7 Most Important Considerations When Hiring an Interim CMO
A chief marketing officer (CMO) oversees the implementation of your marketing campaigns. But has your in-house head of marketing left the organization? If yes, hire an interim CMO to manage your team for months to a year!
This article covers the seven factors to consider when looking for an interim CMO:
- Expertise and specialized skills.
- Experience and track record.
- Cultural fit and leadership style.
- Emotional intelligence.
- Flexibility and adaptability.
- Cost-effectiveness and value proposition.
There is a lot to discuss. Let’s go!
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1. Specialized Skills and Expertise
Chief marketing officers usually come in different types, offering various marketing services, and specializing in different fields. However, only 22% of CMOs feel that business executives truly understand their jobs.
Understanding the CMO role is crucial for hiring an interim CMO. Do you need one offering full-service digital marketing or specializing in a particular niche? An interim CMO handles one or some of the following online marketing strategies:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your website, posting relevant content, and promoting your brand outside your site. It aims to rank high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for related searches.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) lets you advertise your ads on the SERPs for online visibility and website traffic. But as the name suggests, you pay for every successful click.
- Email outreach contacts prospective and existing customers via email. This marketing strategy seeks to promote your products or services and engage customers.
- Content marketing entails producing and publishing content pieces for indirect promotion. Consider blog articles, product images, and promotional videos for customer engagement.
- Social media management is engaging with customers via channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It allows you to indirectly promote your products or services.
2. Experience and Track Record
Experience is a critical factor when hiring a CMO consultant for helpful services. The track record speaks for itself. So, when hiring one, evaluate the candidates’ previous interim leadership roles.
Take the following steps to assess the experience:
- Examine roles and responsibilities. Take time to review the candidates’ resumes. See if they match the interim leadership role that you need.
- Review case studies and success stories. Visit their websites to examine their CMO cases with former clients. Check how they helped these clients meet their marketing objectives.
- Check client testimonials and feedback. Visit online reviewers and third-party websites to get this information. See what previous clients have to say about their marketing services.
- Get in touch with former clients. What better way to check experience than to contact the actual clients? They can reveal much about the candidates’ leadership roles and marketing tactics.
- Conduct interviews with candidates. Finally, filter your list to a few worthy prospects. Speak with them to see who has the experience required for your business.
3. Cultural Fit and Leadership Style
When hiring an interim CMO, consider the candidates’ compatibility with your organizational culture. Two key factors matter in this aspect: cultural fit and leadership style. Evaluate these factors by conducting interviews with your candidates.
Start by checking the interim CMO’s cultural alignment with your business culture:
- Culture and tradition. Do you plan to outsource your interim CMO? Check whether their culture and tradition match yours.
- Working style. Whether you outsource or not, see how their work ethics complement that of your marketing team.
- Business practices: Check what aligns with yours and see what best practices they can share.
Then, examine the required skills and attributes of a leader:
- Leadership skills. Check how good and effective they are as a leader. Remember, an interim CMO temporarily takes the lead on your marketing team.
- Communication skills. Interview to see how clearly and effectively they communicate. The interim CMO will be working with other marketing professionals within your organization.
- Interpersonal skills. Evaluate their working relationships with other marketing professionals as a leader. An interim CMO should foster effective collaboration among team members.
- Organizational skills. Assess how they organize processes, delegate tasks, and allocate resources. An interim CMO should restructure the marketing department for the better.
- Management skills. Gauge how they can manage the whole marketing team. Ultimately, an interim CMO is instrumental to your marketing success.
4. Communication and Collaboration Skills
When looking for a temporary marketing head, make communication a top priority. An effective one is key to employee collaboration and business success. On the other hand, poor communication affects trust for 45% of employees.
How do you gauge your candidates’ communication and collaboration skills? Take the following approaches:
- Check messages and responses. Are they responsive via email, chat, or social media? How promptly do they reply to you? Check to see who is easy to work with regarding communication and collaboration.
