Diary of a CMO

I have to make decisions daily about our marketing strategy and how we will achieve the goals we have set for the company. If you enjoy this post let me know I might make it a thread.

Make the right decision and glory awaits. The wrong decision could spell catastrophe. Someone asked me how I approach marketing decisions.

Setting the scene

Context is very important. The goal you are trying to achieve, your timescale to achieve this and your budget. There are a number of other factors depending on your company and your niche but I shall write mine based upon my niche and current example.

We are now doing high six-figure revenue. Our main goal is to get to £1M in revenue per year. That is what we have set ourselves as a target. We spend mid-six figures currently on our marketing when you calculate an agency who runs our PPC, the ad spend itself, a video editor we just hired, social media posts, design work and regular amends to the website to make sure our conversion rate stays high.

Clarity on your goal

In order to make decisions rapidly, I believe it is paramount to know your company goal for revenue (if that’s your marketing focus) and the data that confirms you are on the right path.

We have monthly sales targets. Sales staff are briefed on the number they need to hit for us to achieve our goal. This is the main figure we look at on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This revenue figure is called [THE GOAL].

Next, we need to look at inbound leads. We have a plethora of channels that feed our main CRM and push leads towards our sales team. Lead magnets, social media, advertising, email lists and more. We will be embarking upon more channels which I will document here and we will also be shedding some. That will be the subject of another post.

Stop being the technician

Until about 8 months ago I have always run our PPC. Largely because I know the business well and I had always run the PPC. After some evaluation, I realised this wasn’t the best use of my time. I could outsource this to a true PPC expert and reallocate my time and headspace to other endeavours and other marketing channels. I need to be overseeing the marketing as CMO not doing the marketing work. I had to move away from being the technician.

As a point of reference although I own PublishinPush.com I have always hired accountants, project managers, salespeople etc as soon as I could to ensure I could focus on my talent. Marketing. My role has always been that of the CMO and I use this as a guiding light to remain focused on where I add the most value. Sales is a skill where I excel equally to marketing but I couldn’t do both. I do still enjoy the odd sales call from time to time - can’t help myself.

You might be wondering at this point if I’ve deviated from my original point. I have a little bit, but the reason I mention this is to illustrate the following point. My goal is to get to the revenue target set [THE GOAL]. Handing over the reigns of the PPC has allowed me to strategise on our PPC but not be the technician. This decision has got us closer to our target revenue goal.


SEO - neglected

SEO is something we have neglected. We’ve always had so many lucrative streams of leads in the past that SEO fell by the wayside. It was naughty. No excuses we should have done more here. Enter PPC agency above. This is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make this month on marketing. After the PPC agency exceeded all my expectations I handed over the SEO campaign and asked them to do the same with this task. My expectations were high after the fantastic PPC results. Where did I go wrong and what were the decisions I made.

  • I knew they were great at PPC but I should have checked their SEO chops.

  • I didn’t keep a close enough eye on the SEO metrics.

  • Timescale - gave this too long a time scale for results.

  • Specificity. We should have gone deeper and picked smarter keywords.

  • We change some highly competitive terms.

  • We did get the technicals of the site in great shape.

  • We redesigned new landing pages and conversions are up.

As alluded to above I don’t put the blame on the agency entirely. There are things I could have done better when managing this part of our marketing plan to get to our goal. Some great things came from this process as well.

The decision. In this case, we terminated the SEO element of our contract. The strategy and team in this instance weren’t getting us the results we needed and it wasn’t happening fast enough. We gave it a good 6 months but that was too much time for the most goals located. [The Goal] was not being met so we move on and refocus.

[The Goal]

The decisions above were all made by looking to our north star aka [The Goal]. We are implementing some exciting new changes and focusing on some new channels over the next few months. I will share all these items in Diary of a CMO as we go along with the deep-dives on specific topics.