The Best 30-60-90 Day Plans for New Marketing Roles

Crucial CMO insights: Learn to prove brand investment ROI, navigate growth stages, and strike the perfect balance between performance and brand building.

Author
Updated on
December 22, 2023

Reporting to high-level executives such as a CEO, CMO, or VP of Marketing for the first time can be a significant step in your professional career. The tips you've mentioned are indeed valuable for navigating this new terrain. Let's delve a bit deeper into each of these points:

  1. Bring Up Problems with Proposed Solutions: When you approach a high-level executive with a problem, pairing it with a proposed solution demonstrates your problem-solving skills and proactive attitude. It shows that you're not just passing the problem up the chain, but you're also thinking critically about how to address it. This approach can help you stand out as a resourceful and solution-oriented team member.
  2. Be Transparent About Your Mistakes: Honesty and transparency are key when dealing with mistakes, especially those you're responsible for. Executives appreciate directness and accountability. By owning up to your errors, you're showing integrity and a commitment to improvement. Remember, everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has the courage to admit and learn from them.
  3. Explain Problems Without Making Excuses: There's a fine line between explaining and making excuses. When you explain a problem, focus on the factors that led to the issue and what you've learned from it. This shows that you're analyzing the situation and taking away valuable lessons. Excuses, on the other hand, tend to shift blame and avoid responsibility, which can be seen as a lack of accountability.

Overall, these guidelines are about demonstrating your ability to think critically, take responsibility, and be solution-focused. This approach can help you build trust and credibility with senior executives, an essential factor in your career growth and professional development. Remember, effective communication with higher management often involves clarity, brevity, and relevance, so always keep your interactions concise and to the point.

Silvia joined Docebo and in 30 days she reduced the paid search budget by roughly 40%. Chris Walker from Refine Labs is in agreement with her approach.

The critical role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in advocating for and justifying brand investment

Key responsibilities and challenges faced by the CMO

  1. Proving ROI of Brand Investment: The CMO must demonstrate how investing in the brand will bring in more revenue, both in the short and long term. This involves providing clear evidence and metrics.
  2. Presenting Early Signals and Metrics: Showcasing early indicators of success is vital for gaining trust and continued investment. The CMO needs to identify and track these signals.
  3. Understanding Opportunity Cost: It's important for the CMO to articulate what might be lost by not investing in the brand. This involves a strategic analysis of potential gains from other investments versus brand investment.
  4. Navigating Different Growth Stages: The strategy might differ between the initial growth phase (0-1) and subsequent scaling phases (1-N). In the early stage, the focus might be more on product and performance, but as the company scales, brand investment becomes crucial for sustained growth.
  5. Balancing Performance and Brand Growth: The CMO has to find the right balance between short-term performance marketing and long-term brand building. Both are essential, but their importance varies over time and depending on company goals.
  6. Taking Responsibility: Ultimately, it falls on the CMO to make a compelling case for brand investment and to take responsibility for the outcome. This may involve putting their job on the line to back their conviction in the brand's potential.
  7. Challenges in Proving Impact: Measuring the impact of brand investment is notoriously difficult due to its intangible nature and long-term payoff. However, this is a crucial part of the CMO's role.

In summary, while the CEO and CFO have roles in questioning and approving investments, the CMO is the key player in advocating for, justifying, and executing brand investment strategies. This requires a mix of strategic thinking, analytical skills, and the courage to back their convictions with tangible results.

The essence of effective marketers lies in their disruptive nature. They challenge norms, question traditional wisdom, and often defy the expectations of colleagues and superiors. Their commitment to excellence means they frequently say no, setting high standards for content and fiercely protecting their audience's interests. This proactive, protective approach extends to their team, shielding them from distractions to maintain focus on delivering high-quality, creative, and consistent marketing outputs. Having such individuals on a team is a boon, as they safeguard the brand's reputation for excellence.

