PUBLISHED: Jan 10, 2024

The Top 25 SaaS CMOs to Follow in 2024

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Author
Kushal Desai
The Top 25 SaaS CMOs to Follow in 2023
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In today’s customer-centric business environment, the role of a SaaS CMO is continuously evolving. Modern CMOs just don’t spend money on developing winning marketing campaigns. They’re expected to generate revenue for the organization as well. Further, they must understand how customers’ behavior and buying patterns are changing and develop new SaaS marketing strategies across the business.

SaaS marketers looking for a spot in the c-suite must stay aware of the continuous updates on the changing trends and strategies with proven results. This is where keeping up with experts in the field is crucial — whether you are an individual or a business.

After much consideration and research, we’ve come up with a list of 25 SaaS CMOs who will provide you with the knowledge and actionable insights to thrive in every aspect. This list is helpful for every SaaS enthusiast who wants to stay updated with the happenings in the industry.      

But, before we dive in, let’s understand the responsibilities of a SaaS CMO and the skills required to become a successful CMO in the SaaS niche.

What does a SaaS CMO do?

A SaaS Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a C-level corporate executive responsible for driving growth and boosting sales by managing the marketing activities of a SaaS organization. Also known as the marketing director and global marketing officer, a CMO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 

A SaaS CMO has a wide range of responsibilities, including running the marketing department and working with marketing project managers to create effective marketing strategies. Plus, they are in charge of sales management, marketing communications, market research, brand management, and product pricing & management. All in all, the primary responsibility of a CMO of a SaaS company is to drive revenue by increasing sales through marketing activities. 

Other responsibilities include: 

  • Understand the company’s product and create the product roadmap. 
  • Lead, organize, and measure the performance of the sales team. 
  • Predict business trends and consumer behavior and create marketing strategies accordingly. 
  • Ensure that all marketing activities boost brand loyalty and the user experience is enjoyable and positive.
  • Develop market segmentation, competitive analysis, market intelligence, lead generation, and pricing strategies for the company. 

Key traits of successful SaaS CMOs

To be a CMO in a SaaS company and excel at it, you’ll need to have a strong skill set in marketing and business fields. Some skills include: 

  • Strong leadership skills to manage people, help motivate them, and coordinate their efforts to achieve the desired results. 
  • Good communication skills to convey ideas clearly and interact effectively with the target audience and colleagues in different departments. 
  • Strong understanding of marketing analytics tools to make decisions about marketing activities, trends, and goals. 
  • CMO must be agile and flexible so they can evolve with the fast-paced environments. 
  • Proven ability to develop and coordinate marketing campaigns across traditional and modern channels. 
  • A solid understanding of customer behavior and buying patterns. 
  • Expertise in SEO, advertising, and social media marketing.    
  • Excellent command over traditional and digital marketing channels to execute multi-channel campaigns. 

Top 25 world’s most influential SaaS CMO

1. Sarah Franklin – CMO at Salesforce

Sarah Franklin is the President and CMO at Salesforce. She has been associated with the company for over fourteen years. She was rejected multiple times when she entered the field due to a lack of knowledge in the technical aspect. Even after several rejections, her determination and love for the area motivated her to take action. She now aims at helping people acquire essential technological knowledge to thrive in their fields. 

This motivated her to launch Trailhead, Salesforce’s gamified online learning platform. After its launch, she has seen many people changing their career courses. Her technical expertise brings into light many new trends that can help companies make enormous progress. 

Furthermore, she uses Twitter to share her industry knowledge and latest trends with her 24,000 followers. 

2. Chris Capossela – CMO at Microsoft

Chris Capossela is the Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP of worldwide consumer business — Microsoft. He handles marketing across consumer and commercial business, including product & service marketing, business planning, brand, advertising, events, communications, and research.

As the leader of the consumer business organization, he tackles the activities of the Consumer Channel Marketing & Sales team, Microsoft Advertising Sales, and Microsoft Stores, responsible for revenue generation and growth.

With over 20,000 followers, Chris uses Twitter to share the latest news related to Microsoft. Plus, he loves sharing his personal opinions about creative innovations and ideas executed worldwide. His passion for technology followed him since he was a little kid and continued further.

3. Ann Lewnes – CMO at Adobe Creative Cloud

Ann Lewnes is Adobe’s Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development of Adobe. She has been named one of the world’s most influential CMOs by Forbes and one of the most innovative CMOs by Business Insider.

After working as the VP of marketing at Intel for over 20 years and as CMO at Adobe for over 15 years and counting, she has a wealth of experience and information to convey. You can learn a lot from her creative campaigns, including “Honor Heroes,” which she handled in March 2020.

