The Essence of a Marketing Team

 In my career I have been fortunate to work with great marketing teams. Sometimes you come into a job and inherit a marketing team and other times you get to hire and add new talent. Occasionally you get to start from scratch and build from the ground up. 
Marketing Teams 

An online friend asked me recently how I hire marketing people and what are the best ways to bring the right person on board? Do I hire from within the industry or outside?

The following nine filters work for me and have served me well. I’m happy to share them with you.

1. ARE THEY INQUISITIVE? I like to work with people who are always challenging me, the brand, the company and their work. I want active minds that keep asking why?  I want new team members to have unquenchable curiosity.

2. CAN I LEARN FROM THEM?  I don’t want clones of me or talent similar to what we already have. I prefer to find people who bring something fresh and new to the group. Maybe they worked in another industry or possibly have expertise in an area that brings new energy and thinking to the group.

3. ARE THEY TRUSTWORTHY?  I don’t like to micro manage people and want to know that the new colleague is focused on the right things and I can trust them to make good decisions.  I don’t mind them making mistakes but can they be trusted to always do things with the best intention of the brand and the company?

4. DO THEY UNDERSTAND PRIORITIES? This is quite important since we all can end up going down our own path with our laundry list of things to do. But when a colleague shows they get the importance of focus, of alignment and fitting the company need- it benefits everyone. And I really appreciate people asking me for help to make sure they are focused on the important stuff.

5. ARE THEY COMPASSIONATE, CARING PEOPLE? People, who tend to be selfish and disengaged, don’t make the best marketers. And I don’t want to be around people who are heartless and without a real human face. I like to see the real person come to work and bring their humanity, experiences and personality. I always find working with people who can be themselves produces better work.

6. ARE THEY WILLING TO LEARN AND GROW? None of us is perfect at anything. Can I find people who hunger to learn and to improve professionally? Can they absorb constructive criticism and demonstrate growth or are they stuck running in the same circle? Great workers learn, grow and lean forward.

7. DO THEY DEMONSTRATE INITIATIVE? I want new marketing talent to try a few new things- to free-lance and play with a new idea and not be afraid to explore new areas. I encourage this within a framework that it fits with our overall strategy. Trying new tactics and exercising some creative risk taking is a plus in my book.

8. BRING PEOPLE IN FROM OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY.  I like to bring people together from an assortment of industries- not just the one we are working in since I want fresh perspectives. When you work in an industry, it is easy to move toward a collective view of a category. Fresh blood brings new thinking.

9. DO I LIKE THEM? We all spend a lot of time at work. I don’t want to spend time with people I don’t like. With 50 plus hour work weeks, it is important to find colleagues who you enjoy spending time with and who demonstrate that they are well-balanced individuals.

Attracting the right marketing team 

There are lots of criteria for hiring folks to be part of your marketing team. Perhaps the most important of all is that I never hire people who don’t like Indian food.  Sorry, but I have to draw the line somewhere. 

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