I’ve got some big FOAFing news to share: a concept I’ve been developing over the past few months is now live.

Introducing FOAF: Fraction-of-a-Fractional CXO support.

Most of what you need to know is at FOAF.pro, but there’s a backstory. And ChatGPT doesn’t know it, so I have to write the whole FOAFing thing myself.

Years ago, before my role at Mediaocean, a potential client came to me and said they wanted me on their advisory board, and they’d throw me a few shares.

I told them I was flattered, but they needed more help than that, and few companies use advisors well.

So, I suggested we should set up a weekly phone call, and in between calls, I’d help with a number of deliverables (reviewing collateral, coming up with marketing plans, giving strategic feedback, making intros, etc). I proposed a low four-figure retainer that wouldn’t significantly affect their burn rate and would give them disproportionate value.

A second client followed suit with a similar arrangement, and while this didn’t become the main focus of my work, both engagements lasted about a year.

When I started consulting again at the start of the year, I proactively brought up versions of this idea to a few companies I’d been in touch with for a while, and while each engagement has its own flavor, they share the general framework.

The main value proposition for them lies with the most important F-word here: flexibility.

Marketer that I am, I wondered if there was a good name for the model. Calling them “fractional CMO” engagements seemed to overstate my role. What they were getting was a fraction of a fractional CXO’s time, while also getting access to all of my experience, network, community resources, and other assets.

Once this fraction-of-a-fraction idea hit, I Googled it and saw no one was using the concept outside of mathematics. And then as I played with the FOAF acronym, it instantly started to feel like both a framework and a brand. The words that greet you at FOAF.pro are the first words I wrote: “Stop FOAFing around.” The rest of the copy felt like it wrote itself.

I didn’t have ChatGPT write any of the copy, but I did have it adapt the copy for a draft of a press release. The AI got my humor so well that it gratuitously inserted the phrase, “Let’s be FOAF buddies.” That seemed… pushing it.

I did at least get away with running the release in the Vatican Technology Review; I had the option of adding another market outside the US, and I thought I’d buck convention and go with the world’s smallest one. Plus, the Pope — puffy jacket or not — might have even read it. Maybe he’ll even take the quiz (powered by Riddle) on FOAF.pro. I think he’d like it.

I was on the phone with someone yesterday who I was talking to for the first time, and when he heard about FOAF, he said, “That’s precisely the kind of idea that I’ve had but never actually launched.” I’ve had a lot of those kinds of ideas myself. I am constantly trying things out with Carrd.co landing pages and not releasing them. FOAF, however, had to see the light of day.

That doesn’t mean it will work. Or at least, that doesn’t mean it will scale. If it does scale, I’ll have a core team of brilliant practitioners to thank. I’ve been onboarding some CXOs such as Laura FittonB.L. Ochman, and Ellen Oppenheim, with more to come in the next couple of weeks. I’ll then slow things down to gauge demand. Everyone involved knows there are a lot of kinks to work out before we see how far this model can go.

But, it is very much alive. The idea is out there.

If you might need a FOAF, let’s chat. Most of the time, I won’t be what you’re looking for, and that’s fine. The roster of talent already joining is tremendous, and if someone’s not there yet, I’m confident that our crew can surface some comparably talented options.

If you want to join the FOAF crew, let me know as well. Again, I may not rush to open the doors too wide just yet, but I am greedy in terms of wanting to find ways to work with all the best and brightest minds out there. The commitment for fellow FOAFs is to give it a shot; no one is required to funnel all their business through FOAF or make this the main thrust of what they’re doing.

If you can spread the word about FOAF to folks who you think might care or, better still, might need it, I will be forever FOAFing grateful. Even a LinkedIn FOAF follow means a lot.

So there you have it.

Let’s FOAFing do this.David

PS: LGFM (Let’s Go FOAFing Mets)


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(times EST unless otherwise specified)

  • 4/12: First Wednesdays in-person NYC, Mason Jar on E 30th between Park & Madison. See you there! Shifting this one since Wed 4/5 is the first night of Passover.
  • 4/20: Serial Marketers & U of Digital present… Navigating Identity Management with Shiv Gupta, Founder of U of Digital.
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April 5, Javits Center, NY
“Auto marketers need to get out of their familiar demographic boxes. Research indicates women buy 62% of all new cars sold in the U.S. and influence more than 85% of all car purchases. But 43% of women don’t trust the automotive industry. Meanwhile, multicultural messaging is now being fully integrated into all marketing by most automakers. And there’s an evolving and expanding definition of diversity. Finally, older Gen Z customers are entering the mix and when it comes to being marketed to, they are the most skeptical of all generations.”

April 10 – 12, Dallas
“At Education Summit 2023, you’ll get equipped to help your students, staff, and alumni navigate their educational adventures, making them truly epic. Discover new frontiers in education technology, hear from visionary speakers, and connect with educators from around the world. A new day for education. Institutions are powerful change agents in today’s educational environment. See how leaders are building a unified approach to lifelong learning, and making every journey epic.”

April 18, New York City
“Jeff Pulver is bringing back VON, with VON: Evolution. Pulver, the founder of Vonage and Free World Dialup (FWD), is one of the most recognized revolutionaries in the world of voice over IP (VoIP) and with VON, paved the way for cutting-edge communication technologies serving as the launch pad for many of the mainstream communications services and applications in use today.”

September 26-29, Washington D.C.
“Content Marketing World 2023, the largest gathering of content marketers in the world, is in an all-new location, Washington D.C., September 26-29. Produced by the Content Marketing Institute, #CMWorld is jam-packed with keynotes, sessions, workshops, and masterclasses, covering all aspects of content marketing. No matter your level of expertise, you can customize your experience at #CMWorld 2023. Come learn, network, and have fun making meaningful connections with fellow attendees and speakers before, during, and after the event. BONUS: Use the code SERIAL100 to save an extra $100 on your registration.”


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.

Senior Software Engineer, Marketing
Chamblee, GA
Via Jason in the community
“PlayOn! Sports is looking for a Full-stack Engineer responsible for building and strengthening our Marketing Technology services in an agile environment. This position will contribute to tech stack development, API integrations, customer data management, and multi-channel personalization tactics while interacting with the Marketing, DevOps, QA and Product teams. This is an opportunity to join a dynamic team that enables marketing data activation for the most scalable streaming sports platform in the world.”

Senior Strategy Consultant
Via Kina in the community
“We’re Part and Sum, a collective of curious people who help our clients bring new ideas to market and then use data to grow them. As a Senior Strategy Consultant, you will join our team of talented strategists and growth marketers focused on developing marketing and product strategies that drive business outcomes. We ask that you bring your critical thinking skills along with a passion for collaboration, storytelling, and better customer experiences.”

Mid-Level Strategist
Via Kina in the community
“We’re Part and Sum, a collective of curious people who help our clients bring new ideas to market and then use data to grow them. As a Strategist, you will join our team of talented strategists and growth marketers focused on developing marketing and product strategies that drive business outcomes. We ask that you bring your critical thinking skills along with a passion for collaboration, storytelling, and better customer experiences.”

Segment Marketing Manager
United States
“The Segment Marketing Manager is responsible to manage and coordinate a wide range of activities in Laird Connectivity’s key target vertical market segments of Industrial and Medical.The role is the guiding force in driving forward Laird Connectivity’s market growth in these two key segments. The Segment Marketing Manager is responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies for the target segments, in support of all major product lines focused on System on Modules (SOM) and Wi-Fi connectivity, at a product level.”

Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board

Other job resources (see a full list here):

  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
  • Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.

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