Since 2006, Ann has contributed to the creative transformation of Adobe and collaborated with numerous celebrities, including Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga.

Furthermore, in 2019, Ann was placed into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame. Then in 2020, she received the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award.

4. Chris Koehler – CMO at Box

Chris Koehler is the CMO at Box who is equipped with tactics that helped Box generate $608 million of revenue in 2019. He emphasizes understanding consumer psychology to shape marketing strategies that break records. And that’s exactly what his tweets are mainly about.

He accomplished enormous social media performance for Box during his professional journey with his deep understanding of the target audience’s needs. Not only that, but he also led the best cross-functional strategic project in Box’s 14-year history and launched a program that increased Annual Contract Value by three times.

His knowledge stems from vast experience and exposure from startups and large enterprises. With his exceptional knowledge about marketing, sales, and product teams, he creates highly successful global marketing strategies.

5. Rachel Thornton – CMO at Amazon Web Services 

Rachel Thornton is the CMO and VP, Global Marketing at Amazon Web Services. Her role demands marketing and brand strategy development, industry research, customer segmentation, product positioning, and more.

She joined Amazon in 2013 as the Head of Amazon student and became the Vice President, Global Field and Partner Marketing, at AWS in 2015. Before this, she also served as VP of Marketing for the US, Canada, and Latin America with Salesforce.

Her extensive experience with renowned brands, including Amazon, Cisco, Microsoft, and Salesforce, helped her hone her marketing and management skills.

Rachel relies on the blend of creativity and data analysis while developing marketing campaigns. She strongly believes in her leadership principles, including customer obsession—every campaign should focus on customers and work its way forward.

6. Alison Wagonfeld – CMO at Google G Suite

Alison Wagonfled is one of the most successful CMOs who initially started as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley. Now she handles Global marketing for Google Cloud, including Google Cloud Platform, Google Maps, and Google Workspace.

Her extensive knowledge comes from her vast experiences. Being an operating partner at Emergence Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused on enterprise cloud companies, helped her acquire the necessary skills in the field to proceed further.

She also built two highly successful online marketplaces: First, she co-founded QuickenLoans at Intuit. And second, she handled the marketing and business development activities for an online car-buying website.

Apart from that, Alison worked as an Executive Director of the Harvard Business School California Research Center. She researched, wrote, and taught about over 100 case studies in this position.

7. Julie Davisson Liegl – CMO at Slack

Julie Liegl is the Chief Marketing Officer at Slack, responsible for handling marketing, customer acquisition, demand generation, and more. With her whopping experience of 18 years in the technology industry, she helps her audience keep up with the ever-changing trends.

Julie worked at Salesforce for over 13 years, and her determination led her to the position of Executive Vice President of Global marketing. She successfully handled the marketing positioning and demand generation for Salesforce’s cloud products in this position. With her marketing and leadership experience on a global scale, she is one of the best CMOs to follow this year.

8. Alex Constantinople – CMO at Zendesk

The CMO at Zendesk, Alex Constantinople, is responsible for defining, evolving, and aligning the customer software company’s current marketing strategy. Alex aims to develop the brand’s identity and provide experiences that the target customers love.

She spent almost a decade of her life as a Chief Executive Officer at Outcast before she left to join Zendesk. Early in her career, she handled communications for all of Wired Magazine’s editorial divisions, including Wire.com and Reddit.

You can learn a lot from her extensive experience of 30 years working as a marketing and communication executive for global brands.

9. Gus Blanchard – CMO at ADP

Gus Blanchard, associated with ADP for around 18 years, leads as the Chief Marketing Officer. He develops a cohesive collective approach to sales and marketing to strengthen the ADP brand.

Before joining ADP, Gus worked as Senior Vice President for Global Enterprise Sales. He also worked as SVP for ADP TotalSource Sales, where he managed over 800 sales associates that contributed to consistent growth for five consecutive years.

Apart from that, Gus is a founding Executive Sponsor of ADP’s Hispanic/LatinX Business Resource Group, Adelante. His interest also lies in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and the Girls & Boys Clubs of South Florida.

10. Ariel Kelman – CMO at Oracle

Ariel Kelman, the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Oracle, aims to develop communication strategies that retain customers and drive business growth. He believes that authentic conversation with customers is a highly crucial part of a marketing strategy for businesses in any industry.

Before Joining Oracle two years back, Ariel was the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Amazon Web Services. He also invested six years of his life in Salesforce. He reached the position of Vice President for Platform Product Marketing in 2009 with his result-driven and communication-centered marketing strategies.

11. Rob Giglio – CMO at DocuSign

Rob Giglio, the Chief Marketing Officer at DocuSign, has ample experience in sales, finance, and marketing. He started his career in sales, completed his MBA in finance, and later entered the world of marketing.

