Your marketing is essential to your sustained business growth. And with the speed at which marketing is evolving, it’s absolutely vital that you have the right people leading it. Do you know the exact qualities of the ideal candidate for your next marketing executive search?
Selecting a new marketing executive sets the stage for success for your entire company, but it’s a difficult, resource-intensive and unfamiliar process. For most organizations, finding a CMO or marketing VP is an occasional occurrence. At MarketPro, we do it every single day.
I have worked with MarketPro before coming to Old Dominion and they always do a great job. So when we were looking for a new marketing leader we went with the trusted name. They did a fantastic job throughout the search, providing us with a strong slate of highly talented marketers. In the end, Podiak stood out and he is an outstanding addition to our leadership team. – Chris Brooks, Senior VP Human Resources & Safety, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
Who do you want steering your company: rock-star marketing innovator or B-player and follower? We know how to find candidates that not only have mastery of marketing and executive leadership, but also bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table.
The stakes are too high to risk picking the wrong person. Turn to the experts in marketing executive search and find the leader you need to grow your business and stay ahead of the competition.
Overcome Your Biggest Marketing Challenges
- Is your team ready to grow, but lacking the right marketing leadership?
- Are the changes in marketing online and elsewhere making you reconsider your marketing department’s resources and structure?
- Is there a new opportunity on the horizon that requires expert guidance and leadership?
- Are you using the same marketing strategy that you were 5 years ago, diminishing results while the competition pulls ahead?
These situations can all make or break the near future of your company. Selecting a candidate that fits with your company culture and provides the leadership you’re looking for is challenging for even the most experienced corporate HR team.
Fortunately, you don’t have to search on your own.
We have higher success rates placing executive level marketing talent than anyone in the industry. Why?
- Because we have the marketing insight and experience to understand precisely what you need and exactly who you are looking for.
- We take time to vet the best candidates for your strategic needs and corporate culture.
- After 18 years of stellar success, we have woven a strong network with a dedicated results-driven team and cutting-edge processes and technology.
The Best Marketing Executive Search for Your Individual Needs
We were presented with excellent candidates for this key leadership position and are thrilled that MarketPro was able to find us such a talented individual and close the deal in a quick manner. Brian’s vision and experience will enable us to quickly move to a more digitally-centered marketing organization, engaging customers where they are with the right message at the right time. - Rob Collins, CMO at Tropical Smoothie Cafe
There is no one-size-fits-all way to ensure a successful search. You have unique capabilities, values, problems and needs. And you need a very specific person who has the skills you require and a mindset that matches your corporate culture and brand.
MarketPro takes time to delve into your company. Our extensive experience as both recruiters and marketers allows us to understand the full scope of the position you need filled. Then we leverage that perspective to communicate with A-level marketing leaders in a way few others can, expressing your needs and vision in terms they appreciate.
You get the commitment and time necessary to plan, search for, and screen top candidates so you only get connected to the best fits.
Modern Executives for Modern Marketing
This is not the first time we have partnered with MarketPro. We go back to them for senior-level marketing roles because they deliver at a consistently high level. In the end we had multiple great candidates to choose from for each role. The toughest part was picking from multiple talented professionals. - Charles Freund, EVP of Global Sales at FleetCor Technologies
New media channels, technologies, and marketing strategies are constantly emerging. Those that aren’t constantly innovating ways to leverage these opportunities are falling behind. What made a good marketing executive two years ago wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a comparably adept leader and marketer today.
Are you sure your current marketing leadership is staying ahead of today’s marketing trends? Our marketing executive recruiters ensure you have the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge and abilities at your disposal.
