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  • July 12, 2024 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen Here | From Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 405: Never Split the Difference: CMO Edition

    What if the secret to becoming an influential CMO lies in the tactics used by FBI hostage negotiators?

    In this essential episode, Drew Neisser welcomes Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator and author of “Never Split the Difference,” to share game-changing conflict resolution and negotiation strategies for B2B marketing leaders.

    By listening, you’ll learn how to:

    • Turn potential conflicts into collaborative problem-solving sessions
    • Use tactical empathy to align with stakeholders

    • Adapt your negotiation style to different personality types

    • Increase your emotional intelligence for more effective leadership

    • Techniques for managing stress and conflict in high-stake situations

    Voss reveals counterintuitive approaches to help CMOs transform the most challenging C-Suite conversations into collaborative wins. Whether you’re advocating for your marketing budget, aligning with sales on lead goals, or negotiating with external agencies, this episode offers invaluable lessons from one of the world’s top negotiation experts.

    Tune in!

    What You’ll Learn 

    • How to turn conflict into a collaborative problem-solving session  
    • Why tactical empathy is so important for conflict resolution
    • How to adapt your negotiation style to different personality types
    For full show notes and transcripts, visit
  • July 09, 2024 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “It’s so disheartening,” shared a 3x CMO, “I’ve never been a better candidate but keep coming up short.” In case you’ve been under a rock, it’s a brutal market for CMOs in transition. And unless interest rates drop, it’s likely to stay that way through 2024.

    There simply aren’t enough openings, especially in B2B, to meet the supply of highly effective CMOs. This situation is taking an emotional toll that decreases the chances of these otherwise talented professionals securing their next opportunity. It’s a vicious cycle. And while a healthier emotional state won’t create more roles, it along with the steps outlined below can make the process less painful.

    Reconnect With Your Strengths

    Step 1 requires calling a wide range of former colleagues and seeking candid feedback. Ask for brutal honesty on your strengths and shortcomings. Your listening tour will serve multiple purposes. You’ll be reminded of you at your best and where you found the most joy. You’ll know who you can count on for references. And you’ll draft some allies for your search. Don’t hesitate to call any of them. They know they are only one missed sales target away from being in your shoes.

    Join a Peer Group

    Do not go it alone. Knowing others are in the same situation is somewhat comforting but helping others (when you’re down) is uplifting. Your peer group needs to meet regularly with a defined process, set agendas, and homework assignments. When you prep someone for an interview or review their latest content, you’ll be reminded of your overall competency. And you’ll be grateful for the thoughtful feedback from a peer.

    Define Your Personal Brand

    Apply your strategic marketing skills to yourself. Write down your superpower(s) and other points of difference. Draft a personal manifesto that covers why you are in marketing in the first place and the impact you have at organizations. Write your draft and then discuss it with members of your peer group. If you use terms like data-driven and high-achieving, go deeper. You’ll know you have it right when it drives your content. [Ask me for the CMO Huddles personal branding worksheet.]

    Identify Your Top 25

    Employers are close–mindedly looking for 5x5 matches. The 5 areas are category, growth stage, target (enterprise, SMB), ownership structure (PE, VC, public, private), and physical location. Use that knowledge to your advantage by creating a list of 25 companies that align with your most recent experience(s) and current location. This list will drive your outbound marketing campaign (see next step).

    Execute Your Outbound

    This is a lot of work so pace yourself. It involves creating content, searching your network for possible introductions, and a touch of stalking. Think of each piece of content (like a written post on LinkedIn) as a “love letter” to one CEO on your Top 25. This post offers meaty advice to that CEO based on your unique category insights. If you have a LinkedIn connection with that CEO, ask them to share your post. If you don’t, start engaging (aka stalking) the CEO on LinkedIn or elsewhere. You can also try email, calling, and direct mail. 

