The First 90 Days as a CMO: Insights from Elina Vilk, CMO of Hootsuite

January 25, 2024  |  
By The Pedowitz Group (TPG)
January 25, 2024
By The Pedowitz Group (TPG)

Starting a new role as a CMO can be both exciting and daunting. With the constant pressure to perform, the first 90 days are critical for setting the tone and making an impact. In this episode of CMO Insights, Jeff Pedowitz interviews Elina Vilk, CMO of Hootsuite, on her experience and the framework she used in her first 90 days. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into their conversation and share insights on approaching the critical first 90 days.

As we dissect Elina Vilk’s fascinating journey, we’ll uncover how she approached her first 90 days as the CMO of Hootsuite. The conversation is packed with pearls of wisdom that shine a light on Elina’s blueprint for success. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the first section where we unravel the strategies and tactics that shaped her initial months at the helm.

Getting to Know the Company

Elina Vilk shares her framework for approaching her first 90 days as a CMO. The first step is understanding the business. This involves studying the company’s product, cultural values, and customer base. Elina shares that working for a marketing product-based company like Hootsuite allows her to be customer zero and intimately understand customer needs from day one. By understanding the business, CMOs can align marketing goals with the overall company goals and ensure marketing efforts contribute to business growth.

Align Marketing to Business goals

The next step in the framework is building a marketing strategy that aligns with the company’s goals. Elina emphasizes the importance of setting realistic goals and building a marketing plan that prioritizes what needs to be done to achieve those goals. She also recommends including competitive analysis and voice of customer research in the plan to ensure the market landscape informs the marketing strategy.

Build A Stellar Team

Once the marketing strategy is in place, Elina stresses the importance of building a team that can execute. She recommends assessing the current marketing team and identifying any gaps. She emphasizes the importance of balancing skill sets and personalities to create a cohesive team working together to achieve the marketing plan. She also discusses the importance of building trust with the team and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation.

Create Relationships with Stakeholders

In addition to building a team, Elina emphasizes the importance of building relationships with stakeholders across the organization. She recommends meeting with key stakeholders to understand their priorities and how marketing can support their goals. Building relationships across the organization can help create a collaborative culture that supports the business’s overall success.


Starting a new role as a CMO can be overwhelming, but with a clear framework, CMOs can make an impact in their first 90 days. Elina Vilk shares her insights on the importance of understanding the business, building a marketing strategy, building a cohesive team, and building relationships across the organization. By working through these steps, new CMOs can ensure that their marketing efforts are aligned with overall company goals and contribute to business growth.

Watch the full interview here:

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