Disproportionate investment in paid search over paid social

This is a prevalent issue within the B2B marketing landscape, where a disproportionate investment in paid search over paid social reflects a deeper strategic misalignment. This misallocation not only signifies a misunderstanding of the customer journey but also points to potential inefficiencies in demand generation and lead nurturing practices. The fixation on demand capture channels without adequately investing in demand creation or engagement strategies can indeed lead to diminished returns, especially in a B2B context where the sales cycle is typically longer and more complex. The remedy for this situation involves a multifaceted approach, addressing both strategic oversight and executional flaws.

Strategic Shifts Required

**1. Realigning Budget Allocation:** The first step is to reassess the marketing budget's allocation between paid search and paid social. While paid search can be effective for capturing existing demand, paid social is critical for creating demand and engaging with potential customers earlier in the buying journey. A more balanced approach can help in nurturing leads more effectively and building brand awareness, which is essential for long-term success.

**2. Embracing Content Marketing:** B2B companies need to invest in content marketing strategies that go beyond capturing email addresses. The focus should be on creating valuable content that addresses the pain points and needs of their target audience, fostering engagement, and establishing thought leadership in their industry.

**3. Leveraging Data and Insights:** Utilizing data analytics to understand what's working and what's not is crucial. This involves not just looking at lead generation numbers but also analyzing lead quality, engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Insights from these analyses can inform more targeted and effective marketing strategies.

Operational and Cultural Changes

**- Leadership Buy-In:** Achieving a strategic shift requires buy-in from the top down. The CMO, CEO, and other executives need to understand and support the shift towards a more balanced and integrated marketing approach.

**- Building a Competent Team:** Having the right team in place is critical. This includes not only marketers with expertise in both paid search and paid social but also data analysts and content creators who can drive and refine the strategy based on insights and performance.

**- Establishing Reliable Reporting and Analytics:** Effective marketing requires robust reporting and analytics capabilities. This means having the right tools and processes in place to measure performance across channels, understand customer behavior, and calculate ROI accurately.

Identifying Red Flags

When entering a new organization or evaluating the effectiveness of current marketing strategies, some red flags include:

- **Over-reliance on Paid Search:** Excessive spending on paid search with little to no investment in other channels can indicate a lack of understanding of the full customer journey.
- **Poor Quality or Generic Content:** Generic or low-engagement content, especially in paid social, suggests a lack of strategy and understanding of the target audience's needs.
- **Inadequate Lead Nurturing:** Leads that are collected but not effectively nurtured or followed up on point to a breakdown in the marketing and sales funnel.
- **Long Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Payback Periods:** Extended CAC payback periods, especially for single digital channels, indicate inefficiencies and the need for a strategic realignment.

Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that not only rebalances the marketing mix but also fosters a culture of innovation, data-driven decision-making, and customer-centricity. By focusing on creating value for potential customers and leveraging insights to refine strategies continually, B2B companies can create more sustainable and effective marketing ecosystems.

Human psychology and B2b Marketing

In the realm of B2B (Business-to-Business) sectors, while technology, methodologies, and business practices have evolved significantly over the last decade, the foundational principles underpinning successful B2B relationships and sales strategies have remained largely constant. These enduring principles reflect the immutable aspects of human psychology and the fundamental dynamics of business interactions. Let's explore each of these enduring principles in detail:

1. Emotions Sell, ROIs Justify

Despite the emphasis on data-driven decision-making and the analytical nature of B2B transactions, the role of emotions in influencing decisions cannot be overstated. Emotions are a powerful motivator in B2B sales, where the stakes are often high. Decisions are made not just on the basis of return on investment (ROI) but also on trust, confidence, and the emotional engagement a seller can create with a buyer. The rational justification for a purchase, often encapsulated in ROI calculations, usually comes after the emotional connection has been established.

2. Access to Power is Crucial

Gaining access to decision-makers has always been a critical element of B2B sales and marketing strategies. The ability to directly engage with those who have the authority to make purchasing decisions can significantly shorten the sales cycle and improve the chances of success. This principle underscores the importance of networking, relationship building, and leveraging connections to reach key stakeholders.

