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Rebecca Crusoe, CMO FirstVet
Emil Björnius2023-12-18 11:253 min read

It takes both persistence and courage to invest in activities throughout the full funnel

Rebecca Crusoe, CMO at FirstVet, talks about pets and how they have become even more important in our lives, why the CMOs is the most important ambassador for building continuity and the trends within pet tech.

It’s been exactly twenty years since she entered the industry via an internship at Spray and the PR agency Mahir, which was then part of Prime PR. Rebecca's passion is branding and communications; she has been a leader in creative spaces since 2009. Her track record includes, among other things, having launched Netflix in Sweden in 2012. She has also been PR and Marketing Director at Toca Boca, and has spent the last 5 years as CMO at FirstVet – an online vet, pet shop and pharmacy. With the emergence of digital services for medical and legal visits, it is perhaps not so surprising that FirstVet now has a turnover of over 100 million Swedish kronor: pets have taken an increasingly important place in our lives.

Rebecca grew up on a horse farm outside Eskilstuna. She had never even thought about working in the animal industry, but when she got a dog, her eyes opened to a new world. In a way, it was like coming home when she started at FirstVet:

– In the last 10-20 years, dogs and cats have become more of a family member, and we spend more and more time and money on them. Some even spend more time and money on their dogs' health than their own. Interestingly enough, that trend is very global; for example, our customers worldwide identify themselves as "pet parents", Rebecca continues.

– This partly means that a lot of exciting opportunities appear for us. Pet tech, wearables, innovative pet food, and a greater need for personalization regarding our pets.

The strength of in-house

Rebecca leads the global marketing team. She admits that they tried their hand at different constellations in the marketing organization. They have found that having a solid Center of Excellence at their HQ in Stockholm works best. Rebecca elaborates:

– I have built a team of excellent specialists who can work closely with the country organizations to create growth and build the brand. We have specialists in SEM, SEO and CRM and a dedicated branding team responsible for content design, copywriting and social media. We support seven different markets and work primarily in English and Swedish. I believe in having a solid core team in-house and adding external skills when needed. We own most of the creative work ourselves but handpick individual creators or smaller agencies when we work on larger projects such as commercial film production or PR launches.


“The modern CMO has so much to gain from a strategy that is well-rooted in the company”


It's often said that those who have the courage to invest during a recession emerge as the winners. Rebecca says she sees similar trends in her industry right now.

– It takes perseverance and courage to continue investing in activities across the marketing funnel, not just the initiatives that drive conversion.You must dare to believe in the classic and the long-term, especially in uncertain economic times. The CMO is the most important ambassador for building the continuity and the narrative that applies to growth and branding, regardless of how the winds blow outside the company.

She continues:

– I focus a lot on internal relations, stakeholder management, listening, training, evaluating, and anchoring. A former colleague once said, "you should do less PR for PR," but I think it's the opposite. The modern CMO has so much to gain from a strategy that is well-rooted in the company and lets colleagues and stakeholders become a natural part of the journey.

The trends within digital marketing

A trend shift that interests Rebecca is what’s happening in influencer marketing right now. It was a hot market a few years ago, but as the economy slowed, it lost its air. Rebecca elaborates:

– A sign of the times was that Therese Lindgren quit YouTube and chose to put the money she earned into her fund for animal welfare. Several other famous profiles have started studying. And the influencer agencies are pivoting. We are facing a shift where you either are Bianca Ingrosso and build your brand into the business, which only a few can do, or you have to go back to basics. It has restored the balance between media buyers and profiles in a good way, I think.


Emil Björnius

Emil works as a senior content marketing manager at Aimfor. Get in touch with him if you want help with moving your brand with storytelling.