Imagine a CEO or Founder of a company on a steady growth trajectory, now prepared to bring in an experienced marketing leader. They look for people within their network who have industry experience, relevant skills, and glowing recommendations. But is that enough? In a world where marketing strategy can make or break companies, where the brand and its position are as important as the bottom line, do regular hiring strategies work?
We often hear stories of individuals who had a revolutionary idea that changed the audience’s perception of a company. More often than not, they weren’t seasoned marketing leaders with a well-crafted CV and years of experience. They were tech-savvy, well-read, and in tune with changing market dynamics. Think of Steve Jobs, a seasoned leader who understood the power the right marketing strategy could have and eventually hired the right people who crafted it to perfection.
So as the CEO or Founder of a growing company, what should you look for in a Marketing Leader beyond the usual checks?
Experience and Expertise
Look for a leader with a hit rate of at least seven on ten in the portfolios they have managed in the past. They may not have years of experience but their capacity for strategic foresight and alignment with your brand’s prerequisites remains of utmost significance.
The right person will understand the cultural dynamics of your organization. They can adapt their leadership style to match your people’s needs and, most importantly, lead by example.
The marketing landscape is overflowing with marketing tools, acronyms, and all forms of content. Your next marketing leader should have a fair idea of what’s available, what works, and what’s changing. Keeping track of this changing landscape and optimizing the right tools should be high on the priority list for this individual.
There is a certain level of creativity associated with marketing. But is that a fair expectation from all marketing professionals? A seasoned leader need not be the most creative person on the team, but they should allow the team to express their creativity and capitalize on such initiatives when the opportunity arises.
Communication is vital to marketing strategy. The ability to communicate clearly to your audience and your team is essential in choosing the right person to lead your team. As your brand grows and changes, the marketing leader should be able to adapt the communication to keep up with your audience and your offering. Does the audience understand what I do? If the answer is yes, then you’ve undoubtedly found the right person for the role.
ROI is probably the most crucial aspect when assessing your company’s performance. This will be a priority for all the heads of departments you hire, especially for the head of marketing. The ideal candidate is comfortable with numbers and, more importantly, has the ability to translate their strategies into tangible monetary outcomes, adding to the company’s bottom line.
These are a few qualities a marketing leader should have. While expectations can vary across industries and companies, establishing distinct objectives and priorities for a marketing leader remains crucial.
Particularly for small to medium-sized businesses, where the marketing goals are unclear, hiring a consultant or a fractional head can be prudent. It will enable such companies to create a strong foundation upon which a marketing strategy is built.