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7 Strategic Tips for Startup CMOs to Stay on Top



Abeer Raza

We all are in a race, striving to get ahead of everyone and anyone. Sometimes, we invent new strategies to propel ourselves further, and we mostly rely on proven tactics to improve our scores.

Who Bears the Heaviest Responsibility in Your Startup to Stay on Top?

In this rat race of acquiring growth — Chief Marketers Officers (CMOs) are the ones who bear the most burden, which eventually cascades down the hierarchy. Marketing has never been an easy job, but since the latest startup boom, SEO and Marketing have become even more challenging.

Today, startups are looking for competent individuals for their teams (read rocket ships) to drive growth at insane rates. While this strategy might work out sometimes, it becomes hectic eventually and burns out team members – resulting in unwanted performance lapses.

Retain and Build a Clear Vision in Strategic Planning

To mitigate the threats before the building begins to tremble — CMOs need a clear and focused strategic plan.

Strategic plans differ significantly – depending on the industry, consumer behavior, or nature of the business. Here are 7 strategic tips for contemporary CMOs to stay on top of their game.

1. Synergize your growth strategy

Synergizing your growth strategy is pretty straightforward when the goals are clear, and the pathway is defined. However, this is often not the case. Companies that shout culture at every intersection must learn to ideate better and implement strategies to direct efforts in a uniform direction.

At the end of the day, the task is to drive sustainable growth, ensure customer contentment and allow the champion narrative to reflect on the actions.

Every company asks for new channels to utilize and grow, but many lack alignment – which usually plays a critical role in a company’s success.

Chief Marketing Officers are the bearers of the responsibility of driving growth. They must understand marketing’s contribution from a broader perspective and develop the necessary strategic vision to excel beyond imagination.

Furthermore, aligning your efforts alone won’t cut it. The ability to turn customer insights into valuable products or services is among the top traits of marketers, as per a study; it must be suitably channeled for the utmost benefit. There needs to be proper identification of market gaps which should then be mapped through pertinent insights to make them useful.

2. Strengthen your brand’s image

In the current market, one of many requirements for a brand to take the lead is through its image, vision, and voice. CMOs are responsible for carrying the brand’s vision forward, portraying it to its merit, and ideating to perfection. A brand’s projection is merely not a means to capture eyes but the medium to complement marketing goals with subtlety.

Although it is not feasible to expect growth through brand management – CMOs need to direct energy in the correct direction and work in unison to improve brand awareness, enhance engagement metrics, uplift consumer experience standards and deliver to the actual cause of the brand.

For a brand, you cannot ever say if the efforts suffice. Certain challenges and risks may hinder the seamless process. For that, the brand management team and CMOs must ideate and implement a strategy to categorically inject a series of activities that drive results through set KPIs.

Many early-age brands blunder with their messaging and voice, which, in the long-term, adversely affects them. For that, brands are usually asked to navigate various approaches to understand their audiences and adjust their campaigns accordingly.

3. Adjust to changing consumer demands

Modern brands must be on their toes, ready to accept and adapt to changing consumer demands. Today, consumer behavior is significantly impacted by surrounding events, and to address the shifting behavioral trends – CMOs need to craft flexible procedures that are easy to get in and out of.

One way to cater to the changing needs is by creating audience-centric content that educates and assists the users in becoming customers during the complete customer lifecycle. Though, no matter if the conversion pipeline is inefficient, the customer-focused approach will see you home.

Moreover, conversion chances skyrocket when marketing and sales efforts align and target the right audience simultaneously. The data collected also plays a vital role in identifying the critical pain points and results in more likely outcomes.

Also, strategic planning aids in mitigating potential threats and supplements building processes that are more personalized and make your users feel at ease. In addition, creating promotions at the right time can act as a much-needed catalyst for any CMO.

4. Leverage the latest technology

Where we stand today is all because technology has enabled us to propel ourselves forward and build solutions that provide end-to-end coverage and resolve all the underlying issues. All CMOs should know that without accepting the change and leveraging technological advancement, they won’t stand a chance.

