Turn Economic Downturns Into Growth Gold (Webinar Cheat Sheet)

This piece summarizes the Agorapulse webinar How Savvy Marketers Turn Economic Downturns into Growth Gold, which gives marketers insight into what the key stakeholders in their companies are thinking about during times of economic instability.


Darryl Praill, Chief Marketing Officer, Agorapulse
Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder of GTM Partners/Terminus/Peak Community; author
Judd Borakove, Operating Partner at GTM Partners; Host, Peak Community; executive recruiter

We are in an interesting dynamic time. And our success can be dependent on understanding what is keeping our stakeholders up at night. Today we’re going to talk about how savvy marketers can turn economic downturns into growth gold.

If this is your first time facing this situation—don’t panic. The best thing when you’re in a stressful situation is to take control, and feel like you are in control of your own destiny. If you take the right steps now, and you come out the other side, you’re going to be a 2X, 3X marketer because you will have been a marketer in both good times and bad.

To do that, you have to have a game plan. And that’s what today’s conversation is all about. It’s all about the game plan, and how you can turn economic downturns into growth gold. Out of lemons can come lemonade!

Identify your stakeholders

When I say “stakeholders,” many marketers’ initial thoughts go to maybe your sales counterpart, or the person in charge of pay per click, or yourself, or even your CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).

That is not who I mean.

When I say “stakeholders,” I mean the venture capitalist, the investors, the CFO, the CEO, the head of HR—what is keeping those stakeholders up at night right now? Who are the stakeholders that a marketer should become best friends with in these turbulent times?

I think the usual suspect for a lot of people is their Chief Revenue Officer, because they end up becoming the person that they reach out to when they need something—but the person that should really become your best friend if you are trying to be a good, lasting CMO, someone who actually can change the budget and have impact and get ahead of the cuts is your CFO (Chief Financial Officer). That’s the person you need to have more conversations with. And it’s amazing how few CMOs or emerging CMOs actually talk to the CFO or have had one-on-one conversations with them. They are the ones you need as friends.

The head of finance controls your budget; the head of HR is who allows you to build your team, expand your team, reduce your team, or defend keeping your team, especially in a downtime economy.

Judd, when you are recruiting CMO candidates, who are the stakeholders who have a vocal or strong influence in the candidates shortlist?

Obviously the CEO, but generally you’re bringing in your CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) as well because you want to make sure that there’s a connection between the two, that they can work well together. Normally there’s also going to need to be board buy-in; it might be all or just one of the members, but that’s definitely going to be a component of that interviewing process.

Other stakeholders are the people who are going to report to that CMO, generally the VPs or directors that are already working there and functioning, to make sure, one, that there’s a connection, and two, that they have the ability to work together in a way that’s going to drive the result they’re looking for.

What Judd just said about board is so important; I hope it’s not lost on people. The board is even further away from all of your day-to-day conversations and some of the best CMOs, some of the best leaders, have made those relationships.

Your board actually wants to help. They want to know what’s going on. They actually are the ones who can place you for the next big role in some other company that might need someone, whenever that happens.

A lot of people don’t spend time with the board at all; most people don’t even know who’s on the board. And just like the CFO is a distant person that you feel like maybe you’ll talk to when you need them, board is another one you often figure you’ll get to when you need it. No, no; these are the people that you really need to put in time with!

Ask your CEO, “Who is one of our board members that is interested in marketing?” They will quickly say, “This guy, Darryl, he’s on the board; he always asks marketing questions.” Ask, “Can I spend time with him? Do you think that person would mentor me to be a better leader?” Nine out of 10 times the answer is going to be yes. And that actually can help you stabilize and see further what the company needs, because the board is not just thinking about this quarter—they’re looking at the category, the next year, the following year. So you get to have a conversation that is way more informed that you could at the round table that you might be sitting at in your company.

Build key relationships

Sangram just used one specific word that was very, very powerful: “relationships.”

As a CMO, if you were previously not actively communicating laterally and upwards in a good economy, get off your behind and do it now—because when they’re making those hard decisions, remember that they have a fiduciary responsibility to drill down and examine the numbers and examine the results and figure out how to navigate this tough time, because they’re trying to honor the investments that have been made. So based on that, you’d better make sure you have your relationships intact.

It may sound negative, but as Judd and Sangram just said, those same people you have a relationship with are going to help propel you to your next gig if you do it right. And that’s growth.

