Questions to Ask When Hiring a Marketing Specialist

Marketing isn’t the way it used to be, since the digital age brings many changes along with itself. The way you adjust your company and it’s marketing to this change is of great importance. As your company grows, you eventually reach a point where adding a well-trained marketing specialist to your roster is your next best move. But how do you find the best person who will be invaluable in your marketing efforts?

Company leaders often have very clear goals and objectives about what they want the company to achieve, but they rarely realize how marketing will help in propelling this goal forward. Company owners and their leaders often don’t realize the importance, the depth and complexity of marketing and how it functions today. Which is why, it’s important to understand exactly what is needed to realize their vision and to build an outstanding marketing squad for their company.

There are all kinds of marketers out there with varying skills and abilities. The ones with less experience are tactical marketers, while more experienced individuals are strategic marketers. Some individuals are specialized in digital marketing, such as social media and online advertisements, while other only know the traditional methods and campaigns. You’ll have a well-rounded team if it has some of both.

A lot of times, company leaders are stumbling in the dark as they try to find the marketing specialist that works best for their company. It’s a hard task without a marketing background or experience, which is why temporarily hiring a marketing consultant helps a lot. It’s easier to find a pro with a real pro by your side.

Also, it’s easier to hire a competent marketing agency with a strong background, and reap the benefits of their services. If a marketing agency has more than one person working for them and have done good work with previous clients, they will work well.

But, if you want to have a more refined idea of who will be the ideal marketing specialist for you, we can help you with that. We’ll show you what factors make a truly competent marketing expert and what questions you should ask from your potential colleges.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to our definitive guide for hiring the best marketing specialist!

What Makes a Good Marketing Specialist

In order to get a clear image of the person who will make the ideal candidate, we’ll build him or her from the ground up, starting with some of the most beneficial characteristics. So, first let’s look at the qualities you should be looking for when seeking to hire an in-house marketing specialist!

Some of these might already be obvious to you, but it’s important to outline them anyway.

A Clear Understanding of Your Industry

The person who fits in well with your company, understands its goals, products/services and how he/she fits into that picture. An individual with the right experience and passion is what makes a good employee in any field. If the person who gives voice to your company, communicates with your potential clients and leads the charge doesn’t fully understands what the company stands for, they definitely won’t be effective.

Outstanding Communication Skills

Your hired college will be handling your company’s communication channels. So it’s evident that he/she has to have good communication skills and give a good tone of voice to your company. He/she also has to be an outstanding writer and editor.

Not to mention that a large chunk of communication is listening. A marketing expert should also be an outstanding listener and be able to draw useful conclusions out of what was listened to. These communication skills are absolutely necessary for a marketing specialist to have.

Also, the more mediums (visual, writing, speech) he/she is able to project their good communication skills to, the better.

Knowledge of Popular Content and Trends

If you’re looking to do marketing on the internet, your marketing expert will have to understand what kind of content will help in selling your products. Knowledge over different kinds of marketing campaigns is also essential. They should at least have some basic knowledge of SEO, graphic design, content management systems, and social media and so on.

Using their great communication skills, they should be able to write compelling social media posts and help the rest of your team in creating content that will get the job done.

Relevant Experience

In an ideal scenario, you’re looking for a college that understands various marketing tactics such as inbound and outbound marketing. Asking for proof of their previous work and accomplishments is highly advised.

If they can share some press releases, campaigns, strategic plans or an original copy of anything they worked on in the past, it will prove their eligibility. Anything that proves the measurable outcome of their work is a plus. You’ll want your marketing endeavors to have results, so it’s important to have a person with the necessary backbone, necessary for their line of work, who will drive those endeavors. You’ll want to make sure that your new college is familiar with concepts such as segmentation, differentiation and positioning.

Also, good project management skills are great for a marketer to have on their belt. This will ensure that they can pursue their profession on a higher level later on and provide even more value for your company.

They should also have experience and competency in at least some of these marketing activities:

Branding, Planning, Social Media Management, Content Development, Content Mapping, Print Design e-Mail Marketing, Web Design, Web Updates and Event Planning.

A Competent Problem Solver

I know, this sounds like a line in any job requirements document, but solving problems is what 99% of jobs are about in any field and there’s plenty of it in marketing.

Having the ability to recognize a problem as soon as possible, develop an optimal solution and see it’s execution through, in a limited time frame is of paramount importance.

They Strikes a Balance Between an Analytical and Creative Orientation

There are plenty of methods in marketing that are based on numbers and analytics data. Most of the decisions are based on said data, which a marketing expert should be able to look through and use in their reasoning and decision making process.

But a marketing expert should also be open to new methods and ideas, and be able to create them even. The ability to think outside the box and adopt themselves to new challenges is invaluable, when they push through the trial and error periods of their marketing endeavors.

