In order to build a successful business, you need to have the right people on your team. When it comes to choosing the best person to help lead your marketing efforts, it can be a real challenge to know what skill sets and experience to look for.
Whether you’re hiring internally or going to outsource, the first person you need to find is someone that can help develop your strategic business growth plan. This requires leadership skills more than technical skills. After all, tactics are useless without a plan.
The strategic marketing leader’s main job is to ensure your presence – online and offline – is strategically aligned with your overall business goals, the sales process, and user expectations. He or she has to have an understanding of all the key areas of sales and marketing, including:
- Strategic planning and project management
- Content development / writing
- Website design / graphic design
- Technology and programming
- User experience
- Lead generation
- Sales process
- Data management
- Email marketing
- Social media
It’s an extensive list, but integrating all of these elements is required for effective business growth. The leader you choose does not have to be an expert in every single one of these fields – that would be almost impossible. However, he or she must have a deep understanding about each of them and how they relate to each other.
The main skills to look for in a marketing leader include:
- Analytical: Analyze, evaluate and report on critical business data
- Strategic planning: Make data-driven decisions about where to invest money, time and resources for the greatest return on investment.
- Project Management: Find and manage the right resources to execute the plan based on available budget.
- Quality Control: Make sure things are done correctly and on time.
- Writing: This is one of the technical skills that a marketing leader should possess because it’s the backbone of all marketing. Everything depends on the words you use to describe the business and educate potential buyers. While she might not be the person writing all the content, she should be deeply involved in the message development.
- Technologically Adept: Technology plays an important role in the effectiveness of your business growth plan. It can either help launch you to the next level or hold you back. Your marketing leader should be very comfortable using a variety of technology, especially CMS and CRM.
- Quick Learner: You want someone that maintains a “modern marketer” point of view, and is always expanding their knowledge and expertise.
Chemistry and Compatability
Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip On Your Business, talks extensively about having the right people in the right seats. It goes beyond experience and skills: the person you choose to help lead your growth initiatives needs to share your core values and fit into your corporate culture. If the "chemistry" is wrong, it may result in internal friction that hampers people from performing at their best.
The person you choose as your strategic marketing leader can be either an internal hire or your point of contact at an outsourced marketing firm. Whichever way yo choose to go, with the right person at your side, you should be able to develop and execute a marketing strategy that takes your business to the next level.