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Diary of a first-time CMO - Rebranding Cognism

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

Rebranding Cognism

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It took me three years before I decided to rebrand Cognism. I’m a firm believer in if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But it was broken. We were in a state of brand limbo.

Everything we did meant re-inventing the wheel. There was a lot of precious time and resources wasted and we were being slowed down a lot!

So I decided to push for a rebrand, but underneath the project scope was a whole lot more, it was about:

  • Defining our messaging, mission and positioning. More importantly, getting all the executives to align around one vision.
  • Re-writing all the copy on our website. Introducing new pages and removing redundant pages.
  • Re-creating website experiences and journeys. We had moved to a fully ungated model, but our website still required work to reflect this.
  • Consolidating our operational set-up from a forms and landing pages perspective. We went from 400+ forms down to 20.
  • Migrating our CMS code base to a truly scalable, self-serve drag-and-drop solution.

When thinking about doing a rebrand, you have to fully scope the project.

It will touch so many elements and you need to ensure that you can maximise the outcome by planning it properly to include as many of those critical items as possible.

One thing I’d recommend is keeping a laser focus on output during the process.

I kept my team very sheltered from distractions until the very end. I didn’t want any loss of output or any ‘we’ll wait until the rebrand’ rhetoric.

It’s precisely those things that give these types of projects such a bad rep.

Arguably I may have kept them too sheltered as when the time came for the final push, requiring a big team lift, there was some initial pushback.

I think that could have been avoided with a little more transparency during the process.

But I was determined that we’d never stop delivering. Nothing ever got blocked by the rebrand and as far as the company was concerned, one day the website was purple with lines and the next it wasn’t!

We also built a mini brand hub which enabled our organisation to easily access all the newly branded assets on the morning of the switch.

Tools like Seismic and Mailtastic enabled our email signatures and collateral to be centrally managed and updated, so the lift on individuals was very minimal and it was made as easy as possible to roll out.

A huge win for a seamless transition! 

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

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