What it Takes to Thrive on the Marketing Team at Chili Piper

Alina Vandenberghe
June 23, 2023
min to read

What it Takes to Thrive on the Marketing Team at Chili Piper

Alina Vandenberghe
June 23, 2023
min to read

Marketing career pathways are of many types and each company is a bit different and adapted to its specific marketing strategy. In this article I will cover the skillsets that are important for our team

At Chili Piper our marketing strategies are not ordinary. We market to savvy GTM teams in B2B (a special kind of audience in itself). Hence we might have a list of non-ordinary skills and levels. 

If you just want to get this version in google sheets without reading the full article, grab our free template to see how they apply to your levels in your team.

Marketing career path

They cover skillsets for various marketing career paths for the following roles:

  • Product Marketing
  • Demand Generation
  • Social Media
  • Growth Marketing
  • Partner Marketing
  • Ecosystem Growth
  • Customer Marketing (aka Lifecycle Marketing)
  • Field Marketing

Many companies might put all the above roles under a digital marketing umbrella. But these days, I find it really hard to differentiate between what's digital and what's not. 

Especially when digital campaigns accompany every other marketing motion. For example, direct mail and events are more and more accompanied by QR codes. "Smart" billboards are analyzing foot traffic digitally.

I’ve spent a lot of time mapping the various skills that make up the 1% of marketing teams succeed. This is the V1 of my research.

Each one of these skills is mapped to various levels of seniority (associate, manager, senior, head of, director, vice president) to make sure that our team can understand what it takes to climb the ladder.

I took over the marketing team as a chief marketing officer a few months ago. Wrote about my first 30 days as a CMO and my rationale to transition from CPO to CMO.

I had spent time with hundreds of marketers for the past years — from fast-growing startups, publicly traded companies, and highly profitable companies — digging deep into what it takes to be successful. Our company builds software for marketers and has recently received a valuation close to a billion. As you can imagine I have a lot of strong views on this topic and didn't take this process lightly.

Before I dive into the actual skills I want to give a big thank you to Frank Boulben (former CMO at Blackberry and Orange, currently at Verizon) — the most amazing marketer in my life who inspired me to seek this framework.

🎯 Results Oriented

By far the most important skill in our team is an analytical mindset. But not the kind that just looks at the data and knows how to interpret it. But the kind that knows to use data to take the right actions AND prioritize their activities from it. We call this “Results oriented”. 

Being “results oriented” is about contribution to either pipeline or brand awareness that can be objectively measured.

Pipeline results can come from inbound marketing campaigns but can also come from upsells, cross-sells, acceleration of deals and — why not — even helping with prevention of churn. It's not only about capturing top of the funnel intent, it's about keeping a health customer lifecycle journey throughout the full funnel.

Even on the brand side we have systems in place to measure our impact on our demand generation and brand awareness efforts.

A marketing budget/plan become a lot easier to create once there's predictability into those results and that's when one gets to master level in our team.

It takes someone who connects the right dots to be able to take the right action to drive results and this judgement is key for us. This is the most important skill at Chili Piper and the most important one that's assessed for promotions and salary increases.

💡 Initiative + Ownership

In our team, the greatest achievements come from those who take ownership of their projects. Those that don't wait for someone to tell them what to do: Take the reins to be the driving force behind their success. 

We believe in autonomy and we hire for self starters who are not afraid to take risks outside of their zone of comfort or task list.

The power to make a difference lies within those that take problems to solve and action them with ownership.

Alice de Courcy, CMO at Cognism

Alice de Courcy is a marketer I greatly admire. She's doing amazing things over at Cognism — and published one of my favorite books on marketing, "The Diary of a First-Time CMO".

Diary of a first-time CMO by Alice de Courcy

🚀 Innovation / Creativity

In a stark competition for attention, you can only rise above the clutter with innovation and creativity. Especially with the rise of AI. 🤖

Social media platforms are already inundated by mediocre content that's created by bots

You have to dare to think differently, break the mold, and innovate fearlessly. Your ideas have to inspire action, and disrupt the status quo on a constant basis. Because as soon as a new creative idea works, your competitor will find out about it and by default will no longer be effective.

