Hiring competent Marketers is HARD!
That’s most likely why you decided to get some insider information on how to hire the right Marketer. I get it, the process has been tough on you and you’ve most likely found that people who apply for marketing positions aren’t fully qualified. Making it even more challenging for employers to weed out good candidates. So, how can you tell the difference between a proficient marketer who will contribute to an organization’s measurable growth and one who is simply savvy at selling services that have no real footing in the marketplace?
Knowing what skills are important for Marketers to posses in order to create measurable business growth pretty much requires you to be a marketing expert yourself. But who has time to learn a whole other profession? If you’re a field expert, you’ve already been at your own career for a while!
Malcolm Gladwell discussed in his bestseller, “Outliers“, to become an expert it takes 10000 hours (or approximately 10 years) of deliberate practice to master a skill. If you aren’t in the marketing profession, how can you tell a good marketer from a bad one? Truly, marketers are the ones who know best. We speak the language. But how do you know which marketer to approach?
I get it! As an Employer you want to hire proficient marketers who not only contribute to the growth of your business, but can prove their proficiency in an easy to understand format. Let’s face it, if you’re responsible for hiring a marketer you most likely aren’t an expert in the field and precisely points to the key reason you are looking for an expert to fill this key organizational role in the first place.
The question is, where are you looking for sound advice on how to hire the right marketer!?!
With high expectations, and rightfully so, employers want their marketing teams to be great at pretty much a little bit of everything. Public relations, content creation, social media management, SEO, copywriting, PPC advertising, analytics, inbound marketing, storytelling and more. Unfortunately many marketers still think they need only know how to create Facebook ads or write blog posts and build a brand kit to deliver satisfactory results. Clearly, there is a disconnect. For marketers currently operating in a “just getting by” mentality it’s likely that they don’t have all the skills you are looking for, yet. There actually simple ways to tell the difference between results based marketing and practices that end in low performing tangibles.
What to Look for in Marketers.
As a career Marketer, I’m here to help you hire the right person for your team. In the industry for 10 years, I’ve spent my entire career focused on mastering a variety of key skills resulting in measured growth, that I can clearly prove. Otherwise, what am I even doing?
Core results-based skills are prevalent on my resume and I am able to confidently speak to each during an interview, in story format. This makes it simple for non-marketers to follow along, and Hiring managers should expect the same from your marketer as well. Here are a few basic tangibles.
- Guide company staff to integrate marketing strategies across multiple social platforms – creating a balanced marketing mix
- Leverage real-time analytics to fine-tune marketing content across multiple consumer touchpoints, both on and offline
- Develop forward-thinking market and competitive positioning to solidify & execute the brand’s corporate identity
- Author web-optimized press releases, resulting in media run stories
- Conduct competitor analysis to increase marketplace positioning
- Set up & manage targeted advertising both online and off
- Superior speaking, content writing, relationship-building, networking, and customer service skills
- Serve as a spokesperson and lead point on media interactions that help promote and impact organizational growth
- Experience with team-based product development that resulted in increased sales performance
- Optimize analytic capabilities to track visitor web behavior
- Analyze web metrics such as time on site, page views per visit, transaction volume and revenue, click-through rates, CPA+PPC, and other analytic functions to determine ROI
- Develop and implement integrated strategic marketing and communications plan
- Run highly targeted social media ads that lead users through a digital sales funnel
- Create PR agency-level graphic designs using industry-standard software
- Manage web, multimedia, and art design staff to create websites and other digital content related to visual branding
View a Sample Resume of a Proficient Marketer, HERE: A Marketer’s Resume
We’re still far from done, but you get the point. This list wraps up over ten years of software, web development, customer service, public relations, analytical, social media, graphic design, and team management experience. But how can you prove these proficiencies?
Lots of “Marketers,” Little Performance
You may have noticed the marketing industry is heavily saturated yet under-performing. In short, this means there are way too many people claiming to be marketing experts in marketing roles and performing marketing tasks without producing real results indicative of successful marketing performance.
True marketing is a function of roughly ten role sectors, with a combination of varying skills — to get the work done. Marketing is a collaborative discipline by nature, so there will always be some overlap between roles. Perhaps that’s why different organizations use a plethora of assorted job titles for marketing roles, so we’ll keep it on the simple side.
In the annual marketing report conducted by Social Media Examiner – 2020 results revealed that out of 5,243 marketing professionals who participated in their survey, 65% indicated having 3 years or less of experience in the career field and holding titles like:
- Social Media Marketing Manager
- Marketing Consultant
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Director
- Marketing Analyst
- Marketing Coordinator
- Marketing Consultant
- Marketing Specialist
- Communications Director
- Promotions Manager
- Ads Manager
The list goes on, but from an uninformed organizational leadership perspective, do you know the difference in marketing functions between these titles? For someone not in the industry, each title has no differentiation, no true distinction, and is considered interchangeable by many organizational leaders. Yet somehow, these roles are thought to behold the “next best” business solution with little idea as to how.
So, how will leaders recognize the difference between these roles and their effect on the organization? As professional marketers, that education is now our responsibility because organizational growth depends on it.
A Marketer’s Duty
But, many marketers haven’t even figured out that it’s against Facebook Community Guidelines to host a giveaway on a newsfeed. Never mind how we should handle an ethical situation like Volkswagen faced in 2015. In a scandal dubbed “Diesel Dupe,” the automobile giant marketed eco-friendly vehicles that emitted nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above what’s allowed in the U.S. Wreaked havoc across the company, it crippled their brand image and marketing messaging in ways from which the organization is still working to recover. Unfortunately, today’s marketers don’t seem prepared for either of these two very real scenarios. So what do you need to look for in a marketer and on their resumé?