Top Marketing Leadership at All Levels
It would be hard for me to recommend a vendor more highly. Working with MarketPro was an exceptional experience (I can count on one hand the number of times I have used similar wording for any vendor). The executive team was actively involved at every stage in the recruitment and selection process, from the moment I contacted them about a high-level, high-profile executive position within our organization. They kept every commitment, provided the best caliber of candidates I’ve seen in a long time (following our criteria to the letter) and demonstrated the exceptional value, as promised during the sales process. If ever I have need of external sourcing for an additional marketing executive, MarketPro is my first choice. I gladly endorse and recommend this firm. - Karen Hilton, Sr. Director Human Resources at TRX, a division of Concur
Our marketing executive search capabilities bring you any kind of marketing leader, from C-suite executives who run the whole show to specialized VP’s that bring unique expertise to secure a competitive edge. Whether your need calls for an expert in an established marketing role or a game-changing trailblazer for an emerging role, we can help.
With our advertising executive search, creative executive search, direct marketing executive search, and online marketing executive search services, you can be sure that you find the best candidates for YOUR company and YOUR needs – that also happen to be at the top of their fields.
Our pool of leadership talent is teeming with experts across all industries and around the country. Years of experience in marketing and recruiting have built extensive relationships and networks with the most creative, innovative and dedicated marketers. And you have access to those marketers with MarketPro.
Move at the Speed of Marketing
The pace of change in marketing is only going to accelerate. Differences between a great marketing executive and a lower tier leader will manifest exponentially over time. The longer your marketing program goes leaderless or under the direction of the wrong person, the farther behind it will fall (and the harder it will be to catch up).
Don’t wait to put your marketing in the right hands. Our experienced marketing executive recruiters can help you find someone who fits your needs and company, FAST. You’ll save time and resources on a long, difficult search by yourself and get on the path to better marketing sooner. Contact us now about your marketing executive search needs and we’ll get started right away!
Marketing Executive Search by Location
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Marketing Executive Search by Industry
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Marketing Executive Search by the Area of Expertise
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The Challenges of Finding the Right Marketing Leader
As an executive search person who only focuses on placing senior level marketing talent I hear all the time from CMO’s that they have challenges bringing in the right people. And those challenges come from I’m talking to someone internal to my organization whose very smart, very bright but doesn’t understand marketing. I’m talking to an external partner very smart, very bright they just don’t get marketing and that’s why at MarketPro we’ve built our business hiring marketers and turning them into recruiters. So when we bring on talent you know that talent has been properly vetted for what are the latest trends in marketing, the latest changes that have happened with in our industry. Marketing has move so quickly over the past 5 years we’ve been able to stay on top of that because we know marketing and have that foundation and we continually train our team on those differences and those changes. So now you get talent that’s vetted properly for your role, be it a direct response role, a digital role, demand gen role, PR role. Whatever it is you need to bring senior level talent into your organization you’re going to get the right fit because you’ve got the right person doing the vetting. And from there now we are going to take the time to find you the right culture fit, does this person fit with in our organization and understand how to get things done, can they push change at a pace in which the organization can digest it. All those things are very important as we get into the culture of the individual and how that person’s work style fits with the culture of the organization.
Our search process with MarketPro was great. The search team worked to understand not only our functional requirements but also to deliver candidates that aligned to our mission-driven organization. Every candidate presented exceeded our expectations and added value to the overall process. That said, we are thrilled to welcome Alana to our team, she is the exact right person to take our marketing to new heights. - Amelia Manning, EVP, College of Online and Continuing Education at Southern New Hampshire University
How to Seamlessly Integrate a New Executive Position
When it comes to outstanding marketing leadership, hiring great talent is only half the battle. If your business isn’t prepared for a new executive role, the talent you choose most likely won't be effective. As new marketing-oriented leadership positions continue to appear because marketing is changing faster than ever. It’s important for your business to integrate the new talent fast. Watch this video to learn how to prepare your executive team and navigate the corporate politics of a new executive power. Watch now
9 Interview Questions You MUST Ask Your Next Marketing Executive
You can’t afford to have the wrong people leading your marketing. From mid-level VP’s to the highest level CMO, make sure your search gets you the talent you need by asking the right questions. Our free checklist features 9 essential questions that will reveal your candidate’s most important capabilities and characteristics as well as short explanations of the kinds of answers to expect from top performing marketing executives. Download the checklist now.
