Dear SaaStr: How Do I Convince My CEO that Marketing is Important?

Q: Dear SaaStr: How do I Convince My CEO that Marketing is Important?

A lot of CEOs these days do seem to be late to truly invest in SaaS marketing, and most especially, to hiring a true VP of Marketing.  I’m just shocked how many CEOs hack it to $5m, $8m, $10m+ in ARR without a true VP of Demand Gen / Marketing on board.  Yes, you can get there with hustle, founder-led sales, and chutzpah.  But … what if you could have done even better?

Especially first-time SaaS CEOs often don’t see it, because they’ve never worked with a great VP of Marketing, or they’ve only hired junior folks that can’t own a number.  Hire someone too junior, you just get a lot of energy, but often, no more leads.  Not really.

So convince your CEO — by doing a little math with them.

Go through this exercise:

  • What if we had 50% more leads?
  • What if 50% more people showed up to our events? To our webinars?
  • What if the leads our sales team receives were 50% more qualified?
  • What if our content marketing was twice as good?
  • What if we had 50% more sign-ups?
  • What if everyone knew about us?
  • What if we were talking to another 50% more folks, just like our existing customers?
  • What if we were in more of the deals that our competitor wins today?

That’s what you get from a strong head of marketing.  One that’s done it before, at your ACV, and at a senior enough level to have held a commit.  More on that here:

Hire the Right Type of VP Marketing — Or You’ll Just End Up With a Bunch of Blue Pens with Your Logo On Them

(an updated Classic SaaStr answer)

Published on March 24, 2022

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