Here are some key factors to take into consideration when hiring a marketing leader for your company.
Enterprises that start with a great idea but ultimately fail usually do so because they don’t have a well-defined marketing strategy—or a marketing leader who can execute it.
When your company doesn’t have a marketing leader who can identify and respond to changes in the market or devise effective strategies to keep things competitive, there’s a very real risk of your company falling behind your rivals and fading into irrelevance.
Now, there’s always been a high demand for good marketing leaders. Finding one who perfectly fits your organization is not only difficult but also likely to cost you market opportunities and precious time if you get it wrong.
So, to help you find the right professional for the job, we’ve compiled a list of soft skills and characteristics that make for great marketing leaders, based on those we’ve placed at other companies.
The best marketing people are data nerds. They understand how to collect it, aggregate it and derive real intelligence from it. Whether it’s by using email metrics, Google Analytics, Salesforce reporting, paid search campaigns or their own analysis, they know how to leverage the diverse range of marketing tools that collect and crunch data.
But most important of all, they know how to read the data and derive action plans from it. These candidates are able to talk about the tools they use to make informed decisions about marketing strategies and campaigns, how they use data to adjust their tactics and how they repeat the process to improve on their results.
Leaders lead. That’s a pretty simple concept when we talk about marketing leaders. Effective marketing can be either reactive (in response to an unforeseen market condition) or proactive (using research, planning and strategy to take advantage of emerging trends before your competitors do). Your marketing team will follow the culture set by an individual who learns from the past, reacts to the present and anticipates the future based on data.
You can initially assess a candidate’s initiative by how they handle the interview process and how ready they are to share ideas. Whether in interviews or more casual settings, focus on discovering how they’ve contributed value during their previous roles at other enterprises.
Is it clear that they take initiative? If so, what did they do and, more importantly, what was the story behind the project or initiative that will help you understand their thought process? People with initiative are more than happy to share their thinking—especially during a job interview.
We’re not talking about artistic creativity, but about the ability to look at a market situation differently. Most great marketing leaders are not proficient in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or other major design tools—and they don’t need to be. They should know how to build a brand and effectively manage new challenges that come from the marketplace, customers and competitors in various forms.
That requires creativity—the kind that allows them to leverage their learnings from the data they collect and solve a problem with a best-practices solution or from a completely unique perspective. This could include developing a new product to answer a need in the marketplace, adjusting messaging to communicate a product benefit differently or repositioning a service so that it opens up new opportunities.
Being one of the leading executive search firms in Austin, Texas, we have helped countless organizations find the right executive talent for permanent as well as contract positions. We place professionals in top companies in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, including those positions in marketing, engineering, quality control, and health and safety. Contact us today to get started.