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Diary of a first-time CMO - Minimal viable product

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

Minimal viable product

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While I wish I could say I’d come up with this philosophy myself, this was one I’d learned in a previous role working in an early-stage startup.

The product team operated a very lean, MVP-first approach and I had very minimal resources to work with. So I’d adopted this way of thinking and found it to be a useful approach to getting things done and start learning quickly.

So when it came to experimenting at Cognism, I followed this same philosophy.

For example, in the old lead gen days, before creating a long-form content asset I would often launch an early bird sign-up landing page to see how much traction and demand there was for the asset.

It was a great way to validate the topic and idea before investing weeks in writing and creating it.

Otherwise, you could end up wasting a whole lot of time and effort working on something that no one was interested in to start with.

Another example that springs to mind was when we were creating a tool for our ROI calculator.

We started with a simple Excel doc.

Once we knew people were using it, we could validate the use case. Plus, we then had some UX feedback we could work with to make it a tool people would find valuable.

That was our signal to invest in building a more robust tool to serve the need.

As I’ve said before in this diary, it’s better to create problems for yourself than to never try.

So just think about what your MVP could look like. What’s the minimal test you can run to prove your theory? Then worry about scaling that later.

I used this same logic when producing this diary. As you can see in the LinkedIn post below, I asked how people would most enjoy consuming a piece of content like this - as you can see, it’s pretty long..!

The reception was really encouraging and served as validation for our ideas on how we would activate the asset when we launched it.

It gave us a lot of confidence to continue to invest time and resources in creating a robust plan for the diary’s distribution. 

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

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