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Building a Community for B2B Marketers

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Dave Gerhardt

B2B Marketing

Dave Gerhardt, the founder and CEO of Exit Five, former Chief Marketing Officer at Privy, and Chief Brand Officer at Drift discusses the challenges, opportunities, and success strategies for building a Community for B2B Marketers.

In 2021, Dave started Exit Five as a community for B2B Marketers as a side project while at Privy. it started by posting on LinkedIn and launching a podcast building a following and then creating a community at $10 per month. Within the first 60 days, over 1,000 members joined the community and now the community includes over 3,000 B2B Marketers.

Dave defines Exit Five as a media company focused on B2B Marketing. With over 3,000 members Dave has a unique perspective on the role of Chief Marketing Officers and their organizations.  

Over the past 2-3 years, the environment has changed resulting in much greater scrutiny on Marketing expenses and thus rigor has returned. Moreover, the market conditions have forced CMOs to ensure Marketing and Sales are more tightly aligned - especially as Dave Kellogg says if the CEO goes right and the CRO goes left - the best CMOs stay close to the CRO by going left.

What does Dave think about measuring ROI on evolving trends such as community-led growth or media-led growth? Dave highlighted this is a common problem, and part of the reality is that good marketers just need to know that these are critical "long-term" strategies, that need to be blended with up to 70% of the investments being more short-focused, but having the courage to help the CFO and CEO understand the strategic, long-term value of the other 30% of Marketing investment. Bottom line, getting the CEO and CFO to understand the strategic value of Marketing is a key skill of those most successful CMOs who can see the return over multiple years, not just a few quarters.

Another point Dave highlighted was that over time members of your community will self-identify how they heard about your solutions and why they decided to "raise their hand" to buy something. Community is even more important when the deals are bigger and the risks are heightened. 

If you are thinking about or modeling the investment and returns of building a B2B community, this conversation with Dave Gerhardt is full of great ideas and critical insights into what turns an audience into a community.

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