People tend to think of their network only when they need them. You should be thinking about networking as the way that you’re going to achieve your goals, and it should be an always-on thing.

I know a lot of people go heads down at their jobs, they do a really good job of that, but they don’t build their network. They need it at some point, and then they try to build it, and it’s too late. So definitely, if I could give one point of focus for people: build your network throughout your entire career, and keep it going.

I’ve given both my kids that exact same advice over and over and over again. Recently I had a conversation with my oldest child and they were wondering, “Where do I go next in my career? I’m here, I think I want to go there, but I’m not quite sure.” And I said, “Well, who are the people between here and there, who can influence—directly or indirectly—that evolution?” He rattled them all off. I said, “Great. Are you connected with them on LinkedIn, for example? That’s the starting point.” And then you start developing a relationship, and they will actually help you achieve your goal—but you always need to have that network building, building, building, because you never know when you’re going to need it.

And, trust me: when you lose your job, you need it.

Refocused priorities

Continuing the stakeholder conversation—whether it be the CRO, the CFO, the CEO, or the investors—one of the things that they do is they refocus their priorities in a changing economy, and they do that two ways: they do it on the revenue side, and they do it in the business at large.

On the revenue side, they start looking deep and hard at a couple of things:

Your funnel health. In other words, what’s your MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) volume like? What’s your customer acquisition trending like? Maybe before, a high CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) was OK. But now, times are not so good: we have less money, and a high customer acquisition cost is less tolerable. They start looking at your bookings versus your demos, and those conversion rates. They start looking at your conversion rates of every step along the journey. They start looking at how your average selling price is trending—is it trending up, is it trending down? They look at things like, where are we at on our ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) targets; are we going to hit them or are we going to miss them?

We have to be looking out, because if we have to adjust, it’s going to take us at least one to two quarters to absorb some of those costs before it can right size the ship. So we’re always looking that far ahead.

What have you guys seen, with those stakeholders in mind? Are there revenue numbers that you see over and over again that they’re studying that many marketers are oblivious to?

We had Yamini Rangan, CEO of HubSpot, for an interview. And we asked her, “What is the one metric that you care about that is most important to you?” And she said, “NRR.”

Now, most people listening to this are probably Googling or trying to figure out what NRR is—and that’s a problem, because your CEO cares about it. Your board cares about it. So you need to know: it’s the Net Revenue Retention rate.

Ultimately, NRR shows the health of the business: are we keeping customers, are we expanding existing customers and getting more value? And if you don’t have that, then it’s not actually a healthy business. You are getting a lot more people, but you’re losing at the same rate or higher. And that’s what happens to companies: they run out of customers, they run out of money, and that’s when you start losing seed, losing businesses. So NRR, that’s the metric.

How do you think about customers? How do you think about product-led growth? How do you think about all the different ways companies go to market and then find a way to get to NRR? To me that is one thing where good marketers are going to become great.

NRR is also great when you have customers; earlier stage, newer product offerings, you’re also looking at GRR (Gross Revenue Retention), so your gross versus your net.

So there, you’re going to look at your retention. Do we have a leaky sieve? Are we losing people faster than we’re getting them? Are we getting enough that we can keep building and create more overarching ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)? So both of those are extremely important. You’re going to see that NRR these days tends to be a gold standard, though. So it’s something you definitely want to know.

Knowing your stuff

When you’re recruiting those senior marketers, do you kind of poke and prod at their knowledge, their awareness, their grasp of all the typical financial acronyms out there?

We definitely talk through a lot of that. It helps to bring out their experience and their focuses and how they work with the executive team. Definitely financial components come into play, for sure.

I will say, as of late, NRR conversations and truly “go to market” conversations are becoming more and more prevalent—but I’m finding, even on the marketing side, a lot of marketing leaders don’t understand them. They don’t know how go to market actually functions fully.

Those that do seem to be really just climbing fast. They understand the business metrics. They understand how the business objectives tie into their goals and how they’re going to operate against them. Those are the ones that always get me the most excited. They generally are the best interviews. They really understand the soup to nuts.

They understand that as a CMO, their job is really as a business owner; they’re not a marketing owner. And there’s a differentiation there—and that’s where those metrics really start coming into play—where they say, “I’ve got a business objective, and what I have to create or move towards that is marketing.” They don’t look at it as, “I’ve got marketing; how do I make marketing better?” So that’s a big shift that actually occurs. And that’s where those go to market conversations become very telling.

