Learnings from our CMO dinner

I wrote about the landscape of marketing tech that has evolved and how marketers have a hard job of finding something that works and makes them more efficient.

Last week we got together a bunch of smart CMOs around a dinner table— to ask them what their real problems and needs are. What can they have today that would really 10x their productivity? And we also asked them to share their own hacks with others. Below are some of our findings / topics from the discussion. Feel free to share your hacks!

(Left to Right) Row 1 — Padma Rao(Zynga, Sephora), Juney Ham(Hired), Katie Jansen(AppLovin’), Kiran Malhotra(Fenwick & West), Row 2 — Mada Seghete(Branch Metrics), Ed King(Openprise), Mary Beth Smith(SFBallet), Fabien-Pierre Nicolas(App Annie), Row 3 — Sunil Rajaraman(Scripted, Replicon), Sean Harris(Eero), Anna-Christina Douglas (Yahoo, Dropbox), Jessica Pfeifer(Wootric), Row 4 — Shruti Gandhi(Array Ventures), Dave Hawley(Dynamic Signal), Dawn Poulos(Mattermark), Paul Rosenfeld(Honeybook)

Data-driven in Marketing:

  1. Confirmation Bias — Data driven marketing can easily be misused to justify preconceived conclusions. Bias and cope needs to be carefully considered to ensure the data tells an unbiased story.
  2. There are aspects of marketing, such as data from live event engagement, that are difficult to capture today. Marketers need to factor that into models like attribution models.

Scaling Marketing Teams:

  1. Companies that sell to different audiences have to find ways to split marketing teams somehow. For example, B2B vs B2C, SMB vs Enterprise. This is difficult for smaller companies if they are focused on multiple customer size.
  2. CMO organization is definitely getting more technical and willing to gets their hands dirty. Often they also work with engineers closely and depending on the organization they are referred to “growth teams”. Hiring technical marketers can challenge growth of the organization.

Tools and Process:

  1. Marketing teams want communication and integration with dev teams. They are looking to leverage same tools (such as Asana, Jira, etc.) for their teams as the dev team to be integrated into their workflow.
  2. Tech Marketers often think of “brand” as marcom. Classically trained (aka P&G school) marketers have a much broader scope of the brand, which encompasses every aspect of the business line, including the product and the community.
  3. Influencer Marketing — Tech firms are leveraging influencer marketing techniques. According to Wikipedia — “It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.” Tracking ROI for these campaigns and influencer participation can be challenging and require tools that can help track this process better.

We had quite a productive dinner and we will definitely continue to have these conversations beyond the evening!

*Thank you Padma Rao(Zynga, Sephora), Juney Ham(Hired), Katie Jansen(AppLovin’), Mada Seghete(Branch Metrics), Ed King(Openprise), Mary Beth Smith(SFBallet), Fabien-Pierre Nicolas(App Annie), Sunil Rajaraman(Scripted, Replicon), Sean Harris(Eero), Anna-Christina Douglas (Yahoo, Dropbox), Jessica Pfeifer(Wootric), Dave Hawley(Dynamic Signal), Dawn Poulos(Mattermark), Paul Rosenfeld(Honeybook) for your time, insights, and participation!

**Thank you Kiran Malhotra at Fenwick & West for sponsoring our engaging conversation!