In this episode of The Next CMO podcast, I speak to Domenic Colasante, the CEO of 2X. Founded in 2017, by 3 former B2B CMOs, 2X is a B2B-focused Marketing as a Service firm that enables marketing to operate with greater impact and at significantly lower cost.
In this episode of The Next CMO podcast, I speak to Domenic Colasante, the CEO of 2X. Founded in 2017, by 3 former B2B CMOs, 2X is a B2B-focused Marketing as a Service firm that enables marketing to operate with greater impact and at significantly lower cost.
A pioneer in offshoring B2B marketing, 2X provides clients with world-class talent at labor rates of 30-50% less than US equivalents. 2X’s global headquarters are outside Philadelphia, PA, USA and delivery operations reside in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2X enables a client’s on-shore team to focus on strategy and planning, while off-shore teams focus on marketing execution including build, run, and optimize activity. With capabilities across marketing operations, digital campaigns, graphic design, content operations & writing, web management, research, analytics, and the full marketing technology stack, 2X enables our clients to adopt a global operating model and reimagine their marketing mix.
Learn more about Domenic Colasante
Learn more about 2X
Learn more about Peter’s company, Acceleratus
Learn more about Planful for Marketing
Recommend a guest for The Next CMO podcast
Produced by PodForte
Peter: The next C M O podcast explores topics that are on the minds of forward-thinking marketing executives from leadership and strategy to emerging technologies, and we bring these topics to life by interviewing leading experts in their fields. The next C M O is sponsored by Planful for Marketing. A leading marketing performance management solution that automates marketing, planning, financial management, and R O I optimization and hosted by me Peter Mahoney, an experienced C M O C E O board member and executive advisor.
In this episode of the next C M O podcast, I speak to Dominic Kante, the founder, and c e o of two x. If you’re like me, this conversation will start by terrifying you. Then you’ll get incredibly excited as you learn more about the transformation of the way that marketing will happen for many companies in the future.
I hope you enjoy this show.
Hey Dom, thanks so much for being on the next C M O podcast. I’m really excited for this conversation and to get us going, why don’t you tell us a little bit about Dom and a little bit about two x
Domenic: Thank you. Pleasure to be here. So a bit about Dom to start. I was a C M O in the past, so I’m a marketer by background now. I’m trapped in a CEO’s body, a c e o of two x.
Peter: that a recovering C M O ’cause I did the same thing.
Domenic: I made the c m O to c e o transition, which I think is a celebratory moment, but you never stop being a marketer regardless of what job you’re in, I find. And I was always a demand oriented marketer, so spent a lot of time in the tech industry, places like Siemens and s a p building.
Pipeline was a revenue marketer before we called it Revenue Marketer or an A B M I did for a while when we only called it strategic accounts and one-to-one. And and so really have been passionate about, you know, turning the marketing engine in the B two B world into one that impacts sales impacts pipeline, impacts revenue.
And I was that C M O when I had that job and now as a c e O of two x we’re a marketing service partner. We call our category marketing as a service, and we really help organizations and CMOs like transform the operating model. Think a little differently about the labor side of the marketing equation.
When I was a C M O, we spent so much money on technology and program spend and we were transforming in both of those areas. We never really changed the org chart. We never thought bigger about how we. Used humans how what we insourced, what we outsourced how work got done, how the future of work came to life.
And two X is really at the forefront of helping organizations in the B two B space think differently about what work should be. Insourced work should be outsourced, and then providing outsourced capability through a delivery team in qual and poor Malaysia to run the execution functions of marketing creative campaigns.
A b m demand technology. Analytics reporting and really provide a managed service model for B two B marketing. And so I think we’re one of the first companies to really attack the, you know, how do we execute better? How do we, you know, bring in best practice process and how do we bring kind of the managed service philosophy that has made lots of other functions in the world more efficient?
How do we bring that into marketing for the flexibility, the cost save, and the impact that it can drive?
Peter: So it’s amazing, Dom, because I was introduced to Dom and two x via one of your investors. And when he first described two x very briefly in a conversation, I thought, oh, that’s kind of like an agency. I. And then as I got to know it and got to know you a little bit more, I said, that is nothing like an agency.