    Hone Your Skills

    Many CMOs in transition are there for the first time. Any athlete or artist knows that their skills only stay sharp with constant and well-structured practice. Establish a rigorous interview prep process (ideally one that gets you to eye opening insights). Start tracking the questions you are asked and the answers you provide in interviews. Review those with a member of your peer group.

    Written by Drew Neisser

  • July 08, 2024 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen Here | From Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 404: CMO Search Success Stories

    What does it really take to secure a CMO position in today’s competitive landscape? Whether you’re actively job searching or want to be prepared for future opportunities, this episode is packed with actionable insights from two CMOs who recently landed coveted roles and the recruiter who helped place them: You’ll learn:
    • How to strategically approach your job search and stand out from the crowd

    • The importance of personal branding and articulating your unique value   
    • The value of networking with other CMOs
    • How to quantify your impact during interviews and presentations
    • Why culture fit matters and how to evaluate it during the interview process

    Don’t miss this candid conversation on navigating the CMO job market, leveraging your network, and positioning yourself for success in your next CMO role. Tune in!

    What You’ll Learn

    • Important steps in the CMO job search
    • How to build recruiter relationships  
    • How to find a great culture fit
    • How to stand out as a CMO today
    For full show notes and transcripts, visit
  • July 02, 2024 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Our CEO called me out for getting less done in year 2” recalled a CMO at a $2 billion software company, “and guess what, the CEO was right!” Thanks to an honest “kick in the butt,” this particular CMO enjoyed two more highly effective years at the company. While the “Year Two Blues” is a common affliction, getting a reprieve is not. As such, CMOs need to recognize the symptoms and take this prescribed course of action.

    But before we get there, let’s revel in a great Year One. With your “30/60/90” plan in hand on Day 1, you identified numerous quick wins (ask me for our list of these). These wins buy you the credibility and time you need to tackle the bigger strategic issues like messaging, brand, and the website. You upgraded your direct reports and provided the air cover they need to fend off inane time-sucking requests. You also built or rebuilt a demand-generation engine that is helping to meet or exceed revenue targets. Even your CFO recognizes Marketing’s impact, asking “What would happen if we gave you $X million more?”

    The Onset of Year Two Blues

    Year One was a ton of work and stressful. The good news is that you finally have the organizational connections, category understanding, and customer insights to make an even bigger difference. The bad news is that you are exhausted. Naturally, you and your team drift toward optimizing the good stuff you’ve built. Welcome to the Year Two Blues.

    Taking a Break to Recharge

    After confirming your accomplishments at the end of Year One, you tell your boss you’ll be back in 14 days. [NOTE: For those negotiating a new CMO role, bake a break into your contract.] Get some sleep. Exercise. Breathe. Pamper yourself. Seek inspiration. Read a book or four like “Impact Players.” Go to a conference. Visit a natural wonder. And wonder. Breathe. 

    Setting Audacious Goals

    Write down 3 audacious goals to review with your team, peers, and boss. Each of these audacious goals translates to one or more initiatives. Here’s a starter list of matched goals and initiatives that the CMOs of CMO Huddles have implemented with great success in Year Two:

    Customer Retention

    • Start or revamp your Customer Advisory Board
    • Establish executive sponsors for key customers
    • Elevate customer training & certification programs
    • Establish/build community via events
    Market Expansion
    • Initiate partnerships that provide a more robust solution for new verticals
    • Conduct research study that reframes your solution and generates massive PR
    • Write the book that positions your company in a new category
    • Develop a robust customer advocacy program that celebrates their success (i.e. testimonial videos, awards, special events, social sharing, etc)
    Employee Retention
    • Take over employee comms and make ‘em fun
    • Lead corporate-wide GenAI adoption
    • Create a certification program on new messaging and branding
    • Run employee innovation competitions
    • Involve employees in brand discovery research

    Written by Drew Neisser

  • June 28, 2024 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen Here | From Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 403: Partnerships: The Secret Weapon for B2B Growth

    As budgets tighten, partnerships emerge as a beacon for innovation and growth.

