So you know what you want out of your next CMO, Marketing VP or Director of Marketing (or at least, you think you know). But do you have any idea what your marketing team (you know, the people your new executive will actually be leading) want?
Their answers might surprise you.
And while their opinion doesn’t have to be the primary factor in your hiring decision, it is something you need to consider. Teams dissatisfied with their leaders have higher turnover and lower productivity, jeopardizing the success of your marketing, while great marketing executives inspire loyalty, innovation and growth.
Given that, here are 4 traits your marketers probably want to see your next high-level marketing hire.
1. Speaking the Language of Tomorrow
Do your marketing executive candidates speak the language of an innovative modern marketer?
If you’re not immersed in the industry yourself, you might not be able to tell. But the marketers working with them will notice immediately if someone is using outdated terms or relying on archaic strategies.
Not sure how to evaluate a great marketer? Use our interview checklist to find out if your marketing executive candidates are speaking the right language.
Marketers want to work under visionaries, leaders that are working in the present but thinking in the future.
A marketing executive that was on the cutting edge five years ago could be behind the times today. Make sure you’re hiring a thought leader that can continue pushing your marketing forward into the future and earn the respect of your staff with their competence.
2. Consistent Philosophy
Marketers need consistent expectations and definitions of success. Their industry is shifting quickly enough as it is—they don’t need internal inconsistency to put them further off balance.
For instance, an executive that preaches “pursuing the best ROI” but perpetually assigns their talent to flashy projects with only a modest demonstrable value will drive them nuts. Don’t give your marketers another source of instability—choosing leaders with a solid foundation allow your team to adjust their work and strategies accordingly and keep everyone on the same page.
3. Dedicated to Bringing the Department as a Whole Forward
As Richard Branson said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
With marketing’s rapid evolution, marketers, must constantly be learning and gaining to skills to maintain relevance. But that’s difficult to do without the support and motivation of their leadership.
Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. -Richard Branson
Great marketers (you do have great marketers, right?) crave additional training and will follow those dedicated to making sure their staff is up to speed with the best marketing strategies. An executive that motivates and rewards those who perpetually improve will be well received.
4. They’re a Little…Different
Marketers come in all shapes and sizes. But one thing many of the best have in common is that they’re, well, a little weird.
That’s not a bad thing. It contributes to the unique mindset and attitude is often what allows top marketers to stay creative, successful and productive in a competitive and quickly-evolving industry. But it also means that they can be difficult to communicate with.
Marketers respond to leaders who get them—and who share a little of that weirdness themselves. A great marketing executive can effectively straddle the line between professional businessperson for board and client meetings when the need arises, but relate to their marketing team’s “difference” the rest of the time.
Finding the Right Leader with a Marketing Executive Search
The person your marketers want isn’t necessarily the one they need. But if your staff can’t relate to and communicate with him or her on a fundamental level, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
When you start your marketing executive search, there are many factors you need to consider. From marketing competence to leadership skills and more, an ideal candidate is hard to find. If you’re struggling to identify the right fit for your organization, remember there’s no shame in asking for a little help!