Revenue Rehab: It's like therapy, but for marketers
Feb. 22, 2023

The #1 Reason CMOs Get Fired: Lack of Alignment With Their CEO

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Kip Knight, author, coach, and Operating Partner at CMO Coaches, a national coaching network for marketing leaders. Kip is also an Operating Partner at Thomvest, a $500 million VC fund based in the Bay...

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Kip Knight, author, coach, and Operating Partner at CMO Coaches, a national coaching network for marketing leaders.

Kip is also an Operating Partner at Thomvest, a $500 million VC fund based in the Bay Area Kip, a Board member at Netbase Quid, a leading consumer analytics company, and a Senior Advisor with Drake Star Partners, an investment bank specializing in the technology and communication sectors.

Kip has worked in over 60 countries, starting his career at P&G in brand management. He has held numerous senior executive roles at PepsiCo, YUM Brands, eBay, and H&R Block, including CMO at Taco Bell and president of H&R Block.

He is founder of the U.S. Marketing Communication College, dedicated to teaching communication strategy to diplomats in the State Department.  Kip is the co-author of Crafting Persuasion: A Leader’s Handbook to Change Minds and Influence Behavior and author of Learn to Leap: How Leaders Turn Risk into Opportunities. Kip earned his B.S. degree from LSU in marketing and his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

In this week’s episode of Revenue Rehab, on the couch, Brandi and Kip dig into a topic sure to interest both current CMOs and marketers looking to step into the role; The #1 Reason CMOs Get Fired: Lack of alignment with their CEO.

Bullet Points of Key Topics + Chapter Markers:

  • Topic #1 Is this a Reality vs Perception Problem? [04:00] “It’s probably both”, says Kip. Disconcertingly, CMO’s have the shortest tenure of any of the C-suite roles; 18 months for CMOs compared to 5 years for CFOs and 7 years for CEOs. A recent study showed that only 32% of CEOs have ‘great confidence’ in their CMOs. “Marketers are guilty of speaking in the language of marketing, as opposed to the Language of Business”, Kip says, which can be an issue affecting perception of performance.
  • Topic #2 Praise in Public, Coach in Private [13:00] Building a relationship or rapport with your CFO and CEO can make a significant dent in decreasing any communication misfire. Kip suggests action items like doing some one on ones with your CFOs and CEOs to go through the marketing budget and discuss metrics to enrich their understanding on how it affects revenue.
  • Topic #3 Starting Out on the Right Foot [21:53] How can CMOs work on the lack of trust from their CEOs that seems to be the norm? “One of the things I would encourage any CMO candidate to do,” says Kip “is to have that conversation before you accept the job. So, in other words, what is the CEO expecting of that CMO?”.

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Kip’s one thing you can do today, is to identify your circle of influence in the company (CEO, CFO, Board Member etc.), and to then get a sense of whether there is concern or dissatisfaction.  Based on where that concern lies, work on shifting those things to the direction they are looking for.

Buzzword Banishment:

Kip’s Buzzword to Banish is an ‘uno-reverse’.  He considered banishing the term “AI”, as it was previously being used in marketing circles to make some promises that weren’t quite fulfilled, but after recently exploring tools like Chat GPT, he has changed his stance.  (A first for Revenue Rehab, no buzzword to banish this week).


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Outro VO  00:05

Welcome to Revenue Rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita Brandi Starr

Brandi Starr  00:33

Hello Hello Hello and welcome to another episode of revenue rehab. I am your host brandy star and we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Kip Knight Kip is the operating partner at Tom vest, a board member at net base squid and senior advisor with Drake Star Partners, Kip has worked in over 60 countries and started his career at p&g and brand management. He is also the founder of the US marketing communication college dedicated to teaching communication strategy to diplomats in the State Department. And how I met Kip is He is also the founder of cmo coaches, a national coaching network for marketing leaders. Kip is the co author of crafting persuasion, a leaders handbook to change minds and influence behaviors and the author of the new book learn to leap, how leaders turn risk into opportunities. Kip, welcome to revenue rehab, your session begins now.

