Skip to content

Diary of a first-time CMO - Dream team

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

Dream team

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

Paid marketing is so integral to the Cognism demand generation strategy that it’s not something that we can outsource.

That being said, it can be very difficult to find the right sort of paid marketer to run this well, especially at the size of budgets and account complexity we now have at Cognism.

We split out paid into capture demand and create demand.

One of the problems we encountered was that while interviewing candidates for the role, we soon learned that most were only focused on, or only had experience in capture, not create.

To add the cherry on the cake, most of them only look at in-platform metrics as a measure of success.

Very few will be optimising their paid activity for revenue generation, and be as well versed with CRM reporting as they are at in platform reporting.

I found myself having to dig a little further into candidates’ experience with:

  • Setting up accounts.
  • How they’d go about structuring data from paid platforms.
  • How they’d use UTMs for reporting within the CRM.
  • What reports and dashboards they use.

Generally, most could manage in-platform performance tracking, budget tracking and pacing through a G sheet. They could also talk through in-platform optimisations based on MQL KPIs.

Very few, however, were able to answer the question of how best to track the impact of ungated content campaigns on revenue. Nor how to optimise and develop a playbook for these types of ‘create demand’ plays on paid social.

Even fewer still will have the ability to give budget recommendations around the split between create and capture demand activities, or be able to provide these per platform.

These are the unicorn paid marketers, they are the ones that are worth hiring.

It has taken me 2 years to replace our last one and in that time, we enlisted the help of the only agency I could trust with regard to running our demand playbook, Refine Labs.

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