Skip to content

Diary of a first-time CMO - Let’s get it live

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

Let’s get it live

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

WIP = no value added, ties very closely to my other favourite mantra of ‘done is better than perfect’.

As marketers, we are notoriously good at ‘busy work’. As an action biassed marketer, it has been one of the biggest challenges to build the mechanisms and processes for my team, enabling them to output and consistently be adding value.

We started using Trello and weekly sprints and we have scaled this up to Asana and weekly sprints.

The ‘how’ is not the most important part of this; Google sheets and Slack could work just as well. The main thing is creating an environment where output is valued over anything else.

During our weekly sprint meetings, we’ll look at our core metrics and KPIs we’re driving towards. Also looking at results from various campaigns and how our new ideas could influence or fit into all of the above.

Generally, it’s pretty obvious to us where our next steps should be. As an example…

We recently launched what we’ve called ‘influencer ads’ on LinkedIn paid social.

Basically, we’re taking screenshots of a post I might have put out on my organic LinkedIn profile, creating an ad from it - and then promoting it.

And we’ve seen amazing results from this in terms of CTR and number of visitors to the website. Compared to our other ads, they skyrocketed.

We decided to test out this approach because we want to engage as much as we can with people in-feed, and our organic posts were performing much better than our ads. We also felt this would be a great way to get more information in front of our target audience.

From this, we decided our next best step would be to test a bespoke retargeting funnel for those people who have seen our influencer ad, in an attempt to create an aligned, personalised journey.

If we don’t see an uplift in results after testing this method in the coming couple of weeks, then we wouldn’t continue it and we’d choose something else to test instead.

We’re not going to worry about the problems around scaling it until we know it’s something that works. Because getting it live and executing something is better than doing nothing.

We also have an ideas board where we add in all the things we want to test out. If we don’t have an experiment on the horizon that’s come out of something we’re working on, like in the example above, we’ll take something out of the ideas board.

Choosing from these is a bet, you have to follow your gut a bit and choose one you think is going to have the biggest impact and prioritise based on that. A bit more of an art than a science.

We’d ask ourselves questions like:

  • Would it impact revenue if it worked?
  • How much effort is involved?
  • How long would it take?
  • What possible outcome/impact could it have?

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you set your plan at the beginning of the quarter, you need to factor in the flexibility, time and resources to work on these experiments.

There will always be ways in which you can change, improve and expand the things you’re working on.

If you stick to the plan and only the plan, you miss out on so much of the vital learning that can really generate revenue.

Some of the best stuff we’ve ever done has come out of experiments and remaining agile. 

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