    In this electrifying episode, Drew Neisser sits down with Asher Matthew, co-founder and CEO of Partnership Leaders, to uncover the power of strategic partnerships in B2B marketing. Tune in to discover:

    • Why partnerships are a key growth lever for B2B organizations
    • The hidden “planning tax” that derails partnerships – and how to dodge it   
    • The three layers of effective partnerships: production, distribution, and consumption
    • The rise of the “Chief Partnership Officer” and what it means for your organization
    • Cutting-edge metrics to prove your partnerships are pulling their weight

    Asher shares invaluable insights on building high-quality, repeatable partnerships that drive real business results, using their strong partnership with HubSpot as an example. Learn how to leverage co-marketing, navigate relationships with larger partners, and create win-win scenarios that expand your reach and credibility.

    Whether you’re a CMO looking to stretch every marketing dollar or a partnership professional seeking to up your game, this episode is packed with actionable strategies to supercharge your B2B partnerships.

    What You’ll Learn

    • How to manage a successful B2B partnership
    • What a modern partnership professional looks like   
    • How to measure partnerships
    For full show notes and transcripts, visit
  • June 25, 2024 5:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “I got PE’d” shouted an agitated veteran CMO of a $420 million tech company.

    “Go on,” I said.

    “You know this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve got a proven process for connecting marketing to revenue and Marketing made its pipeline targets every quarter this year despite a 23% budget cut,” shared the CMO. “But that wasn’t enough for our PE firm, Sales missed their target by a few thousand, and then suddenly the axes came out, and now I’m on the street,” the CMO declared, “So, yeah, I got PE’d!,” they sighed.

    A Common Issue Among CMOs

    If this was an isolated incident I would have let it pass. But it’s not. I’ve heard a version of this story at least 5 times in the last 3 months from highly effective CMOs. From CMOs who’ve built measurable, scalable, and predictive revenue growth engines. From CMOs who have helped reposition their company after mergers in a way that resonated with employees, kept current customers, and attracted new ones despite the behind-the-scenes chaos of platform integration. From CMOs who have helped their companies grow 2x, 3x, and even 4x in one case.

    The PE Firm Dilemma

    I won’t try to get in the heads of the PE firms though I can’t help but wonder, “In what universe does relentless cutting of budgets and talent lead to growth?” I realize that not every PE firm takes a “slash and burn” approach but it sure seems to be the rule rather than the exception right now. [I hope to hear from some PE firms that have a more enlightened operating model.]

    Strategies for CMOs in PE-Owned Companies

    As an advisor to CMOs, this is a moment of reckoning especially for CMOs who work for PE-owned companies. Not that you ever got comfortable but it’s time to set your paranoia meter to 10:
    • If you haven’t already, track what is going on at the other portfolio companies.
    • Have an open line of communication with your fellow CMOs – take the lead and set up a WhatsApp group with them.
    • When cuts happen at another company, get the details, look for patterns, and play out how a similar cut would impact your business. And if something is working at one of your sister companies, test it for your business.

    Since you know efficiency is king, queen, and rook, make these moves before being asked:
    • Optimize your lead capture funnel. If you aren’t doing A/B testing on every aspect of your nurture stream, get on this. There are partners out there like Spiralyze who can run proof-of-concept tests on their nickel and only charge you if they deliver. 
    • Re-audit your tech stack and trim all but the measurable value creators. Put the onus on the vendor to prove their worth.

    Rebuilding Your Network

    No matter how hard you work and how successful you might think you are, the axe may still drop.
    • Rekindle old friendships with former colleagues and bosses.
    • Make new friends. Join a community [CMO Huddles comes to mind ].
    • When a recruiter calls, take it and introduce them to at least 5 high-quality candidates. If you don’t know 5, then reread this paragraph!