[Updated and Expanded]: 20 Interview Questions You Must Ask Your Next Marketing Executive
Our original executive interview questions list has been MarketPro’s most popular asset. The updated and expanded edition adds eleven new questions that will help you evaluate your candidates' skills, experience, and potential culture fit to lead your organization. Download it now
Video: How to Interview Marketing Executives When You’re Not a Marketer Yourself
Marketing is incredibly dynamic and constantly changing. So if you’re a non-marketer like an HR professional, COO or even CEO, how can you identify true marketing talent and leadership during a new executive recruitment? Watch the video to learn about the approach and strategy you can take to objectively evaluate candidates, regardless of your own background and area of expertise. Watch the video now
Finding Solutions for Interim Marketing Executive Needs
Sometimes organizations need solutions that can deliver fast results on a temporary basis. In those cases, an interim CMO with experience beyond what you’d normally hire could be a better choice to reinforce your marketing strategy, align your marketing with today's best practices, and boost your growth fast. But how do you know when you need an interim marketing leader? In this video we explain the situations that call for an interim executive. We share insights into the best practices of finding interim executive talent and avoiding the most common problems that occur when searching for an interim CMO. Watch now
Executive Search FAQs
Question: What should I be looking for in an executive search partner?
Answer: The number one thing you should be looking for in an executive search partner is their expertise in recruiting executives in your desired niche. For example, if you are searching for the CMO, your executive search partner must have experience in marketing executive recruitment that is very different from IT recruitment, sales recruitment, or any other niche. In addition, there are a few more credentials we recommend you look for in an executive search provider. Our recommendations are outlined in the video above (top of the page).
Question: Why shouldn’t I just hire a marketing executive myself?
Answer: As the importance of marketing has grown, so have the stakes of having the right leadership in place. You can’t afford to hire the wrong person. Unfortunately, most businesses are poorly equipped to recruit top marketing leadership. Marketing is evolving so quickly, it’s difficult for anyone to keep up and identify true talent unless they have hands-on marketing experience themselves. That’s why we recommend partnering with an executive search firm that specifically focuses on marketing and related disciplines.
Question: How long should it take me to fill an executive level marketing role?
Answer: This is one of the most common questions we get. After 20+ years of placing marketing executives nationwide we can confidently say that most executive searches should take 10-12 weeks. For very senior marketing executive positions it might take a little longer. For comparison, most executive search firms have a time-to-fill of nine months or more.
Question: What skills and experience should I be looking for to hire a transformative leader?
Answer: If you’re starting an executive search to assist your organization in digital transformation, we recommend looking for a few essential experiences and traits. You can read this blog post to see our recommendations. You might also find this post valuable; it explains why the CMO should direct your company's digital transformation.
Question: Who should be on the CMO interview panel?
Answer: The right interview panel is very important during every interview process. When it comes to interviewing CMO candidates, your panel should include C-level executives and your company's A-players. The exact formula will be different for different companies, but we do recommend following these general best practices.
Question: What kind of degree should we be expecting in candidates when we’re looking for a marketing executive?
Answer: A college degree (including an MBA) can give some valuable insights into an executive candidate, but it’s also easy to be misled by candidates' education credentials. When considering an applicant’s education record or setting degree requirements in your job description, you need to consider a lot of factors that may significantly impact the outcome of your search. We explain more here.
Question: Intuition vs. facts: what do I do if something about a candidate seems "off" but can't put my finger on what?
Answer: Finding the right fit for your marketing executive opening isn't an easy task, especially when many decision makers and executives are involved into the interviewing process. Often great candidates get rejected only because an interviewer just "doesn't like" him/her. We recommend to remain objective during the interview process and rely on hard facts. Top-tier talent is a hot commodity, especially in marketing. You can find a few examples of good and bad reasons to reject candidates here.
Question: Who should handle compensation negotiation in a marketing executive search?
