← Back

The Five: Here's The Five 5-11

Thanks to the 2023 Exit Five presenting sponsors Jasper (AI)Demandwell (SEO), and Zapier (Automation)

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The Five, a weekly collection of B2B marketing lessons & observations. Curated by me, Dave Gerhardt and fueled by the community at Exit Five (we host a private community of ~3,500 marketing pros and normally I'm here promoting that you should join us but right now we're not taking new memberships for a few weeks as we do some housekeeping, but you can get on the waiting list if you want to be notified when we open memberships back up in a few weeks.

Here's The Five for This Week:


#1 Need Design Help? Try No Boring Design (Sponsored)

If you are looking for on-demand design help here's a resource for you. The creative team over at Matter Made (they work with companies like Loom, Calm, Dropbox, Productboard, etc.) have spun out a fractional / on-demand design team for startups in a pinch called No Boring Design. The pricing starts at $1k/month -- so pretty reasonable for any startup designs. They can do work from brand identity to website re-design to the daily campaign assets we need like decks, graphics, ads. Here's the link to check them out and work with No Boring Design on your next project.


#2 Scaling The Marketing Team: Hiring Stage Appropriate Marketers


My guest this week on the Exit Five podcast (episode 73) is Tom Wentworth. He's CMO of Recorded Future, a $250M+ ARR cybersecurity company and has scaled the marketing team from 5 to 45 marketers.

He says the key to scaling is (gasp) bringing on middle mangers (!) but making sute that you are bringing on stage appropriate team members as you scale.

We also talked about:

- The breakdown of Recorded Future's 45 person marketing team roles & responsibilities & goals
- RF's marketing operating system, campaigns, themes, and running plays quarterly and annually
- Why he hates category creation
- Why he doesn't like spending budget on agencies
- Why middle management is important to scaling marketing
- Why RF built a news organization, how it works, hiring top journalist, how it fits within the marketing org, what they report on, doing millions of pageviews/month
- Managing up, working with the CEO, and why "if you don't have a plan you'll be given one"

To listen, search for "Exit Five" wherever you listen to your podcasts.


#3 Get Your Side Hustle On


There was an interesting question posed this week in the Exit Five community from a member wondering about how to potentially test the waters as a freelancer.

Looking for advice from folks who successfully started doing side gigs as marketers - consulting or productized service, whatever that could be.

I am mid-career holistic marketer (senior manager, IC but with very meaningful scope and responsibility) at a public b2b saas and thinking of starting a side hustle with the goal of ultimately going full-time with it. I am not planning to quit within the next year for sure since the company is having a lot of momentum and I am learning a ton every day.

But, big picture, I am tired of long hours, corporate politics and working with people that don't have shared mindset. I just want to do more great marketing, less of stakeholder management and politics. And ultimately be independent. Want to have a plan and work towards it, even if its small steps and minimal side hustle for now.

If you hop in and search for "side gigs" you can find this thread and read some of the perspective.


#4 How Much Should The CMO Know SaaS Metrics?

I recorded an interview this week with Dave Kellogg (he's been both a CEO and CMO at B2B SaaS for 20 years).

I asked him how well today's CMO needs to know SaaS metrics and he said "you should be able to fill in for the CFO on an investor relations call if you had to."

Which is not a perspective I've had before and he got my to change my mind on it. This was a great interview for anyone looking for more "what makes a good CMO" type content" and I hope to release this interview on the podcast next week.

We also talked about what makes a great CMO and he had three keys:

1. Being a great partner to sales
2. Learning how to be a "dispassionate analyst" and present that facts about marketing (there's a lot he unpacks here, it's great)
3. Being a true partner to the CEO

Stay tuned.


#5 Did You Watch The Exit Five 2.0 Teaser Video?


We are getting close to being ready to make the move off of Facebook Groups into our new home for Exit Five, what I'm calling Exit Five 2.0

I recorded a ~5 minute overview the new Exit Five and shared it with members today and I thought it would be worth sharing that video here with you if you missed it or if you're not yet a member but might want to become one when we open membership back up in a few weeks.

Here's the video from me sharing the plans for Exit Five 2.0

And if you're not yet a member but want to get on the waitlist you can join ~250 people on the waiting list now and get notified on the day we re-open memberships; we just need to close it down to the public for a bit while we change the plumbing and re-do the house :)

Click here to put your name on the Exit Five waiting list.


- Dave

PS. Next week we are doing a webinar with Zapier's Head of Content Lane Jones. 

Zapier has been an incredible content machine that does millions of page views and has generate 450% ROI on their content efforts when compared to spending on paid and they've built a moat with SEO.

If you want to go inside of a of high-performing B2B SaaS content team join me and Lane next week on this free Exit Five live session.

Register here:

How Zapier Built a Content Marketing Machine: 450% ROI on Content, Proving Impact to the C-Suite, and More (Exit Five Live)

Plus we'll talk about how AI + automation can be used by content marketers and why you should be seriously taking advantage of these tools and not running from them.

← Back