But not only CMOs should be spearheading the initiative. It is the responsibility of the top brass to acknowledge and understand the market needs and map their services and products to ensure customers get the technology-enabled solutions that genuinely add value to their lives.

The role of Chief Marketing Officers has become increasingly complex, so much so that everyone sees marketing as the sole revenue driver – which must enable CMOs to start looking at the factors that might come in handy. When all the technical measures are in place and the systems begin to function together, favorable outcomes usually become a reality.

While it may not be as easy and seamless as it sounds, putting the effort in the right direction through the appropriate technology stack can do wonders.

5. Optimize content strategy

Optimizing a content strategy is of utmost importance in the broader scheme of things, which often gets overshadowed by some other glittery techniques. Optimizing a content strategy is significant for growth metrics. When CMOs work for exponential growth, they must optimize their content production process.

It may involve strategizing and addressing the right audience, keeping a balance between educating and promoting, partnering with other internal and external channels and initiatives to extend the reach, and creating transparent processes to accomplish goals.

At this point, it is noteworthy that in startups, CMOs are the ones that must be leading the content distribution, addressing content gaps, and pouring in to enhance operations. The digital marketing domain relies heavily on content to achieve its targets; hence, it must not be brushed under the carpet.

Startup progress and its positioning is usually an essential factor in driving revenue, and when content portrays a lucrative picture, there is no way it can go wrong. Communicating with key stakeholders and customers sets an initial impression which helps in the long term.

6. Enhance traceability & measurement

CMOs can do everything in the world, launch the fanciest campaigns and fail to leave a mark if they don’t measure their efforts. Today’s marketing is all about data – whether the insights tell you the buying pattern or enrich you regarding the priority shifts – data tells you all.

Cosmetically, numerous tools are available that process data to produce valuable insights and graphs and churn out spectacular numbers. But these will be no good if they don’t see the linkage with marketing or business goals.

Knowing your small steps and planning them strategically and based on data findings can be more helpful than dedicating resources without proper accountability.

CMOs must always be aware of the ground realities so that they can make decisions that are realistic and will drive practical results. Based on what you are trying to achieve, performance parameters or key performance indicators (KPIs) must be established to remain informed.

7. Provide context and make sense

People tend to catch pace with you and align with your vision when they understand what you are trying to achieve. Whatever your plans, keeping your team in the shadows and not providing the complete picture would never help in the long run.

Providing context and going beyond a vague idea regarding a decision will enable others to join you in your journey.

This way, they will realize your expertise by having trust in the leadership and begin to foresee the long-term results and put more diligent efforts into attaining the objectives. It will make sense even if you restructure, define new hierarchies, and build newer roles.

Now when you are working from up above, you cannot always make sense, and not everyone can understand your position. Still, as a Chief Marketing Officer, you must be strategically leading the marketing efforts as well as ensuring that the team is putting in an equal amount of effort to materialize the end goals.


The 21st century has made the Chief Marketing Officer role more demanding and complex. The fierce competition globally has pushed them to be on their toes all the time and execute plans that drive revenue.

CMOs, in most organizations, are involved in strategizing future steps and finalizing goals. In this piece, I have tried to tap the most important factors contributing to a startup’s growth involving CMOs.

These steps will enable Chief Marketers to stay ahead and deliver more than expected. Given the current financial turmoil, pushing boundaries and adapting to efficient practices are all that the startups require.

Featured Image Credit: Mario Gogh; Unsplash; Thank you!

Abeer Raza

Founding Partner

A Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Growth Hacker, Business Consultant and Keynote Speaker.
I’m on a mission to revolutionize the world by helping other entrepreneurs disrupt their domains using emerging technology solutions. I enjoy guiding today’s leaders and revolutionary thinkers by making sure their visions are brought to life in the most effective way possible.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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