My Appearance on the Exit 5 Podcast: Traits of a High-Performing CMO

Just a quick post to highlight a recent podcast appearance I did on the Exit Five podcast, which is produced by the Exit Five community for B2B marketers, led by veteran marketer Dave Gerhardt.

In the episode we touch on the following topics:

  • My background and career path and my positioning of such: 10 years a CMO, 10 years a CEO, and independent director at 10 companies.
  • The origin of Kellblog, which was originally called The MarkLogic CEO Blog, created so I could walk in the footsteps of my media customers.
  • My early experiment with ChatGPT, see the comments on the post for an example that a friend did to prompt it better.
  • What makes a great CMO?
  • How to be a great partner to sales.
  • How and why to become the dispassionate analyst. (Or anchor — I don’t make the news, I just tell you about it.)
  • How to be a great partner to CEO.
  • Why is it often hard to partner with sales? Misaligned incentives or more than that?
  • How and why to become Woodstein with the VP of Sales.
  • How to call out misalignment and what to do about it.
  • When in doubt, serve sales, not the CEO.
  • How to avoid finger-pointing at the stage 1 to stage 2 handoff.
  • The idea that marketing owns a lot of the high funnel, and rides shotgun on the low funnel — and can help on both.
  • How to present information, non-defensively, and without automatically providing reasons or fixes. (Instead just seek discussion on whether we think it’s a problem and how high a priority it is to fix it.)
  • The right answer to most marketing challenges is this: the one I agree to with the VP of sales. The idea being that you have 15 marketing tools in your bag to fix something and want to agree with sales on which ones to use, when.
  • The importance of benchmarking and metrics.
  • A reminder to use market research — for many reasons, but in particular to avoid navel-gazing.
  • Spend 5-10% on measurement to ensure effectiveness on the other 90-95% rule.
  • Why the CMO should develop a strong overall understanding of the business and its metrics.

The episode is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, and Castbox.

I thank Dave for having me. I think the episode turned out really well thanks to his thoughtful and informed questioning.

One response to “My Appearance on the Exit 5 Podcast: Traits of a High-Performing CMO

  1. Thanks for a really insightful interview – I love the “relative market share” idea and “making sales easy”. We will be putting these ideas to work in

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