Sean is a principal at FitzMartin, and our leading mind and voice on sales and marketing strategy. Sean is particularly adept at applying the science of behavior change to the art of sales and marketing. It’s an approach that he and FitzMartin have developed over thousands of client engagements since 1992.
Before you begin candidate searching, let me help you form some of the key questions that should be included in your interview questions. The answers to these key interview questions will reveal if a prospective marketing professional is right for your small to mid-sized business. These questions will offer you a guide to hiring leadership to make the marketing function at your company a valuable tool. They will also function if you are hiring a part time CMO or even an agency to help you.
Remember, these questions are flexible, but the answers you need to hear fall within certain boundaries. It’s not enough to like the person or for them to meet all of other parameters you typically use in hiring decisions. Marketers, both good and bad ones, are expert in presenting and persuading. They are expert at crafting emotional and powerful presentations that make you feel like they are a great fit. Remember the most important thing you are looking for is if they are capable: data analytics-research-sensitivity analysis-reporting-decision making and leadership skills and so on.
Today I want to share with you the first questions that must be part of your interview.
Question 1: “If you are the marketing leader of this firm, I would expect you to oversee the generation of qualified leads. What does that look like?”
In the answer, listen for these three elements:
- First, they should understand the technology surrounding lead generation. Specifically three tools sets: CMS (content management systems) MAT (marketing automation technology) and CRM (customer relationship management technology). They should talk about the generation of interest, capturing elements of data driven from prospects’ interest and communicating with those prospects through the customer decision journey. They should then know what to do with that lead from both a marketing communications and sales perspective. It is critical that your interviewee prove knowledge of these tool types and how they fit together in a system.
- Second, they should be able to express their beliefs concerning the relationship between sales and marketing. If they have a developed a system of beliefs about how this all works, it’s a great sign. It is ok if it does not match your beliefs, you can teach that - or they might even teach you! But if they do not understand how the two functions work together, this is not the right person for you.
- Third, the last element is the gold mine. Your candidate is very promising if their answer dives into the use of data, data mining and the application of data segmentation. Understand that the amount of data that is available to the marketer today is almost limitless compared with what the largest and most sophisticated companies could create even five years ago. Push them to tell you steps they would take to be sure they can actually work with data.
I have 3 more key questions that will help you build your interview questionnaire to find your right Marketing Manager. Stay tuned…
On Friday, October 30th at 10am CST FitzMartin is going to host a roundtable for CEO’s who are hiring or thinking about hiring a marketing leader. During it we will share all 4 critical “must ask” questions and the answers you should be looking for. We will spend most of the time in an open conversation where you can put any question about the role and what you are thinking. We do not have all the answers, but we do have a few! Join by registering. Only 8 seats open.
This drawing is from Friday Joke on The Daily English Show.