In a recent interview on the B2B Startup Growth podcast, Amit Daniel, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Checkmarx, a leading application security provider, shared her insights into the strategies and priorities she implemented upon joining the company.
Her approach focused on building a strong foundation, aligning internal stakeholders, and creating a compelling narrative to drive marketing success.
In this blog, we delve into Amit's first 100 days as a CMO, her priorities, her approach to getting buy-in from stakeholders, aligning sales and customer-facing teams with marketing, and the importance of internal communication.
Let's explore Amit Daniel’s approach to marketing at Checkmarx.
Understanding the Market and Setting Priorities
When starting as the new CMO, Amit Daniel emphasized the need to quickly understand the market and the company's offerings. By connecting with the company's strategy, goals, and vision, she identified gaps and areas where the marketing team could bring value. Prioritizing understanding over immediate changes, Amit laid the groundwork for effective marketing initiatives.
Amit recognized that the most crucial stakeholders for implementing change were the internal customers. The people within the company, especially management and the VP of Sales. By starting with aligning these key stakeholders, she created an environment where other changes, such as rebranding, were easier to accept and adopt. The story and narrative became the focal point, enabling the internal team to understand and embrace the marketing goals.
Aligning Sales and Customer-Facing Teams
To ensure alignment with sales and customer-facing staff, Amit utilized an annual meeting at Checkmarx where management addressed goals, vision, and changes in approach. Capitalizing on this opportunity, shortly after starting her role in the company, Amit shared the marketing vision, strategy, and focus with the attendees, fostering enthusiasm and unity. By establishing a compelling story, she created a strong foundation for collaboration and teamwork.
Implementing the Plan
Amit began implementing her plan by analyzing the current marketing strategy, identifying buyer personas, influencers, purchasing cycles, and competitive analysis. She also evaluated marketing channels and activities, addressing gaps in positions and responsibilities. With a clear understanding of the strategy and vision, Amit developed a list of impactful initiatives. By asking key questions related to target audience, territory, and channels, she honed the plan and built the right structure, processes, and approaches.
The 2023 Plan: Adjusting Priorities
Amit compared the 2023 plan to its predecessors and explained the importance of questioning priorities. By determining whether the focus should be on new customers or upselling to existing ones, inbound or outbound strategies, she crafted a more effective plan. Collaborating with management, she presented a well-aligned strategy, budget considerations, and measurable outcomes, welcoming feedback and adjustments to strengthen the plan further.
Internal Communication and Building Trust
Recognizing the significance of internal communication, Amit allocated 30-40% of her time to engaging with employees and building trust. One-on-one meetings played a vital role in establishing connections and embracing the team. She emphasized the value of spending time with employees, even those not directly involved in sales, as it fosters trust and encourages contributions from all members of the organization.
Creating Engaging External Content
Amit highlighted the need to pay attention to the middle and bottom of the marketing funnel while creating content. To capture readers' attention, content should be concise, leading them to delve into longer pieces. She also emphasized the importance of understanding the reader's perspective and creating content that adds value to their needs. Aligning the content with the reader's interests increases the chances of engaging them with the company's offerings.
The Role of Employer Branding
Amit believes employer branding should fall under the CMO's responsibility rather than being solely delegated to HR. Employer branding is a part of the overall brand, connecting all stakeholders, including customers, investors, and potential recruits. Amit urges marketers to prioritize employer branding and allocate necessary resources for its success.
Advice for Today’s Marketers
Amit recommended marketers to be versatile and expand their knowledge beyond their comfort areas. Understanding what and how to measure, as well as comprehending the bigger picture, contributes to a marketer's growth. Furthermore, she emphasized the importance of product marketing and the critical role of SDRs and BDRs, highlighting the need for a strong team to nurture beginners. You can hear the complete interview on Shoham Eckhaus’ B2B Startup Growth podcast.
by Shoham Eckhaus on July 06, 2023
As Chief Strategy Officer at Penguin Shoham leads client strategy and manages an internal team of Inbound Consultants. To get her strategy tuned she starts each morning with Yoga and a big smile :)