Answer: We strongly recommend letting your marketing executive search partner take the lead on all matters of compensation discussion and negotiation. That includes salary, signing bonus, benefits, stock options, days off, etc.
Keep in mind that arranging a smooth, agreeable win-win remuneration arrangement is our job. It’s what you’re paying for when you join in the partnership, and something we’ve done hundreds of time. We know how to navigate this sensitive topic and balance personal feelings with business necessities to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. We’ll help you begin your relationship with your new marketing leader on the right foot. You’ll move forward with confidence in the ROI of your hire and they can join satisfied that you value their contribution to your organization.
Question: How important is corporate tenure in a marketing executive search partner?
Answer: Extremely important! When choosing an executive search agency, you should seek out those stocked with recruiters who have been there for over five years. This is a strong signal of stability, and ensures that the individuals working on your job are likely to have a firm grasp of the relevant talent and have a strong network.
Question: Should your marketing executive search partner have a commitment to diversity?
Answer: Yes. You are looking to hire top talent that is a snapshot of the people who buy your product. So you need to have a diverse slate of candidates to interview. As a WBENC certified business, we started our commitment to diversity on day one in 1996. This allows you to bring different perspectives to your organization and to avoid group think. A diverse workforce has a positive impact on your culture and bottom line. MarketPro always strives to include at least one woman and one person of color in all of our candidate slates, so you have the ability to add fresh perspectives and more context to the way you do business. Learn more about our commitment to diversity here.
Best of the Blog
Our top ideas, stories, suggestions, and information on executive recruitment and leadership straight from the MarketPro blog.
Remote vs On-Site: Where Should Your Next CMO Work?
Marketing is an especially viable field for work flexibility and remote contributions. Most marketing production today is digital, creative, strategic, or analytical–rarely anything that requires a physical presence or tangible output. As marketing recruitment consultants, we’ve placed a number of great marketing professionals on a remote basis ourselves.
We frequently get asked by clients whether we recommend opening a search up to remote/virtual candidates.
Our answer is almost always a definitive “No.”
The reality is that most marketing heads simply can not be fully effective when working away from the office full time. The downsides outweigh the benefits.
Our reasoning is simple. In most cases, a business’s marketing operations are concentrated in one place–often a single building or floor. That has the obvious advantages of fostering close collaboration and communication. But it also creates an environment ripe for groupthink and an “us vs them” mentality. Marketing leaders need an active, hands-on management style to feel the pulse of their department and keep their team oriented in the right direction.
A head of marketing that is physically removed from the team is too likely to be perceived as “out of touch” with the reality of their day-to-day work and challenges. Inevitably, resentment builds over time and productivity is lost.
However, there is one situation where a CMO could coceivably be effective from a remote location. Read about it here!
Why Your Executive Search Firm Needs to Take the Lead on Compensation Discussions
One of the most potentially contentious parts of marketing executive hiring is, without a doubt, compensation negotiation. A poorly managed conversation about this sensitive topic can easily spoil a great potential hire. But with a top executive search partner in your corner, it’s a discussion that can lead to mutual cooperation and excitement rather than tension and enmity.
When you have a disconnect between the employer and candidate on what’s reasonable, it is valuable to have an independent third party to help everyone find an agreeable middle ground and create a win-win situation. Here’s why:
Taking Advantage of the Experience You’re Paying for
Given the immense long-term value the right marketing leader can provide to your business, a top senior marketing recruitment partner is absolutely worth its weight in gold. As you are making the investment, doesn’t it make sense to get as much ROI from it as possible?
A Third-Party Shock Absorber
Sometimes the compensation talks can become heated and contentious even in the best of situations. Emotions run high on both sides when “just business” clashes with an individual’s livelihood and self-worth.
When you keep your marketing executive search partner involved in the discussion from beginning to end, you get constant access to a buffer and outlet for those tensions.
Thinking Beyond Marketing Executive Salary
You’re no doubt aware that compensation can mean a lot of things beyond flat salary. That includes stock options, days off, performance-based bonuses, sign-on and relocation incentives, work flexibility and more.