The accomplishments of a proficient marketer include the following:
- Clearly articulated target audience profiles (available in visual and written format)
- Increased brand exposure (proof of increased traffic and web mentions)
- Increase web traffic (with reports to prove it)
- Automate lead generation using email system such as (MailChimp, Constant Contact)
- Developed and grew a loyal fan base (with proven organic engagement rate %)
- Improved sales pipeline (in actual $$ amounts)
- Grew business partnerships (name partners and provide case study or consumer reviews)
- Provided marketplace insight (in the form of reports)
- Increased thought leadership (increased follower count and market share)
- Communicated effectively with the media (documented $$ amount of earned media)
- Articulated and communicated the worth of their entire team (what do team members say)
The point is, proficient marketers work to ensure we’re respecting the industry and each other, providing tangible documentation of what we’re able to accomplish in our body of work. Our commitment is genuine, not predicated on whether others expect or even fully understand the line we uphold. It’s our duty!
From an employer’s perspective, and rightfully so, a marketer’s skills need to span WAY beyond social media competencies. But are marketers learning all of this? Are they being exposed to it? And if so, is the professional development process teaching marketers how to connect all the dots in the overall brand development process?
Not only must marketers know and understand the above list, but we must also have the expertise to differentiate between how these skills are used to market and how they’re used during a story-based promotion process that works in tandem with the sales staff.
There is a whole side to the mindset and mission of proficient marketers that can easily be identified in personality traits and in answers to interview questions.
Knowing what marketing is, clears up the convoluted process of hiring the right marketer- revealing clear questions to ask.
- How do they communicated a benefit?
- How do they advocate for a well-defined three-dimensional customer?
- What tasks do they engage in to provide value to a community and customers?
- How do they built and maintain relationships with customers?
- Systematically, what calculated steps have they taken to lead customers through an on-boarding process?
- What stories have they told about a brand’s identity and how it relates to a customer’s pain points?
- How have they defined business processes that lead to growth and credibility over a long period of time?
- How have they made sense of data that leads to clarified business decisions and long-term growth?
- Do they have examples of visual creativity applied consistently across brand platforms?
- What ongoing message was articulated about a customer’s journey?
- How do they respond to the question: “Do you believe Marketing to be the ongoing management of profitable relationships?” Please explain?.
- How have you build instant brand recognition in other organizations?
Then, here are what some of the tangibles should look like:
- A brand kit,
- A website,
- A corporate magazine,
- Direct mailers,
- Business cards,
- Social media content,
- Inbound marketing communications,
- A podcast,
- A YouTube channel,
- Digital banners
- An E-book
- A Marketing Strategy/Plan
These are all tangibles you can ask for to better understand if the marketer you want to hire will do it right. Good marketers know that their job is not just about selling stuff to people, we know it’s actually SO MUCH more than that. Good Marketers know the importance of telling stories along the entire customer journey and develop relationships with their customers. They know if they want their brands to succeed in today’s world they must show the results of their decisions and be able to quickly adjust to how your target market reacts.
Marketers must be agile, understand customer’s needs and willing to stand up for them. They must know how to build marketing plans, communication strategies, monthly reports, marketing funnels in relation to sales strategies, social posts that build awareness, & prove all the above on a consistent and ongoing basis.
But there is a side you’re missing…
Marketers too are frustrated and it’s important for Hiring Managers to understand why.
Marketers are empathetic souls who naturally endear and fiercely dedicated themselves to your organization, your customers and your growth process. They want to be trusted to do their job, contribute to positive change and they are tired of being expected to be responsible for pulling the weight of your Sales Team. Contribute to sales they can, but the position needs to be understood and respected for what they are capable of producing.
If you are trying to hire the right Marketer, listen up!
Spoiler Alert – Marketers are not built for sales! But they will help you sell!
You just have to know how they use marketing skills to assist sales staff.
Think of it this way:
“I lead a horse to water.” -Marketing
“I cause a horse to drink it.: -Sales
It’s a fact, the lines between marketing & sales have become severely blurred and organizational leaders must understand the difference between marketing and sales staff in order to get them working in together rather than against each other.
Good marketers are fed up with being expected to play both rolls and they are carefully vetting “marketing” positions to ensure this will not be the case if offered the job.
Although both rolls severely need one another, it’s very important that employers understand their mindset, mission & training are very different and need to be treated and respected as such. To go deeper on the topic, here I provide a bit more insight behind a marketers frustration in this introduction clip of Marketing’s newest book – Made To Market.
What this article covers is exactly why I wrote – Made To Market. This book will teach you everything you need to know about modern marketing, including how to hire marketers that know how to build a brand through storytelling and relationship-building skills instead of just pushing products on social media. Use it as a guide to future-proof your marketing team.
This book not only guides the hiring process but teaches how to improve results-based marketing practices that lead to businesses growth more effectively than ever before, no matter what industry you’re in. Here, you’ll learn everything from basic social media tips like writing engaging content and using hashtags on Instagram, all the way up through advanced strategies like brand building, and how to combat consumer driven ethical dilemmas.
So, to those who need to hire the right marketer this book will guide you there!
The Takeaway: There are 1 million ways to market and sell your product, and you’re probably not delivering on a fraction of them. How do you figure out what works? You could read every marketing book ever written, or pay an expert thousands of dollars for consulting services…but that’s not very practical. What if there was a better way?
You’ll find it inside Made To Market.
Look Inside: https://sarahstahl.com/inside-made-to-market/
Download a Free Chapter: https://sarahstahl.com/download-free-chapter-now/
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578984105