Right? It is. And I got really fascinated, excited and terrified all at once about what you were doing. And and so it’s really amazing to me. And what it is true outsourcing. So it really is. Is about figuring out a way to, especially either to scale to scale up or to scale down cost in some cases, but largely scaling up the marketing function in a mode where it’s really hard to go find and build and scale and what a lot of people are going through.
So I, as I got into it, I found it really fascinating, said, oh my God, I have to have this guy on the podcast to talk about this category because it’s really. Fascinating and new. So did I get that right? Did I say anything that is would make you cringe as I just described, what you guys do?
Domenic: Now you nailed it. You definitely hit what we’re after. And maybe I would just add to it that I think that, you know, when I was a C M O I, I bought from a lot of agencies and agencies play a really critical role in, in the marketing mix. And I think agencies are like really good at, I would say two things.
One thing agencies are really good at are projects At a point in time you need to launch a new brand. New product, new website, big event. You need a burst of activity around something really big and meaningful in your organization. I mean, agencies can be really effective in that, and I think agencies are also really effective in very highly specialized things in the marketing mix like.
PR or other types of, you know, really deep Ss, e m but what agencies aren’t typically in the business of is like the day-to-day run work and marketing, like the caring and feeding of like managing technology and just fueling content and routing leads and updating dashboards and building campaign plans and executing campaigns and testing emails and all this, like execution work.
Marketers tend to mostly insource that, and I think that’s like a totally outsourceable concept where you wanna bring in. The best practice from the third party, and you don’t want to own and control the labor, and you want flexibility to scale that up and down, and you want some cost save on that stuff that you have to do, but you may not, you know, have in the center of your strategy and you need, you know, sort of a model where you can get stability and expertise in those areas.
But they may not be, you know, the three things on your, you know, number. You know, one, two, and three on your marketing strategy, but they’re like very important to how marketing work gets done. That’s almost been like, those things aren’t really hit by agencies and are almost forgotten in the mix by other stakeholders outside of marketing.
Marketing knows that’s really important. But it’s somebody’s just that run work that’s behind things. And so I think building a firm to attack that issue and make that better and that more efficient is definitely, yeah, as you called it very different. Very unique in the market.
Peter: So was there a big aha moment that you had when you said, oh, someone should do this very differently, or did it sort of trickle in as you started thinking about it? So tell me about the origin story and what sparked this original concept for you?
Domenic: Yeah, there were a couple things happening and kind of all at the same time. One was I was a C M O of a firm and we were in the c I O consulting space. We did c i o, peer-to-peer advisory, super great value prop. Former CIOs were customers. We consulted for CIOs, fortune five in their companies.
We’d bring in the former, you know, c i o of Sony to consult with the c i O of Disney, and it was really powerful story. We compete with McKinsey, Accenture, other big firms. We had this like better. Product, it’s better offering. We were getting out marketed by firms with giant brands and giant stories, and so I was, you know, having this pain of like, how do I make marketing bigger?
How do I put more activity? How do I get better at, you know, account based? How do I be more advanced and almost try to out market some of those amazing firms? And so I had this like impossible math where I never had enough money to deliver what I know I needed to do. And so how that condition was sort of always, and every marketer has that condition in some way.
They never have enough budget to deliver the things they know they should produce. But so that’s a condition. The second thing was one of the services that my firm I was c m O of offered was it outsourcing advisory. So we would help CIOs construct very large, you know, it outsourcing relationships where they would.
You know, move work to many of the centers around the world and negotiate multi-billion dollar outsourcing contracts. And I saw how effective it was in it, in providing capacity and providing innovation and providing stability of run and providing massive cost save that could then be redeployed into, I.
Transformational things, more technology, more programs. And I was like, well, there has to be a way to use that for marketing. And so I spent about a year trying to find a firm that might be in that, like managed services, you know, space to help me on my, like I need more for less budget problem.
And after a year I couldn’t find a firm and said, I’m gonna build one ’cause the world needs this. And I built it. Really as the, you know, the origin story was to be my marketing team to help me be a more effective C m O. And as I started to tell other CMOs, I knew about it it became very clear that I wasn’t the only one that had this problem, and that there was a real market opportunity to make it a thing.
And here we are with two x now.