Experimentation and wild imaginations always win in our team ✨

Andrew Davies, CMO at Paddle

🧠 Audience/Customer Mentalization

The true superpower of a marketer lies in their ability to empathize with their audience. Their prospects and their customers.

Get into their heads. Understand their needs, fears, and desires. When you can mentally step into their shoes, you'll create campaigns that truly resonate and connect on a deeper level.

Whether it's...

  • Attending sales calls
  • Even better — conducting sales calls yourself (since marketing is sales at scale)
  • Digging deep into QBRs with our customer success / account teams
  • Research during our CAB (customer advisory boards) sessions

... we're prioritizing time with our customers to truly understand them.

Alex Poulos, CMO at Crossbeam

💼 Product Knowledge

To market a product effectively, you must become its greatest advocate. Immerse yourself in its features, benefits, and unique selling points. 

When you truly understand what you're marketing, your enthusiasm becomes infectious, and your audience can't help but be drawn in. In our case, we want everyone in our team to be able to demo any of our products and be able to set them up on their own at a moments notice. Why? Because we're in a special place where we ARE the audience as well and want to to be able to impact our product roadmap as well.

🔮 Thought Leadership

We believe our team should aim to build a brand for themselves. A trusted authority in their respective area of expertise. Share insights, opinions, and predictions fearlessly. 

Their expertise will set you apart from the crowd, position them as a thought leader who can guide and inspire others. Embrace their role as the beacon of knowledge to watch their influence rise! 

This is very particular to our company as we want to help everyone in every department build a brand for themselves. While not everyone feels comfortable being in the limelight, everyone benefits from clarity of thought and sharing their knowledge with those who are on the same journey with us.

We made this choice as a company because we know it helps our employees with their careers but it also helps our brand awareness. It's a win win investment.

It's a lot easier to build brand for a company if you know how to build yourself as well. Anthony Kennada, Founder of AudiencePlus, Former CMO at Gainsight, and father of category creation says it best: 

💬 Communication

The ability to craft compelling messages, both written and verbal, is a secret weapon. Paint vivid pictures with your words, ignite emotions, and move your audience to action. 

The only way to do that effectively is to approach everything you do with lots of curiosity to be able to give back your audience what they want and crave to hear.

Communication is not just about speaking; it's about truly connecting. Letting words be the catalyst for change! ✍️

These days the barrier to entry for good enough communication is breaking (especially entry level content marketing) because of tools like Gemini and ChatGPT. Hence only those that have lots of practice under their belt can truly stand out.

Sarah Strope, CMO at QuotaPath

✒️ Effective Copy

Crafting persuasive copy that grabs attention, stirs emotions, and compels action is not easy. Done right, words can transform mere prospects into loyal customers. Embracing the art of storytelling to let the copy leave a lasting impression is a powerful skill.

Whether it's a social media post, an email marketing campaign or an ad campaign — it's really hard to stand out in the sea of content (especially these days as AI makes a lot easier to publish content)

Devin Reed, Head of Content at Clari

📷 Visual Communication

A picture is worth a thousand words. As a marketer, you know that better than anyone. Use the power of visuals to tell captivating stories, convey complex ideas, and evoke emotions. 

Stunning graphics, eye-catching videos, infographics aid content marketers to take a blog post and make a lasting imprint on your audience's minds. 

A well-crafted image can speak volumes and make your message resonate far beyond the limitations of mere words.

This is a skill we want product marketing and the brand management/creative teams to shine at but also helps everyone else in their communication across channels.

💪 Ability to Ship

I always have a bias for shipping fast over shipping perfect materials.  Action is everything. The ability to ship is key to turning ideas into reality . It's critical to excel at project management across departments to get things done. 

Waiting for perfection cripples our ability to learn from MVPs. We learn a lot more by putting our ideas into the world for feedback than overthinking every campaign. This comes easy to us as I have a very high tolerance to mistakes. I always prefer to ship imperfect things to learn over being late and perfect.