3. Relevancy Trumps Personalisation

While personalization has become a buzzword in marketing strategies, emphasizing the customization of messages and offerings to the individual needs of a client, the concept of relevancy remains paramount. In B2B transactions, it is crucial that the solutions and communications are not only personalized but also highly relevant to the specific challenges and goals of the business. Relevancy ensures that the proposed solution has a direct impact on the client's bottom line or strategic objectives.

4. Challenges (Emotional) > Features

B2B buyers are often more interested in solving pressing challenges than in the specific features of a product or service. Addressing these challenges, particularly the emotional aspects of these challenges, can be more persuasive than detailing the features of a solution. This approach requires a deep understanding of the client's business, their industry, and the specific pain points they are facing.

5. Referrals Have the Shortest Sales Cycle (Existing Trust)

The power of referrals in shortening the sales cycle is well-documented in B2B sectors. When a potential client is referred by a trusted source, much of the groundwork required to build trust and credibility has already been laid. This existing trust accelerates the sales process, as the referred client is more likely to be receptive and open to discussions.

6. If You Provide a Lot of Value, You Will Get the Sale Easier (Reciprocity)

The principle of reciprocity is powerful in human psychology and plays a significant role in B2B sales. By providing value upfront, whether through insightful content, helpful advice, or other means, businesses can create a sense of obligation or goodwill that predisposes clients to reciprocate. This can lead to more favorable sales outcomes and stronger business relationships.

7. You Have the Least Competition with Other Sellers by Cold-Calling (Still Hard to Do!)

Despite its challenges and the shift towards digital marketing strategies, cold-calling remains a viable method for reaching potential clients with whom you have no prior relationship. The effectiveness of cold-calling lies in its directness and the opportunity to cut through the noise of digital channels. While it's difficult and often requires resilience, cold-calling can enable sellers to engage potential clients who are not actively being targeted by competitors.

Human Psychology Does Not Change

The constant across all these enduring principles is the unchanging nature of human psychology. People's fundamental desires, fears, motivations, and ways of forming trust and making decisions remain stable over time. This constancy is why, despite changes in technology and methods, the core principles of B2B sales and marketing continue to revolve around understanding and addressing the psychological needs of buyers.

Understanding these timeless principles is crucial for B2B businesses aiming to refine their sales and marketing strategies. By focusing on the unchanging aspects of human behavior and business dynamics, companies can better navigate the evolving landscape of B2B commerce.

Communication Skills for CMO role

The emphasis on communication skills for C-level executives, particularly for those aspiring to roles like Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is indeed crucial. The ability to effectively communicate across different formats and settings—be it in-person, over Zoom, in video, or in writing, and both in group settings and one-on-one—is fundamental. This multifaceted communication skill set is not just a requisite for efficient internal operation but also serves as a cornerstone for external representation and customer engagement.

The Importance of Communication for Marketing Leaders

1. Controlling the Narrative and Demonstrating Value

Marketing, often being one of the most complex and misunderstood operations within a company, requires leaders who can clearly articulate the function's value, objectives, and achievements. This ability to control the narrative internally ensures that the broader organization understands and appreciates the marketing team's contributions beyond the traditional metrics of Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to Lifetime Value (LTV) ratios and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL).

2. The Role of Internal Communication

Your experience highlights the paramount importance of internal communication in advancing one’s career within marketing. This insight reflects a broader truth within most organizations, where the visibility and understanding of a department's work are as crucial as the work itself. Marketing leaders must thus excel in internal communication to showcase their team's impact effectively and align with the organization's goals.

3. The Challenge of Leadership in Marketing

Transitioning from an individual contributor to a leadership role involves a paradigm shift. Leadership entails not just a mastery of marketing techniques and strategies but also, and perhaps more importantly, the ability to inspire, manage, and communicate with a team. For those less inclined towards these aspects of the role, it indeed presents a significant challenge. Your perspective serves as a candid reminder that leadership, especially in marketing, is as much about people and communication as it is about strategy and execution.