    Enhancing Your Personal Brand

    Stop ignoring your personal brand.
    • Get out there. Guest on podcasts.
    • Write provocative posts that reinforce your unique point of view.
    • Create a video series. This exposure will be good for you and deliver added PR value for your company [even if it is self-serving, it doesn’t have to look that way].

    Final Advice

    Finally, make sure the next company that hires you is owned by an enlightened PE firm.

    Written by Drew Neisser

  • June 21, 2024 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen Here | From Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 402: Captivating Content Experiences… That Convert!

    What does it take to craft a fully-fledged content experience that not only engages but also drives conversions? Tune in to this episode as 3 seasoned B2B CMOs reveal the secrets to transforming content into a powerful tool for connection and conversion:
    •  Warren Daniels (Bynder) reveals how leveraging content templating enables localized, relevant experiences that drive results, like increasing campaign recall by 32%
    •  Ellina Shinnick (HUB International) discusses orchestrating thematic, integrated campaigns that bring the brand's personality to life through creative, energetic content, and their “HUB Outlook” campaign.   
    •  Katrina Klier (Sage Strategy Group) introduces the "Source and Savor" model to maximize content efficiency and impact while boosting resonance.

    Uncover strategies to:

    • Balance brand storytelling with performance marketing tactics
    • Leverage research to redefine problems in a compelling, ownable way   
    • Measure content engagement to prioritize what resonates (and what to retire)
    • Capitalize on AI's potential as an indispensable content team member
    • And more!

    Whether you're a content marketer or senior leader, this insightful episode is packed with actionable tips to elevate your content experience game. Don't miss out!

    What You’ll Learn

    • How 3 CMOs are building full content experiences
    • How to balance performance marketing and brand   
    • How to assess and adapt your content plan
    For full show notes and transcripts, visit
  • June 18, 2024 4:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The CMO-CFO Tension: A Real-Life Scenario

    “Our CFO wants us to report on every lead, even the bots” exclaimed a frustrated CMO at a $75 million tech company that targets enterprises. “At least your CFO is looking at the impact of marketing,” shared another CMO, “ours just looks at our total budget with an eye on cutting it.” And so the conversation continued exposing yet another challenge-fraught executive relationship for CMOs.

    Shifting Focus: Leads to Sales Qualified Opportunities

    Let’s start with our micro-managing CFO. Why is she asking about leads in the first place? Most of the B2B CMOs that I speak with stopped reporting on leads several years ago. Instead, their focus is further down the funnel, past Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Opportunities (SQOs) also known as “pipeline.” Leads are just noise. Leads are typically a single contact that might someday represent an opportunity. Someday. Maybe.

    Pitfalls of the Cost-Per-Lead Metric

    Another problem with reporting on leads is that our micro-managing CFO will likely ask for the cost-per-lead (CPL) by marketing channel. CPL is perhaps the worst metric ever for CMOs targeting enterprise customers. Low-cost leads are rarely low-cost opportunities. Shifting spending into low-CPLs channels almost always results in lots of chaff and little wheat. Chaff that wastes time and energy as brand development reps try to transform limited buying intent into a full-blown opportunity.

    Educating CFOs: Marketing as an Investment

    As for the CFO who sees marketing as an expense versus an investment, here you have a classic challenge for the CMO. How do you educate peers on the fundamentals of marketing without being condescending? The answer? Start by appealing to their egos. Ask them to educate you on how the organization makes money. Become a student of finance. Ask how they see the business growing and where they see the most return on capital expenditures. Learn the language of finance. And then capitalize on it.

    Educating CFOs: Marketing as an Investment

    Heidi Bullock, a veteran CMO, currently at Tealium, describes her marketing budget as a “stock portfolio that delivers an overall ROI.” “Some stocks perform better at different times,” she explains, focusing executive eyes on the big prize rather than individual marketing efforts. By using the language of investors, Bullock makes it easier for the executive team to “get it.”