Kip Knight  01:41

Ron, it's real pleasure to see you again. And thanks for the invite to share some thoughts today.

Brandi Starr  01:46

Awesome. Yeah, as I say reading through your bio, I did not realize you were doing so much at once. So very, very impressive resume. And so I think that's it's great with your background to have you to talk to our audience of CMOS today about our topic. But before we go there, I like to break the ice with a little woosah moment, and I call buzzword banishment. So what buzzword would you like to get rid of forever?

Kip Knight  02:21

Ready, I was all set to banish AI because AI seems to be the magic word that a lot of marketers use to explain whatever their startups going to do. But over the weekend, I came across this new blog called Chat GPT. Have you heard of this thing?

Brandi Starr  02:38

Yes, I have. I've been seeing lots of posts from that.

Kip Knight  02:43

Okay, so the reason I was a bit of a cynic on AI is when I was at block we worked with IBM we had we remember Watson, you know, want to solve all your problems. And I think this is a good example of marketers getting ahead of their skis and promising things that just weren't possible yet. But I think this new chat GPT could could change the game there. It's in fact, it's it's so popular. I tried to get back on it this morning and said, Sorry, we're so busy. We'll get back to you later on. So that was a potential buzzword. I don't want to banish, but I don't think it's over quite yet. It's still TBD. Okay, so

Brandi Starr  03:24

so we're not going to banish anything today, I think that's first time on revenue rehab, we have opted to unmanaged something. Because yeah, AI is definitely really popular. I do agree that there are some people that are are positioning it as you know, the magic pill. But there are some really interesting things happening. And I do think the chat GPT is one of those really interesting things. So we will stay tuned and not banish anything today. So now that we've kind of gotten that off our chest, tell me what brings you to revenue rehab today.

Kip Knight  04:04

Alright, uh, you and I both love marketing. I love marketing ever since the get go. And I've been in marketing for about 40 years. And frankly, I'm very concerned about the state of our profession. And the specific issue I want to talk about today is, you know, the number one reason why CMOS get fired, and it's a lack of alignment with their CEO, and almost in the same breath, the CFO, and what I'd like to do is share some survey data that came out last year. That's frankly, pretty frightening in terms of what CEOs think about their CMOS, it's, it's tough stuff. And then, more importantly, what can marketers do to try to change the situation? Let me start out with one stat that's, you know, probably not a total surprise, but maybe the numbers behind it will be so so you may have seen most of the shortest lifespan of any of the C Each level suite is about 18 months depending on what data you look at. For perspective, a CFO, average tenure is about five years, a CEO is about seven years. So in other words, the average CEO is going to go through three different CMOS during their time in office. And that is something that, you know, as a marketing professional, you've got to ask the question, why is that? And last year, there was a survey done by an outfit called boathouse is an agency in the Northeast. And what I want to do is share some of the numbers from this survey, and then talk about the implications of what we ought to do about it. So the first thing to keep in mind is most of your CEOs do not have a marketing background. In fact, only about 10% of CEOs have any kind of a marketing background. So your odds are nine out of 10 of these folks are not going to speak your language, they're going to be either an engineer, or a finance person or an operations person, but they're not going to know marketing, they're not going to understand marketing. And so coming out of the gate, you've got a real communication challenge. So what what boathouse did is they went and surveyed 150 of the top companies out there, the CEOs, and the questions, were all around, what do you think your CMO, let me give you some of the findings they had here. So 47% of the CMOS at the most critical role is for them to grow their business. Now, frankly, given your background and your book and this podcast, I'm surprised that's not a lot higher, because it's like, Duh, you know, they therefore, but then they go on and talk about, you know, what they believe the CMO is actually doing. They believe that only 63% of the CMOS are performance minded. In other words, they're not coming to work every day with the eye on the ball in terms of how to regrow the top line, you know, over time and a brand as well. Only 34% of CEOs have great confidence in their cmo only 32%. Trust them, it's like, holy cow. Well, this marriage last No, marriage is in trouble. 80% of the CEOs thought that the CMOS turnover is because the CMOS are failing. So in other words, it's not the CEOs fault, it's the CMOS fault that they are not doing what they need to be doing. 70% This one is really a shocker 70% of the CEOs think they're CMOs and save their own ass before taking a bullet, you know, for the CEO. So all of these add up to a real indictment that one of my favorite movies is Cool Hand Luke, I don't know if you've seen cool and Luke with Paul Newman, but at the end of the movie, the sheriff, which is a really mean guy says, you know, what we have here is a problem of communication. And I would say that there is a real Grand Canyon between what CEOs are expecting their see CMOS to deliver and what the CMOS are actually focused on and trying to deliver. So that's my, that's my premise, we have got a real communication problem. Here we have an alignment problem, we have a lack of understanding and partnership between the CEO and the CMO. And the same thing could be said for the CFO, because the CFO and the CEO are going to be you know, they're not going to have that problem, they are going to be totally aligned, because they know exactly what the board is looking for. And they know what they need to deliver. I think the odd person out is the CMO, they've got to somehow get in the same flight path as the CEO and the CFO, if they're going to have any chance of succeeding in their role.