- Conduct proper interviews. Do they communicate clearly? How polite and professional yet assertive and persuasive are they? During interviews, you can evaluate their effectiveness by discussing communication strategies and collaboration styles.
- Contact character references. Are they effective communicators? How engaging and collaborative are they with their marketing teams? Ask these straightforward questions from former clients to reveal their communication and collaboration skills.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively understand and manage emotions to positively communicate and interact with others. Otherwise known as emotional quotient (EQ), this ability is crucial in working with others in business settings. And this essentially applies to the marketing head you’re looking for.
When hiring an interim CMO, consider EQ as much as you value intelligence quotient (IQ). During the interview process, ask the following key questions:
- Self-awareness. How do you deal with constructive criticisms that your marketing team gives? This reveals how aware they are of themselves.
- Self-regulation. How do you handle the pressure brought by your marketing campaigns? This shows how they can control their emotions despite the stress.
- Motivation. How do you inspire your team despite not meeting the marketing KPIs? This demonstrates how they motivate their teams.
- Communication skills. How do you ensure effective communication within your marketing team? This uncovers how effective they are in communicating with their subordinates.
- Collaboration skills. How do you deal with marketing professionals with different opinions, feedback, and suggestions? This shows how they work well with other marketing professionals within the organization.
- Conflict resolution. How do you handle conflict and disagreements within your marketing team? This demonstrates how they can appease team members and resolve issues.
- Leadership role. How would you describe your leadership style in generating revenue while fostering your team’s welfare? This reveals how they are as a leader in the marketing niche.
- Cultural sensitivity. How do you foster cultural sensitivity in a globally diverse team? This uncovers how they address cultural differences among team members.
6. Flexibility and Adaptability
The business landscape has been evolving across all industries. Think of changing industry trends, consumer needs, and technological use every CMO should consider. The best CMO always stays up-to-date with the marketing trends for the year.
When hiring an interim CMO, consider two key factors:
- Flexibility. A one-size-fits-all remedy for all marketing problems does not exist. The actual challenges and required solutions vary from one business to another. Look for a flexible CMO capable of tackling different business needs with effective marketing tactics.
- Adaptability. Consider marketing trends, such as short-form video content, influencer marketing, AI leverage, and virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). Every CMO should familiarize themselves with these and incorporate them into their strategies. Hire an interim CMO who can easily and quickly adapt to changes!
7. Cost-Effectiveness and Value Proposition
Generally, you hire a CMO to start or help with your marketing campaigns. An interim CMO is responsible for temporarily planning, implementing, and monitoring your strategies while your marketing department transitions. Work with one who is worth the price that you will pay.
When looking for an interim CMO, consider their cost-effectiveness and value proposition. Ask the following questions:
- Business value. What value do they offer to your business? Hire one who provides a unique value proposition (UVP) best suited for your marketing objectives.
- Financial impact. How do they help reduce your expenditures and boost your profits? The goal is to earn more than you spend on marketing campaigns for a steady cash flow.
- Customer success. How do CMO services make customers fully satisfied? Your hired CMO should focus on improving customer satisfaction (CSAT).
- Employee development. How do they help marketing employees grow professionally? You hire a leader to help your marketing team eventually stand on its own.
- Resource allocation: How do CMO services help save money when setting a budget for each resource? Choose one offering cost-effective solutions.
An interim CMO helps improve your marketing campaigns for months to a year. They assist in meeting your objectives, whether increased customer engagement, lead generation, or sales conversions. However, work with the one best suited for your business.
When hiring an interim CMO, consider their expertise, experience, culture, communication, EQ, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Also, align your leadership choice with immediate business needs. Lastly, conduct a thorough evaluation for a successful leadership appointment!
Digital Authority Partners (DAP), an award-winning digital marketing agency, offers exactly what you need. If you are looking for an interim CMO to help optimize your online marketing campaign, contact us today to see how we can help!
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