Part 3: Top CMOs Share Their Uncuttable Demand Gen Budget Items

On Demand Gen Visionaries, we sit down with marketing leaders from some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies to uncover the demand gen strategies that have been fundamental to their skyrocketing success.

In each episode, we ask our guests which three areas of investment are most important to their demand gen initiatives. Tune in to this special mini-series to hear the budget items our CMO guests can’t live without.

While every CMO had their own unique "uncuttable" budget items, there were three that were consistently mentioned as top priorities:

Episode Quotes

“You still have to put money in Google AdWords and you still have to absolutely dominate the keywords in your category and your space. If someone were to cut my Google AdWords, I’d say we just lost our competitive moat and it can take a long time to earn that back.” -- Vidya Peters, CMO, Marqueta
“How do you add value to your prospect? What can you share with them that will be of insight to them? Have that be the central meat of your campaign and then figure out how to leverage that across as many viable channels as possible.”-- Leela Srinivasan, CMO, SurveyMonkey
“My philosophy is the ROI of everything. If you can't project what a return is, I'm not spending that dollar…Pre-COVID, I cut between a half million and a million dollars out of events because they were harder to measure and they didn't prove to deliver the ROI. When COVID hit and I put the brakes on in-person events, it took me about five seconds to redeploy those dollars into digital channels.” -- Grant Johnson, CMO, Emburse
“Customer stories is something I've been trying to invest in heavily…Nobody tells a story of what's possible with Matterport better than our customers. Investing in figuring out the right customer stories, promoting them across all our different channels, getting them into the press, getting them into media is really, really important for us, but it takes investment.” -- Robin Daniels, CMO, Matterport
“We've been very end-user centric in how we build out our product and who our ultimate consumers are. There are a lot of similar apps out there that focus on the person buying the software, not necessarily the person using it. What we realized is that when you focus on the end-user experience…they really become huge champions of your product.” -- Joanie Wang, Director of Marketing, Expensify
“The best way to figure out how you're doing from a measurement perspective is go into the campaign or the demand gen program with a clear set of objectives and outputs that you're looking to get…When we're developing campaigns, we always set up: what do we want the impact of this to be? How do we want to define that? And How do we want to measure it?” -- Rachel Thornton, SVP Marketing, Amazon Web Services
“Because of the fact that we don't really have live events where you would typically see conversations happening at a booth, [conversational marketing] has been a great addition to our full demand gen strategy and the tactics and channels that we're utilizing.”-- Esther Flammer, VP Demand Gen, Conga
“Ultimately I'm just going to sign the check for whatever my team says is good. That's my mentality: hire great people that you trust, and then if they say they need something, my job is to open the purse strings and advocate.” -- Marie Gassée, VP Growth, Confluent
“I think there's a lot more to be done using intent data and using AI and machine learning…As marketers, I think we’ve got a lot of opportunity if we can look at intent data--looking at intent data and not waiting, but seeing where people are raising their hands and where the interest already is…to help you figure out what's the next action to take or the next market to go after.” -- Lynne Capozzi, CMO, Acquia
“There's a big portion of my demand strategy that will change over time as the company evolves and changes. You have to be able to partner with not only sales, but the other functions within marketing in order to be effective. Think about demand over personalization, digitalization, and integration, and if those three themes carry through, you'll have a successful demand motion.”-- Len Fischer, SVP Demand Gen, Okta
“What it really comes down to is brand recognition. You want people to see your brand and think about your brand…a large portion of our PPC budget is really just billboarding. It's providing us a significant amount of brand recognition, which you need to do time and time and time again in order to really build a growth brand in the B2B space in a lot of the markets that we're in.” -- Dave Dabbah, CMO, CleverTap
“You can glean a lot of insight if you invest in data science. You can actually build a pretty complete picture of what the user is doing...so if you invest in really learning about your customer...and you iterate on it and become really good at it, it makes for much more sophisticated, targeted, high-ROI marketing.” -- Naman Khan, CMO, Zeplin

Ready to hear from more Demand Gen Visionaries? You can subscribe and find all episodes here.

Posted on
May 5, 2021
Crystal Reitmeir

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