Brandi Starr  09:05

So let me ask you this, because I've heard similar numbers, from other studies to what you've shared. And I've had some conversations with other CMOS, about this problem about the short tenure. And so the first question I'd have is, do we have more of a perception problem or reality problem, because in many cases, talking to CMOS, it sounds like we have more of a perception problem, in terms of these are the things that CEOs are saying that they think and feel and believe, but that the CMOS actual focus, what they're looking at, is not necessarily aligned like that. There's a perception problem of our space and what marketing is doing and is focused on, or do you feel like we have our reality problem in that these misaligned segments and Miss focus and you know, essentially missing the mark is something that is true for most CEE, I mean CMOS,

Kip Knight  10:08

I think it's probably both. And I think it's probably more a perception problem, because I don't think CMOS go into the role thinking, I'm just gonna ignore what my boss wants me to do, and I'm going to do what I want to go do that would be a suicide mission. On the other hand, part of the survey came out, I think this is probably the biggest perception issue, marketers are guilty of speaking in the language of marketing, as opposed to the Language of Business. So in other words, and this goes right to your, you know, the core of your, your podcast here in terms of revenue, everything a marketer is talking about has somehow got to be tied back to the financials. And I know, that's a difficult thing to do, especially if you're dealing with things that are of a long term nature. But if you're not able to have both the CFO and the CEO, understand the what So what now, what implications of all, every dollar you're spending on marketing, then you're failing as a communicator. And the reason this is important is not only to make sure that there is alignment at the senior level, but also making sure that if the business gets in trouble, you and the CFO is looking around to see where can we cut, cut, cut. Unfortunately, in too many places, the first stop is going to be the marketing department, they're gonna just say, Well, I'm going to take x amount of your marketing, and just put it right on the bottom line under the fallacy of thinking, well, that's not going to affect, you know, our ability to get to the top line. Of course it does. Because if that wasn't true, then why are you spending the money in the first place, I can't tell you how many conversations I've had, you know, with folks who have been in situations where the CFO took away 25% of the marketing budget, and yet, the top line number remained the same. And that sets you up for, you know, like, that is a no win situation for both the marketer as well as the rest of the company. So there's got to be education, there's got to be continual reminders, in terms of speaking the language of business as to the importance of these investments in marketing. And there's got to be enough trust between the two parties that if there is any uncertainty or any confusion there, you know, they, they can say it. I mean, one other mistake a lot of people make is they speak in acronyms, or they speak and just whatever the the fad word of the day is, I mean, that's probably why you'd like to start out with your banished word, because you'd almost play Mad Libs and fill in all of the, you know, the crazy lingo that we use, you've got to speak, it's like if you were going to a foreign country, and you insisted on speaking English, and everybody there spoke French, well, you know, you're probably not going to do that, well, you need to learn how to speak French, so that people can understand you and really relate to what you're trying to communicate.

