Every brand strives to build emotional connections with its constituents but few have succeeded in the manner of Pete Krainik, founder and CEO of The CMO Club. Starting from scratch in 2007, Pete has built a remarkably collaborative membership of over 800 senior marketers that meet regularly in 22 US cities and several more around the world. In this episode (click here to listen now), we’ll reveal some of the secrets to The CMO Club’s success in recruiting new members and creating unmatched event experiences.
On this show, Pete and I talked a lot about the need to cut through in various ways. One is by building elements of surprise into your events regardless of the target keeping in mind that there is no B2B or B2C only H2H (as my friend Bryan Kramer would say). For the club’s twice a year US summits, Pete has arranged for a wide range of surprising guests including John Legend, Keith Urban, Rita Wilson, The Band Perry and Christina Perry among many others. At the most recent summit in Marina Del Ray, Rob Morrow, Melissa Ethridge and rappers Nelly and IT all made surprise appearances. Having seen all of these performances and watched the reactions of CMOs who are meticulous about getting the most out of every minute, I can attest to the fact that Pete’s unique approach has the desired impact.
We also covered what I call the “Give to Get Economy.” Give to get applies to just about any brand situation but is most easily understood when thinking about Google and Facebook. Google gives us all access to a universe of information and in turn, they get our eyeballs. Facebook gives us access to 1.8 billion of our closest friends and they too get our eyeballs. This value exchange is remarkably profitable for both Google and Facebook.
For The CMO Club, give to get means giving prospects a free dinner so they can “taste” the experience or sharing content that CMOs find useful via their website and mobile app. It also means encouraging members to give their assistance to other members recognizing that karma is indeed a boomerang. The result is a highly engaged membership and a marketing lesson for all of you Renegade Thinkers.
Meet the Guest
Pete Krainik is the CEO of The CMO Club, an organization he founded over 9 years ago after attending numerous mediocre events aimed at senior marketers. Starting first with dinners in New York City, The CMO Club now has active chapters in over 20 US cities, major summits in the US and Europe, numerous high-profile partners like IBM and Oracle, a robust content zone and mobile app, all serving the needs of over 800 marketing executives. Prior to starting The CMO Club, Pete was a marketing executive at Avaya and DoubleClick among others and rose through the sales ranks at Mars.
Pete and I have a long history going back to his DoubleClick days, where he hired Renegade to help create memorable marketing experiences for various product lines. When Pete moved to Avaya he brought Renegade with him leading to more marketing that really did cut through. And as Pete started to the think about creating a club for CMOs, Renegade was there to craft his logo and build his first website. Oh and by the way, he really is one of the most fun and energetic people to be around I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And that, without a doubt, is one of the keys to his on-going success.
What You'll Learn
- New ways to grow your business.
- The power of giving something of value to your prospects before you try to sell them your product or service.
- The critical importance of building emotional relationships with your prospective customers even in B2B.
- How to throw highly memorable events.
Quotes from Pete Krainik
- Going on 9 years ago, I started The CMO Club because I was tired of going to lousy events.
- Make your events memorable and make sure everyone comes away with new friends. If you do that, you’re going to be successful.
- I’m a firm believer that successful marketing is all about referrals, word of mouth, and advocates.
- I think going deeper into the problem area is better than going wide.
- If your product or service is not good, great marketing is not going to help.