Rob often mentions how the three are interconnected, and the knowledge in these diverse areas helps him create better marketing strategies. His marketing techniques and campaigns often revolve around the information and insights collected from the customers.

Before joining DocuSign, Rob worked as a Senior Vice President for Worldwide GTM & Sales at Adobe. He led a team of over 650 people that contributed to generating over $7B+ Digital Media results. With the experience of more than two decades in developing marketing strategies and becoming a team leader, he is passionate about driving profitable growth.

12. Carrie Palin – CMO at Cisco

Carrie Palin, the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco, is responsible for brand strengthening, demand generation, and more. She also works for undertaking marketing and sales strategies of Cisco’s global segments.

She has extensive experience working with Silicon Valley growth companies and the Fortune 50. Before joining Cisco in June 2021, Carrie worked as a CMO for Splunk, where she completely reshaped the brand in 2019.

Her career began with Joining Dell, and she kept honing her skills of developing global marketing strategies. Carrie also worked as a CMO for SendGrid and the first CMO at Box. Her experience with some of the best companies in the tech sector helped her become better at the tasks she currently handles.

13. Alan Marks – CMO at ServiceNow

Alan Marks is a public relations, brand, marketing, and corporate communications executive with more than 30 years of experience in this field. He recently served as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at ServiceNow, a cloud computing platform that helps in managing digital workflows for enterprise operations.

Over the period, Alan worked with the leading global consumer brands and Silicon Valley technology companies. Before joining ServiceNow, he was the Managing Director and Chief Communications Officer at Emerson Collective.

Alan worked with eBay for over seven years, where he served as Senior Vice President. During this period, eBay succeeded in acquiring twice as good revenue generation, employee base, and market capitalization results. Being a part of the company’s executive leadership team, he successfully separated eBay and Paypal in 2015. He has also handled senior communications executive and leadership roles for Nike, Gap, and Avon products.

14. Jamie Domenici – CMO at LogMeIn

Jamie Domenici is a Chief Marketing Officer at LogMeIn whose approach revolves around building customer-centric marketing organizations. She uses storytelling to run campaigns that drive profitable growth for businesses.

Jamie oversees the entire marketing organization, including customer product, customer acquisition teams, marketing communications, corporate communications, brand & creative, and Web & Ecommerce teams. She aims at generating demand for the LogMeIn suite of products via paid and organic channels.

Before joining LogMeIn, Jamie worked for over ten years at Salesforce and served as a Global Vice President of Customer Adoption, Marketing and Business Development.

15. Christine Cefalo – CMO at Workday

Christine Cefalo, the EVP and CMO at Workday, has been associated with the company for over thirteen years. She oversees the global marketing organization and focuses on brand building and worldwide demand generation.

Before joining Workday, Christine handled public relations for People Soft and Porter Novelli. She even started her public relations consultancy called Cefalo Communications in 2005. After joining Workday, her dedication and mind-blowing skill set led to several promotions and finally to her current position as CMO.

16. Kipp Bodnar – CMO at HubSpot

Kipp Bodnar has been the CMO at HubSpot for over six years and has been associated with the all-in-one marketing platform for over a decade. His strategy focuses on generating inbound leads for HubSpot’s marketing and sales products. Kipp is an expert at using social media to attract low-cost leads that drive big revenue.

Anyone who read his book (co-author) called The B2B Social Media Book knows his keen interest in B2B marketing. He has written many articles on B2B marketing and how businesses can make the most of underrated tactics.

17. Sara Varni – CMO at Attentive

Sara Varni, the CMO at Attentive, loves using her expertise and knowledge in brand awareness and demand generation in companies that have the potential to grow.

After working as a CMO at Twilio for about four years and her decade-long journey at Salesforce, she joined Attentive with all the knowledge she needed to step up the company’s revenue generation.

Sara has always worked on building teams that use creativity to run campaigns to achieve the set company targets. She often mentions the importance of time and setting priorities to get ahead in life.

18. Chandar Pattabhiram – CMO at Coupa Software

Chandar Pattabhiram, the CMO at Coupa Software, handles all aspects of revenue marketing, including go-to-market strategy, product and segment marketing, growth marketing and brand marketing.

In 2019, Chandra was recognized as one of the Ten Most Influential Marketing Leaders. If you need a reason to follow him, you must know that he was also recognized by LinkedIn as the top 5 CMOs in the world to follow for thought-leadership in the digital marketing domain.

He has extensive experience in the software industry ranging from applications to infrastructure, license to subscription & traditional to cloud computing, and digital marketing businesses. Further, he is also known for building dynamic teams of marketers, including industry veterans & top business school graduates.

