CMOs Share Their Secrets To Building Successful Marketing Campaigns 


Nike’s “Just Do It” or Dove’s “Real Beauty,” are just two examples of unforgettable campaigns any marketer would dream of adding to their portfolio.  But running a successful, impactful campaign is a talent that comes with years of experience.

While doing research for ‘Chief Marketing Officers at Work’, I had the opportunity to ask 29 top CMOs how they put together great marketing campaigns.  I would like to share with you some of the insights from the CMOs of GoDaddy, HireVue, and SurveyMonkey.

Editor’s Note: Phil Bienert and Ada Chen Rekhi of GoDaddy and SurveyMonkey, respectively, have moved on to roles at other companies.

Localize And Customize

For global businesses like GoDaddy, former Executive Vice-president and CMO Phil Bienert explains the importance of customizing for the local audience, and the challenges in finding out what works for any given market.

“There’s no one thing, because there’s not any one campaign,” Bienert says.  “If you look at the way we’re operationalizing marketing, at any one time, we’re doing hundreds and hundreds of things around the world.”  He uses a number of markets around the world, where GoDaddy has localized their campaigns, as examples.

“I can point to the impact of social media on our marketing in Brazil, or I can point to some of the things we’ve been doing specifically with localized language in marketing in India, where they have multiple languages.  Although Hindi and English are common, those regional languages are important to take advantage of.  We’ve done some things with social and PR in Turkey,” he said.

In all, Bienert said that his team has seen success by connecting the dots across many touch points and focusing more on conventional advertising tactics such as radio, print and television.

“As we’ve been more explicitly connecting the dots between the addressable touch points and the math touch points with messaging and implicitly building campaigns to feed different parts, different stages in the funnel, we’ve seen those results.  I’m happy about where we’re going with programmatic TV in those markets where we can do it, particularly in the US,” he said.

Running Expert Virtual Events Then Repacking Content Into Ebooks And Webinars

For HireVue, their target market segment is a little narrower than GoDaddy’s, as CMO Kevin Marasco shares, they mainly focus on reaching Fortune 100 companies.

“There’s a lot of regional and field marketing to go find those people versus a more broader-based digital approach that you’d normally do for small businesses or consumer marketing.  We’re trying to find out how can we take some of the principles of digital and apply them to what’s historically worked for this high end of the market.  There are more field events, and it’s more network-based,” he said.

As an example, Marasco talks about a series of virtual events that HireVue has created.  “It varies across market segments, but we try to maximize reach while keeping our costs per marketing-qualified lead under fifty bucks.  We blended some traditional webinar concepts with content marketing and built virtual events where we’ll get a group of subject-matter experts together – authors, bloggers, customers, a lot of whom are great brands – and have them talk on a topic.”

Using the events as a jump-off point, Marasco shares that they’ll then create content like an ebook or a webinar, then package and market it through social media and email marketing channels.  Partners are then brought on to fund the project.  The campaign has proved to be successful not just in terms of engaging with industry thought leaders, but also in generating revenue through sponsorships.

“It’s generated a ton of great content that’s ‘marketing on a shelf.’  We continue to market.  It’s been great from a cost, economic, and reach standpoint and still drives some quality leads.  Social campaigns would be a second example.  Some have been more hands-on, like working with our outbound ADM team and empowering them with social tools where they’re not just doing blind emails and cold calls and things like that,” he said.

Using Search And Display Channels To Hyper-Target Customers

At SurveyMonkey, former VP of Marketing Ada Chen Rekhi shared how she put together scalable marketing campaigns using surveys (of course).  She explains that a lot of the expansion they’ve seen has been in search and display channels, and helping capture mid-funnel intent.  “You have this idea, and you think you want to create a survey, but how do we show up in the right place at the right time when you’re looking for it? …whether it’s a search result or a display ad …and then, also target you with the right messages?” Chen Rekhi asks.

“Based on the contents of what you searched for or what parts of the site you browsed, what are the different messages we can show you later on?  That and the expansion of our ability to hyper-target customers based off of the information we have about them have been huge areas of gain for us.”

On top of using search and display channels, Chen Rekhi also said that they’ve been looking more at social networks.

“Facebook is a great way for us to reach those customers.  That’s been a huge win for us, and we’ve been learning quite a lot about how you engage with those channels, whether it’s through our mobile applications or to drive a broader awareness of SurveyMonkey,” she said.  She also uses one of their products ‘Question Bank’ as an example, which is tied to customer insights and decreases the friction in the decision-making process for users when they’re taking surveys.

“The second thing we’ve done besides Question Bank is our marketing campaigns introducing the concept of templates.  If you’re trying to measure customer satisfaction, or you’re an HR leader of a small company and are trying to measure employee engagement, there are preexisting templates,” she said and uses employment engagement surveys in partnership with the Society of Human Resource Professionals as an example.

“In addition to that, we can benchmark and tell you if forty-four percent of your employees said such and such, is that good or bad, relative to others?  That becomes powerful because you’re not only measuring it but putting it into context.”