Qualified and experienced C-level executives, like chief marketing officer’s (CMO’s) are very hard to find in today’s hot economy.
Few of the available CMOs have the talent, qualifications, and capabilities to fulfill all the needs and functions in a business, which makes it a rare privilege to find and attract the right one for your business.
Finding a Good CMO Candidate
Surely, no realistic recruiter believes that one CMO can or should possess all the attributes and skills their specific organization wants or desires. Therefore, your goal is to find a qualified CMO that’s not only ready to utilize his skills for your organization but also learn and adapt to its needs and methods of work.
But, where can you find one of those – a chief marketing officer that’s good with customer acquisition, retention, product management, business development, and cares about brand architecture? Odds are, you won’t find one that excels in it all. Ideally, you need one that possesses the skills you need most and lacks what you can live without.
A great CMO will know of their abilities and qualities and adjust them according to your company’s needs and goals. They’ll build a team accordingly and follow up to make sure that the priorities and tasks all taken care of.
When to Hire a CMO
Before we go into how you should hire a CMO, let’s discuss the when’s.
Now, you should not expect a definite answer to this question since every company has different needs and requirements. Some don’t need a chief marketing officer for a long time after they open their company and only need one once they get things running.
In other words, you should make sure that you need a chief marketing officer before you decide to hire one. Here are the signs that tell companies they need a chief marketing officer for their organization:
1. The business is growing at a slow rate
One big part of the evaluation process of a business is the comparison with its competition. To track the maturity of your business, you need to check how fast and how well your competition is moving along.
If your competitors grow and your company doesn’t, you are literally falling behind. In this case, you need a CMO that will pull the company out of stagnation, remodel your strategic marketing strategies, and set a more directed focus for your team.
2. Your current marketing strategy isn’t working
Whether it is your website and its content, the product or the brand marketing – if one aspect of your company is not working, you won’t be able to make it more successful. Digital marketing is huge today and new innovations are coming every day.
Is your company leveraging all its opportunities?
This is where a chief marketing officer can truly help. A good person in the CMO role will know how to promote a brand and which companies or talents to used to improve your online presence and marketing efforts. He won’t just be aware of the holes in your past system, but will also have a list of people who can actually help.
3. The voice of your brand isn’t appealing enough
Brand recognition is essential and more important than ever. With the technology and social media craze around the globe, you can literally build a grand business from scratch much faster than anyone could in the past.
However, to do so, you need to use multiple methods, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and other advertising tricks. A good CMO can help you improve the voice of your brand and make it more appealing to the audience.
4. Your team desperately needs a leader
You can be the best business owner there is, but no one expects you to do everything on your own. When it comes to your team, especially if it is a big or varied team, you’ll need some help with managing and leading them. Hiring a chief marketing officer for this purpose can be very beneficial.
What to Look for in a CMO
Once you’ve established that you need a chief marketing officer, you need to think of the qualifications you need from him. This should help you create your job description and determine which qualifications are essential for the candidate you are looking to find.
To help you out, we’ve narrowed down the characteristics of CMO’s into a short list of the most essential ones:
Involvement in industry trends and innovations
A good CMO should be continuously involved in the industry, aware of the latest trends and techniques, as well as prepared to learn and build on his knowledge. This is the only way that the candidate will be able to keep the company on a cutting edge.
Versatility applies both to ideas and tools a CMO uses to execute your company’s campaigns. An ideal candidate will understand the ways to spread the message and promote the brand and will be prepared to use versatile methods to reach the success.
An excellent CMO should be able to think outside the box, be creative and innovative. You’ll probably be able to establish this by looking into their resume and asking the right questions during the interview.
Of course, a creative resume does not mean that the candidate actually wrote it. Resume writing is not a necessary characteristic of a CMO, so don’t be surprised to learn that some candidates used professional resume services.
You’ll still be able to determine their creativity level during the interview and after you hire them. In fact, getting help from the top resume writing companies can even be considered a good sign since it demonstrates creativity and knowledge on behalf of the candidate.
Analytical skills are essential for a chief marketing officer professional and is one of the CMO’s primary responsibility. Without these, their creativity won’t be put into action. When looking for a CMO candidate, seek one that possesses analytical abilities that allow him to determine the things that need improvement, and use creative ideas to fix the problems.
Seeing how a chief marketing officer will pose, in addition to other functions, as a leader of your team and a tool to share your ideas with the audience to promote the brand, you should definitely seek one with top-notch skills in communication. A good CMO must be excellent in all methods of communication, including verbal and written communication.
Your search should have a component that involved a solid foundation that includes advanced degrees, a degree in marketing, paired with years of experience. Some from up through the ranks of marketing coordinator and marketing manager.
How to Hire a Chief Marketing Officer
With the prerequisites in mind and the certainty that you’ve reached a point where you need a good CMO, it is finally time to look and hire one for your company.