So here’s the takeaway, folks: if you’ve been avoiding becoming an expert, shall we say, at all those financial acronyms, because it’s just not your thing—you’re much more focused on paid media or video or social or whatever it might be—if you truly want to grow or even survive this situation we find ourselves in right now, you need to become a master of those.

It’s really not hard. You just need to understand: what are the acronyms? Why do they matter to you? How do you measure them? Once you understand that, that will dramatically shift how you approach your own go to market strategy.

Shifting budgetary priorities

When you’ve been in this cycle before, how much has your historical investment—whether it be in people or in budget—shifted from new customer acquisition to retention while you endure this little hiccup of a slow economy?

At Terminus, when we had the GRR issue that Judd talked about—we had new customers come in, we were able to do great marketing. A lot of people listening right now might be amazing marketers. You might be able to create amazing buzz and noise and you get people in…and you can’t keep them. And they say things like, “Oh, we love you. But we can’t show ROI on the product.” And then they buzz off. And now you’re left with the leaky bucket that a lot of people talk about.

When I see all that, I think what it really comes down to is, ultimately, what you need to make are hard decisions around business, not happy decisions. Great business is not built on happy decisions.

The hard decisions are, what do I invest in? Do we hire another marketer, or do we actually hire an SDR, or do we do partnership? What is the go to market decision that you need to make? That really is at the heart of all of this.

We use a rallying cry internally. We call it, “Retention is the new acquisition.” We got the entire company to rally around this idea that retention is the new acquisition. So if we don’t hit “revenue goals,” that’s OK. That’s OK if you don’t have 200 more customers. But it’s not OK to lose 50 customers. That can’t happen.

So we changed our metrics, we changed our comp for the sales team, we changed our plan for our customer success team. It took about three quarters to have this whole thing swing around. There were a lot of hard decisions where, we’re not going after this market, we’re going to stay in this lane and retain more. It was really, really hard—but great companies, at the end of the day, make hard decisions, not happy decisions.

We’re talking here about how stakeholders think. You need to know this—I can’t emphasize that enough—you need to know this as a senior member of the marketing crew, or if you aspire to that role. The more you can do that now, the faster your career is going to take off.

So they look at, how do we shift our investments, and what do we prioritize. The other thing to look at is conserving cash. What that means is: how do we spend less?

Think of a household budget. If all of a sudden my expenses are going up, but my income is staying the same, I have to reduce somewhere. One of my employees just came back from two weeks’ vacation, and I said, “How was it, man? What’d you do?” And he said, “Well, we kind of stayed by the house. Normally, we go to visit my dad for a week and then we go somewhere on a trip as a family for the second week, but expenses have gone up, food is more, fuel is more…so instead of visiting my dad, we stayed home. We did not go on the trip.” They conserved cash.

Business is the exact same thing. Here’s the thing that you need to understand as a marketer: conserving cash is a two-forked approach. I can conserve cash by cutting people—layoffs—or I can conserve cash by cutting program span, campaign span.

Now here’s the tricky thing they never tell you: they always, always default initially to cutting program spend, because nobody likes to cut people. And that can often be a mistake. What are your thoughts on that, how have you dealt with it?

We’re already seeing a lot of this. Right now, I don’t feel like we’ve hit the real economic downturn to date, but people are getting very antsy. So we’re actually seeing program and people being cut. It comes down to kind of investment mapping: how are we investing? What are we going to invest in? What can we not invest in?

If they’re doing it right, I find that there’s a lot less, we’ll call it “head cutting,” because they’re actually looking at where the value is and what they have to spend on it and how they’re going to get through this economic time.

But I find that a lot of companies are not good at it. They don’t take the time to go back and look at all the metrics.

I will say, and Sangram is the biggest proponent of this: rev ops (Revenue Operations) is the new thing, because you need to know your numbers. You need to know where all of the things are coming from. You’ve got to have that central source of truth to make these types of hard decisions. And that’s why we’re seeing a huge, huge growth in that rev ops area.

The smart companies that know their stuff, you’re seeing less layoffs, maybe a reduction in spend in certain areas, but also, they’re calculated reductions. They’re not just slashing to try to get a runway.

The part that’s interesting in this is what’s coming back is what should always be there, which is the idea of efficient growth.

What I’m hearing in all the board meetings that I’m lately in is you’re conserving fact cash. Another way to say that is: we need to grow, but we need to grow efficiently.

Okay, well, great—so what were we doing until now?

