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A CMO’s Secret Ingredient for Driving Change

I’ve thought a lot about a certain ingredient that has played a crucial role in growing Allocadia to where we are today. It has helped bring customers on-board, change people’s minds, and bring key hires to our team. In other words: it has helped us accomplish our big goals. When my co-founder (and sister) and I started Allocadia, it was just the two of us sketching mockups at a coffee shop. Against all odds, momentum helped us make this company grow.

Similarly, CMOs and marketing leaders can benefit from momentum: it’s essential when you are trying to accomplish big goals, or create big change, and have many people involved. As CMO, you are trying to create big changes such as the way you engage with customers, and how you launch cutting edge campaigns. In addition, you are doing all this with large marketing teams and extended stakeholders such as the C-Suite. Momentum can be a key agent to helping you get there.

We often see how momentum can help in sports. Think of winning a World Series, the Super Bowl Championship, or the Stanley Cup. (I couldn’t forget hockey. I’m a big hockey fan.) Winning any world championship is a big goal, and takes many people to be involved. But what is it that can make a team win their ultimate goal? Momentum can mean the difference between winning (or losing) a championship. It’s not easy to define but we all know when a team has it: nothing can stop them; nothing seems to go wrong. Players take risks and that equals results. Conversely, when you don’t have it, everything feels hard.

So if momentum is so important, and we can’t easily define it, the question becomes, can we help create it? The answer is yes, absolutely. But first, some fundamentals need to be in place to set the stage. Over the past three years, I’ve seen first hand what helped us create momentum for our rapid growth. See if you can leverage these ideas to create your own momentum in your marketing organization and company:

  • Sales: By far, sales are the biggest driver of momentum. When you’re growing a business, true momentum comes from the most simplest place: sales, sales and more sales. It’s the same for the CMO. The ultimate goal of marketing is to drive revenue, so the more you drive that, the more momentum you’ll experience. Momentum was created at Allocadia, one sale at a time. It’s just like scoring goals in hockey.
  • Growing market: You also have to acknowledge the impact of external factors, such as market, that are at play – this is a fundamental. With Allocadia, we aren’t the only ones creating momentum for our business. Technology for marketing is growing, and we are riding part of that growth. Our customers, prospects, and partners are already talking about budgeting and planning for the CMO, and they often come to us looking for help, while we’re also spreading the word. That convergence of events brings us momentum. CMOs ask yourself: is your market growing and are other people already talking about what you do?
  • Business pain and value: For Allocadia, we had to solve a real business pain and have a great product for us to start experiencing momentum, much like a hockey team first needs good players, a great coach, and a solid strategic game plan. Nail the fundamentals first: develop a product that solves a real business pain and build a great product that delivers real value to your customers.
  • People: Momentum only happens when you have a great team. Whether it is through good strategy, great campaigns, delivering quality work on time, providing excellent customer service, creating energy, demonstrating leadership, or bringing in more great people. A great hockey player is nothing without his team: just ask Wayne Gretzky who said: “…you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.”
  • Many Small Wins (MSW): Marketers love acronyms so I had to create my own for momentum! Do MSW (many small wins) of all of the above, over and over. Consistency is what also builds momentum. Do sales. Develop product. Hire great people. And do these all the time. That creates momentum.
  • Stories: If no one knows your MSWs are happening, you can’t leverage them to create momentum. Be sure to share your wins with your team, your customers, the market, and your stakeholders, and allow them to create momentum, ultimately helping you accomplish your big goals.

What have you seen create momentum? Does momentum just happen or can it be encouraged? I’d love to hear how you define or create momentum. Comment here or connect with me on LinkedIn.

As CEO of Allocadia, I’ve had to learn to lead in a rapidly growing, fast-moving market. And as marketers building Allocadia, we have learned a lot about selling to CMOs: their needs and challenges, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in this new Marketing 2.0 world. This Leading in Change: CEO Blog Series is intended to help inspire CMOs and marketing operations to lead and build data-driven marketing organizations.