Brandi Starr  13:00

So there's two points that you hit on, that I really want to dig into. And the first is that lack of understanding. So you hit on the stat of, you know, the the small percentage of CEOs. So I think it's 90% of CEOs don't have a marketing background. And so we have very few that really have that natural understanding. And so what is your recommendation? Like? What do we as marketers do to help to extend that understanding of how marketing works? You know, what, the short game and the long game? No, because I think that's kind of like blending the two is where there was also some confusion and the same thing for the CFO, like, how do we bridge that gap of knowledge and understanding so that we are all speaking the same language? And I mean, you know, obviously, taking out all the jargon, is that the quick win. But beyond that, how do we really foster that understanding?

Kip Knight  14:00

Let me give you an example from my own career. So when I got to Taco Bell, we had a CFO name was Mac super nice guy, but did not understand marketing. And I could tell after my first initial meetings with the senior team, that this is going to be an issue. So you know, having spent some time over in England, they've got this great principle or expression, you know, praise in public coaching private. So I knew that I was not going to get anywhere with Max challenging him in front of the rest of the senior team in terms of the value of marketing and or why we needed to spend more money in marketing or for God's sake, don't cut the marketing budget. So what I did is I went to him and I said, How about if I buy you lunch for the next five Fridays in a row? And what I'd like to be able to do is to sit down with you at each of these lunches, and kind of just go through the marketing budget and talk about how each of those elements works, what the metrics are, how we know what we're doing well, how we know we can you know, Improve, would you be open to that? And Max was like, Yeah, that sounds fine. And by the end of that five weeks brandy, it was a night and day difference. I mean, I'm not saying this will work with everybody. But how many CMOS have taken the time to sit down with their CFO, and really listen, and really try to make sure that you are understanding and do it in a safe environment, so that your CFO doesn't look like a fool, because they don't know what you know, the latest acronym is, I mean, that is probably one of the best practices I could I could share with the team, you know, do a one on one with your CFO, do a series of one on ones. And ideally, do the same thing with your CEO, so that the next time you're in a public setting, you're confident that they know what you're talking about. And ideally, you know, they're gonna, you're gonna back you up, but when push comes to shove,

Brandi Starr  15:50

I love the praise in public coach in private. And I also love any recommendation that has to do with lunch. Because I think I am the one that is always hungry. But no, that is great in taking a really in a formal way. Because it's very non confrontational, to say, Let's have lunch, let me you know, share some knowledge, as opposed to, you know, let me coach you through this. Because that almost comes across as like, you don't know what you're doing. Like, let me teach you. So So I love that. Because I do think that that is a key thing is to help them understand like, how the different marketing programs, the different channels like how it all fits together, how it impacts revenue. And one thing that I know from talking, you know, some of my listeners are first time CMOS, or CMOS of small companies where, you know, a lot of times in those roles, you're, you're a one person team. And you talked about speaking the language of business, and really being able to have those direct conversations. What advice do you give to those folks who are earlier in their leadership career or leading at smaller organizations, where you know, most of their career, they've been an individual contributor and haven't had to think about the business? What do you give, you know, what advice do you give to those newbies in being able to, like, you know, change how they communicate with other senior leaders, so that they are more speaking their language?

Kip Knight  17:29

Well, let me give you the ideal solution. And I'll give you the practical solution. The ideal solution is as part of your career path as a marketer, get into a general management position where you've got responsibility for a p&l, you know, what one problem you have, as a marketer is everything you see the the marketing lens, everything is marketing, myopia, everything looks like marketing. Three times in my career, I've stepped out of the marketing role into a general management role, like head of the division or head of a business. And every time I've come back as a marketer, I'm a much better marketer, because I get the 360 view about works. Now. That's the ideal solution, a more pragmatic, short term solution is to really get in there and spend the time on what I'll call appreciative inquiry. So in other words, when you go to the finance person, and you're sincerely trying to learn their world, trying to learn what's the gun to their head, what are they having to sign up and deliver, and you need to really go to school and understand the p&l, the balance sheet, you know, the financial processes, the way the board reviews, you know, everything related to you know, the business, so that anytime you insert yourself in the conversation, you're starting there, as opposed to starting with marketing, and trying to force fit that into whatever the topic is at hand. And the more you can become articulate and understanding as to the finances of the of the company and talk about that with competence, and, and when, frankly, the respect of the other people in the organization, the faster you will be an effective marketing leader. One other sidebar here and anybody who's a marketer who's listening to this, well will instantly say, Yeah, that's true. Why is it that marketers are the one profession that everybody who's a non marketer thinks they can do better? Oh?

