In the Now Podcast: Episode 31

Join Nowspeed's CEO, David Reske, as he engages in discussions with founders, marketers, and CEOs from around the globe. Delving into the realm of marketing and leadership, aiming to unravel the myths and misunderstandings that often surround these topics.

What Is Really Important For Business Growth?

Do the best run businesses grow the fastest? In this episode of In the Now, Pete Hayes a Principle of Chief Outsiders and David Reske of Nowspeed reveal that while most companies strive for operational excellence, it is surprisingly not operationally-excellent, but the market-driven companies that grow faster. The CMO has a critical role in helping an organization become market driven by developing the right insights, creating a winning strategy and the managing marketing operations to drive results. Watch this insightful conversation that can help you focus on what’s really important to grow your business!
Bonus: Pete is giving away free copies of his book, the Growth Gears, to the first 20 people who request it. Get it now!

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Episode Transcript

In the Now: Pete Hayes

Why do market-driven companies often outperform operationally-oriented competitors? Pete Hayes, Principal at Chief Outsiders, delves into the nuances of the two strategies and provides some real-world examples in this engaging conversation with Nowspeed’s David Reske

Watch the full interview with Pete Hayes here and read an excerpt from the interview below.

Nowspeed: Welcome to this edition of In the Now, where we work to debunk the myths and misconceptions about marketing and leadership by conversing with some of the world’s most intriguing and knowledgeable individuals. I’m Dave Reske, CEO of Nowspeed Marketing, a full-service digital marketing firm providing everything from web design to PPC advertising. And our guest today is an influential figure in the marketing realm — Pete Hayes, a Principal at Chief Outsiders. Pete, we’re thrilled to have you here.

Pete: Thanks, David. It’s an honor to be here and partake in this conversation.

Nowspeed: Pete, your work at Chief Outsiders is rather intriguing. As I understand, you manage a team of executive-as-a-service marketers. These are top-tier professionals who boost client growth by offering on-the-spot senior marketing talent. That’s a pretty distinctive approach to marketing, isn’t it?

Pete: Yes, David, it is. What we do is unique, and the speed at which we operate is one of our strongest assets. We work in real-time to respond to our clients’ needs. To give an example, we once received a call from a private equity firm on a Thursday about a pressing issue. They needed senior marketing talent for Bass Pro Shops, who had just lost their CMO of Digital. By Monday, we’d placed a new, high-performing digital CMO in the position. This sort of agility can make a huge difference for businesses.

Nowspeed: That’s a fantastic example of the rapid response and adaptability your team is capable of. Your experiences at Chief Outsiders and the principles you discussed in your co-authored book, “The Growth Gears“, are what I’m really interested in delving into today. Let’s start with a common myth you highlighted in your book — the idea that the best-run companies will grow the fastest. Could you share why you believe this to be a myth?

Pete: Absolutely. We partnered with the University of Texas for a research project that revealed two kinds of companies. One type is operationally oriented, focusing on running their business as efficiently as possible. The other is market-driven, aligning their business practices with market realities. Interestingly, we found that operationally oriented companies, while they might run smoothly, don’t tend to grow as rapidly as market-driven companies. It’s worth noting that these market-driven companies might not make a profit straight away.

Nowspeed: That’s fascinating. So, if I understand correctly, high-growth companies might not necessarily be the best-run companies. Instead, they excel at aligning their business operations with the realities of the marketplace?

Pete: That’s a succinct summary, David. High-growth companies are typically those that can identify and capitalize on opportunities in the marketplace. In contrast, operationally driven companies tend to focus inwardly. They’re very efficiency-driven and are skilled at driving profit. However, these companies generally rise and fall with their industry peers. For instance, when there’s an economic downturn, their default strategy is usually to hunker down and weather the storm. On the other hand, market-driven companies are proactive. They seek out gaps, changes, and shifts in the market and adapt accordingly.

Nowspeed: I see. Would you be able to provide an example to illustrate how a market-driven company could outperform an operationally driven one?

Pete: Certainly. Take the COVID-19 crisis as an example. It was a highly challenging period for many companies. A common response among private equity-backed companies was to go into conservation mode. The CEOs were often replaced with CFOs with a mandate to conserve cash and make minimal investment. However, some market-driven companies saw this as an opportunity rather than a setback…

Don’t miss the rest of this insightful interview with Pete Hayes. Make sure to tune in for the full conversation here.