24 Top CMOs Share Their Uncuttable Demand Gen Budget Items

As we head into 2021, we know every marketer is asking themselves…

“What areas are my marketing peers investing in?”

“Where should I focus my efforts for the biggest impact?”

Every week, we sit down with marketing leaders from some of the world’s fastest-growing companies on the Demand Gen Visionaries podcast to uncover the demand gen strategies that have been fundamental to their skyrocketing success. During each of these conversations, we ask our guests what their three most “uncuttable” budget items are. 

We compiled the responses from all of our guests into a list highlighting their most impactful marketing strategies. Check out the complete list, or tune in to the special two-part podcast episode.

The CMO Panel

B2B CMOs Share Their Uncuttable Budget Items on the Demand Gen Visionaries Podcast

Where are CMOs investing?

They’re building highly-relevant content to break through the noise

Content is the most frequently-mentioned area of investment amongst the CMOs we speak with. Broad, generic market awareness motions aren’t effective at capturing the attention of today’s time-starved B2B buyers. 

While targeting strategies vary—some CMOs adopt an industry vertical approach, while others focus exclusively on company revenue and size—everyone agrees that producing content tailored to their ideal customer profile (ICP) helps boost relevance and increase sales velocity.

Not only are CMOs making a big push to produce curated content, but they’re also investing in intelligent ways to distribute the content. SEO still remains a top-mentioned area of focus, but LinkedIn is becoming a popular content channel as well. Many CMOs are also thinking strategically about how this content aligns to their account-based engagement motions.

They’re still producing events, they just look different

Events have historically been a major demand gen engine for the CMOs we speak with. Naturally, life in the midst of a pandemic has drastically changed this, but events have far from ground to a halt.

Many CMOs have quickly pivoted to webinars as a scaled events approach, though they frequently echo that these have not proven productive for the deeper relationship building and networking benefits of traditional in-person events.

To help achieve this, some CMOs mentioned early success with smaller, intimate virtual events. These generally involve an immersive, ice-breaker experience—such as a wine tasting or cooking class—and then include thought leadership discussions.

They’re advancing website strategies to deliver personalized, real-time engagement

CMOs universally agree that their website is the front door in the buyer experience. The window of opportunity to capture a prospect’s attention is getting smaller and smaller, yet buyers have much higher expectations for receiving a personalized experience.

While producing content that’s highly relevant to high-value prospects is a top priority for CMOs, they’re also finding creative ways to create personalized experiences within the website. Many CMOs have launched conversational marketing strategies, such as live chat and chatbots, to deliver 1-1 buyer experiences that quickly engage buyers while their interest is piqued.

Some CMOs are even looking to intent and signal tracking capabilities to surface and engage with active buyers, particularly those that choose to remain anonymous deep into their buying journey. We expect to see a lot of advancement in this area over the next year.

What are the top 10 demand gen budget items?

The following were the most commonly-mentioned demand gen budget items amongst the group of CMOs we spoke with:

  1. Content
  2. Events/virtual events
  3. Website
  4. Personalized experiences
  5. SEO & SEM
  6. Intent/signals
  7. PR/Brand
  8. Operations/analytics
  9. Free trial
  10. Direct mail

CMO Spotlights

Curious to know what each marketing leader highlighted as their most “uncuttable” demand gen budget items? Read on for their individual spotlights!

1. Scott Holden, CMO, Thoughtspot

Listen to Scott’s full episode

2. Sara Varni, CMO, Twilio

Listen to Sara’s full episode

3. Nate Skinner, SVP, Global Marketing for CX, Oracle

Listen to Nate’s full episode

4. Corinne Sklar, CMO, IBM iX

Listen to Corinne’s full episode

5. Ryan Bonnici, CMO, G2

Listen to Ryan’s full episode

6. Mike Marcellin, CMO, Juniper Networks

Listen to Mike’s full episode

7. Tracy Eiler, Former CMO, InsideView

Listen to Tracy’s full episode

8. Latane Conant, CMO, 6sense

Listen to Latane’s full episode

9. Tom Butta, CMO, SignalFX (now Splunk)

Listen to Tom’s full episode

10. Julie Liegl, CMO, Slack

Listen to Julie’s full episode

11. Dave King, CMO, Asana

Listen to Dave’s full episode

12. Melton Littlepage, SVP Marketing, Tenable

Listen to Melton’s full episode

13. Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO, Coupa

Listen to Chandar’s full episode

14. Udi Ledergor, CMO, Gong

Listen to Udi’s full episode

15. Heidi Melin, CMO, Workfront (Adobe)

Listen to Heidi’s full episode

16. Jamie Grenney, CMO, OwnBackup

Listen to Jamie’s full episode

17. Adam Blitzer, EVP and GM of Digital, Salesforce

Listen to Adam’s full episode

18. Michael King, Cloud Marketing, VMware

Listen to Michael’s full episode

19. Lauren Vaccerello, CMO, Talend

Listen to Lauren’s full episode

20. Jen Dimas, CMO, Gigster

Listen to Jen’s full episode

21. Kyle Christensen, VP Marketing, Zuora

Listen to Kyle’s full episode

22. Suku Krishnaraj Chettiar, CMO, Sumo Logic

Listen to Suku’s full episode

23. Sarah Kennedy, VP of Global Growth & Demand, Google Cloud

Listen to Sarah’s full episode

24. Kraig Swensrud, Founder & CMO, Qualified

Posted on
December 14, 2020
Megan Guy

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