🎶 Orchestration

One needs the unique ability to orchestrate a symphony of channels, campaigns, and tactics to create a harmonious experience.

Bring on departments and teams towards building your vision and deliver results on those marketing projects is key. Buy-in from internal teams is essential.

Knowing how to bring together the right elements at the right time all while ensuring that every touchpoint sings in unison. Embrace the role of the maestro and let your marketing symphony dazzle ! 🎵

Latane Conant, CMO at 6Sense

💻 Technical Abilities

When everything is moving at a million miles per hour, our technical prowess is the key to unlocking full potential. Because of it all our team mates have admin rights to most system. It might sound dangerous but they learn fast what buttons they can't press :) 

From analytics to automation, coding to CRM, our team needs to have the power to wield technology as our ally. Through automations we become a force to be reckoned with! 💻💡

I truly believe that a deep understanding of the technical landscape in MarTech goes a long way to help anyone stand out in a job search.

🔥 Infectious Belief

Passion and belief are the fuel that propels good marketers to great marketers. Without enthusiasm for your brand, your product it's hard to be a representative for the brand

Infect others with your unwavering faith and watch as they rally behind your cause

Embrace the infectious belief and be the spark that lights the fire across departments 🔥 and under the saas of prospects as well

Mark Kilens, CMO at Airmeet

🌀 Adaptability to Change

True marketing superheroes possess the remarkable ability to adapt and thrive amidst uncertainty. Embrace the ever-shifting landscape, stay agile, and be ready to pivot at a moment's notice. 

The adaptability will ensure that you stay ahead of the game and emerge victorious. Embrace the winds of change and soar! 🌀

Denisse Persson, CMO at Snowflake

📞 Responsiveness

The clock is always ticking, and your audience demands swift responses. And these days responsiveness builds trust and helps win.

Being hyper-responsive — addressing inquiries, concerns, and feedback with lightning speed — is hard. But it pays dividends in building the trust in the team and allows to move at the right speed in tandem.

Being present in calls, being attentive with one another and our audience is important to us - to let our audience know that they matter. A timely response can be the difference between a loyal customer and a missed opportunity. ☎️

Putting it all together

Skills required in various marketing positions at Chili Piper - all centered around results in the digital marketing world

In addition to all the things above there are a couple of other things we pay attention to.

We value the ability to form relationships for our partner team. That ability is a lot harder to measure but we know it works when we see the results.

There are also more technical skills that we didn't include on purpose — like marketing operations skills or search engine optimization (SEO). That's because on our team we all strive to know these technical skills to apply to our work at good enough levels to execute on our metrics efficiently.

For SEO we use Ahrefs and SurferSEO.

And as it comes to our tech stack and marketing operations strategies we use a combination of Salesforce, Hubspot, Snowflake, Hightouch, Goodfit, Zoominfo, Clearbit, LeadIQ, Salesloft, Sigma, HotJar, Candu, Chameleon and of course our own conversion tools hence it's important we all master them at the right level.

We also use a bunch of AI tools in our video/podcast creation.

Marketing is a team sport — we have 360 reviews on how each marketer is impacting the team as a whole. It takes a village, and we want to have the right village on our side.

When it comes to people management skills and marketing managers there are a couple of things that nourish that warrant a completely separate article as well since the management of marketing teams is the kind of topic that takes books to cover.

In this economy skill sets are most important to develop to get those marketing superpowers to shine. 🚀✨

I hope this article helps demystify some of the things that need to be built upon to build the best version of yourself.

A career path might have twists and turns, but there's nothing that's more valuable as the skills you acquire along your path to make sure you can apply to any kind of job description that might make your heart sing.

P.S. We don't look at marketing degrees, school degrees, bachelor's degrees or at years of experience at Chili Piper to promote anyone. We only look at results and skills.

P.P.S. If you have suggestions on how I can improve this article I would love to learn, please DM me on LinkedIn.

P.P.P.S. If you are a marketing leader that is hiring and wants to test any of these skills in the hiring process, message me on LinkedIn as well and I can give you some tips. Can’t post the secret sauce in this article even with the best intentions because then it won’t be a fair test to new hires anymore.

