A quality marketing team is often overlooked among new companies. Whether one calls it confidence or arrogance, many companies believe that their products or services are good enough to speak for themselves. That belief devalues the power of a good marketing team in the eyes of a company, which can be a terrible mistake with detrimental costs.
Like it or not, every new business needs marketing to some degree. Some smaller businesses can hire one talented individual, while other companies may be more in need of an actual team. Regardless of your marketing team’s intended size, there are several traits to look for among interviewees when hiring someone to spearhead your company’s marketing efforts.
Especially for companies specializing in a brand-new technology or product, new businesses are best off with a lead marketer who thinks outside the box. To stiff out your competition, your business needs someone that can separate from the pack, as opposed to abiding by Marketing 101.
Ceramcor, a ceramic cookware company, marketers have taken an out-of-the-box approach in branding their company. Instead of focusing their marketing efforts to showcase how their products can cook any type of meal, the company focuses on only healthy dishes and encourages their customers to live a healthy life with the help of their products. That is the out-of-the-box marketing tactics you want for your team.
To weed out the best outside-the-box thinkers, ask questions like “What was the biggest marketing challenge/success you were able to overcome/be a part of?” More simply, ask them their biggest success and biggest failure. If that failure was due to outside-the-box thinking, just as their biggest success was, then it’s good indication of an innovative marketer.
No marketer knows everything. The landscape of marketing and other business niches are constantly changing and it’s impossible to constantly adapt to everything. Know-it-alls should be avoided, as a result. Instead, seek out someone who is curious about what your business does, while acknowledging that trial-and-error may be possible at first to determine the best marketing strategy.
To determine this, ask the interviewee how they approach unfamiliar situations, while acknowledging what questions they ask you, the interviewer. This will be a good barometer of their level of interest and overall curiosity, a good trait for a marketer to have.
Passionate About the Niche
It’s essential to hire a marketer who is at least somewhat interested in your business’ niche. For example, in an industry that’s difficult to market—like, say, water heater repairs—interviewers can ask how they would approach selling water heater repair to someone who is skeptical whether or not they need updated repairs. Asking niche-specific questions like these can help gauge one’s level of passion in that niche.
Similar to being an outside-the-box thinker, marketers who are open-minded are more ably prepared for unconventional situations, which most businesses will run into at some point. As a result, it’s best to gauge whether an interviewee plays it safe or is open-minded enough to attempt some idiosyncratic strategies.
Choosing an open-minded marketer is especially useful for businesses in hard-to-market niches, like the aforementioned water heater repair industry. Even if they are not entirely familiar with the niche, open-mindedness will allow them to explore marketing aspects within the niche that even experts may have overlooked. Open-minded marketers quickly assess a situation, are aware of resources and use the components to make a quick and effective decision. By dealing well with uncertainty, they are up for any marketing-related task.
Positive Working Relationship
Lastly, ensure that you can work well with your potential hire. Even if an Ivy League grad busts into your office and flexes their marketing muscles, the hire will not work if they come across as overly arrogant, disinterested or if there’s simply no chemistry between the interviewer and interviewee. Studies show that chemistry during an interview is very real.
With these traits of a good marketer in mind, it may take longer than usual to choose the right fit for your team. But once you do, you may be assured of a long-term marketing whiz that can launch your company from obscurity to significant recognition.
Published: April 30, 2014