This post gives an inside view to this pressure-packed situation. Even without the pressure of a public offering, CMOs are indispensable. They constantly prepare to meet tomorrow’s buyer behavior and marketing demands. The demands for the CMO keeping pace with the market require constant recalibration. Here are a few questions that every CMO must answer just to stay in the job:
- How am I going to educate my customers and prospects on new products or solutions?
- How do I enable the sales force to sell the new product or solutions?
- Who are the new competitors for new product or solutions?
- How am I going to generate enough new leads to support 30% of the sales number?
- How am I going to generate content for the new product or solutions throughout the buying process?
Add in branding, digital media, social prospecting, collaboration solutions, etc. and you’re scratching the surface of your job. Now add taking the company public and you’re in the shoes of Doug Kuiper, CMO at Covisint.
Doug recently shared his Top 10 Marketing priorities with SBI. We have included his insight as part of our 7th annual research tour: “How to Make Your Number in 2014: A Sales Strategy You Can Execute.” Participate and learn what Doug and other forward-thinking executives are doing to make the number in 2014.
Doug’s priority list is specifically for the CMO preparing for an IPO. But they provide solid advice for any CMO, regardless of the current state of the business.
Doug currently leads Covisint’s B2B Global Marketing and Communications organization. He shared his Top 10 priorities with SBI. The following list of five is taken from the complete list available here.
5 Key Priorities
Here’s SBI’s insight into five of Doug’s priorities:
- Take advantage of the S1 – this is a unique opportunity to leverage the prospectus exercise and bring together a consolidated strategy. Some of SBI’s largest and more mature clients lack a consolidated sales, marketing and product strategy. The ability to communicate this internally provides the rails everyone on the team can rally around.
- Have the right sourcing model – balancing insourcing and outsourcing of marketing expertise allows you to have the best of both worlds. The ability to partner with the right agency provides speed and quality. Companies going public don’t typically have the luxury of a large marketing organization. The right balance allows you to be cost conscious with a high level of execution.
- Get your digital assets ready – This is the “failing to plan is planning to fail” approach. Preparing for what will happen after you go public is as important as planning to go public. The last thing a CMO wants is to launch with the inability to handle the traffic.
- Have visibility into the funnel and pipeline – Having a solid, high quality pipeline is essential, especially when going through the IPO process. It starts with great demand generation execution and continues with a solid lead management process. Rigid lead grading and scoring is a must and the role of the Lead Development Rep (LDR) never more important.
- Recognize the IPO as part of the journey – You have 2 full time jobs during the IPO process. One is preparing the company to go public and the other is making the number. You can’t take your eye off the ball of, “making the number” while you’re preparing for the IPO. It’s critical to show growth up to the IPO as well as continuing after.
Compare your best practices with Doug’s. Use the Comments section below to share what you discovered. Here’s Doug’s insight from five of his priorities:
- Take advantage of the S1 – your prospectus forces organizational agreement and alignment on your brand, its value propositions and business goals like nothing else in your career will. Use this unification on your message to your advantage.
- Have the right sourcing model – are you outsourcing PR? IR? Do you have an agency of record, or do you need one? Covisint used a hybrid approach that took advantage of existing internal competencies and found best-in-class partners for other activities.
- Get your digital assets ready – your web site and social media channels will see a unique spike in traffic in the first several days after your IPO. Make sure you celebrate the accomplishment by having a website and digital channels that are available and performing well.
- Have visibility into the funnel and pipeline – understand that outside interest in marketing performance and sales results will increase like never before. Focus on what matters to the top and bottom lines. A robust pipeline, steady stream of leads to sales and leading indicators that support quarter to quarter goal attainment.
- Recognize the IPO as part of the journey – once the haze clears and you begin to feel like a human being again, recognize that you still have a business to run, a pipeline to fill, business to close and customer wins to celebrate; the pace won’t ease, the focus will simply change.
Take the opportunity to learn more from Doug and your peers. If you have any questions or concerns contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll walk through the top 10 priority guidance and spend 30 minutes helping you create your own list.