Marketing career pathways are of many types and each company is a bit different and adapted to its specific marketing strategy. In this article I will cover the skillsets that are important for our team

At Chili Piper our marketing strategies are not ordinary. We market to savvy GTM teams in B2B (a special kind of audience in itself). Hence we might have a list of non-ordinary skills and levels. 

If you just want to get this version in google sheets without reading the full article, grab our free template to see how they apply to your levels in your team.

Marketing career path

They cover skillsets for various marketing career paths for the following roles:

  • Product Marketing
  • Demand Generation
  • Social Media
  • Growth Marketing
  • Partner Marketing
  • Ecosystem Growth
  • Customer Marketing (aka Lifecycle Marketing)
  • Field Marketing

Many companies might put all the above roles under a digital marketing umbrella. But these days, I find it really hard to differentiate between what's digital and what's not. 

Especially when digital campaigns accompany every other marketing motion. For example, direct mail and events are more and more accompanied by QR codes. "Smart" billboards are analyzing foot traffic digitally.

I’ve spent a lot of time mapping the various skills that make up the 1% of marketing teams succeed. This is the V1 of my research.

Each one of these skills is mapped to various levels of seniority (associate, manager, senior, head of, director, vice president) to make sure that our team can understand what it takes to climb the ladder.

I took over the marketing team as a chief marketing officer a few months ago. Wrote about my first 30 days as a CMO and my rationale to transition from CPO to CMO.

I had spent time with hundreds of marketers for the past years — from fast-growing startups, publicly traded companies, and highly profitable companies — digging deep into what it takes to be successful. Our company builds software for marketers and has recently received a valuation close to a billion. As you can imagine I have a lot of strong views on this topic and didn't take this process lightly.

Before I dive into the actual skills I want to give a big thank you to Frank Boulben (former CMO at Blackberry and Orange, currently at Verizon) — the most amazing marketer in my life who inspired me to seek this framework.

🎯 Results Oriented

By far the most important skill in our team is an analytical mindset. But not the kind that just looks at the data and knows how to interpret it. But the kind that knows to use data to take the right actions AND prioritize their activities from it. We call this “Results oriented”. 

Being “results oriented” is about contribution to either pipeline or brand awareness that can be objectively measured.

Pipeline results can come from inbound marketing campaigns but can also come from upsells, cross-sells, acceleration of deals and — why not — even helping with prevention of churn. It's not only about capturing top of the funnel intent, it's about keeping a health customer lifecycle journey throughout the full funnel.

Even on the brand side we have systems in place to measure our impact on our demand generation and brand awareness efforts.

A marketing budget/plan become a lot easier to create once there's predictability into those results and that's when one gets to master level in our team.

It takes someone who connects the right dots to be able to take the right action to drive results and this judgement is key for us. This is the most important skill at Chili Piper and the most important one that's assessed for promotions and salary increases.

💡 Initiative + Ownership

In our team, the greatest achievements come from those who take ownership of their projects. Those that don't wait for someone to tell them what to do: Take the reins to be the driving force behind their success. 

We believe in autonomy and we hire for self starters who are not afraid to take risks outside of their zone of comfort or task list.

The power to make a difference lies within those that take problems to solve and action them with ownership.

Alice de Courcy, CMO at Cognism

Alice de Courcy is a marketer I greatly admire. She's doing amazing things over at Cognism — and published one of my favorite books on marketing, "The Diary of a First-Time CMO".

Diary of a first-time CMO by Alice de Courcy

🚀 Innovation / Creativity

In a stark competition for attention, you can only rise above the clutter with innovation and creativity. Especially with the rise of AI. 🤖

Social media platforms are already inundated by mediocre content that's created by bots

You have to dare to think differently, break the mold, and innovate fearlessly. Your ideas have to inspire action, and disrupt the status quo on a constant basis. Because as soon as a new creative idea works, your competitor will find out about it and by default will no longer be effective.

Experimentation and wild imaginations always win in our team ✨

Andrew Davies, CMO at Paddle

🧠 Audience/Customer Mentalization

The true superpower of a marketer lies in their ability to empathize with their audience. Their prospects and their customers.

