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Diary of a first-time CMO - Switching gears

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

Switching gears

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If you’re hiring someone externally, you have to be aware of the fact that you’re likely bringing someone on board who has all the skills to execute the role - but almost zero understanding of your customer or business.

And unfortunately, what they’re lacking is what can make them hugely valuable to your organisation, and it can take them a considerable amount of time to get up to speed.

For certain roles, for example a website manager, that’s fine - they don’t need to know much about the ins and outs of who your ICP is.

But for other roles, that’s crucial information.

At the time when we made these hires, we simply didn’t have time at our disposal. We needed to do things quickly. I felt I could teach our internal hires the marketing piece much faster than I could teach all the nuances of our customer and product.

And it presented a great opportunity for us to live and breathe one of our core values which is to promote internally wherever possible.

And I’d 100% make this decision over again.

Our client sequence writer who we promoted to Product Marketer went onto become our Head of Product Marketing.

She’s become invaluable, her deep understanding of the product and our customers would make her a very difficult person to replace, should she ever choose to move on from Cognism.

The SDR who stepped into Performance Marketing stayed with us for the next two years, before then leaving to start his own business utilising the performance marketing skills he had learned, which is amazing.

And our CSM who became an SEO and Content Exec became one of the strongest SEO Execs we’ve ever had.

All three of these hires were hugely successful and each of them have gone on to further develop skills in the areas they were hired into. 

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

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