How to hire your next marketing leader

Are you looking for results from your next marketing leader? How will you know what to look for?

This article was posted before my epic fall, but I want to share it with business leaders of today.  I’m not currently looking for a job.

For another point of view, we highly recommend you read

“The Hardest Job to Fill”

We wish to thank Ken Rosen of Performance Works for a very comprehensive view of the complexity of the CMO role – both in his note to me and this article.
In the note, Ken took issue with what he sees as my overly simplistic definition of the role of the marketing leader below. His contention is that the CMO role is vastly more complex and nuanced.
We thank Ken for his contributions to this valuable discussion. We welcome other comments below.

Almost every day I see companies hiring marketing leaders. Most times they do a series of marketing events and create content, yet those companies don’t get the kind of results they want and need. Why not?

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key reasons why one hire is better than another.

First some background.

Marketing trumps Sales today — your CMO is a more important hire than your new VP of Sales.  (Since I began saying that, the differences have grown even greater.) In this post, Mr. CEO, I’m going to help you hire your new Chief Marketing Officer.CMO

In order to look for a top marketing leader for our company, we first have to define Marketing.

What is the purpose of Marketing? Is it to promote the brand, as a marketing person at a large software company said? No it is not, Mr. CEO. The purpose of Marketing is this:

To help Sales sell by filling sales funnels with quality sales leads.

First and foremost, make sure your marketing leader buys into that idea. Here are other things he or she needs too.

  • Strategies to attract the right kind of customers.
  • Empowerment of sales to give the right messages to the right executives at the right time.
  • And continual refinement and tuning.

Messaging and content are also critical. In this noisy, complex world where products are commoditized every day, we need a marketing leader that can distill your offerings down to their very essence, figure out the business outcomes that result, map a buying process, and design multi-modal campaigns that not only get interest, but build relationships based on trust.

And as the great book Content Rules said, he must excel at “talking human” messaging. Your messaging needs to resonate with prospective buyers using simple, everyday language. And you need to create a content engine that delivers the right content to the right person at the right time. (thanks Jim Burns of Avitage.)

He or she needs a strong framework around lead generation programs and clear understanding of topics such as social media, buyer personas, lead nurturing, lead scoring, handoff to sales, marketing metrics and more. I posted a good marketing framework process here:

We also need our new CMO to truly understand customers, so he or she needs to spend a lot of time on the road visiting customers. In addition, customer-facing groups like sales and support need a lot of face time.

He or she will have to develop a lead generation blueprint. I recommend you speak with AquireB2B and leverage their expertise.

He or she will have to craft strong value propositions. Please speak with Jill Konrath of Selling to Big Companies, who is one of the foremost experts on value propositions.

Lastly, does your new CMO really understand sales?  Many top marketing leaders tell me that sales experience is a prerequisite for marketing leadership today.

“If marketing to prospective customers is like cooking for chefs, Jeff Ogden is the Wolfgang Puck of marketing. His insights, instincts and ingenuity about getting customers engaged and keeping them involved are well known in the industry. And, he’s a heck of a nice guy to boot. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Jeff now or in the future.” Steve Gershick, Demandcon founder.

What do you think? We love comments and people who share.



Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York. Follow Jeff on Twitter at @fearlesscomp.

Find New Customers helps companies like yours (with 50 to 5,000 employees and complex products) implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation. Quality leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers using the form below or follow @fearlesscomp on Twitter. Fill out the form to send me a personal message or click Leave a Reply to post your reply to the blog post.

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