Below you’ll find a list of a few tips that will help you in your hiring endeavor:
1. Look into Your Marketing Team
Before you decide to outsource, take a look at your current team of marketers. You might just have the perfect candidate already working for you, and all you’d have to do is promote them.
There’s also the extra benefit of reducing training costs since members of your team already know a lot about your company’s methods and policies.
Consider every member that possesses the skills and attributes you require for the CMO position. Based on their qualifications and success as members of your team, you might just find the right person to promote to the position of a chief marketing officer. This will build an excellent work ethic within the workplace, motivate your team, and still get you the expert you needed.
2. Check Your Network of Professionals
As a business owner, you probably have at least a small network of professionals in your area. Have you checked this list to see if there’s a potential chief marketing officer available to work for you? If you haven’t, now is the perfect time to do it.
Even if you can’t find an available CMO in your network, you can always ask around and see if someone in it can connect you with one.
3. Leverage Some Online Sources
Your task is to find a marketing expert, a person whose career nowadays demands an excellent online presence. This is an advantage to recruiters, so make sure to leverage the online sources to learn more about each candidate before you make the final decision.
You’ll be surprised to see how many things one can learn by looking online. You can use popular tools like LinkedIn to check and even find the most qualified candidates, reach them and ask them to work for you. The way a marketing officer uses to present himself will tell you a lot about the person and his qualifications.
4. Create a Great Job Description
Based on your needs and the requirements we discussed above, it is time to write your perfect job description. The job description should be adjusted to fit the needs of your company. With that in mind, you should list the required skills and qualifications. Also, include roles and reponsbilities as well as.
Keep in mind that you’ll hardly find a candidate that knows everything about everything. Therefore, you need to be realistic and focus on the things that are most important for your business’ marketing.
5. Ask the Right Interview Questions
Once you’ve gathered the candidates and are ready to go through the final evaluation of the hiring process – the interview, you need to be prepared to ask the right questions. To help you with this final part, we’ve prepared a couple of good CMO questions to ask during an interview.
Ask them about the company
An interested candidate will have at least basic knowledge of what your company does and what can be done to improve it. After all, that would be their job. This question should tell you if the candidate is truly interested in the job offered.
Ask them to pitch your company
Seeing how the CMO will represent your company, you may want to ask them to pitch it as they would do it during a sales meeting. This is an excellent way to see if they have researched the company and are ready to represent it.
Ask them to sell something in the room
A good CMO is excellent in selling products and services. Seeing how marketing should be their strongest suit, they should be prepared to sell everything. Don’t overdo it by telling them what to sell to you, but ask them to choose an item in the room and pitch it to you.
Ask them how they handle conflict and problems
If the candidate’s answers are to conflict and punishment-oriented, this could be a problem for your business and your team. Try to determine their communication level while talking to them during the interview. You might even want to make it a bit informal to allow the candidate to relax and show ‘his true colors’.
Ask them to write an email to you
This might come as unexpected, but it should show you how well the candidate communicates in written form. Their writing skills might not be as great as to write content or create resumes, but they should definitely possess sufficiently developed skills to write a professional email.
Ask them what they’d change about your company
You don’t have to get into details, but ask the candidates what they’d change first. The biggest reason why you need a CMO is to improve your business, which means that the right candidate should already have at least a small idea of what should be done. Or at least, they should be able to share with you a marketing trick you don’t know.
Ask them about the technology they use
A good CMO is always informed about the latest information technology and marketing technology and best innovations that promote a business’ brand and makes the marketing operation more efficient and effective. Ask them what they used to see if their methods are modern or outdated.
Ask them to set a goal
Of course, you’d be the one to make the final decision. But, ask the candidate – just generally, where do they see the company in a couple of years if you hire them to become a marketing officer?
Are you ready to hire your chief marketing officer? This is a very important function within a company, which means that you must thread this process very carefully. Follow the detailed steps above to learn why, when, and how to hire a CMO.
Do You Know Your Score?
Your marketing ROI is critical. For you and your company
Measurement matters now more than ever. Use this marketing scorecard toolkit to bring structure and meaning to your numbers.
Wrap Up on
Great teams finish first. Motivated modern marketing professionals who are driven to be great will refine marketing and the industry. Their fulfillment comes from being a part of something greater than themselves. Their success is not defined by money, fame, or power, but rather by the pursuit of purpose.
Look for professionals that excel in cultures that reward collective success over individual achievements. They care less about why, and more often ask, why not? There is a world of endless possibilities, and they are the future.
Your company will be defined by its ability to recruit and retain the best.
Give us your best tip on how to find the best chief marketing officer.
Kurt Walker is an expert copywriter and an editor for the company assignmentholic.co.uk. He is currently located in London where he spends most of his time publishing his content and working part-time as a journalist. The favorite topics of Walker are productivity, inspiration, technologies, and education.