Once their creative approach has given birth to new methods, they’ll go right back to analyzing the results of their investments. Such is the unending cycle of marketing.

Constantly Striving To Learn

Any ambitious human being has this one trait. You yourself probably want to surround yourself with people who are constantly working to better themselves, develop new skills and take themselves to new heights.

Your new marketing specialist should be the same way and not shy away from fresh ideas and challenges.  If they are regularly reading blogs, consuming marketing oriented content and looking for inspiration, they’re the right type for you.

A Good Team Player, But Also a Leader

Once again, we’re back to one of the most common lines in a job requirements list. But nobody can argue about the importance of being able to collaborate with people and lead them.

A person who knows how to follow instructions and take the lead when they have to is a jewel of an employee to have in your office. They should also be confident enough to help you make the right decisions.

A Strategic Thinker

The ability set clear, measurable goals and work to see the desired outcome is one of the core abilities of a good marketing expert. Marketing is an extremely strategic profession and one must be able to create plans that will drive results.

Questions To Ask From Your Potential Marketing Specialist

Now that we have outlined the attributes of a good marketing specialist, it’s time to engage with them in an interview. Here are some of the top questions you should ask from your potential college that will help you find out what kind professional performance you can expect.

The most effective way to go about this is by creating a set list of questions you’re going to ask on the interview, or split it among the other interviewers beside you.

Personal History and Experience Based Questions

First things first, the first questions are all fact based. Most interviews start with them, because it’s the best way to determine the competence of your potential employee, and to find out whether he/she lied about anything in the resume. If you find that they did actually lie, than it’s a huge red flag not to move the interview forward. You can’t work with someone you can’t trust.

  • What exactly do you know about this role and why did you apply?
  • Why did you decide to change jobs?
  • Where did you go to school and what school did you go to?
  • What kind of degree do you have?
  • Which subject was your favorite and why?
  • What do you love about your profession the most?
  • Did you ever manage employees?
  • Have you ever got fired from a position?
  • What are your most preferred marketing strategies for increasing our market share?
  • What are the most important skills you have learnt in your career, so far?
  • How long have you been working in the marketing business?
  • How long have you been working in your previous job?
  • Which digital advertisement media are you most familiar with?
  • Which digital channel would you use to promote our latest product?

Performance and Role Based Questions

  • How would you measure the quality of your work?
  • What do you do to meet the necessary quality?
  • How did you evolve within your profession since you started?
  • What was your biggest responsibility in this field up until now?
  • What was your role in your previous job and how did you collaborate with your colleges to achieve a common goal?
  • Did you ever take part in a campaign that failed? What went wrong and how would you have done it differently?
  • Describe the most successful marketing campaign you participated in so far? What was your role in it?
  • When did you last receive criticism and how did you react?
  • When did you have to put significant effort forward and then wait for your long term success?

Describe the time when you made a big mistake and had to figure out a solution for it.

Digital Marketing and SEO Based Questions

Like I mentioned earlier, the digital age has forever changed the marketing landscape, which is why it’s important that your potential college has some knowledge with it.

  • How much, depends on the answers to these following questions.
  • How did you grow or how would you grow the traffic of a website?
  • What kind of social media channels did you use for marketing purposes?
  • Which analytics platforms do you know how to use?
  • How do you measure lead quality?
  • Which tools do you prefer to help you measure the success of an email campaign?
  • Which online marketing channels did you find to be most effective in your previous role?
  • What was the last goal you had to achieve and what metrics did you use to measure your success?
  • What kind of content promotion strategies did you use?

Some Takeaways

The first and most important thing to consider is whether it’s worth hiring an in-house marketing expert. You should sit down with the head of your company and your company’s finance team and figure out whether it’s the most economic option in the long term.

Having an in-house marketing expert, requires you to pay payroll taxes, healthcare/benefits costs and their salary, of course. You also have to provide them with training and the necessary experience in some cases.

What I’m getting at is that it’s important to consider if hiring a marketing agency would be a better option for your company. You can save a lot of money, have access to an entire team of experts, not to mention that you don’t have to do any on-board training. A marketing agency can also implement a lot more items of what makes up a modern marketing strategy and can prove to come up with more effective marketing solutions for your business.

But if you want to have your own marketing expert or team of experts on board, who will have your back as you work to increase sales, than hiring an in-house marketing specialist is still the better option.

Conclusion

There you have it, a guide to help you find yourself a new marketing specialist who will help you enforce your company’s vision and mission. I hope you learnt something new from this article and that it helped you have more confidence in your interview questions!
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David Cross

David is the chief editor at WebHostingMedia right from the beginning. He has a great passion for building and managing websites and creating helpful content. He is also interested in programming - currently learning python.