Hiring Your First Head of Marketing

You had a great idea for a product, you?ve built it and it?s starting to take off in the market. You have a few salespeople and maybe a marketing manager, but now it?s time to bring on your first head of marketing.? What do you look for?

As the CMO of software solutions company ServiceMax, I seem to get asked this question every few weeks. Founders and small company CEO?s realize that a great head of marketing can take their company to the next level, but they often don?t really know how or why. Nor do they know the right skillsets to look for in the recruiting process.

Regardless of background, experience or personality your marketing leader absolutely must have vision and creativity. There are great managers who can make sure programs are executed on budget and on time, but what sets a company apart is a head of marketing that can devise a strategy and vision that transforms the company.

To assess vision and creativity, ask for examples where they?ve shown it in the past. If they have it, they should be able to rattle off successful programs. If they hesitate, move on.

Now that you have vision, you need to assess your unique needs. Most marketing leaders came up the ranks either through marketing communications and branding, demand generation or product marketing. Think about your business. Are you a B2C company looking to generate awareness and build a strong brand, or do you need to fill up a direct sales team?s pipeline as soon as possible?

Here is a breakdown of a few common needs and what to look for in a marketing candidate.

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