19. Robert Chatwani – CMO at Atlassian

Robert Chatwani is the man behind Atlassian’s distinctive go-to-market business model. He has been associated with the company for over four years and is responsible for deriving growth through performance marketing, consumer branding, and more.

His passion lies in developing marketing strategies that help build small and large-scale consumer platforms. He puts enough emphasis on building platforms that revolve around fostering human connections.

Before Atlassian, Robert worked for eBay and helped scale eBay’s social innovation and non-profit programs, which raised over $1 billion in donations throughout the world.

20. Rachael Powell – CMO at Xero

Rachel Powell, the CMO at Xero, is responsible for the public technology company’s sales, marketing, communications, and customer functions globally. With her extensive experience as a marketing, sales, and HR leader, predominantly in digital and technology, companies deemed her fit for the position.

Her business strategy revolves around the customer experience that she keeps modifying based on the collective responses. Instead of using political measures for promotion, she evolves and gets better to reach the heights she desires. 

She aims at continuous learning and curiosity to grow and become a valuable asset for an organization.

21. Kyle Christensen – CMO at Zuora

Kyle Christensen, the CMO at Zuora, has helped the company grow with his 20 years of experience as a SaaS veteran. Before joining Zuora, he worked as a CMO for 6sense, SVP Marketing for Invoca, and VP Product and Content Marketing for Responsys.

In 2010, Kyle also worked as Senior Director of Product Marketing and Management for Zuora. He then left the company two years later. But after gaining experience working with diverse companies, he returned to Zuora as a VP of Global Marketing. Three years down the road, his excellent results led him to become the Chief Marketing Officer.

22. Johann Wrede – CMO at Xactly

Johann Wrede joined Xactly as the Chief Marketing Officer with his leadership experience across varied marketing disciplines. He is known to strive in corporate marketing, product marketing, content marketing, and experience marketing.

Apart from marketing, he excels in pre-sales, sales, and business development roles. He drives brand awareness and demand generation across multiple customer segments, including Enterprise (IT and LoB), mid-market, SMB and more.

His multi-channel marketing strategies have a proven record of generating triple-digit YoY growth. Apart from that, Johann is also a featured public speaker and a key spokesperson with media and analyst experience.

23. Lara Hood Balazs – CMO at Intuit

Lara Hood Balazs, the EVP and CMO at Intuit, has been associated with the global technology platform for over four years. Her extensive experience in building international businesses and brands help her come up with marketing strategies that lead to results.

She is highly focused on product innovation and full-stack marketing to step up the company’s current profits. Lara’s key strengths lie in P&L management, brand management, and go-to-market strategies leveraging digital and technology-driven solutions.

Prior to being a CMO, she worked with renowned companies like Amazon, Gap, Nike, Visa, and more.

24. Sarah Acton – CMO at Bill.com

Sarah Acton, a woman with experience of over 25 years in the industry, combines analytics with the art of storytelling to create marketing strategies that stand out. She has recently joined Bill as the CMO and is working towards better brand interaction.

Earlier, Sarah Acton has worked with some renowned companies, including LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Coca-Cola (Sprite), The Home Depot, Frito-Lay, eBay and more. She strongly believes that studying the ever-changing customer interaction patterns with brands is crucial to thriving amongst the competition.

25. Theresa Damato – CMO at Cornerstone

Theresa Damato is the CMO at Cornerstone with experience of more than 20 years in the SaaS arena. She is known for expanding product and go-to-market strategies, evolving operating models, analyzing market competition, improving customer engagement, retention and developing enhanced marketing strategies for the brand.

Her competitive growth and innovation strategies have helped the company grow in the past year. The lady has also worked as a freelancer, interacted with some top business leaders in the IT sector, and contributed to their growth.

Wrapping up 

There you have it — a long list of 25 world’s most influential CMO’s in the SaaS industry.

The CMO is an interesting C-level position because of its emphasis on marketing expertise and, sometimes, many things beyond. The new business environment has resulted in numerous changes, making SaaS brands quickly adapt to the latest consumer and SaaS marketing trends and concerns.

All the experts mentioned in this list have demonstrated the ability to develop strategies from scratch that not only drive growth but also ensure a happy user experience. So, go ahead and follow these CMOs and learn from their insights on SaaS marketing.

blog-author
Author
Kushal Desai

Kushal Desai is an Ex-Content Marketing Specialist at Growfusely. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering as well as MBA in Information Technology and has over 7 years of experience in digital marketing. His core expertise lies in organic search, content marketing, and performance analytics. Connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter: @kushaljdesai.

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