
  11. 11:00: “One of the biggest issues is that they don’t understand that marketing is more than promotion. It’s strategic and follows a process.” – Stacey Danheiser
  12. 12:10: “Marketing should have an equal weight at the table. Unless you’re committed to that, you’re not going to get the maximum benefit out of a fractional or full-time CMO.” – Maria Botta
  13. 13:55: “A big red flag is when they’re not willing to make changes or when they think they know exactly what their customers need.” – Stacey Danheiser
  14. 14:45: “Customer research often reveals insights that are completely left out or blindsiding for the organization.” – Stacey Danheiser
  15. 16:50: “Just because there’s a gap in the market doesn’t mean there’s a market in that gap.” – Maria Botta
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