Peter: It fascinating and I think that the. The thing that you just mentioned that you hear over and over again, it’s this proximity thing, you are thinking about a very different thing, it outsourcing. And you were a marketer and it’s sort of creating those are the opportunities that build innovative new things, right?
You were in the context of IT outsourcing and you were a marketing executive and you said, aha, you know, chocolate and peanut butter work great together. And the rest is history. So that’s how it all worked. So I love those stories and thanks for sharing it and and I wanna figure out how to put more people together.
To have those aha moments because that’s where really innovative things happen, I think. But tell me that I, it’s funny because and maybe because I must be a. Maybe I’m an you know, at some level an unconfident person or something. My first reaction was, holy crap, there goes my job.
Right? And so te tell me about that reaction, right? So if you’re a C M O, you know, one reaction is, well, wait a minute. Does this mean, you know, some some you know, some nameless, faceless person is gonna be. Taking over my marketing and just plugs into the c e O organization somewhere or is it something different from that?
Domenic: I love that you asked that question ’cause everyone has that question. I had that question even when I was thinking about it and it’s sort of, it’s hard to speak it ’cause then you acknowledge that the reality is possible and I think it couldn’t be further from you know what, what actually happens?
I think a couple things. First of all, I. We became marketers. We went into marketing because we wanted to dream big things and create amazing programs and find better ways to engage and activate our target audience. The strategy side of marketing is really what gets all marketers excited and I think that’s where the company needs an in-sourced internal F T E.
You know, onshore team to do the work. That’s very hard to outsource. What market are you in? Who do you target? Why do you target them? What’s your differentiating story? What programs are you gonna use? What technology might you deploy? I mean, those are essential things. I think internal marketing Maybe the only resource that can be good at that.
It’s hard to get that from the outside. Someone that really understands your market, your org, your customer, your competitors your culture. As better as, as well as you do, and can execute it with that level of passion. I think the problem is marketers have that objective and then they also have a hundred other things that have to do.
Well then I still have to run the email campaigns. I still have to get, the white papers are created, I have to get articles out. I have to make a social post every day. I have, there’s all this execution work. Clogs up the ability to do those innovative things. And I found when I was a C M O that when I gave my team members, my leaders, my individual contributors, when I gave them both tasks at the same time, have the big strategic, visionary things and execute them, I found both of those things were.
Not optimal. The strategy got smaller. Your thinking got so big that only your thinking was limited to what you yourself could do. You couldn’t possibly dream up a big idea or speak it out loud. ’cause then you’d have to execute it and you didn’t have the capacity to execute it. So your thinking almost comes down a little bit.
It’s more constrained, but then you have to execute all day. So, but you’re busy. So are you really gonna test every email? Are you really gonna atomize all of your content for different verticals and personas? Are you really gonna build a multi drip nurture stream for every campaign as a follow on tactic?
Are you really gonna set up all your etms and dashboards like so? No. So you end up almost like, ’cause you’re so busy, you cut corners and execution ’cause you have to outta survival and your strategy gets a little smaller. And so when you go through a transformation and bifurcate the operating model and figure out what strategy work.
What’s execution work? Push the execution. Work into an offshore or outsourced model where it can have best practice, people doing it in a really efficient, you know, optimized cost structure with certified people that know how to do that work, that love to do the execution work. And then you become the strategic thinker.
That’s a better result for the business and that’s a more fun result for a marketer. I mean, that’s what you wanna do is now have this unbounded, I wanna go after this market, I wanna run this campaign and I wanna go after this audience and I wanna say these three things and I wanna create this content and now you can be a marketer again.
And so I think actually it’s not about replacing, you know, internal FTEs jobs, it’s about splitting the model so that we can actually get better at doing marketing and you know, put people in lanes where they’re able to play to their strengths and do things that only they can do.
Peter: It. It’s interesting because I. After my first reaction and and I recovered after that I thought about this and got really excited about it. And there, there are really three contexts that I think about. I think about marketers because there are the three ones that I happened to sit in. You know, one was the last time I was a.
A real life. C m o, it was at a multi-billion dollar public company. Lots of acquisitions, you know, a hundred acquisitions over 10 years. And you could see, and we struggled a lot with the execution side because we had to figure out how to, in a lot of cases, centralize and rationalize and drive cost out of it.
