Back in late 2019, I surveyed over 130 of you to assess the state of marketing leadership and to learn more about modern marketing teams. Little did I know that COVID would soon be turning our world upside down.

Looking at the report from last year, it’s clear that the roadblocks marketers faced pre-COVID were exacerbated by the pandemic. Talent bandwidth, forecasting pipeline, and martech insecurity took top spots for common marketing challenges.

Shrinking marketing budgets and headcounts during COVID certainly didn’t help with bandwidth. And as more companies doubled down on digital, new technologies (and the confidence that they would get the job done) were essential.

A year later, as the vaccine rollout continues, some form of normal appears to be on the horizon. For me, normal means being a full-time, remote CMO and a new mom:

Lillian and I getting ready for RevGrowth at Drift HQ!

What does normal look like for you? I want to know how your experiences over the last year have shaped you and your marketing team. That’s why I’m launching Drift’s 2021 Marketing Leadership Survey.

Subscribers who take this short five to seven-minute survey will receive first access to the 2021 report on the state of modern marketing teams and key marketing trends.


Finally, one more surprise: Starting in May, The Path to CMO 3.0 will switch to a bi-monthly newsletter. You’ll receive this newsletter on the first and third Sunday of each month:

  • First newsletter of the month: All the content and articles you’ve come to love, plus interviews with inspiring marketing leaders.
  • Last newsletter of the month: Exclusive insights from my CMO Conversations podcast guests.

It’s been such a joy sharing this newsletter with all of you. I’m so excited to see it grow.

Now, here’s what I’m reading 👇

The big reset: Data-driven marketing in the next normal [McKinsey]

The pandemic shifted business buying online. And more digital buying means more data insights for marketers.

Yet, instead of using these insights to improve targeting and personalization – or to anticipate trends during uncertainty – many marketers are falling back on bad data habits (i.e., “spray and pray” marketing). This McKinsey article argues that marketers should seize this moment to invest in precision marketing best practices and technologies. I couldn’t agree more.

You need to show customers that you’re listening and investing in their digital experience. Use the data you have to tailor unique buying journeys. Measure how this more personalized approach impacts conversion rates and bookings for sales.

All About Clubhouse, a Gabfest Behind a Velvet Rope [Bloomberg]

Clubhouse is quickly becoming the social media darling of the year.

Much of this has to do with celebrities and Silicon Valley influencers throwing their weight behind it. But, I believe Clubhouse also offers something other platforms don’t: exclusivity and intimacy. And what do people crave right now more than that?

If you’re looking to learn more about Clubhouse, this Bloomberg article is a must-read.

I’ve been lucky to use Clubhouse recently. And my advice is to lean into its exclusivity. This isn’t for run-of-the-mill webinars. This is a channel made for high-value conversations. So, focus on VIP accounts you’re looking to break into. Choose speakers with clout that can captivate a room and attract the right buyers to your live event.

Remote Learning Isn’t Just for Kids [The New York Times]

When we talk about remote learning, our minds turn to childhood education. But adult education is also undergoing its own digital transformation.

This article explores how the pandemic encouraged more adults to seek out virtual learning opportunities – from learning how to bake sourdough bread to completing veterinary school!

At Drift, we have a leadership principle, “be a curious learning machine.” We want our employees to seek out learning opportunities that will help them grow personally and professionally. It’s encouraging to see more companies doing the same.

What was your most memorable learning moment this month? Send me a note on LinkedIn, Tweet to @triciagellman, or reply to this email.

Talk soon,


P.S. Earlier this month, Drift hosted RevGrowth Account-Based Engagement with speakers from GoFundMe, Uber, Amazon, Beats by Dre, and more. Check out all of the session recordings here.

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