In November 2023, we hosted our biggest CMO Virtual Summit ever! We were blown away by the awesome response from everyone who (virtually) attended, so we were keen to catch up with an attendee to get their thoughts on how it all went.
Enter, Thiago Monteiro, Fractional CMO, who shared with us how he discovered the event, his biggest takeaways, and his advice for others looking to get involved with our fantastic events, whether they're virtual or in-person! Check out a video with Thiago above, or have a read through a transcript of our conversation (note: transcript has been edited for clarity and length).
Hi Thiago, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your life as a fractional CMO?
Very happy to be here! As as you mentioned, I'm a fractional CMO. I focus on early-stage and small companies that need strategic marketing support, but they still can't justify having a full time person there. I really focus on going in as the first marketing hire most of the time.
So it means that I have to do both the strategic piece to find the plan and find the journey that we want the marketing to go towards, but also actually do the implementation, setting up tracking, preparing landing pages, product descriptions, setting up campaigns and whatnot.
My successful journey with a client normally goes from me coming as an employee number zero on the marketing side, and then helping them actually start hiring a team and building a team in house, which normally would mean after series A, more or less.
How did you find out about the Virtual CMO Summit, and what was it that attracted you to the event?
Sure, so I found out through the Slack Community. And initially, I found out about the Slack Community and the CMO Alliance, through one of your community managers reaching out to me via LinkedIn, as they saw my title as fractional CMO, they thought it would be interesting.
So far, it's quite an interesting community, there's a lot of knowledge being shared all the time, and people quite supportive, as well, if you have any questions. There's always someone quite often from the other side of the world coming with some some answers, which is quite cool, because you can see quite a different perspective, answering the same challenges. So yeah, so far, really, really interesting community.
And when the opportunity to participate in the events showed up, I thought this could be quite an interesting way as well, to have a little bit more in depth conversation with some of the people from the community. So definitely my interest was piqued at that point.
What challenges are you currently facing as a CMO and was there anything from the summit that's going to help you overcome them?
As a Fractional, my main challenge tends to be how do I motivate the team, considering that I'm not going to be there five days a week with them. That concept of being part of the all the insider jokes and all that stuff, you're not going to be able to build that type of rapport with your team.
So it was quite interesting to hear from different people in the field, how they build that trust, how they manage those relationships, and how they ensure that the team members are motivated and doing exactly what you need them to do.
Also, it was quite good for another point of view, as I do quite quite a lot with early stage startups, which tend to implement the newer strategies, the new ways to organise work. And it's kind of a growing tendency for them to try to have completely unstructured teams with no clear roles. Which, personally, I'm always a little bit sceptical. It feels to me that we just add complexity on processes, and we can't be as fast and agile, if you know exactly your hierarchy and who's making the decisions, and exactly what is expected of you.
And it was good to hear other people actually make up my mind and say exactly that: you need to have some sort of structure. We're not talking about fully hierarchical structures with a marketing team, but it's good for everyone knowing who has this final sign off, what is expected exactly of one employee and what are the goals and what are we trying to achieve? Because otherwise, it just chaos and uncertainty and people are not going to be empowered to make the decisions they need to make. So that was quite good for me to go to the event and actually hear other people say that, which is something that's alright in my mind, but it's always good to be validated.
Which talks were the big highlights and what lessons are you taking away from them?
So I really, really liked the storytelling workshop by Elliott Rayner. You know, it's one of those things, you read quite a lot about it, and it was not a completely foreign idea how he was approaching storytelling, bringing storytelling elements to a brand's messaging, but the way that he walked us through everything, and he explained all the little detail was quite, quite useful.
And I definitely took quite a lot of screenshots and notes, which I'm hoping to implement on my day to day work. Yeah, so it definitely was beneficial on that front. And it will help me you know, moving forward on that side.
Has the event encouraged you to get more involved with CMO Alliance in the future?
I try to organize my daily schedule in blocks, as a fractional, you need to be very structured with your time. So on my SOP, checking messages, I added the Slack channel there, so I want to be more active, and keep on top of all the messages that go in there. On events, right now I'm kind of back-to-back, so I haven't put a lot of thought to what the next events are I'm going to participate in, but if there are any online events, I'm pretty sure I'll try my best to be part of them.
What's your biggest takeaway from the Virtual Summit?
I have a favorite expression that was shared by one of the panelists: "Run towards feedback". It's really cool way to put it, it's not just 'ask for feedback', you really, really put an effort to go for it and chase it.
What's your message for anyone considering attending a CMO Alliance event in the future?
It's a great place to get an understanding of what other people in the field are thinking and talking about. And as I mentioned, it's a unique opportunity to really get in touch with people doing what we do in different geographies. So they're going to have different cultural references and different mentality on some things.
And ultimately that's how you expand your knowledge and how you grow as a professional. So to be exposed to these different ideas. So yeah, definitely worth it.
As Thiago mentioned, the CMO Alliance community is a fantastic place to connect with marketing leaders all around the globe, and you'll be first in line to hear all about our future events!