’cause one of the big problems was there was an expectation when you have an acquisition strategy, Of finding some way to create a model leverage so that you can actually do more with only a little bit more resources is the goal. So that was one context and I said, oh, yeah, I can totally see that, that, that makes a ton of sense.
Other side of the equation over the last five years that, you know, I’d just finished up with Plana, which was my early stage company, small thing. And I think, oh my God, we had nobody, right? We had, at the beginning it was me and then my co-founder and we’re trying to figure out how to scale and do things and you put together this patchwork at the beginning of partners, but they’re sort of here and there and gone.
And then the third context is the area where I spend a lot of time these days is sort of advising and coaching CMOs and CEOs and sort of growth stage, that scale up kind of thing. So if you think of those three is there sort of, is there an I C P or a sweet spot for two x or this model in general where you see it works best?
Domenic: Yeah, I think it fits in all of those areas, maybe a little differently. I think in some areas where, you know, marketing already exists and is mature and there’s lots of pieces to it. There’s a real need to think about, you know, unit cost, economics, productivity of labor, and to actually look at, you know, take the one where, you know, the organization has big size and scale and is integrating lots of other pieces, like to actually measure the productivity of labor and say, you know, in the same way we try to bend the.
The cost curve down and cost per opportunity, but almost like impact per hour of work or productivity per hour of work to really measure that and think about, you know, how do we get. Better at producing more volume and more impact as we scale. But the only real way to do that, I mean technology can help.
And I’m sure we might talk about AI at some point that can help, but really thinking about like, how do I restructure the org and the operating model and, you know, get those synergies and build more capacity to do more work. I think that’s a moment to think about. Maybe we need to. Globalize, the operating model globalize the org.
And so I think it fits really well there, but almost in a different situation than almost smaller companies might be trying to build marketing for the first time, and they don’t have a lot of. High cost you know, things that can be made more efficient. They have nothing and they need things that are potentially more value add and to drive revenue and pipeline.
And I think it is also an area where you must take the leapfrog strategy of, rather than building an engine and going through the, you know, two years of trying to hire the marketing leaders and, you know, interview people and bring them on board. And as we know as marketing leaders Percentage of the people you hire won’t work out.
And then some of the people you hire that are amazing, unfortunately might move on. And so that, like creating that organizational design is a whole lot of work. It might take you two, three years to really get it right. Well, if you could just buy, you know, an outsourced marketing team in a box from a vendor who has certified, trained, ready to go, b, d, b marketers, they can deploy for you immediately.
Now you get a team in a month rather than going through that multi-year thing. And so I think it does. Fit in all those cases, but almost it solves different problems and drives different amounts of value. And maybe another point I would bring up is marketers, I think definitely are are human resource leaders.
I mean, they, you know, have lots of people in the org are always, you know, hiring, mentoring, developing, training. And in some ways I think that’s important, but also, Is that really their core job? Is that their, you know, are they in the business of that? And sure, should they just be in the business of managing outcomes and managing impact and managing results.
And so by, you know, also thinking about, you know, having a partner, you almost remove yourself from all of these labor dynamics, especially in the last couple years with the resignations and the wage inflation and the shortage. And then the. You know, scale up and then the need to reduce and go through reduction in force events, which are never anybody’s, you know, no one looks forward to those.
That’s a distraction from the marketing mission. And I think having someone who can work on that for you is so different pieces of value and different components that can impact lots of different companies at different stages of growth.
Peter: Yeah, and I look at the parallels. I mean, we as a, an early stage company leveraged a outsourced offshore development team, and it was really effective for us. And it was interesting because it was we decided to take that approach for some of the same reasons that you were just talking about.
First of all, we had the core team saying, you know, building the product managers, people who are saying what we’re gonna build and key architects and key data science people, and our C T O and all of them were local, but for us to actually spin up a team, like a fully functional team of half a dozen people to start.
And ultimately, I think we had about 15 people. At the peak focused on that in including world-class, deep expertise in things like a w Ss you know, ops kind of stuff was really hard to do. It was hard to build and scale and like you said, you can sort of turn it on in very cost effectively.
So it is it’s a really interesting model and it’s fascinating that no one’s figured this out before. And good for you guys. I guess that you have an advantage that That people haven’t figured this out before, and I just think in this world it’s probably an interesting time to think about it and it at the same time, and you brought up the whole AI world.
