A marketing executive can make or break your organization. As part of the management team, they are as instrumental to the corporate decision-making process as other executives, but are further tasked with effectively communicating those decisions and aligning them with the company’s messaging and brand. Standing out in a crowded and competitive market is challenging, as is building the right marketing team, with players who work well together and thrive as individuals. Therefore, identifying a candidate who will best suit your organization is critical.

Here are four questions you should ask every contender in order to hire an outstanding marketing executive who is creative, persuasive and highly motivated. He or she should be able to both lead a diverse team and interact as part of that group.

Can you give me an example of a campaign you worked on that failed?

The candidate should be able to identify a plan that went off track and understand why. If he doesn’t immediately reveal what he was able to learn from the experience, probe with follow-up questions until you learn what you need.

Not every campaign will go according to plan. It’s important that the candidate is able to demonstrate accountability, analytic skills and introspection. His answer should be thoughtful and he should not be defensive or blame others.

How have you successfully used online marketing tools?

It’s critical that even seasoned marketing professionals are able to show they are proficient with digital innovations in marketing. Look for answers that indicate knowledge of best practices in search engine optimization, PPC advertising, social engagement and how to track success of online campaigns.

Even though the executive is likely to have younger subordinates with more detailed knowledge of online marketing, he should be well versed enough to develop strategies that include it.

How do you keep up with innovation in the industry?

Marketing is a field that is constantly changing. Even a marketing degree that is only a few years old is of little use if the candidate has made no attempt to keep up with new development. His answer should indicate a focus on reading industry websites and publications and returning for refresher courses as needed.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as a marketing manager?

The candidate should be able to relate issues that he has encountered because of economic variables, corporate challenges or difficulties in pinning down a fluctuating target market.

He should also demonstrate awareness that consumers have grown savvier and have less patience with being overtly marketed to. He should be increasingly creative to continue to win them over.

When you need to enhance your executive or marketing team, trust the recruiting experts at BrainWorks. Our recruitment professionals have a broad knowledge of effective recruiting strategies and of the industries they serve. Contact BrainWorks today to begin your search.

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