We were growing carelessly, we were growing at all costs, is the answer. We were trying to grab, land grab, and keep moving and get investors to put more money in, so we could actually hire more, like crazy, not without a plan. That was what was happening. And now we’re going back to no, no, no—we need to grow efficiently.

So we have to now go to the other extreme of it, where we are going to hold everything, and you have to give a business case for doing even the right things. We are going from one end of the spectrum to another, and all around, where really the foundation of all of this is that every company that is going to be a good, lasting company will actually have the foundation found in efficient growth. If you can do that, and if you can stay congruent to that, and you’re going to not try and go crazy because somebody else did it, I think that’s where lasting companies are.

Right now, we are in the middle of it. It might get worse. It might be okay. It might stay the same. But what we all need to do is to figure out: how do we help our organization to grow efficiently? Use that word in a board meeting, and everybody’s going to say, “Wow. Okay. You’re thinking on the side of the company.”

Focus on the data

If you want to be successful, you remember how I said, “Do you hate being the financial person? That’s not your strength; you’d rather focus on pay per click?” Now I’m going to ask you to be a data scientist. Growth isn’t always just accolades and pay raises and awards; growth is sometimes flexing those muscles that you haven’t flexed before. Financial, now data.

How can you make a decision? How can you do go to market? How can you grow efficiently? You need to go to your wonderful little CRM or your marketing automation or both, and you need to start looking at the data—and you need to know your numbers inside and out.

And it’s not just the customer acquisition cost or the net retention. You need to drill down and you need to understand, what is my MQL rate? What is my MQL to SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) conversion? What are my conversion rates at every step along the way? I mentioned customer acquisition cost, but what’s my customer acquisition cost by channel? Can I prove that I am returning an ROI on the marketing spend I make? And the spend could be program or it could be people, but usually, it’s both.

The funny part is that most marketers I know absolutely suck at knowing their own numbers. If you’re being asked to invest, to grow efficiently, and conserve cash, how can you make an informed decision?

There’s a really good example that we see here at Agorapulse all the time. We see that marketers do not know the ROI on their social media investment, but here’s the interesting thing.

HubSpot presented a survey and they said, “Here’s 17 ways you can spend your money: channels, pay per click, whatever. Marketers, prioritize how you spend that.”

Number one was social media.

I challenge any marketer out here to say to me: How did your social media drive revenue? If you can’t answer that, you are in trouble. But if you can answer that, amongst all the other aspects we just talked about, then you’re in a really good situation.

Judd, you just said rev ops is kind of the new king. Is that why? Because of this? Are marketers finally starting to see it, or are marketers delegating to rev ops and still wanting to ignore it?

I think that the biggest reason that we’re seeing this influx is, anybody who’s been in the room before with sales, marketing, and all the other players realizes that everybody likes to point fingers, especially when they really don’t know their numbers or don’t understand the data. And instead of having infighting—sales says it’s marketing’s fault, marketing says it’s sales’ fault, everybody’s pointing at CS and saying they’re not doing their job—you have a central source of truth where all of the data comes, and now we have a group that tells us what’s really happening so we can make the right informed decisions. No more “their fault, our fault,” which makes the business just run much more smoothly. So I will say, one of the other stakeholders you want to know is whoever’s running your rev ops: make them a really good friend.

There’s a book I think we’ve all read called Who Moved My Cheese. I think that’s what happens: who moved my cheese, and people are looking for the cheese, and the cheese is somewhere else. And then until you find the cheese, it’s somebody else’s fault. And that’s what happens a lot of times.

If sales numbers go down, what happens? The head of sales is gone, or marketing is cut. If the customers are churning, the CS is not working, we need a new leader in CS. We all are trying to fix this problem as if it’s isolated. And if you really take a step back, what I want to submit to you, and what we have been doing in our research through the book, and what we found: it’s typically never a marketing problem alone. It’s never a sales problem alone. It’s never a CS problem alone. It actually ends up becoming the go to market problem.

Maybe you’re not having customers come in because you have a messaging problem. It also could be that your sales people are not able to close deals. It also could be that your CS people are not able to convert them and get them to buy differently. All of those are actually go to market problems. So before you lay off people in those roles–because you think that every time I change people, all of a sudden the numbers are automatically going to go up and to the right—which is literally a dream and it doesn’t happen, which is why this the 24 months, 12 months is the tenure of CMOs and others—because changing people almost never changes the outcome.

What changes is when you, as a leadership team, have what we call CAT: Clarity, Alignment, and Team mindset.