We’re gonna go through this massive kind of transformation of how lots of jobs. Are delivered and it feels like marketing is going through a big change right now. Is that, is the generative ai is that a relevant piece of this discussion or is that a distraction from the factors that are really making people consider this dumb.
Domenic: Yeah. Well first of all, I’d like to celebrate that we have a marketing conversation that lasted 20 minutes without talking about generative ai, and that’s rare in.
Domenic: And so, but now that we’re here, we’ve arrived. Yeah. So it’s definitely a factor and I think it has a lot of power and potential, but I think it’s not a lever for reducing.
Cost, reducing labor, reducing humans. It could do that. But I think the real power of all these tools is to do better marketing to produce more content, to produce more personalized campaigns, to test more ad copy to, you know, the Human plus ai. One, it costs less, and two, it produces way more volume of high quality marketing.
And so like, that’s the real power of this. I think that the transformation we’re going through is almost like re-imagining what work are we doing and how are we doing it, and why are we doing it? And how do we, I. You know, improve the impact of it. And I think AI plays such a critical role and it gives us levers we never had before.
I was using an example, I was at a conference last week and I was talking about AI and you know, the, there’s a real problem that no one’s talking about, I think around personalization and account-based marketing and sort of believe, you know, as marketers that the more personalized you get, The more likely your campaign is to break through the noise, the more likely your prospect is to become engaged until personalization is good.
Problem is there’s a cost of personalization. You need more content, you need more channels, you need more human effort to produce that. So there’s some point, and it varies in companies where there’s a diminishing return of this, the effort to produce that level of personalization. Maybe it’s sub-industry, maybe it’s persona, maybe it’s persona and industry combined.
Maybe it’s a geographic layer. Mayor, it’s a company size layer. There’s some level where the personalization lift that it creates in marketing conversion rates or impact is not worth the cost of getting that level of personalization. And so you stop personalizing at a certain point ’cause it’s not worth the effort even though it will create lift in your program.
What I think AI does is it breaks that math, it makes it easier to personalize, it makes it easier to, you know, come up with multiple things. And so that is like an amazing thing for marketers to now we can be more relevant, we can be more, you know, we can be more respectful in the marketing to our customers.
That has nothing to do with doing less marketing or having less people or producing, you know, or generating less cost. It’s all the good, in my view.
Peter: It’s a fascinating example that you bring up Dom and I agree that when you get to the point where just the math works all of a sudden for the first time, it can be really exciting. I remember I’ll, I need the way back machine music at this point. I remember back in let’s see, 19 98, 19 99.
So it was a long time ago. I was working in the very early days of the advertising technology market within internet advertising, and we had this concept of behavior-based personalization for ads. Interestingly what happened was, you know, ads were selling to very expensive back then. Ads would be like 50, $60 per thousand.
A C P M rate for ads. And and then you could Dr. Dramatically increase the price if you could personalize it. So if you could say, Hey, this is someone who who is is in the market for a specific kind of car. I can put that ad there. The problem was the data processing required back then 25 years ago, was so expensive that the cost of getting the benefit wa wasn’t supported by.
The incremental costs that you could get just by overdelivering a whole bunch of ads. And so the economics didn’t work. And and like you said, things like. Personalization in a b m is a perfect example where everyone wants to do it. And I can tell you, having worked over the years in in many instances with personalization technology, I spent a lot of time in that space.
The big challenge is is that first there’s a strategic issue where personalization starts with segmentation. It says, who are the groups of customers that I wanna. Put an offer in front of, and then of course there’s the work that you have to do to to, you know, manage the data and actually create some creative and offer that you can put to the right person.
And without all of those things in place, it just doesn’t work. It’s just an idea. And if you can, like you said, get people focused on the more strategic things like the segmentation. Like, who are my customers and who are the cohorts that I should care about? And then get a scalable kind of capability to put the right message in front of them.
That is really interesting. So, so that’s one category. Are there other categories that you look at, you know, beyond sort of personalization in a b m where you can think about sort of enabling something you, the economics work better than in a particular domain of marketing when you can use this kind of approach.
