CEO’s Blog – Stepping up to the plate

Martin port

By Martin Port

29 May 2020

I’ve appointed a new chief marketing officer at BigChange. He’s experienced, dynamic, highly motivated, and gets things done.

Spoiler alert: it’s me.

My current CMO has been with me for 10 years and is keen to make his own big change. He’s moving into consumer marketing and leaving me with some big shoes to fill. I had the option of recruiting someone from outside the business but, during these difficult times, I just think it would take an outsider too long to get up to speed and absorb the DNA of this business.

I could try and find a candidate from within the business but, if I’m honest, who better to take it on than me? I built BigChange from the ground up. I live and breathe this company. Who knows more about how to communicate about our DNA, our pillars, our customer service record and commitment to innovation?

Sales and marketing are my bread and butter. Every leader understands how to sell their idea and vision – to customers, colleagues, and investors. In the early days of BigChange, I was the CEO, COO, and CMO. This is a ‘back to basics’ move; even though I have had a CMO for the last decade, I never fully checked out of the role. I always wanted final say over marketing materials and sales collateral.

I’m excited and a little nervous to take on this new challenge.

Marketing has never been more important to businesses like BigChange.

My sales colleagues can’t meet people face-to-face. It’s very difficult to build rapport with a prospective customer when you can’t have a cuppa together and you’re just a window on their laptop screen.

This is why I’m working on creating a formalised approach to sales, helping my brilliant people to set the agenda during online meetings and really listen to customer need.

COVID-19 has dealt a severe blow to many businesses. We leaders have to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in to make sure our companies weather this crisis. I’ve seen my fellow entrepreneurs doing some incredible things. From Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, who has delivered two years’ worth of digital development at the tech giant in just two months, to Steve Parkin, chairman at Clipper Logistics, who built a delivery network to get vital personal protective equipment to NHS staff and care workers in a matter of days.

This is the essence of the entrepreneur. We get stuck in. We do what needs to be done. We never rest on our laurels. And we thrive on the pressure and the thrill of a new challenge. CEOs all across the nation are stepping out of their (metaphorical) glass offices and hitting the shop floor, just like me. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.

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