You’re clear where you need to go. Everybody in the team understands where we need to go. They’re aligned, because alignment is better than being right. Everybody might be right. But as a team, if you’re not aligned, if you’re going in so many different directions, if it’s right, it doesn’t matter. You might be alone on the right direction. And then if you don’t have your team together, then you don’t have the people, the right set of folks that will actually get there. So if you can have clarity, alignment, and team together, nine out of 10 times, you’re going to go find a good destination.

If you want clarity, you’re going to get the direction from your stakeholders on what is the goal: is it efficient growth? What are the numbers, are we adjusting our targets, whatever it might be. If it’s profitability, it’s market share, if it’s customer acquisition cost, whatever it might be, you need clarity on those numbers and you’re driving your team to achieve those numbers.

The second part is that you need alignment. And this is where the data comes in. So if I need to get these goals—grow efficiently, maybe I want to reduce my customer acquisition costs, we want to hit certain net retention numbers, whatever it might be—you need to study all your numbers, right? So for example, maybe you need to increase the MQL to SQL conversion, which means maybe then I need to actually do a better job lead scoring so I can get a better quality lead so I can have a better conversion rate, but I really don’t know how to do the lead scoring, so maybe I need to go back to my attribution model and refine that a little bit.

All of this is data, and then you start to see how you draw for them: here’s the clarity, here’s the alignment, we’re going to align on these metrics, these improvements, these initiatives, and we’re going to do it as a team by holding each other accountable for their role in it. And that becomes even more important when your team becomes smaller because they’re conserving cash.

Know your metrics

When you’ve gone through this, are there certain operational metrics you and your teams have really focused on at this granular level to drive those high end KPIs?

Yeah. And they would change based on the stage of the company and what you want. But two metrics that come to mind that we see over and over, and I’ve seen a tremendous amount of need for CAT—clarity, alignment, and team—is, and the metrics that actually drive many times the rest of the NRR, how is it driven by, are really these two.

One is pipeline velocity: how quickly can I move the deals forward? How quickly can I make those deals bigger? If I can change that outcome, 1, 2, or 3% of change in that is huge, which is why rev ops can help there, enablement teams can help there. It’s not just sales enablement: enabled employee, customer, sales, enablement across the board. It’s really, really important: pipeline velocity.

The second win is really customer time to value. If your customers can see the ROI of your product or service within the first 30 days, you’re in a different ballgame. Now you know they’re going to stick with you, now you know they’re going to get with you and stay longer with you. It supports again the GRR, NRR, all of those things.

These are the two metrics that very few marketers, again, think about as a key wherever their bonuses will be based on that or what they need to be focused on. But if you can figure out a way to get your pipeline to move faster, and if you can figure out a way to make the ROI for your customer quick, you’re actually in a complete new ball game.

Do you see the variable component of a marketer’s pay change in a downward economy? In other words, times are good, your variable component is MRR or ARR. But when times are bad and we need to grow efficiently, there are more granular numbers. What are you seeing as far as incentives or vehicles or salary structures to drive this kind of behavior when the economy’s slowing down?

One of the things we see for sure is a big shift. So as the economy slows, as people get a little uncomfortable with salary structure, you’re going to see base compensations go down a bit and variables actually go up. People say, “Hey, prove it.” And that’s one of the things that has definitely been happening as we’re seeing the economy shift: people are going in with the old expectation when we were grow at all costs, it’s like, “At my last job, I was at whatever.” And they’re saying, “Yeah, well, that’s not where we’re at for your base. But if you want to prove it, we’ll give you more upside.” And we’re definitely seeing marketers more and more getting tied directly to revenue, which is also somewhat of a new thing. Pipeline used to be big and such, but now it’s direct to revenue, and the big push against that was, “Well, I’m not in sales,” but when the team works in unity, in concert together, the outcome is kind of obvious. And that’s the whole reason for go to market, right? That unification, that CAT—clarity, alignment, and team—when that’s done right, you see the outcome. So revenue is a big, big component, and variables become bigger. I’ve seen crazy variable aspects to give people way more actual take home dollars as long as they can hit the metric.

And that’s something most marketers don’t think about. You don’t think about two things: you don’t think about your own variable comp—which, by the way, every sales rep out there does, that is huge. Most marketers think about base and most sales reps think about variable, because I want to succeed. So if you want to get the variable, you’ve got to be better at the core skills. You’ve got to be better at a diagnostic, you’ve got to be a better analyst, you’ve got to be a better accountant, you’ve got to be better data scientists, so that you can then figure out, as Sangram said, the right go to market plan. All of this is growth.

