3 Questions You Should Ask a Prospective Marketing Manager in 2020

So, you’re ready to hire a new leader for your marketing team this upcoming year. Or perhaps it’s the only member of your marketing team.

How do you know what marketing skills to look for?

The answer to this question becomes less obvious as the field of marketing and communications becomes more specialized. There’s branding, SEO, analytics (no, those aren’t always one in the same), bloggers, content specialists, social media specialists, graphic designers, videographers and more. With so much to know in marketing for 2020, it’s impossible for any one marketing specialist to have deep knowledge in every area. And even if someone managed to master most of the latest marketing tactics, everything is likely to change tomorrow.

Still, there are some basic, core characteristics that can make some marketing professionals stand out.

Following are 3 questions to ask candidates for your next marketing leadership position.

  1. What’s your core story? Your brand’s story–how you were founded and what you stand for–is instrumental to your success as a brand. You MUST have an origin story, preferably one that’s as short as one sentence, to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. (Think Apple starting in a garage or Facebook launching from a Harvard dorm room.) Your story is one that you should know well, your employees can describe and your customers understand. If you’re hiring someone charged with getting that story out into the world, they should understand the importance of an origin story and have one of their own prepared from their own life.
  2. What’s the best piece of work you ever published? This can be a blog, a lead magnet, a social media ad or a sales letter. It doesn’t matter what the medium is, but if your marketing candidates cannot write, they aren’t the best fit for your job. Writing is instrumental to telling your story in blogging, on your website and on social media. Digital tactics can be learned with a Youtube tutorial or a coach, but writing is a skill that takes time and patience. Find a pro.
  3. What blogs do you read or podcasts do you subscribe to? There is so much to learn about marketing today, and it changes every week. There are marketing influencers keeping up with all of it, and anyone paying attention can learn from them for free. Be sure that someone you hire to lead your team is passionate about learning and spends time doing it already on their own.

Once you narrow down your candidates and find the right fit for your company, consider finding ways to support them by outsourcing the areas where they don’t excel. Some easy tactics to outsource include graphic design, video, social media ads and social media event coverage.

Marketing in 2020 is too much work for one person, but too often small businesses can only support one salary. Consider a marketing coach to support your new hire as they determine what to prioritize and the best strategy to get it all done.

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