4. The Underrated Marketing Channel: Internal Communication

Viewing internal communication as an "underrated marketing channel" offers a novel perspective on its value. By excelling in internal presentations and updates, marketing leaders not only gain practice in articulating their vision and achievements but also in refining their approach based on internal feedback. This practice directly benefits external communications with customers, as it ensures messages are honed and compelling.

To sum up, the path to becoming a CMO—or any C-level executive, for that matter—requires a profound commitment to developing exceptional communication skills. This involves not only the ability to share and clarify marketing initiatives within the company but also the skill to engage and inspire both the team and external stakeholders. The art of communication, as you rightly pointed out, is about ensuring understanding and engagement, with the ultimate goal of fostering a culture that recognizes and values the marketing function's integral role in the organization's success. Your insights offer a valuable roadmap for aspiring marketing leaders, emphasizing that while technical knowledge and strategic acumen are essential, the power of effective communication cannot be overstated.

Tools for CMOs by Emily Kramer

🛣 Routing & Schedule: RevenueHero, Default

💌 Outbound & prospecting: Clay

👨🚀  Personalization: Mutiny, Tofu

⛅ Tools called Daydream: Daydream (BI for GTM) and daydream (programmatic SEO)

🎁 Presentations: Tome, Beautiful.ai

💰 Sales enablement content: Letterdrop, Naro

📽 Video editing: Capsule, Descript

🎤 Events & podcasting: Goldcast, Riverside.fm

🚗  Automation: Zapier, n8n

🧠 No brainer recommendations: Just use Webflow & Hubspot!

Other Recommendations for a CMO

Audience research: SparkToro
Data visualization: Databox

Tool Name Purpose First Suggested by
Accelevents Hosting virtual conferences and events Jonathan Kazarian
Boop Hosting networking events Horacio Rodriguez Rilo
Captions AI video creator Sam Crowell Richard
Chili Piper Routing & schedule management tool Kyle F.
Circle Building community platforms for users or target audiences Gabrielle Dalvet
Clueso Video demos Rakesh Goyal
Creatopy Ad creation automation Alexa Cojanu
ElevenLabs Text-to-speech and voice cloning Charanyan Venkataraghavan
Framer Website/Landing Pages design Amit S.
Funnel Marketing data automation Thomas Frenkiel
Gamma Transforming presentations into documents or webpages Noah Stambovsky
HeyGen AI video generator Dave Carruthers
HowdyGo Creating interactive demos Anna Redbond
Hyperise Personalization in marketing Adam Goyette
InVideo AI video creation Noah Stambovsky
Kapwing Video editing Charanyan Venkataraghavan
Make (formerly Integromat) Automation platform replacing Zapier for some users Edward Wood
Miro Online collaborative whiteboarding platform Travis Wittenburg
Navattic Interactive product demo creation and lead generation tool Sue W. Chan
Octoparse Web scraping tool for data extraction Josh Collins
OpusClip AI video creation for social media Parker Miller
Rapha Recruiting tool for high-signal applicant screening Masoud A.
Rebrandly Secure link management for branding and sharing campaigns Carla Bourque
Relay Automation tool with a focus on design execution Wayne Robins
Superflow Creative asset review and collaboration Rakesh Goyal
Unito Work management tools integrator Josh Goldberg
UserEvidence Gathering and managing user feedback for marketing Gabrielle Dalvet
VEED.IO Social video creation Edward Wood
Vibe.co Self-serve TV ads on connected TV and streaming Philippe V.
Warmly Lead conversion through person-level intent data Josh Norris
Webflow Design and launch websites visually Allie Smith
Wistia Video hosting for businesses Charlie Riley
Workato Automating workflows across apps and systems Josh Norris

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