You’ve decided to take the plunge and hire a CMO. Whether you’re looking for a fractional CMO, or to make a full-time hire, here five things you should look for in a CMO:
- Experience as a CMO – CMOs have the highest turnover of any CxO position. Part of the reason for this is many in this role do not have the skills required the job. Being a CMO requires the ability to translate vision into strategy; and turn strategy into tactics; and manage the execution of the tactics to ensure optimal performance.How do you know if someone can do all of these things successfully? Look at their experience! Hav they scaled a successful, viable business in the role of CMO? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior in similar situations.
- Skills Working with Investors – One of the most important facets of starting and growing a business is securing capital. Whether you’re pursuing private equity or working with a venture capital firm, it’s incredibly important to have someone who knows how to develop, present and defend a marketing plan to would-be investors. Similarly, if you’re at the point where you’re ready to go public, it’s important to have someone who has done it before. They should understand the marketing materials and PR required to maximize the unique opportunity that going public provides.
- Knowledge of Your Industry – Every industry is unique and each set of buyers has to be “spoken to” in their own “language.” If your perspective CMO has experience with your industry (or at the very least, experience selling to your buyers) it will make it that much easier for them to come up speed with your offerings and identify your unique value proposition and competitive advantage.It’s even more important to have a CMO with experience if you are in a heavily regulated industry. For example, if you are in the financial services industry, you’ll need to understand what is permitted and what is prohibited by the SEC and FINRA.
- Connections – If you bring in a CMO that has deep connections, you’ll be way ahead of the curve. A connected CMO will know who thought leaders are in your industry. This will make it easier for them to develop an influencer-based marketing strategy.They also should be deeply connected in marketing world. They should know who the best specialists and go-to people are to get the possible outcomes from your marketing effort.
- Cultural Fit – In order to be in the C Suite, you need to fit in and lead from the front. A CMO should be a person who understands your company’s values and fits in well with your corporate culture.
If your company’s brand voice is a quiet, confident, expert voice, a cocky braggart probably won’t be around for long. What’s worse is they won’t be effective and could even damage your company’s brand.
Finding the right CMO for your company isn’t easy. But it’s important to have senior marketing leadership if you want to grow. We can help you find the right person for this role. Let’s talk!