I bet you thought we’d be talking about growth as in major dollars and bells and whistles and marching bands. No; we’re growing you. We’re going to turn you into a better marketer, which is why we said the skills you develop at a downturn then come back to be reaped over and over again. When all of a sudden times are good and they give you a whole bunch more money and a whole bunch more people, those raw skills keep on playing.

Protecting your budget

I want to go back to the budget conversation. I’m always thinking, because I’ve been through enough of these, how can I maximize my budget and my bandwidth?

We as marketers, more than anybody else, I firmly believe, are really pushed hard to consider cash and cut, cut, cut program spend—less so people, but ultimately after there’s only so much program you can cut, then you have to go to people. And it’s really hard for us to argue against it because we know the company’s bleeding cash. We know we want to survive.

How do we protect our budget; how have you protected your budget when that’s happened?

Well, the question is, do you even have your own budget? A lot of times it’s no longer your budget. The budget comes down from above, which is your CFO or somebody just monkeyed up the spreadsheet and said, “OK, here’s your budget.” And it’s really not your budget.

I’ve been in rooms where I’ve been told, “OK, X dollars of your budget is gone, so figure it out; or next quarter, you’re not going to spend any of that, or you’re going to spend 10% of it.” So many times it’s not even your budget, which is why it goes full circle back to the conversation that you should never be on the receiving end. You should be part of the process.

99% of the CMOs or leaders in marketing, they’re on the receiving end: they get budget when the sales number goes up, and the budget gets cut when the revenue number goes down, it’s how the cycle works. But if you know your CFO, and if you have that relationship, they’re actually having that conversation up front with you, and then you get to finagle a few things like, “Well, what if we did this versus that? What if I have a little bit of head count pause, and actually did program spend cut, and next quarter, maybe I can change the program spend and get back the new head count that I wanted last quarter.” That’s a negotiation. That’s a skill that you need to develop as a marketer. It’s hard to do it when all of a sudden, news flash, it’s down, you need to cut budget and you’re like, okay, now my job is to go and cut budget.

So thankfully, after being there a couple of times, I’ve learned my lesson and I’m way ahead of it. I would go and talk to the CFO ahead of time: “All right, I know next quarter’s going to be tough. I see the pipeline, or I see the market, or I see whatever. I know that the market is changing and going to be tight. Let’s talk about this right now.” That’s the job of marketing.

One thing to add: you can’t do that if you don’t know your numbers. You have to know your numbers.

If you’re part of the relationships—laterally and upwards—then we’re invited to be part of the process. And the second part there was: now you negotiate.

Do you negotiate with your vendors by the way? You want to save your money, go negotiate or renegotiate with your vendors and your tech stack and everything else. Because now it’s time to do it—and you can do it, trust me on this one.

How do you negotiate from a position of strength? As Judd said: by knowing your numbers.

Here’s the one common theme I’ve got at every single job, ever. “Darryl, you can have unlimited cash if you can show me a positive ROI. You want a million dollars a month of pay per click, and it’s going to bring me back 1.1 million or more? There is no limit on how much cash I will give you.”

The only way we can do that, folks, is if you know your numbers. So you’ve got to be in the data, in the weeds with the CRM, you’ve got to build it back up to those top level KPIs so you can defend it and you can negotiate it. That’s huge.

All of this I say is the silver lining for your career, because if I go through this and I then update my CV or update my LinkedIn profile with all of these lessons learned, I have become a data scientist. I have become a financial wizard. I have become a networking machine. I am Mr. or Ms. Relationship. I can hang with the masses, I can hang with those who are just starting out, and I can map it all together in a go to market framework to achieve our company goals, and I can conserve cash, and I can grow efficiently.

If I can put all of that on my LinkedIn profile, what does that mean to someone like you who’s looking at a short list of candidates for that next kick ass, big job?

You are top of the list by far. It really is that simple.

All of those components make for great leaders. There’s other components of leadership too, but if you want to kill it in that leadership marketing role, all of those components are going to make you stand out from the rest dramatically.

So it really is that simple, those are all the components. And quite honestly, if you’re doing all those things, your network is probably throwing you in front of opportunities on the regular, because you are a standout shortlisted person that everybody wants to get their hands on.

How many LinkedIn profiles do you see doing a good job of conveying that experience and those accomplishments?

Very few.