I am launching a new online marketing platform that will allow brands to connect with (potential) customers globally in a completely new way. The biggest component of the business is partnering with various large and medium size brands that are willing to experiment with their marketing approach and product offerings.

Until now, I was working on devising the business plan and the operational aspects of it but now is the time when I have to penetrate the C-Suite, specifically the Chief Marketing Officer suite at those brands with my partnership proposal. I am not sure how to go about it.

Do I sent emails, pick up the phone, send letters? Do I prepare a “pitch deck” that I email the brands or send them or a top view summary page? I am totally unconnected to those brands and they span across various industries. Any ideas or insights would be appreciated!

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2 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You need to hire someone who has those connections. Which you probably can’t afford.

    There are a million business ideas that would be good if only you could get to the people who have million dollar budgets. But really those are not business ideas. Because getting to the person is too hard.

    People who have connections to chief marketing officers are very careful how they use those connections. That’s their job, essentially, to sell those connections.

    As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a business because you don’t have those connections. Try to think of a company that solves a problem for people who you have access to.

    But maybe you don’t believe me. So I’m going to try to explain another way.

    Another way to think of your question is to flip it: If you can talk to chief marketing officers whenever you want, and they listen to you, you don’t need to have a business model, you can just sell your access to those people.

    And one more way to think about it: Let’s say I told you I have a business idea but I need a government contract so I need access to the President. If you helped me get access to the President, I could start any business, right? I mean, if I could get a government contract for one business, I can get it for twenty businesses. So the hard part of that business idea is getting to the President, not thinking of a way to make money once I’m talking to him.

    Typically, when someone launches a company that requires very high-level buy-in, they will use their own connections to get a few individuals with high-level buy-in, and then use those peoples’ endorsement to get high-level buy-in from other organizations.

    Don’t be discouraged if one business idea doesn’t work. Entrepreneurs usually need to think of 30 ideas before one really works.

  2. jessica
    jessica says:

    My husband is a CMO.

    Pitching to a CMO to spend ad dollars in a new, unproven, way is a very tough sell- almost impossible. CMO’s have to account for their budgets that are set at least a year out, and really, that’s not the person you should be trying to reach within the orgs.

    That said, if you would like, I can pass along an email to my husband and perhaps he can give you further advice:


    Good luck,


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