By Brent Closs, AVP Marketing, CAA Club Group
In recent Marketing Minutes, we’ve discussed how to leverage your brand in your recruitment and talent retention efforts. But what if you’re looking to hire a marketer to set your brand’s vision in motion? Someone to take your business objectives and develop a marketing plan, execute the tactics, and measure the results?
Marketing is a very complex discipline, and it’s becoming more complicated all the time. The role of a traditional marketer has become much more then the traditional tactics from the past thanks to the growing popularity of digital and social media marketing, and especially because of how consumers interact with media.
The key to hiring an in-house marketing resource is to look for someone who has a strong theoretical understanding of the business of marketing, and its best practices and principles. Someone who has a good grasp around the value of the various disciplines available and who can find solutions the most ideal tactics to address your business challenges. Ideally, someone who has experience with a network of vendors to help you find marketing solutions to optimize the execution of your marketing plan.
Your hire should not necessarily be an expert in any specific marketing field like branding or social media. This limits your opportunities. For example, if you hire someone with extensive experience in digital marketing, how many other tricks will they be able to pull from their toolbox? By hiring someone who has knowledge of many aspects of marketing and related tactics, they can offer a broader perspective.
To see your objectives translated into an effective marketing strategy, you need someone who understands your business challenges. You need someone who can think strategically and is a problem solver, who can put the consumer at the center of your decision making and seize the opportunities that your business challenges may reveal. Someone who can also understand the true value of your brand and how it can respond to and meet the needs of today’s consumer.
This person doesn’t necessarily need to be a senior-level marketer. Focus on someone who can develop and sell the marketing strategy to the non-marketing, key stakeholders at your brokerage. They should be able to take the complexity of the marketing solutions and make it easy to understand for the business, and in a way that makes sense based on the business objectives.
The next question you need to ask yourself is what experience am I looking for? Someone with marketing experience relating to insurance or financial services? Not necessarily. Look for marketers who come from parallel industries that operate under similar complexity and circumstances as insurance. Products that may be deemed commodities or seen as grudge purchases, like the gasoline industry, as an example. Or industries that focus on professional advice, like the travel agency industry. You may also want to consider a fresh perspective, especially if you want to truly differentiate your business. Provided they have a proven track record, they may be able to offer a new perspective to really make your business stand out.
Finally, they must be a strong communicator, both written and verbal. This person will take your business objective, come up with the strategy, articulate and gain buy-in on the plan, build and work with a vendor network to execute the tactics, and then track KPIs and report back on ROI. All while ensuring your brand expression is adhered to and visible in the tactical outcomes. Being able to ensure that the original objectives are matched to and communicated at each stage of the process is critical.
Because marketing is so complex, many marketers today may focus on one discipline only. But there are many who have experienced the ever-changing landscape as marketing has evolved. And therein lies your ideal candidate.