Domenic: Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re hitting on a really exciting time to, like the benchmarks, the best practices are now being rewritten about what you can do. And that’s exciting. ’cause now we’re experimenting again. And we’re innovating and we’re changing the rules. And I think one area I, I might poke at for a bit is around utilization of technology.
I think I constantly see Gartner writing reports about marketing tech as not being fully utilized. Every year it gets worse and yet marketers buy more tech and this sort of, this, all this tech that we were all told as marketers is gonna solve all of our problems and automate our whole enterprise and makes some amazing buyer experience.
It isn’t fully being utilized to the value prop that it could have been one, because it hasn’t been fully integrated. But two, I think the real issue behind that is, is there’s not enough certified talent in the marketplace. There’s not enough people that really understand how to use it, and in some cases, I.
Those people who do know how to use it just too expensive. And so you would love to have, you know, a certified resource that’s expert level on this piece of technology that you invested the ton in, but you don’t have the budget to pay for that person in addition to the technology and. Really difficult to retain that person.
And also some of those people who are really great at that don’t wanna do individual contributor work, they wanna do consulting work, and they wanna do implementations and they wanna do big migrations. And so I think that almost like the economics and the labor dynamics in the us not specific to AI in this case, but the the, just the market model makes it cost prohibitive to actually use the technology to its fullest potential.
Like what if there were resources available offshore that cost half of what a US expert might be that you could easily acquire into your organization, then now you’d have a certified Marketo expert or someone that understands six sense, or someone that really understands intent data or someone that’s a drift expert.
You know, those things. If you could acquire those people for less than you’re fighting for a generalist today in the US market well, Cost goes down, but also now you can actually use the full power of those platforms and you can actually, you know, run all those things and unlock all that potential that those tech vendors have and that they’re constantly adding is, I do a lot of work with Six Sense, and they’re adding, you know, sales intelligence and conversational email and all these other things that like I.
The customers are, can’t even, a lot of cases use the technology they already have and now they have all this other potential and really having a different way to, to re reduce your consumption cost on absorbing technology and integrating it and deploying it. That’s really powerful. Like that’s why we bought all this technology ’cause we wanted to get all these cool, sexy things in the demo.
But very few companies actually have the capacity and economic availability to do it.
Peter: It’s interesting and going back to what we were talking about before around the, that moment when companies go through and are scaling up. As an example, so we talked about one of the factors that drives complexity in marketing, which is things like personalization. So I want to get to the point where, okay, now even if I go from one segment to three segments as an example I tripled the number of, you know, creative implementations.
I need I that along the way. What a lot of companies are going through in the scale up mode, they’re going from a single product, single audience company to a multi-product multi audience com. So all of a sudden we’re starting to, and then you add personalization and you get matrix multiplication.
So all of a sudden you get just massive complexity. And there are two ways to handle that. Maybe there are more than two. You know, one, one is to just sort of declare bankruptcy and say, oh, we’re gonna get the same thing close enough, right? And and your effectiveness is gonna go down. Or it’s to kind of lean in and really try to figure out how to scale to, to handle the complexity.
And it’s why so, so few. Marketing organizations can really work at scale is, it’s hard. It’s hard to get to that point, especially because you have to then figure out, ’cause you’ve got an engine that you’ve built and you’ve gotta figure out how to rebuild that engine while you’re driving down the road at a hundred miles an hour.
And that’s really difficult to do too.
Domenic: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that natural inertia of like not only as you need marketing is this funny thing of the. You create a bunch of marketing, it’s great. It produces a lot of results, generates a lot of revenue, company gets bigger. Well now you need more marketing ’cause you gotta sustain a bigger revenue base and you have to grow.
So almost like the more marketing you have, the more marketing you need. And so there’s this natural push to needing more. And you’re right in this sort of the cost effort there, it’s a linear growth and cost and you know, doing, you know, Three segments instead of one might cost you three times as much at the same time, every marketer’s being told, well, you gotta bend that curve down.
You gotta get to three segments for less, or the same as the cost of one. Or I’ll give you, you know, 15% more money and I want, you know, 300% more results. And that is such difficult such a difficult problem to tackle. But it’s also back to where we kind of started the conversation. That’s the problem that every C-level executive faces in their business.
