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Diary of a first-time CMO - Tie yourself to revenue

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

Tie yourself to revenue

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I think historically, marketers - myself included - have tried to avoid tying themselves to a revenue target. Or anything we feel we can’t directly influence, for that matter.

I guess because if we feel we don’t have complete control over it, then why would we sign up to be responsible for it?

However, when I did take the leap and started setting goals and KPIs against revenue, everything else became a lot easier. Weirdly, the fear of missing target reduced.

I felt like suddenly I had more freedom to test out the tactics I’d been dying to try that weren’t directly measurable - because as long as they drive the end result, i.e. revenue generation, then that’s all that matters.

I think you only get that freedom by signing up to a revenue target.

And thankfully, we’ve been able to hit target for the past 3+ years, proving that all the compounding activities have made a difference. And during that time our confidence has grown too.

But even if you did miss a month - as long as there’s an upward trend across a six-month period, you can see it’s having a positive effect.

So if any marketers out there reading this haven’t committed to a revenue target - yeah, there’s pressure, but it gives you so much more flexibility in the long run. Take it as an opportunity to experiment!

Another benefit is you’re taken so much more seriously when speaking to the exec team. You get your seat at the table because they care about revenue. And when you’re driving revenue, they’re going to pay attention.

Especially if you’re framing all your conversations around how your work will impact revenue. You’re far more likely to get the budget and resources you’re asking for if you’re able to tie it back to dollar amounts which ultimately is what drives the business.

One of the main messages I’d like to get across here is not to allow yourself to be persuaded away from a revenue target because of fear or outdated beliefs on what B2B marketing should be measured on.

There are so many more doors that it can open for you as a marketing leader, and they really do outweigh the negatives.

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