Get into their heads. Understand their needs, fears, and desires. When you can mentally step into their shoes, you'll create campaigns that truly resonate and connect on a deeper level.

Whether it's...

  • Attending sales calls
  • Even better — conducting sales calls yourself (since marketing is sales at scale)
  • Digging deep into QBRs with our customer success / account teams
  • Research during our CAB (customer advisory boards) sessions

... we're prioritizing time with our customers to truly understand them.

Alex Poulos, CMO at Crossbeam

💼 Product Knowledge

To market a product effectively, you must become its greatest advocate. Immerse yourself in its features, benefits, and unique selling points. 

When you truly understand what you're marketing, your enthusiasm becomes infectious, and your audience can't help but be drawn in. In our case, we want everyone in our team to be able to demo any of our products and be able to set them up on their own at a moments notice. Why? Because we're in a special place where we ARE the audience as well and want to to be able to impact our product roadmap as well.

🔮 Thought Leadership

We believe our team should aim to build a brand for themselves. A trusted authority in their respective area of expertise. Share insights, opinions, and predictions fearlessly. 

Their expertise will set you apart from the crowd, position them as a thought leader who can guide and inspire others. Embrace their role as the beacon of knowledge to watch their influence rise! 

This is very particular to our company as we want to help everyone in every department build a brand for themselves. While not everyone feels comfortable being in the limelight, everyone benefits from clarity of thought and sharing their knowledge with those who are on the same journey with us.

We made this choice as a company because we know it helps our employees with their careers but it also helps our brand awareness. It's a win win investment.

It's a lot easier to build brand for a company if you know how to build yourself as well. Anthony Kennada, Founder of AudiencePlus, Former CMO at Gainsight, and father of category creation says it best: 

💬 Communication

The ability to craft compelling messages, both written and verbal, is a secret weapon. Paint vivid pictures with your words, ignite emotions, and move your audience to action. 

The only way to do that effectively is to approach everything you do with lots of curiosity to be able to give back your audience what they want and crave to hear.

Communication is not just about speaking; it's about truly connecting. Letting words be the catalyst for change! ✍️

These days the barrier to entry for good enough communication is breaking (especially entry level content marketing) because of tools like Gemini and ChatGPT. Hence only those that have lots of practice under their belt can truly stand out.

Sarah Strope, CMO at QuotaPath

✒️ Effective Copy

Crafting persuasive copy that grabs attention, stirs emotions, and compels action is not easy. Done right, words can transform mere prospects into loyal customers. Embracing the art of storytelling to let the copy leave a lasting impression is a powerful skill.

Whether it's a social media post, an email marketing campaign or an ad campaign — it's really hard to stand out in the sea of content (especially these days as AI makes a lot easier to publish content)

Devin Reed, Head of Content at Clari

📷 Visual Communication

A picture is worth a thousand words. As a marketer, you know that better than anyone. Use the power of visuals to tell captivating stories, convey complex ideas, and evoke emotions. 

Stunning graphics, eye-catching videos, infographics aid content marketers to take a blog post and make a lasting imprint on your audience's minds. 

A well-crafted image can speak volumes and make your message resonate far beyond the limitations of mere words.

This is a skill we want product marketing and the brand management/creative teams to shine at but also helps everyone else in their communication across channels.

💪 Ability to Ship

I always have a bias for shipping fast over shipping perfect materials.  Action is everything. The ability to ship is key to turning ideas into reality . It's critical to excel at project management across departments to get things done. 

Waiting for perfection cripples our ability to learn from MVPs. We learn a lot more by putting our ideas into the world for feedback than overthinking every campaign. This comes easy to us as I have a very high tolerance to mistakes. I always prefer to ship imperfect things to learn over being late and perfect.

🎶 Orchestration

One needs the unique ability to orchestrate a symphony of channels, campaigns, and tactics to create a harmonious experience.

Bring on departments and teams towards building your vision and deliver results on those marketing projects is key. Buy-in from internal teams is essential.