Brandi Starr  19:24

Oh, you definitely hit on my soapbox there. Everybody thinks they can do marketing. Yeah, I won't go down that tangent because that'll be a hole.

Kip Knight  19:36

Because of that, you've got to be a lot more diplomatic, you've got to be a lot more patient, you've got to be a lot more understanding. Because everybody wants to grab that steering wheel from you. And only by rising to the occasion and showing that you're a business leader, not just the marketing later. Are you going to earn the right to lead the marketing function in your company?

Brandi Starr  20:00

Yeah, that is that is so true. And I do think, I mean, it does come down to a respect factor and a lot of cases, marketing has not been a role in my opinion that has gotten the respect that it deserves, you know, you think about, I can remember early in my career, you know, marketing was they were the makeup pretty people, like, you know, you make the PowerPoint slides pretty you handled the logo, like you made everything look nice, because way back when you couldn't really track anything, or tie it to revenue. And it's like, we are so much more than that. Now. And it is a little bit of changing the perception of the role, like there's been a lot of conversations about changing the M and cmo to being chief market officer instead of marketing. And, you know, the, you know, whether you buy into the title change or not, like the the real core of it is really focusing on the market and the business. And, you know, being that leader that is respected in the C suite, and not being that role that everybody thinks they can do that job. So that is really key. The other thing that you said earlier that I wanted to come back to was you talked about trust. And I think that this is a really big thing in you talks about having that trust with your CEO, that you are able to, you know, go in and you know, do what needs to be done, have the tough conversations. And I think this is a space where it doesn't always happen, like there are places where not that there's distrust, but there's not strong trust between the CMO and the CEO, to where you would feel like they would you know, go to bat for you. Why do you think that exists?

Kip Knight  21:53

Well, I think one of the things that I would encourage any cmo candidate to do is to have that conversation before you accept the job. So in other words, what is the CEO expecting of that CMO? Are they looking for a strategic thought partner? Are they looking for somebody who's brilliant in terms of execution, but execution only? Are they looking for somebody who's an innovator? Are they looking for somebody who's a creative, because depending upon what your strengths are, that's either going to be a marriage made in heaven, or you're going to be doomed from the start. Because if you think you're going in there as a thought leader, and we're going on strategy, and all they want you to do is to crank out marketing operations very efficiently and effectively, then that's a waste of talent. So if you can get that alignment from the beginning, then it's simply a question of going back on a regular basis and saying, Okay, remember, we said in the beginning, we wanted to do A, B, and C power? Are we performing against that? What feedback do you have for me and delivering that vision that you laid out for me when your heart?

Brandi Starr  22:58

Yeah, and I do think that that is a key consideration is when you are going through that hiring process is to ask the right questions, because I know, you know, in two of the series that I have on the podcast, which is cmo exit, talking about, you know, career pathing. And you know, what next steps look like and then the my journey where I've talked to different people about their journeys through their career, like really understanding who you are as a leader, and what your strength is, I think is really, really important. Because you're right, if you are someone that's, you know, great with turnaround, or accelerated growth, or operationalizing things, and that is misaligned, from the beginning with what the CEO is expecting, as you come in, you aren't kind of setting yourself up to fail, because, you know, you're you're taking a role that's not necessarily not necessarily aligned to who you are.

Kip Knight  24:01

And one of the questions we ask as coaches is, you know, what is your superpower? And depending on what your superpower is, you might go find somebody who really needs that superpower as opposed to wasting it on somebody who doesn't really care one way or the other as to whether or not you're really good at something.