    Kathie Johnson, another veteran CMO, now at Sitecore, crafts a yearly “pipeline playbook” that ensures every metric is clearly defined and associated with the ultimate goal – revenue. Rest assured, CFOs understand revenue even if they don’t (initially) understand how marketing drives it. Johnson’s effort to define metrics upfront is worth repeating. Even if you’re forced to track leads, it’s essential to write down what is and isn’t a lead, and what is and isn’t an opportunity, and get a definitional agreement first with your CRO and then your CFO.

    How are you explaining marketing to your CFO?

    Written by Drew Neisser

  • June 14, 2024 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen Here | From Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 401: Cultivating Champions: The Impact Player’s Playbook

    CMOs face immense pressure to drive growth and deliver results, often with limited resources. To succeed, they need laser focus, courage, and a formidable team. Enter, the impact player.

    In this riveting episode, Liz Wiseman offers deep insights from her popular book, Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact. Tune in as Liz details the five key practices that differentiate impact players from ordinary contributors, discussing how CMOs can amplify their own impact, while nurturing high-caliber talent.

    Get ready to propel your team’s effectiveness, outpace the competition, and enhance your leadership. This is a masterclass for anyone aiming to uncover the latent potential within their existing team or to assemble a new powerhouse of top performers. Don’t miss it!

    What You’ll Learn 

    • The difference between an ordinary contributor and impact player  
    • The common qualities of impact players
    • How to build a team of impact players
    For full show notes and transcripts, visit
  • June 11, 2024 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “I can never use the words ‘brand’ or ‘brand awareness’ with other execs” lamented a CMO at a $125 million SaaS company. Then another SaaS CMO shared, “It’s the same thing at our company, ‘brand-spend’ is considered the fluffy stuff that doesn’t drive revenue.” These are not isolated incidents.

    You could visit hundreds of marketing departments from San Franciso to San Jose and never actually hear the word “brand.” It’s not that tech marketing leaders don’t believe in brand, it’s just that most have to disguise their efforts. Allow me to offer a theory on how we got here.

    Many CMOs now divide their marketing budgets and departments into Revenue Marketing or Performance Marketing and everything else. An innocent word choice, right? Who doesn’t want marketing that is focused on revenue or performance? Certainly, CEOs, CFOs, CROs, and investors all seek more revenue. So far, so good.

    But what does that mean for the rest of your marketing department? That they aren’t working to drive revenue or improve performance. That they are doing the “fluffy stuff.”

    When I press CMOs on this they explain their Revenue/Performance teams are focused on deploying direct response vehicles (i.e. paid search, content syndication, webinars, etc.), capturing leads, and nurturing these leads into opportunities and ultimately, pipeline. They do this with a lot of technology, constantly testing and optimizing. When it’s working, it’s measurable and even scalable. The outcome is fine. It’s the word choice that’s problematic.

    Why not just call this part of your marketing “demand capture?” Because that’s really what’s happening. Buyers already in the market for your product or service are metaphorically raising their hands and saying, “It’s okay for you to engage with me about your service.”

    As for the 95% who aren’t even thinking about your product or category? What about them? What are you doing to generate interest? To help them recognize a problem they didn’t know they had? To get them to see that the gain of change is worth the pain of change? Or just to generate awareness of your service before the salesperson calls? Or to differentiate your offering from your competitors? What are you going to call that kind of marketing?

    One simple solution for those fearful of sounding fluffy is to call the rest of your budget “demand creation.” That’s what you’re doing. Hopefully. Now, both parts of your budget focus on demand (generating it and capturing it). This opens the door for you to put the MARKET back in MARKETING. And creating markets is the domain of great CMOs.

    Word choice matters - especially for budget components. If “brand” is a dirty word at your org, leave that fight to the pundits. Just don’t create a trap for yourself by designating one part of your budget as revenue-related. The reality is that the components of your budget work together, like instruments in an orchestra, often intertwined and inseparable.

    Written by Drew Neisser

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