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As Profit Becomes King and Budgets Fall Under Scrutiny, How Can Marketing Spend Be Justified? A Local Firm Provides Solution: Fractional Services

This story was put together by the AI tools of Alpha Story.

Marketing budgets have been on a steady decline since 2020, even though the competition for businesses has only gotten more cutthroat.

Sure, a budget cut may bring the immediate tangible relief of extra cash in a company’s coffers. But don’t let that fool you — some experts say it could actually cost companies more in the long run. Another study, in fact, emphasizes how marketing is needed especially during inflated costs and a recession.

The verdict is clear: marketing is crucial, but with shrinking budgets, how?

Cassandra Ong, founder of marketing consultancy firm OtterHalf, suggests this: fractional marketing, where brands market smart, not hard.

Fractional marketing is a relatively new concept — it equips companies with the capabilities of a full-fledged marketing team, except it’s commitment-free and at a fraction of a full-time hire’s cost.

Desmond running his hawker business

Image: Cassandra Ong, Founder of OtterHalf

Hiring full-time teams comes with the pitfall of their full capacity being under-utilised year-round. By periodically tapping into a pool of specialised marketing professionals, companies can meet their growth objectives without needing in-house teams, as well as the flexibility of deciding when they need this extra boost.

This utility can also serve to complement companies that already have dedicated marketing teams. As much as existing talents serve the company’s current needs, ever-evolving business objectives may call for new or different fields of expertise that the current team may be inadequate in. That’s where the additional flexibility of fractional marketing resources can step in to fill the gap.

OtterHalf’s approach may still be testing the waters here in Singapore, but it’s already been met with success from its partners.

Among them is REFASH, a retail brand that leveraged OtterHalf’s fractional marketing team to help drive partnership efforts — something its small in-house staff had no prior experience with. The result? REFASH secured three strategic partners in just 3 months, paving the way for accelerated business growth, where they achieved 3x their ROI (return of investment).

The value REFASH gained from such a short engagement with OtterHalf is a testament to the high profit-to-cost ratio of fractional hiring, with the CEO of REFASH confirming cost-savings of almost $40K that would’ve otherwise been spent on traditional means to achieve the same results.

A fresh look at talent strategy and business resources, fractional services form a framework that differs from freelancers that are touch-and-go in nature. Fractional hires, as seen in REFASH and Otterhalf’s partnership, act as devoted members of existing teams, working in tandem on aligned interests and helping businesses with their long-term goals.

With the need for businesses to keep a competitive edge in trying times, Cassandra Ong, founder of OtterHalf, would be delighted to share more about fractional marketing and its place in the current landscape:

  • Why might companies today still favour internal hires
  • Why fractional services are more imperative now than ever before
  • How fractional services can cater to the needs of any business size or model

About OtterHalf

Launched in April 2023, the talented group responsible for OtterHalf has a collective experience of over 20 years in marketing and partnerships within the tech industry. In just 6 months, they’re projected to close the year with a six-figure revenue. They were also amongst the 33 startups (out of 150 applicants) that got accepted into the SMU Business Innovations Generator Incubation Programme by IIE (Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship) in August 2023. To check out their convention-breaking marketing services, visit

About Cassandra Ong

Former Growth and Marketing Lead at Tripadvisor, Chope and Foodpanda, Cassandra faced a low in her life when she was made redundant during the mass tech layoff of 2023. She launched the remote-based global marketing consulting firm OtterHalf with two ex-team members who were faced with the same situation. By knowing first-hand the struggles of staying relevant in a competitive tech industry, they built OtterHalf to help give businesses the advantage they need to thrive.
With 12 years of experience in marketing strategy and strategic partnerships for big names under her belt, her proudest achievement would be: Securing CapitaLand as Chope's partner, seeing through the partnership, and ultimately resulting in their investment in Chope's Series D funding round.

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