Skip to content

Diary of a first-time CMO - CMO stands for Change Means Opportunities

Hey B2B marketers 👋

Here it is. Four years, $50m+ ARR and 200 pages later… My journey as a first-time CMO.

Covering the key learnings I've gathered in four years of leadership. This diary reveals the lessons that helped me scale Cognism from $3m to $50m ARR, build a team from 3 to 39, and transform our set-up from a classic lead gen function to a demand gen engine.

It’s my handbook for B2B marketers looking to thrive in leadership. (especially if you’re as daunted as I was when I started out!)

Diary of a first-time CMO by Alice De Courcy
By: Alice de Courcy
1 minute read

CMO stands for 'Change Means Opportunities'

Apple-Podcasts-1-1 google-podcasts-badge-1-1-1 SPOTIFY-1

Even before this conversation with Chris Walker, we never really measured the success of any long-form content based on the number of MQLs it generated.

Instead, we’d focus on the number of MQLs that converted into SQOs.

We found that measuring this helped us to understand how easy it was for our SDRs to have conversations with people who had downloaded content.

We always wanted to focus on the quality of the content. I guess that’s why it wasn’t that big of a jump in mindset to consider demand generation.

But at this stage, while I was definitely thinking about it, we hadn’t made the switch over to a demand generation model yet.

That’s what I’m referring to when I mention ‘moving chips towards brand’, as it was us really starting to look at how we could experiment with how demand generation could work for us.

One of the first things I did in this process was to ask our CEO for a 5k budget that I could use to experiment activating a DG playbook with.

For example, we ungated some of our best-performing content and ran it in an ungated way on paid social. And at the same time, I was looking to see if I could find a correlation between the spend on ungated content ads and direct inbounds increasing month over month.

We ran this experiment for about four months, and every month, the number of inbounds we had were increasing in line with our DG activity. I knew there was something in this.

I think one important thing to remember when you’re a CMO is you have to be open to change. I would never have made the move to what’s become a really successful mindset shift if I weren’t open to the idea of change.

In all honesty, I don’t think anyone could work at Cognism unless you were open to the idea of change because things move so quickly around here.

And to go wider still, if you’re going to be good at marketing - then you need to accept that the world of marketing is ever-evolving.

To be successful, you have to be willing to experiment and consider making changes. Quickly too - if you want to have a first-mover advantage rather than copying what everyone else is doing.

I love ideas. I love experiments. I embrace change. And I really hope that’s something I’ve built into the DNA of my team. 

Want to keep up with Alice's latest CMO advice?

Get "In The Loop"

B2B marketing
The Loop Digest
B2B marketing
The Loop Live
B2B marketing
Revenue Champions Podcast