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Diary of a first-time CMO - Experimental budget

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

Experimental budget

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This is where things get juicy.

33 entries into this diary, and we are finally making the move towards demand generation.

I remember a while ago, I was doing a podcast and my guest was talking about how they had an experimental budget that didn’t need to be tied back to revenue. It was simply a budget to test ideas with.

And I thought that was a brilliant idea. I had so many ideas for how I wanted to experiment with demand generation to get the ball rolling, so why not ask for an experimental line?

Turns out it wasn’t much of a fight to get it either.

Because we had just proven our predictable B2B marketing engine, hitting all of our revenue targets. The CFO and CEO had no problems giving me a budget of 5k to play with.

And I’d highly recommend any CMO ask for the same. As it was this budget that gave me the freedom to explore ideas, and find what DG tactics worked for us, and meant I had data to back up my decisions.

I was pretty bought into the whole demand generation idea by now, I just needed the time and budget to scale out how it would look at Cognism.

How could we create and deliver valuable, ungated, always-on content to our ideal customer persona? And would I continue to see an uplift in inbounds as a result? Would this increase bridge the gap that would be left by no longer running the content playbook?

I think the reason I found this budget so revolutionary was that I felt we had so many options. So many ideas. So many opportunities. How did we narrow down what we did next?

Well, this offered us a way to prioritise.

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

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