2 min read

Link: Johnathan Dane on New CMO Strategy

If I was hired as a CMO at a $5M+ B2B SaaS, here’s exactly what I’d do (based on lessons from managing $500M in ad spend across 200+ clients at KlientBoost):

Let’s start with things I’d skip…

👎🏻 Convince everyone we should create a new category

👎🏻 Waste $100,000 and 6 months on a website redesign

👎🏻 Create a wild brand campaign to show how creative I am

👎🏻 Introduce a new channel, because why not

👎🏻 Push my CEO to post on LinkedIn or start a podcast

👎🏻 A/B test homepage and ad headlines

👎🏻 Hire 15 people so I can ‘focus on strategy’

Instead, I would first establish a solid foundation (so I can do the fun stuff later):

1️⃣ Chat & align with the CEO + CFO as fast as possible 💬 I want to understand how risk tolerant they are and what their view of marketing is. Am I dealing with a CEO who truly doesn’t get marketing, or have they been burnt by bad marketers in the past and are risk-averse because of that?

And has any marketer from the past actually spoken the language of the CEO and CFO (the language of "revenue" 💰💰💰)? AND most importantly, gotten them to believe too? The main insight I’m looking for is: how can I bring them some big wins as soon as possible in order to earn their trust?

2️⃣ Deliver a few quick wins with immediate revenue impact ⚡️

Most of the time, you can squeeze 20-40% revenue impact just by optimizing existing efforts.

You’ll most likely find this low-hanging fruit around paid search, CRO, and paid social retargeting. Just don’t expect impact from A/B testing copy and design, it’s usually the offer (positioning + messaging + ICP) that actually moves the needle.

Now on to the next thing...

3️⃣ Gather QUALITATIVE intel to inform my next move 🪄

Next, I’d talk with 10 best and 10 worst customers, identify the commonalities and differentiators, and start building my hypothesis on what market segments we should focus on initially.

I also wanna know what matters most to them. Then do more qualitative research with these segments, like message testing with Wynter, until I find the winning formula for my next move…

4️⃣ Go back to CEO & CFO and ask for more 💰

Once I’ve got a few quick wins in my bag, I would go back to the CEO and CFO and ask them for more trust. I would spell out what that "trust" means and I would introduce them to new leading indicators we'd focus on, on our way to a slower, longer term revenue impact.

Now I’m finally ready to start doing more of wild things:

5️⃣ Start making big bets 🚀

We can finally get wild. I’d slowly start building big bets hypotheses like introducing new channels to the mix, targeting new market segments, moving more resources into long-term brand building, etc.

This is the stuff us marketers get excited about, but you first gotta earn the right to do this. #


Yoooo, this is a quick note on a link that made me go, WTF? Find all past links here.