edward ford on market mentors podcast
Feb 1, 2022

Lessons Learned Helping Supermetrics Grow From $10m to $50m ARR in Just Three Years

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer


With such fierce competition in virtually every category today, being a B2B tech marketer is more challenging now than ever before. With that in mind, it can often be useful to look at the companies leading the way for examples of how to succeed. 

In this episode, Edward Ford shares some of the key lessons he’s learned helping scale Supermetrics’s annual recurring revenue from $10 million to nearly $50 million in just three years.

About Our Guest

Who they are: Edward Ford, Demand Generation Director for Supermetrics.

A bit of background: Edward is currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Previously, he’s hosted the excellent B2B tech marketing podcast, called The Growth Hub Podcast

Where you can find him:

Prefer Video? Watch a full video of the podcast here…

Episode Takeaways

Here you’ll find some of the best advice from the podcast that you can easily digest and learn from.

1.  What are some of the biggest challenges facing marketing leaders today, and how can they be mitigated?

It’s often said the CMO is the position that has the shortest tenure in the C-suite. But why is this the case? 

Edward identified two challenges he feels marketing leaders need to navigate carefully in today’s B2B landscape.

1 – Marketing has grown into an incredibly broad discipline

Edward said, “In most other areas within an organisation, it’s relatively clear and focused what a team will be responsible for. But, if you break down marketing, and what marketing teams are responsible for, all of a sudden you’re covering a huge span.”

It’s true, marketing leaders are tasked with looking after everything from the strategic brand messaging, to demand generation and revenue conversion, through to customer retention, as well as working with sales and contributing to the wider business strategy. This presents a somewhat daunting situation, but there are ways to ease the burden.

Edward suggested breaking that broad remit down as much as possible, organising it into separate areas to make it more manageable. 

He continued, “In Supermetrics, we have one marketing department, but we have about eight or nine sub-teams just because the area is so broad, like brand marketing, demand gen, product marketing, customer experience, marketing ops, website, and MarTech, analytics and data, growth marketing.”

This way, each set of roles and responsibilities is clear, and it becomes easier to follow the performance of each area. 

2 – Marketing leaders must take responsibility for internal stakeholder management.

“The higher up you go, the more important internal stakeholder management is,” said Edward.

What this means in practice is helping the rest of the organisation understand things like: 

  • What marketing does in the business.
  • Why you’re doing those things.
  • What value those things are delivering, and how that’s relevant to other departments.
  • How long it takes to see results, and why.
  • Why the old playbook is broken, and you’re not just focusing on lead gen anymore.

“This can be hard, because a lot of founders and CEOs are more product-driven,” Edward continued. “So, it’s difficult for non-marketers to understand those things. But that’s also a key responsibility for a marketing leader within a company, to communicate internally about the role of marketing, what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it.”

Of course, some B2B tech business leaders may expect to see results from marketing immediately. However, Edward pointed out that you must ensure your stakeholders understand that most meaningful marketing strategies require time and patience

He said, “Marketing is also a long game, and other people see it as maybe a bit of a short game, expecting quick wins or instant results, which is not really how marketing works. I think a lot of things you do now are going to pay you back six months, one year, two years down the line.”

2. As a company starts to experience significant growth, what advice would you give marketers dealing with a transition from a hands-on role into a more strategic leadership position?

Edward suggested it’s useful to view this kind of transition from a leadership perspective, while also ensuring your team is structured in the best way to drive the marketing strategy forward.

He explained, “Obviously leadership is a big part of being a manager, but it’s also about figuring out how you should scale the team, how to make plans that align with the strategy, and how your different teams should work together.”

So, whether you have separate people or separate teams looking after things like brand, demand gen, customer experience, product marketing, and so on, it’s crucial to ensure all these different areas are operating in sync.  

“For me, it’s been really interesting to work at Supermetrics over three years, because sometimes we still have to go back to the drawing board and rebuild things from scratch, and then we have to figure out how we re-structure the team for success going forward.”

In a fast-growing company, you constantly need to reinvent yourself, and you need to grow because the company’s growing and the company won’t wait for you.”

Edward also added that it’s necessary for any marketing leader to be prepared to try things that may fail, because making mistakes is the best way to learn important lessons. 

“Some of the things we’ve done, maybe in hindsight, we should have done differently,” he said. “But I think that’s how you learn, as well, and it’s been a lot of fun and a lot of learning.”

3. Can you share some of the most interesting tips you’ve learned from speaking to experts on your own marketing podcast recently? 

Edward said, “From the podcast I host, I’ve chatted with a lot of content marketers, and I think the trend I’m seeing now is on repurposing. For example, we might run a webinar, which we then repurpose as a blog post, and then have the person come and do an interview on our podcast, and just try to get more out of the content and adapt it for different channels.”

“One other big change I’m seeing around content is that content teams are taking more time to create content for organic social media channels, and curating content that’s optimised for those platforms, particularly in B2B SaaS and MarTech.”

A good example of this is with LinkedIn, especially for people working in B2B businesses. Edward continued, “We’re seeing more focus on LinkedIn in particular, and building around the people, not the company account. So, building content around the employees, the subject matter experts, or the evangelists within the company, and using them as a way to distribute your content and your story.”

And, finally, on a more general point, Edward pointed out the growing volume of content in the market as a trend to be conscious of.

He said, “The bar is getting higher. There’s so much content out there, and a lot of it’s not great, but a lot of it is really, really good. So, as a marketer, you always need to be educating, adding value, and informing and helping your audience.”

“To do that with content is great, but you need to make sure the quality is high enough. Marketers often speak about quality versus quantity in content. You need a good amount of content, but it needs to be really good as well.”

A few other highlights to look out for in this episode:

  1. More insight into Edward’s journey with Supermetrics so far, and how he plans to drive further growth over the next few years.
  2. Edward explains what qualities he believes are required to be a great marketing leader today.
  3. Which metrics Edward uses to track and measure the success of his demand generation strategy. 
  4. Edward’s recommendations of thought leaders and role models to follow, for marketers looking to learn and improve.