HR has that problem with recruiting. It has that problem with being able to enable more applications and more elements to, to build products and capabilities in the business. Procurement has that problem if you buy more. Every one of those functions of business is exactly when you take the marketing piece out of it.
This is a fundamental scale problem, an economy of scale problem that I need more impact, results, activity, effort. You know, and I can’t spend more. I mean, and all of those groups have solved it in a way of, we’ll bring in experts, we’ll bring in, we’ll think differently about what we insource and outsource.
We’ll use technology to automate things. We’ll be really, you know, intentional of getting economies of scale, not just getting more volume of output. And I think yeah, the marketers I’ve talked to, When we have conversations like this, they’re like, oh yeah, it is important. But no one’s intuitively thinking that way that they’re running a business function, they’re running a p and l, that they’re responsible for productivity, that they’re a steward of, you know, the corporate investment, dispose of creative return.
And that job actually isn’t that unique in, in the business. And so leaning into other peers and seeing how they do it, I think tells us a lot of really interesting things.
Peter: You’re absolutely right. Domin, and we should speak specifically to those both aspiring CMOs or kind of first time CMOs who haven’t seen this movie before. But the reality is when you are going through a growth period in a company, you typically say, Hey, I’m spending, you know, eight, 9% on marketing or something like that.
And you just start building your plan for the next year, and it’s gonna be eight or 9% of marketing. And, hey, we’re doubling our revenue this year, so I double my marketing. Guess what? It doesn’t work like that, right? The reality is that businesses exist to to grow profits over time.
Which means that you need to figure out how to get more and more efficiency outta the model as it gets scale. And that’s something that a lot of people you know, gets lost on a lot of people. They don’t realize they need to take that step. They need to figure out, how am I not only gonna do what I did last year but how am I gonna do it?
How am I gonna scale it and double my output? And far less than double the investment to get there. And that’s something that people just lose along the way, I think.
Domenic: Yeah, I think you’re right and it’s just not intuitive for us to work at that. ’cause as marketers we’re trained to like, Come up with the next campaign or you do something innovative or, you know, create a customer experience that’s magical and those are really important things. But, and I think that’s, when I think of, you know, the next C M O and I think of CMOs today that’s a business executive skill that you need to have.
You’re, you know, almost need to be, you know, part C F O, part C H R O or Chief People Officer. You need to be a part technologist. The marketing job today is so much more than just being an expert on marketing. And you need to really understand those broader pieces to have a seat and a real, you know, contributing voice at the executive table, which I think is what every C M O wants.
But that’s a, it’s sort of an, I’m a bit of an unnatural thing to kind of like. Put yourself in that environment and think that way, but that’s what the business ultimately needs out of the marketing leader.
Peter: Well, this has been fascinating to me. I think that we are at a point of. Real disruption of the marketing function over time with all these factors that are happening at the same time. And I think that this model is one that I suspect we’re gonna see much, much more common in the future world.
And I guess with that in mind, ’cause we’re actually believing it or not already out of time it maybe you can comment on that a little bit when you answer my. Last question I ask everyone is what advice would you give current or aspiring CMOs.
Domenic: I have two nuggets. One is think in terms of transformation. Very seldom does a business need what it got last with a little better. I think companies are looking for transformational. Results and transformational realities. And I think the marketing leader has to think in terms of transformation, has to think in terms of, you know, re-engineering, you know, how the engine runs and trying to do amazing things with us.
So think at that level of scale and that level of disruption. And secondly, never stop being curious. I think the. Read as much as you can network, as much as you can learn different things. The more aware you are of new things that are emerging you kinda have that muscle always being worked about, you know, how might we bring new things into the organization.
Peter: Excellent. Well, fantastic advice. I’m not surprised from my earlier conversations with Dom, I knew this would be a, an energetic and interesting. Kind of discussion. So really appreciate it. So, thanks again, Dom, for being on the show. Really appreciate your your dialogue, your excitement about this and all topics related to marketing.
So if you’re listening to us out there, I guess you must be, if you’re hearing this right now, the tree fell in the forest. Make sure you follow the next CM O and Planful on Twitter and LinkedIn and any ideas you have for guests or topics, you can shoot us an email at the next firstname.lastname@example.org. So thanks so much and have a great day.
Domenic: Thanks, Peter.