If you’re responsible for driving sales, you know that it’s crucial to track decision-maker shifts in order to beat your competitors to the pitch. There is one shift in particular you should keep your eyes out for, and that’s when a brand hires its first-ever CMO.
Why is this so significant? When a brand hires a CMO for the first time, not only is the likelihood of that brand hiring new agencies increased, it also means that a large marketing investment is coming- so ad sellers, martech vendors, and sponsorship organizations should take notice.
Following a CMO hire, a window of opportunity opens within the first 3-12 months of their tenure as they reshape strategies and redefine their marketing investments. In order to help you strike while the iron is hot, we’ve compiled a list of four first-time CMOs, plus included details and decision-maker information so you can make a strategic introduction.
1. Daily fantasy sports platform Monkey Knife Fight hires first CMO
Monkey Knife Fight, a daily fantasy sports betting platform, recently hired Danny Tawiah as it’s first CMO. In this role, he will lead all marketing efforts including platform development and affiliate partnership.
According to Adbeat, MKF has spent $96K on digital display ads in the last 365 days. Of these ads, 74% have been placed site direct on destinations including covers.com, prosportsdaily.com, rotowire.com, milehighsports.com, and fantasypros.com. MKF has yet to air national TV ads, but competitors DraftKings & FanDuel spend heavily in this channel, so MKF is likely to at least test this channel in an attempt to raise brand awareness.
Agency and Martech Opportunity: Since MKF and it’s marketing department are so new, they do not have an agency roster yet. As we know, PR hires are usually on the docket first and once brand awareness is established, more traditional agency hires will follow. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Tawiah as he prepares for 2020.
2. Rover.com names first CMO, decreases media spend
Dog-sitter-and-walker app Rover.com named Bill Kong as it’s first CMO in July to spearhead all marketing initiatives with a focus on growth. With this hire, the brand is likely to see an increase in overall digital media spend due to his prior digital experience.
Adding to its list of products, Rover.com recently began offering other services including cat-sitting and dog-grooming services. Kong plans to build momentum on these services and expand the company’s market. This is necessary considering the overall media spend for Rover.com has gone down this year, disappointing compared to it’s higher 2018 spending trends.
Although spending this year has been far from encouraging, we should see increased spending in time. A new CMO almost inevitably leads to eventual agency reviews and shifts in media spend.
Media Seller Opportunity: Rover.com attracts millennials with pets as it’s top clientele, along with boomers. Reach out if you have the ability to get dog and cat services in front of this generation digitally.
Agency Opportunity: A CMO hire, especially a first-ever, is the leading trigger for an agency review. Creative AOR Pereira & O’Dell partnered with Rover.com in 2017. PHD currently handles media business. If you specialize in digital, now is a good time to reach out and get on the new CMO’s radar.
3. WellPet taps first CMO, restructures brands to broaden market
WellPet, a leading natural and holistic pet food company, hired it’s first CMO this July, Clark Reinhard. In his role, Reinhard will lead global growth across all WellPet brands bolstering new products, such as oral care brands and raw-infused nutrition. He will oversee brand management, marketing, advertising and PR. Those located in Massachusetts may have the upper hand considering Reinhard will be working out of the Tewksbury headquarters.
In 2016, WellPet acquired the Minneapolis-based raw pet food company Sojos. The company continues to separate themselves from an increasingly saturated market of natural and organic pet foods in this predominately millennial industry.
Media Seller Opportunity: According to StatSocial, WellPet tends to reach Gen X females the most, particularly those with a HHI of $50-100k. It’s possible the company is attempting to increase millennial reach through recent digital ads. Keep in mind WellPet sells it’s brands both in-store and via e-Commerce through platforms such as Chewy.
Agency Opportunity: USIM has been responsible for media buying and planning since 2013 and SwellShark has handled media planning since 2015. As new strategies are developed with new leadership in place, there may be a need for digital and social media services. Start reaching out to lower level marketing personnel in order to stay on WellPet’s radar.
4. Urban Plates taps first CMO to fuel expansion plans
In order to fuel rapid growth, restaurant chain Urban Plates has hired Steve Greer as it’s first CMO, effective July. Greer brings additional marketing leadership experience from companies such as Bloomin’ Brands, General Mills, and Nestle.
Urban Plates currently operates 17 units and plans to double in size by 2021. Most of its locations are in California and DC, but it expects to expand into the West and Northeast markets. It also recently landed a $38 million growth and working capital facility with Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group. These funds will further fuel expansion plans.
Media Seller Opportunity: Sellers with the ability to assist Urban Plates in growth should reach out sooner rather than later. The company’s locally and sustainably-sourced ingredients suggest a millennial and Gen-Z focus. It offers options for vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians and carnivores. In his previous experience, Greer did not lead Xperience into national TV ad channels, so we are unsure whether he will in his position at Urban Plates.
Agency and Martech Opportunity: As you know, newly hired CMOs often conduct agency reviews, so reach out soon for potential work. When pitching, emphasize your ability to aid Urban Plate’s expansion plans.