Knowing how to bring together the right elements at the right time all while ensuring that every touchpoint sings in unison. Embrace the role of the maestro and let your marketing symphony dazzle ! 🎵

Latane Conant, CMO at 6Sense

💻 Technical Abilities

When everything is moving at a million miles per hour, our technical prowess is the key to unlocking full potential. Because of it all our team mates have admin rights to most system. It might sound dangerous but they learn fast what buttons they can't press :) 

From analytics to automation, coding to CRM, our team needs to have the power to wield technology as our ally. Through automations we become a force to be reckoned with! 💻💡

I truly believe that a deep understanding of the technical landscape in MarTech goes a long way to help anyone stand out in a job search.

🔥 Infectious Belief

Passion and belief are the fuel that propels good marketers to great marketers. Without enthusiasm for your brand, your product it's hard to be a representative for the brand

Infect others with your unwavering faith and watch as they rally behind your cause

Embrace the infectious belief and be the spark that lights the fire across departments 🔥 and under the saas of prospects as well

Mark Kilens, CMO at Airmeet

🌀 Adaptability to Change

True marketing superheroes possess the remarkable ability to adapt and thrive amidst uncertainty. Embrace the ever-shifting landscape, stay agile, and be ready to pivot at a moment's notice. 

The adaptability will ensure that you stay ahead of the game and emerge victorious. Embrace the winds of change and soar! 🌀

Denisse Persson, CMO at Snowflake

📞 Responsiveness

The clock is always ticking, and your audience demands swift responses. And these days responsiveness builds trust and helps win.

Being hyper-responsive — addressing inquiries, concerns, and feedback with lightning speed — is hard. But it pays dividends in building the trust in the team and allows to move at the right speed in tandem.

Being present in calls, being attentive with one another and our audience is important to us - to let our audience know that they matter. A timely response can be the difference between a loyal customer and a missed opportunity. ☎️

Putting it all together

Skills required in various marketing positions at Chili Piper - all centered around results in the digital marketing world

In addition to all the things above there are a couple of other things we pay attention to.

We value the ability to form relationships for our partner team. That ability is a lot harder to measure but we know it works when we see the results.

There are also more technical skills that we didn't include on purpose — like marketing operations skills or search engine optimization (SEO). That's because on our team we all strive to know these technical skills to apply to our work at good enough levels to execute on our metrics efficiently.

For SEO we use Ahrefs and SurferSEO.

And as it comes to our tech stack and marketing operations strategies we use a combination of Salesforce, Hubspot, Snowflake, Hightouch, Goodfit, Zoominfo, Clearbit, LeadIQ, Salesloft, Sigma, HotJar, Candu, Chameleon and of course our own conversion tools hence it's important we all master them at the right level.

We also use a bunch of AI tools in our video/podcast creation.

Marketing is a team sport — we have 360 reviews on how each marketer is impacting the team as a whole. It takes a village, and we want to have the right village on our side.

When it comes to people management skills and marketing managers there are a couple of things that nourish that warrant a completely separate article as well since the management of marketing teams is the kind of topic that takes books to cover.

In this economy skill sets are most important to develop to get those marketing superpowers to shine. 🚀✨

I hope this article helps demystify some of the things that need to be built upon to build the best version of yourself.

A career path might have twists and turns, but there's nothing that's more valuable as the skills you acquire along your path to make sure you can apply to any kind of job description that might make your heart sing.

P.S. We don't look at marketing degrees, school degrees, bachelor's degrees or at years of experience at Chili Piper to promote anyone. We only look at results and skills.

P.P.S. If you have suggestions on how I can improve this article I would love to learn, please DM me on LinkedIn.

P.P.P.S. If you are a marketing leader that is hiring and wants to test any of these skills in the hiring process, message me on LinkedIn as well and I can give you some tips. Can’t post the secret sauce in this article even with the best intentions because then it won’t be a fair test to new hires anymore.

Linked in logo
Follow Us
The Sauce Newsletter
Join 20,365+
marketers!
1x a month. No  spam, just spice.
You're all signed up! 💌
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Most Recent Articles