Three Keys to Hiring Your Next Chief Marketing Officer

Digitalization has drastically changed the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Many organizations are now focused on accelerating their digital transformation, but the unpredictability of marketing efforts and the need to drive profits still lead to a very short tenure for most CMOs.

The Goal: Facilitate Growth

Despite the many challenges faced in this area, a Chief Marketing Officer must be able to facilitate the growth their organization needs by developing and executing an effective organizational marketing strategy.

Here are the top three things to consider when hiring your next Chief Marketing Officer:

1. Vision: Align organizational needs with CMO responsibilities.

Your new CMO should have a vision that is aligned with your organization’s needs. There are two main organizational needs which require a Chief Marketing Officer. First, determine whether your new CMO will have to maintain your organization’s established pattern of growth or initiate new growth by building novel growth mechanisms.

If CEO expectations are not aligned with CMO responsibilities, then critical organizational goals will not be met. The CMO role is one of near-constant change. For this reason, it’s important to align early and realign very often. Ultimately, organizational needs determine the technical skills your new CMO will need in order to be successful in the role.

When searching for your next Chief Marketing Officer, ensure they have the specific experience your organization needs, whether that’s maintaining growth or initiating growth.

2. Agility: Manage and readjust strategy based on incoming data.

Your new Chief Marketing Officer should be agile in addressing the constantly-changing market conditions. Strategic thinking and operational execution are baseline requirements for a CMO, but these alone do not guarantee success in the role. A Chief Marketing Officer has to take action. To ensure continued success, your new CMO must be able to utilize the vast amounts of data provided by digital marketing and continually re-examine their strategy in light of new information.

Unlike traditional marketing, the vast amount of immediately-available feedback means there is no margin for guessing in digital marketing. Your new CMO must be able to quickly readjust their strategy when faced with new information. Consequently, this may often require your new CMO to get the right people involved at the right times.

When searching for your next Chief Marketing Officer, ensure they have experience in developing internal teams and/or working with outside experts.

3. Versatility: Manage categorically different tasks day-to-day.

The versatility required of a Chief Marketing Officer is observable in both their skills and their daily tasks. A CMO needs to be both analytical and creative in order to successfully develop and execute your organization’s marketing strategy, and this versatility is reflected in their typical day-to-day functions.

On a daily basis, your Chief Marketing Officer will have to complete analytical tasks pertaining to data and strategy, creative tasks pertaining to marketing and design, and interpersonal tasks pertaining to coordination of other people. Your CMO needs to be versatile in order to manage the day-to-day tasks required of them. When searching for your next Chief Marketing Officer, ensure they are analytical, creative, and interpersonal.

In Conclusion

Given organizations’ drive for digital transformation, few C-suite roles will be subject to as much change in the coming days as the Chief Marketing Officer. CMOs provide understanding of customers and make critical contributions to organizations’ strategy development. Vision, agility, and versatility are critical considerations in hiring a CMO. When hiring your next CMO, be sure to align their responsibilities with the organization’s needs, qualify their ability to continually reassess their strategy, and determine their capability to manage categorically varied tasks.

Written by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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