Your executive search firm has been in communication with both parties from the start. They should know what factors the candidate values most, and where your limits are from a budget perspective. Depending on the candidate and the state of your business, there may be far more room for wiggle room and compromise than you had realized.
How Important Is the College Degree of Your Next Marketing Executive?
We often get asked: “What kind of degree should we be expecting in candidates when we're looking for a marketing executive?” It’s a good question; a college degree can give some valuable insights into a candidate, but it’s also easy to be misled or put your focus on the wrong variable. When considering an applicant’s education record or setting degree requirements in your job description, you need to weigh a lot of factors in order to get any use of your evaluation.
First off, it’s good to remember that a college education is no guarantee of a strong candidate. If you’ve been in business long enough, you’ve no doubt encountered professionals in all kinds of vocations with a great variety of degrees that were unimpressive at their job.
Similarly, massive success in business and beyond is not gated behind a degree. History is full of successful entrepreneurs and leaders who have little or no higher education:
- 8 Hugely Successful People Who Didn't Graduate College
- 8 Billionaires Who Never Bothered to Get a College Degree
- The College Dropout's Hall of Fame
Still, a degree can be a good initial indicator of a professional’s qualifications. As long as it’s just one of several factors considered, there’s some value to be found in how and where an individual got their education.
Before you start considering or disregarding talent because of their level of college education, you should always evaluate another more important factor: the difference they’ve made for their employers historically. If a candidate has a long career of moving into new roles, improving themselves and driving meaningful, tangible ROI, then they should always be a consideration regardless of which graduation caps they’ve worn.
A college degree will rarely give you much insight into how good of a marketer someone is—even if the degree is in Marketing. Marketing is simply moving too fast for most institutions to keep up; if you started writing a marketing textbook today, it would probably be out of date by the time you got it published.
However, there’s more to being a great marketing executive than simply being a good marketer.
If someone is smart enough to get into and graduate from college, it indicates that they probably have a certain amount of intellectual horsepower, mental fortitude, discipline, creativity, ambition, and a love of learning. These are all key traits that almost any successful marketing executive will have in spades, and you should be looking for them during your marketing executive recruitment.
Featured Video Transcript [Top of the Page]
If you are going out to look for an executive search partner the top things you need to be looking for are most importantly they need to have expertise in the area that your searching out, right, so if I’m looking for a chief marketing officer does the person that’s going to be calling the talent understand and have marketing expertise? Have they done that in their background or have they been a recruiter all their life who’s a really good recruiter but doesn’t understand marketing because in today’s world as fast as marketing is changing you have to be able to engage the candidate in a meaningful discussion about their career and to do that you have to understand what marketing is today.
One of the things you will see today in top executive search firms and firms that are really good at recruiting the best talent is that the talent that is working for them has been there for a long period of time. If you’ve got recruiters and professionals with in their office that have been there for five plus, seven plus, ten plus years, then you’re talking to a firm that’s completed a lot of searchers and done so in a quality way. If you look and find that most of the people inside the firm have been there 18 months or less what is it you’re really investing in as it relates to your search and how do you know those people have had time to be successful and time to build a track record of success. Within the specific firm that you’re getting ready to engage, longevity is very important.
I think one of the big questions you’ve got to ask is your talking to an executive search professional about this being potentially the right partner for you to work with to find top talent and it really is partnership, right, because when you engage that executive search firm they have to be able to one, provide you with the best talent and “B” engage that talent in a meaningful way that gets them excited about your role, and “c” engage your firm and understand how to get things accomplished inside your organization in a way that your organization can digest that. Interviewing, hiring, isn’t normally on people’s plate so how do I make it so we fit that in in a world where executives have very busy schedules. And so the person who is your executive search partners has to balance all those things and at the end of it they have to balance the negotiation so there really is an art and a science to it and you can pretty much tell when you’re talking to someone on the phone if they understand that and have done that successfully.