How much should I pay the first CMO for my SaaS Company?

While the tenure of the average CMO keeps falling, pay keeps going up. It’s difficult for smaller SaaS Companies to hire a CMO with the right level of experience and strategy chops without taking a big risk. Figuring out what the cost should be is an important first step. For this blog, I used various reports from Indeed, Glassdoor, Payscale, Spencer Stuart, Korn Ferry and LinkedIn to create a table with estimates that might be able to help you with your planning.

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Your pitch deck is a hook

Don't over complicate an investor pitch. You need to capture their imagination, interest and passion. Details can always be dealt with after the pitch meeting. Confidence, Enthusiasm and Credibility are key. But the story has to be solid as well. Here are some tips on structuring a pitch deck.

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Fear, Greed, Peer Lending and Machine Learning

Whether you're having some fun in Las Vegas, or investing your life savings in the stock market...what these two things have in common is that they are governed by two very strong and fundamental emotions. Fear and Greed. Read on about some of my thoughts on this topic and a really cool peer-to-peer lending startup I got to know last month.

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Eat your own dog food

Don't dare to deploy your software before you have used it yourself. Not just test it. Use it. Make sure your investors have used it. Your friends even. It's not just the right way to get your product or service ready for your customers, but also the best way to start building some great content to fuel your marketing efforts. Nothing is better then videos or experiences from real people using and getting getting excited about your solution.

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Coral reefs, or how to build a vibrant, healthy partner ecosystem

Building a healthy channel program, or partner ecosystem, starts with making sure you don't replace the areas where partners create value. The services they provide because they know their customer's needs. The marketing they can do because they understand how to communicate with their customer personas. The value they add in closing the sale because they have a relationship with their customers. The IP they can create by servicing a specific type of customer. Don't replace these things. Add to them.

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Hiring great marketers in todays outsourced labor market

The Economist had an interesting article last week, about “workers on tap”. After call centers, marketing production, event management and many other job categories, we are now also seeing a lot of the high skill, strategic work being done by outsourced specialists. I’d like to share my thoughts on how this plays out for software startups.

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Your first marketing campaign should be a referral program.

Are you wondering what your first marketing campaign should be? Simple. A customer referral program. From the day you start converting your first customers you will have an opportunity to let them share the excitement with their peers. It is an instant generator of relevant leads, and keeps your team on their toes to create great value.

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Going cold turkey on PPC. The time is now.

Should you never allow your team to spend budget on PPC advertising? Or to commission external writers to build content? Never say never. Even great content marketing with fantastic inbound results will run into growth limitations. But I've learned that it's very important to challenge your team to be great at highly relevant inbound marketing first, before you allow paid amplification. It's good on many levels. Read on to learn about these benefits and how going cold-turkey by cutting your PPC budget to zero today might be a great start of 2015

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The future of our to-do list and how our kids redefine productivity

With 2014 coming to a close I’d like to look forward at how the way we get work done continues to change. After all the changes the past 20 years, it’s mind-blowing to see how my 17 year old and his "Digital Native" friends are completely turning the way we are getting stuff done on its head. And how they help each other sleep better at the same time. Read on…

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When does career advancement become job hopping?

What's the right amount of time to commit to a role at a startup? How fast can people grow to deliver measurable (and lasting) results? This dynamic is very different now vs. ten years ago. With the speed at which the landscape of tools and technologies is changing, it's clear that the cycle has shortened, but by how much? Many traditional skills of working together and de foundation of programming, messaging and selling still require a lot of learning from failure, dealing with feedback and growing beyond the basics. And many young people are looking to do projects, and are not seeking a long-term employment relationship. A lot is changing. So what's the right answer? Please read my thoughts in this post.

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Keep your friends close, your investors closer

Never delay the communication of bad results, set backs or surprises. Share the good, the bad and the ugly with the investors that own the company you work for. Don't sugar coat. Present the facts, and more importantly the trends and what actions you plan to take. This blog dives deeper into stakeholder, board- and investor communications.

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Team meetings are dead

Are you still doing weekly team meetings where people try to make up topics to show they are doing stuff? Are you filling an hour of everyone's time every week? Have you tried scrum meetings? Daily? In this blog I share how we are using this mechanism that's we copied from our engineering team to have our marketing team collaborate more effectively.

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Write for people, not for Google algorithms

Every marketing professional needs to learn how to write. SEO is fantastic but too often content production turns into a game of beating the search engine, instead of being super relevant for your intended audience. Read on about writing for people, not crawl spiders, and how to re-learn the lost skill of writing a good headline, slogan or tweet.

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