A skilled CMO is a critical asset for any company. The value of adding an experienced, intelligent marketing professional to your team can be pivotal for your business’ growth. Without effective marketing, a company would be severely stunting its ability to acquire new clients and grow. A well-fitting CMO will help your reach a larger audience, and create more leads, which are then converted into customers. There are many signs that you’ll see when you need to hire a CMO. When you need to see immediate growth, or your business becomes too large, or you need to work on your branding – that’s when you need a CMO. In addition, if there are multiple marketing functions that you need, or you are running campaigns across channels, or you want to grow awareness – it’s time to bring in a CMO. While they are crucial for your business, recruiting and hiring a good CMO isn’t always easy. Here are three things to keep in mind when you are going through the process of onboarding a new CMO.
- Let them explain your brand to you in their own words
The interview process is key for assuring that the person you hire is competent and is a good fit. Your CMO is the person who will be growing or even reinventing your company brand. A good way to gauge the CMO candidate’s view is to ask him to explain his view of your brand in his own words. Rather than merely asking them to prove competency by explaining past success or explaining plans, dig deeper and get to the root of how they really think. Asking the candidate to use his or her own words in explaining brand will give you insight into their thought process. Ask them to illustrate their vision for growing or changing the company brand, and see if it is in line with your own intentions. Getting to know the personality and skill sets of your CMO will be helpful in determining their fit in your company. Rather than being focused exclusively on bringing in new leads and business, your CMO should also care about existing clients and customer relationships. The goal of your marketing department is to grow the company in terms of market share. While gaining new customers is an effective way to do this, it should never come at the cost of your existing client base. The negativity of losing existing clients is usually not worth the positivity of gaining new ones. An important aspect of branding is making sure that your clients like you so that you have a good reputation. A good CMO should be a leader of the company.
- Ask them where data and instinct relate to each other in terms of importance
Marketing is a thoughtful balance between science and intuition. On one hand, marketing is very data-driven and fact-based. Marketers need to be able to gather data and perform data analysis to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies. On the other hand, however, marketing is about instinct. A good CMO will have strong data analysis skills and also great marketing instinct. As a marketer, you need to be able to make intuitive decisions based on your personal read of the audience. A CMO needs to have good sales skills, and be able to understand the needs of the client and the views of the audience. A good CMO has multi channel skills. Your CMO must be able to broadcast your company across many different channels. A good interview question is to ask them about a digital marketing campaign they succeeded with. Their answer should include multiple channels. Make sure that the candidate understands the value and applications of a fully integrated digital marketing campaign. Social media, email, and analysis should be on the forefront of your candidates mind. A worthy CMO must be good with metrics. They must be multi-faceted with a diverse skill set. They need to understand things big picture, and be able to read the big data. Big data and predictive analytics are key tools for successful marketing departments around the world. The must know how to use technology to analyze and store big data and create new insights. Using the insights, the CMO must be able to act logically based on the information. A CMO must have the appropriate balance between data and instinct. You don’t want them to be too one sided; a CMO who is exclusively data-driven will lack the intuition and common-sense insight that you need. On the flight side, a CMO with no data skills will not be able to form databased plans and campaigns. A CMO is a versatile that almost every organization could benefit from. Choosing the right one for your business can be key for building your brand and gaining more market share. Without the expertise of marketing, your are left to the natural demand of the market. However, with so much competition and often lots of similarities in products, strategic marketing is extremely important for distinguishing your company and defining your unique value proposition in a market flooded with other vendors.
- See what their 3 favorite marketing moves of all time are
Ask about their previous success. Find out their style, and what type of marketing they generally like to implement. Find out if there strategies are ones that would be effective for your business.
Make sure to preach autonomy and creativity when recruiting. The best CMOs will pass on higher salaries in exchange for environments where they can grow. In addition, make sure that your CMO has good technical skills. In many ways, a good CMO has many of the credentials to be a good CIO. Your CMO should be data driven, and understand web analytics, CRM data, and well versed in technologies. If you can’t find a CMO that you like, maybe your company isn’t ready for one. Alternatively, perhaps you want to employee a part-time CMO.
This article was written by AJ Agrawal from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.