Brandi Starr  24:18

Yeah, that that that's a good, that's a good action. And I know, like when I've had that question come up, I've always had to, you know, really pause and think deeply about what is that thing? Because, you know, I know what I how I used to answer that question. I realized if someone were trying to hire me, that would not be the thing that you would bring me in for. So like it really does require some internal, you know, deep dive of like, what is that thing? Where is that place that you really, really thrive like no other and making sure that the role that you're taking is going to To aligned to that. And so thinking about trust from the other perspective, any thoughts or advice around how marketers help to, you know, foster that trust across the entire senior team like coming across, as you know, demonstrating that trust coming across as I know my role, like, thinking about it more broadly than just the CEO?

Kip Knight  25:32

Yeah, one thing that a number of CEOs ask our coaches do is they want their cmo to be the evangelist for marketing in the company. So in other words, you know, every person in that company really should have some level of marketing responsibility, they represent that business, they represent that brand, they're bringing that brand to life with all the clients and consumers that are out there. So one of the ways you can do that is continual outreach to the other functions, you know, if it's a big enough company, if the CML can go on a regular basis to the finance team, and the operations team or the engineering team, and lay out the current thinking around marketing, the progress that's been made, the challenges you're facing, and the ways that they can contribute, it becomes a united team effort, as opposed to those crazy marketers down the hall, what are they up to next? You know, I don't understand them. So you've got to it's a diplomatic role. And there's got to be continual outreach, continual communication, and understanding and acknowledgement on, you know, if you're not doing what you promised, okay, then what are you doing to really get back to a better place, because it's ironic, because mostly, we're great communicators. But I think in this area, we're not that good in terms of spreading the word around the importance of marketing in the role of marketing and building a business over time.

Brandi Starr  26:56

Yeah, you really have to evangelize the work that's happening in marketing across the C suite so that people get it. And I agree, I think that most marketing departments are not great at that, like, we don't toot our own horns, well, or often, in many cases, but it's

Kip Knight  27:15

tricky, because it's easy to come across as a rah rah and wave the flag and everybody go, like, there they go. Again, they just don't, they don't get it, they're just being very creative. But I don't see how that's going to help us right now. So when you're delivering that message, it's got to be in the language of business, so that you know, the person in engineering or sales or Ops is gonna go, okay, that's important. And I'm glad they're doing that. And I can see the value of that, as opposed to have the eye roll and go that those guys, I think they just have fun all day long. They know, really.

Brandi Starr  27:49

And my last question for you is, if we have, you know, heads of marketing CMOS that are listening, and they're having a little bit of an ocean moment in, you know, they're tuning into this episode, recognizing that they're not aligned with their CEO, and you know, that their tenure could be short. What's your advice? Is it jumpship? Find something that works for you? Or are there ways that you feel like someone can turn around that relationship? You know, before their, their time is up, so to speak, with their CEO, if they do feel like there's a misalignment?

Kip Knight  28:26

Well, I certainly hope that anybody in that position has the opportunity to meet on a regular basis with their CEO, and, and also the CFO. And I would also certainly hope that the relationship was open and honest enough that if it was not working, then they were talking about it. And, you know, I've managed to know, I've managed 1000s of people in my career, and every now and then you'll have a conversation about, or brandy, I think you need to go find your happy place somewhere else, because it's just not going to be here. And here's why. And we'll try to help you through it, but have the conversation and ask the question and get the commitment. So in other words, if the, if the CEO is going, I'm not sure this is gonna work out, then I would probably take that as a strong hint, say, Okay, fine, let's figure out, you know, and make it as professional transition as you can, without burning the bridges on the way. But if the boss is gone, I think he got me a brandy. But here's what I'm not seeing, and then make that your priority in terms of demonstrating that on regular basis. So anybody who leaves and surprises their boss, the manager has failed, the manager should know how they're doing at all times with all of their directs. And the same is true with a CEO and a CMO. So that would be my advice. Just keep it honest and make some commitments either to say, Okay, it's not gonna work out. We're moving on or we're going to work on it. And here's what I need to see.

Brandi Starr  29:52

Yeah, and I think that definitely pulls from a common real therapy conversation, which is have the tough conversation sessions and figure out, you know what is actually going to work for those involved. So I love that. And talking about our challenges is just the first step, and nothing changes, if nothing changes. So in traditional therapy, the therapist will give the client some homework, but here at revenue rehab, I like to flip that on its head and ask you to give us some homework. So for those people who are, you know, trying to improve the lack of alignment between them and their CEO? What would be your action item? What's your one thing that one action that you would encourage our listeners to take?

