Marketing is a very complex discipline and hiring a good marketer to build a brand and grow a business might be an intimidating task. To make matters worse, with the array of communication tools at their disposal, new “marketing specialists” seem to emerge daily and be ready to help.
So how do you make sure you choose the right one?
In an ideal business environment a marketer is basically responsible for developing the company’s market positioning, elaborating the go-to-market strategy and tactics, and overseeing the implementation of those tactics to make sure the business goals are achieved.
During my marketing career I was fortunate to work with some excellent marketers, learn about their personality and admire their skills. Below is a list, by no means comprehensive, of the “ingredients” that a great marketer is made of:
Training- it might sound old-fashioned today, but I believe this is the foundation of a great marketer. He/she has to have a good understanding of concepts such as target market, segmentation, positioning as well as the 4 Ps of marketing: product, placement, price and promotion.
Vision-a great marketer looks beyond today and knows exactly where he wants the brand to be in the next 5 years. He realizes that brands take years and discipline to build and is consistent in communicating the differentiating idea.
Curiosity-a good marketer is always interested in what happens around him. He/she has to have a decent understanding of the various marketing sub-disciplines: market research, communications, digital marketing, event marketing, public relations. Regular training is also mandatory.
The ability to multi-task-usually a marketer has to manage multiple projects, such as a website, a catalogue, a new brand identity development, that have a similar deadline (usually the launch/refresh of a new brand): He/she has to be able to dedicate sufficient time to each project and get them accomplished in time for the big event.
Excellent communications skills-a good marketer should be able to communicate in a very straightforward and succinct manner, in order to avoid confusion and miss deadlines.
Good people skills- typical brand management job for example involves spending 90% of the time collaborating with graphic and web designers, market researchers, event coordinators and other service providers. He/she has to be able to understand their personalities, work style and abilities, and make them feel part of the projects.
One last piece of advice: stay away from marketers who offer “marketing recipes” that they pretend are universally applicable to any business. Each successful brand has a unique competitive advantage, positioning, target market, distribution channel. As a result the marketing behind it should be unique too.