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Diary of a first-time CMO - Setting records

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

Setting records

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This was a big moment.

It was the point at which it was clear to me that we had successfully made the switch from lead generation to demand generation

Some of the key changes we made at this stage: 

Content that added real value to our audience

We delivered this by utilising and investing in subject matter experts to contribute to our content. We also ditched the pre-planned content calendar and shifted our focus to topics that were trending at the time.

Content optimised for consumption in the channel it was delivered

We shifted our focus away from trying to force actions on our audience and instead doubled down on producing content that could be consumed natively, with minimum friction, optimising for consumption rather than clicks and conversions.

Balancing delivery of thought leadership content with content about our product

It can be tempting when you pivot away from lead generation to over-index on thought leadership content and forget about building out and delivering your product content in the same ways.

We spent a lot of time focusing on building out persona-focused product content. This included things like workflow product tours, specific case study use cases talked to and shown by our customer success reps, FAQ objection handling videos and more.

We thoughtfully ungated our content

Creating long-form assets from the best of our gated content, and building out resources and website journeys that drove engagement and consumption of this content.

We found the channels on which our target audience spent time

We paid to distribute this content to them, optimising for in-feed consumption and engagement.

These are just some of the notable changes we made at this stage that had started to compound and drive these impressive results. 

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