Interview with Michael Parness, CMO of Outward Hound




Welcome to another episode of the “Amazon for CMOs” podcast series! We are very excited to announce that today the book is live on Amazon, and we are offering subscribers a FREE Kindle version, for the first 5 days after launch. “Amazon for CMOs” written by Amazon experts Kiri Masters and Mark Power, represents a strategic resource for navigating the Amazon Economy, whether you are a CMO looking to expand your knowledge, or you interact with a CMO and would like to understand their strategic perspective.

One of the very knowledgeable professionals that contributed to this book is Michael Parness, CMO of Outward Hound. Michael has had a great career as a marketing leader in the CPG space, and he's also one of our current clients, here, at Bobsled Marketing. Today we’re sharing with you a replay of our discussion from April where we approached Amazon's continuously changing ecosystem, the customer journey, and why Amazon is becoming more and more important, even though brick and mortar is still very significant and has the large majority of sales today.


  • Kiri shares some insights about the book and how you can get a free copy.

  • How Michael, as the CMO of Outward Hound, keeps on top of the brands, marketing, distribution channels, and profit margins for all the entities.  

  • Michael explains what differentiates the various brands at Outward Hound.

  • Channel management is a key area of focus for Michael.

  • At Outward Hound, they want to both support their channel partners and always deliver great experiences with their products to the consumers.

  • How Amazon continues to gain more and more importance.

  • Why Michael thinks that that two channels can co-exist within the pet space.

  • Brick and mortar is still important and still has the large majority of sales today.

  • The importance of considering the four C's along the journey to buying something. (Connect, consider, convince, and convert.)

  • Convenience and experience are the two main purchase drivers, and Amazon does them better than anybody.

  • Amazon is becoming more and more important.

  • Why Amazon is the best thing ever!

  • The importance of building a great digital shelf.

  • The kind of content that Michael repurposes for Amazon.

  • How retailers have reacted to Outward Hound's continued investment in Amazon.

  • A lot of retailers are now competing in the e-commerce space.

  • How the different channels are actually complementary.

  • What connecting looks like.

  • Is commoditization a threat to brands?

  • Daily monitoring of channel management is part of living with Amazon.

  • The importance of building and maintaining brand equity.

  • A brand is still a mark of quality for the customer. 

  • Balancing the desire for growth and customer acquisition with the desire for profitability on Amazon.

  • The continuously changing ecosystem on Amazon.

  • About the new metrics that are now available on Amazon.