How New CXO’s Are Taking Hold In Startup Marketing

Five years ago, the title “CMO” didn’t exist. Now it’s a more popular title than “VP of Marketing”. Now we’re seeing a raft of new “C” titles… the most recent being “Chief Revenue Officer” (a new version of “VP of Sales”).

The three “C’s” that we preach in startup marketing are: content, conversions and competition. While they may not merit a “C” title yet, they’re headed that way, since they’re priorities for any startup.

Content:  You can never have enough content. It’s the way you articulate your vision, value proposition, benefits– everything. It’s so essential to mobilizing sales and marketing that it’s the priority we place ahead of designing a client’s website or their logo. As many web designers will tell you, finishing a website for a new startup never seems to wait on design decisions.  It’s finishing the content that’s often the hold up. Content is so critical to the engine of inbound marketing that powers the growth of startups today, many companies are beginning to name a Chief Content Officer. Often part of the marketing organization, the Chief Content Officer is the go-to person for creating, repurposing and delivering content. Do you have one (either in title or function)?

Conversions: If startups spent more time focused on how their website is converting than on its design, we might be out of a job. There are many functions for a website today, and so there are many ways to measure its success. But the number one reason every company has a website is to convert visitors. Whether that’s converting a visitor into a paying customer, a trial, a demo, or a follower, the key metric is conversions. If you don’t have someone on your team waking up every morning thinking about how to improve your website conversions, consider naming someone your Chief Conversion Officer. Seriously.  As we always say, once you name it, you can begin to measure it.

Competition:  We’re not going to suggest that a young company needs a Chief Competition Officer. But we regularly find it useful to remind our clients to make that deliberate and focused shift from focusing inward to the product features, enhancements, testing, and UI fixes to focusing outward to the market response and customer feedback.  As part of that shift of focus, we stress the need to always keep an eye on “the enemy” that is your competition. Intel’s Andy Grove famously said “only the paranoid survive.” That sentiment dominates the culture of Intel and has been consistently credited as being a valuable part of the success and longevity of Intel. We maintain that the CEO carries in his or her job description the role of Chief Competition Officer, and with their words and actions they can ensure that their team never loses sight of the competition.