Questions First-Time CEOs Should Ask CMO Candidates with Mark Friedman

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This is a podcast episode titled, Questions First-Time CEOs Should Ask CMO Candidates with Mark Friedman. The summary for this episode is: <p>How do you determine which CMO is the best for your leadership team? Today on The Daily Bolster, Mark Friedman, an experienced, data-driven Chief Marketing Officer, shares the top three questions you should ask before hiring a CMO. </p>
馃搳 What are the key metrics?
01:54 MIN
馃挼 How would they spend an extra $100 of budget?
01:52 MIN
馃搱 What is your understanding of predictive modeling?
01:05 MIN

Intro: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. Each day, we welcome transformational executives to share their real world experiences and practical advice about scaling yourself, your team, and your business.

Matt Blumberg: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. I'm Matt Blumberg, co- founder and CEO of Bolster. I'm here today with Mark Friedman. Mark is a data- driven CMO. He has worked over the years for some really storied brands like Brooks Brothers, and Eddie Bauer, and Steve Madden, and others. I'm thrilled to have him here today. Mark, good to see you.

Mark Friedman: Nice to see you, Matt. Appreciate you having me.

Matt Blumberg: Yeah. Here's my question for you today. We have a lot of people who listen to this podcast and a lot of people we work with at Bolster are first- time CEOs. If you're doing a good job as a first- time CEO, at some point you start hiring full- fledged senior executives and you're hiring people who are maybe more experienced than you, almost certainly more experienced than you in their function, probably older than you, wiser than you, all sorts of things like that. Sometimes CEOs don't know what questions to ask when they're in those interviews. As a career, kind of very digital, data- focused CMO, how would you advise a CEO questions, maybe your top few questions, that they should ask a CMO candidate if they really want to understand, is this a person that I might bring on board as a CMO? Do they have enough of an analytic orientation? Are they a true data geek, a data analytic geek?

Mark Friedman: Yeah, it's funny that you asked the question that way. I don't know that you need to be the data geek. You need to know enough to be dangerous and to direct the people underneath you and to know what you really need to have in your business. But that said, let's assume that they're going to go down that path. One of the first things for me is asking the CMO, what are the key metrics that you want to be tracking in the digital and the omni business? Things like cost of customer acquisition, CAC to LTV metrics, understanding who your best buyers are, and your increase from year to year and what you can get out of your best customers. All those. What are the key metrics? It's around traffic and conversion and average order, things like that.

Matt Blumberg: Fluency with metrics. I like that.

Mark Friedman: Yeah.

Matt Blumberg: Yep.

Mark Friedman: I think that's important. Then the next one, which is really kind of a metric thing, but also something that I'm not sure that you hear enough about, and that is if you have a budget of a hundred dollars for your marketing spend and your boss comes into you and says, " Look, I've got another hundred dollars in my pocket that's burning a hole. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to be thinking about where you should be spending the next dollar of marketing spend?" When I talk to folks about attribution, I refer to it as the A word, because nobody ever really wants to talk about attribution, but that's really important in understanding where should you spend the next dollar. I think getting that question out to a prospective CMO is certainly important. And then-

Matt Blumberg: inaudible. Of course, the financially- oriented person within me, I like the framing of that question because it's optimistic. The financially- oriented person in me would ask it the other way, which is, if I come in to see you and you have to cut a hundred dollars from your budget, where is it coming from? It's the same question.

Mark Friedman: It is. It's the same concept. But what I came to find is that there were just so many people that weren't thinking of it that way and they were kind of myopic in the channel. It comes back to just understanding when you put pressure from a marketing perspective, where is it going to come out the other end in the sense of sales? I could be doing more store traffic driving, or I could be more digital traffic driving, or heaven forbid, I actually want to mail a catalog, which will drive traffic. Really understanding that I think is key.

Matt Blumberg: Yeah.

Mark Friedman: The third thing I'd be asking is, what's their sophistication or understanding about predictive modeling? Whether we talk about AI or not AI, I think that if you want to grow your business, being able to use predictive modeling of, how do I find people that look alike the customers that I already have, that will help me expand. The predictive modeling capabilities keep getting better and better. Not only is it about prospecting for new customers, it's if I have an email for... Let's get a little tactical. If I have an email that we want to send out for people to push jeans, we want to be able to email it to people that have purchased jeans in the past. But more importantly, can we look at the data? Will you have the tools available to you to look at the data and send that email to people that want to buy jeans, even though they haven't demonstrated that they would do it before?

Matt Blumberg: All right, I like all three of those and I will file those away. Hopefully everyone watching today appreciated the wisdom as well. Mark Friedman, career CMO, data- oriented, data- driven CMO, on how to interview a data- driven and data- oriented CMO. Thanks so much for joining me.

Mark Friedman: Good to see you, Matt. Thank you.


How do you determine which CMO is the best for your leadership team? Today on The Daily Bolster, Mark Friedman, an experienced, data-driven Chief Marketing Officer, shares the top three questions you should ask before hiring a CMO.