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    Innovative Marketing: Q&A With Mike Volpe

    Innovative Marketing: Q&A With Former HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe

    3 minute read

    Swimming Against The Current

    Of all the trends that continuously ripple through the industry and dictate the future of innovative marketing, nothing is poised to replace the integral business strategy and influence that disruptive CMOs can offer. Disruptive CMOs are a must for any company looking to build an agile innovative marketing strategy that moves as swiftly as audience demands, consumption behavior, and industry-wide technology. Ambassador spoke with former HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe, to get an inside take on what companies can do to attract more business and think like successful marketers.  

    Ambassador: What are the qualities of a disruptive CMO?

    Mike Volpe: First, a disruptive CMO must have an entrepreneurial streak. Second, there has to be resistance to the status quo. Then, there must be a willingness to roll up your sleeves and do the work. Finally, you don’t want to seek risk for risk’s sake. You want to seek out risk for the reward. It’s not risk-seeking, it’s risk-accepting. When you combine that with the entrepreneurial nature and the willingness to buck status quo, you have someone who’s willing to try something new.

    Ambassador: How can a company thrive in stride with a disruptive CMO?

    Mike Volpe: I think there’s two subtle points. If you’re willing to try things early, just by being early - not by being good - it does give you a disproportionate advantage if it takes off.  Whether it’s blogging, Twitter, or being a business on Facebook or any new platform, being first and getting there before the inflection point of growth is huge. Then there’s also that subtle thing that if you start early, you at least have an opportunity to get good at something. So when everyone else floods in, you’re still better.

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    Ambassador: What are the risks and advantages of being an early adopter as opposed to being a member of the late majority?

    Mike Volpe: If you’re a late adopter, you’re constantly doomed to average results. Being early helps you build a larger audience and take time to test and develop which helps you be more successful later.

    Ambassador: Can you think of a specific HubSpot example?

    Mike Volpe: Take any of the pieces of what we did at HubSpot. The blog is the best example. When we started blogging in 2006, there weren’t a lot of company blogs out there. When the world started to pay attention to blogging, the rising tide raised all boats. If you have a nice big boat in the water, you look better than everyone else.

    Ambassador: Any words of advice for companies that are trying to swim upstream and create a category within their industry?

    Mike Volpe: Whether or not you want to create a category, if you’re a startup, it’s going to be hard to compete doing marketing the same way everyone else is doing it. No one has heard of you. If you need to get average results, you’re going to need a lot of money. If you’re a newer, smaller company, like most startups, you don’t have that. For us, it was much less about trying to carve out a piece of marketing automation and more about carving out something new.

    Turning The Tide

    Make sure that your business strategy is clear as your team plans to stay ahead of the rising tide of innovative marketing. For more industry-leading insight, take a look at our "Peering Into The Crystal Ball: An in-depth look at 6 trends shaping the future of marketing" eBook.

    About Mike Volpe

    Mike Volpe is the former HubSpot CMO. He currently advises and invests in startups like Attend and Repsly. To learn more about marketing for startups, visit

    Peering into the Crystal Ball eBook

    Posted in Inbound Marketing, Best Practices

    Jeff Epstein

    Written by Jeff Epstein

    Jeff Epstein is the founder and CEO of Ambassador Software, the World’s #1 Relationship Marketing Platform which enables brands like Hewlett-Packard, HubSpot and Madison Reed to build & scale referral, affiliate, partner and influencer programs.

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