Kip Knight  30:41

Well, in coaching, we use this concept called circle of influence, and circle of influence are, who are the four or five people in the company that determine your fate. And it's probably it's definitely going to be your boss, it's probably going to be the head of HR, it might be the CFO, it might be a board member, and it might be you know, just a mentor to the CEO, who knows, but you need to know who those people are. And you need to know that if there is a vote of confidence at any particular point, how would they vote. And if you're starting to get some indications that the CFO is just not feeling it, they're just not thinking that you're doing what you need to be doing to build the business, then again, it's up to you to go proactively say, I'm getting a sense that you're just disappointed by performance, and I want to get better, what can I do, because the way you get fired is going to be there's going to be a closed door session, there's going to be you know, literally just sometimes one person going, I just don't think that person is right for the role. And then you're out of there. So for the homework assignment, identify your circle of influence, have a one on one with each one of them to kind of assess where you stand. And if there is a weak link in the chain, make, make it a resolution to go in and really address that issue and show some progress. Because ignoring it, it is not going to get better, it is only going to get worse.

Brandi Starr  32:04

I love that. So identify your circle of influence, and then work to meet and have conversations with them. So that there they are a positive influence. Well, Kip, I have enjoyed our discussion for today. But that's our time. But before we go, how can our audience connect with you?

Kip Knight  32:26

Well, the easiest way to do it is just through email, Kip night at cmo If you are a either a CMO or a marketing leader or and you aspire to be a CMO, I would encourage everybody to go check out our website, Sema We've got fabulous coaches, our niche is we are former CMOS, who are coaching current CMOS or aspiring CMOS. So we've we've been there we walked a mile in your shoes. We know, we know how tough the job is. We've been doing it for about four years as a company, we've seen some dramatic impact on the clients we've worked with. And it's a passion for us, because I'll I'll then way I begin, I am concerned about the state of our profession, I think we need to do a reality check. And I think we need to be proactively working to get better alignment between the CMOS out there and their bosses, the CEOs.

Brandi Starr  33:24

And I can say that I had the pleasure of meeting most of the coaches at cmo boot camp last year. And it was an amazing experience. I definitely I went in not really knowing what to expect because it was my first bootcamp and I was definitely impressed by the insight and experience of all the coaches. So we will make sure to link to cmoh coaches, as well as your new book in the show notes. So for everyone who is listening, just take a look. In the show notes, all of that information is there so that you can stay connected with Kip. Kip, thank you so much for joining me today.

Kip Knight  34:07

Thanks, Brandi. It's a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.

Brandi Starr  34:09

Awesome. And thank everyone for joining us. I hope that you have enjoyed my conversation with Kip. I can't believe we're at the end. See you next time.

Outro VO  34:21

You've been listening to Revenue Rehab with your host brandy star. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at revenue rehab dot live. We're also on Twitter and Instagram at revenue rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.

Kip KnightProfile Photo

Kip Knight

Author, Coach, Operating Partner

Kip Knight is Operating Partner at Thomvest, a $500 million VC fund based in the Bay Area. He is a Board member at Netbase Quid, a leading consumer analytics company. He is also a Senior Advisor with Drake Star Partners, an investment bank specializing in the technology and communication sectors.
Kip has worked in over 60 countries. He started his career at P&G in brand management. He has held numerous senior executive roles at PepsiCo, YUM Brands, eBay and H&R Block, including CMO at Taco Bell and president of H&R Block.
He is founder of the U.S. Marketing Communication College, dedicated to teaching communication strategy to diplomats in the State Department. In addition, he’s founder of CMO Coaches, a national coaching network for marketing leaders.
He is co-author of Crafting Persuasion: A Leader’s Handbook to Change Minds and Influence Behavior and author of Learn to Leap: How Leaders Turn Risk into Opportunities. Kip earned his B.S. degree from LSU in marketing and his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.