Growthology helps businesses build strategic marketing capability from the inside out– this includes recruiting the right marketing people and partners for longterm growth. We have a framework that helps SMEs think differently about how they engage with marketing. Most businesses waste a lot of money on marketing tactics without doing the thinking element, this is often triggered by the marketing people you have working in and on your your business.
Our team recruits on several levels.
The first one is for ourselves, this is the team we lead – we are looking for strategic marketing thinkers. They are likely to have held a senior role in a corporate business and they understand business as well as marketing. Our clients are CEOs and senior leaders within SME businesses so they are a tough audience! Marketing money is not an endless pot of money for SMEs so we are always having to show value, $$ best spent etc.
We also recruit for our clients and that is wide ranging. If our clients don’t have a marketing resource we understand what they need and help them source that person. We work pretty closely with our clients in what we call our ‘fit for purpose’ stage so we know what they need. We are planners – so we know what they are likely to need. We encourage them to recruit for where they are going, not where they have come from.
Businesses often think marketing functionality is all about changing the website, organising events, etc – very tactical stuff.
We show them that there are three levels of marketing functionality a business needs:
- Strategy – the planning that connects the marketing strategy to the business strategy
- Managing – managing the budgets, the people, the implementation and how marketing works with the rest of the business
- Implementation – actually getting on with it, doing the do.
Most businesses get the levels wrong – they don’t understand who is doing what.
Top 3 soft skills we look for when recruiting for our clients
Always, cultural fit to our client’s values and vision
Best practise ability to present ideas and not to get put off if the CEO kicks it back.
To be a part of the leadership team – we always want our clients to think of marketing as a leadership function and it deserves a seat at the leadership table.
The challenges we’ve experienced with recruiting top marketing talent.
For us in Australia it’s a lack of corporate experience – there aren’t many corporate HQs in Australia, that’s usually the feeder for us in other locations. We typically attract people from corporate when they have had enough of big company politics and something a little different.
The most important factors in recruiting the right marketing talent
Understand what you need as a business and make sure you get the recruitment right. We have seen so many examples of CEOs getting marketing recruitment wrong – it’s not the candidate’s fault – it’s typically the business not knowing what they are looking for. We recently completed an audit of a fairly sizable marketing functionality and their marketing lead was just the wrong person, not her fault the CEO had no real understanding of what marketing functionality should be doing.
You also need to make sure you know how much strategy, management and implementation you need.
What advice would we give to other [marketing] leaders about recruiting top talent?
There is so much specialisation in marketing today – know what you want to achieve and recruit for that.
Marketing is measurable so make sure they have KPIs.
Make sure they have the skills they say they have.
Have the right strategies in place – both business and marketing – ensure they are well connected, communicated and everyone knows why they are there.