Hiring someone for a marketing job can be tough. The idea of marketing is so vague that it fits pretty much every activity a company engages in under one big umbrella. Nevertheless, there are questions you can ask a potential candidate for a marketing position that will allow you to figure out what their idea of marketing is. Let’s take a look at five questions you should ask when hiring a marketing job candidate.
What is the Difference between Selling and Marketing?
If a marketing job candidate struggles to answer this question, they aren’t in the right field. Sales professionals focus on individual transactions either selling to individuals, businesses or organizations.
Marketing is a systematic planning, implementation and study of how to bring in potential customers and convert them into paying customers. Marketing requires much more data to determine the right strategy for each segment of the market.
In very small companies, marketing and sales may be the same team, but everywhere else, they are two separate groups with differing skillsets. Sales simply provides data to marketing on what worked, uses marketing’s information to increase follow up and related purchases, or implements marketing’s suggestions to help close more deals.
How Would You Help Our Sales Group If Assigned There for a Month?
Someone with experience in marketing or a degree like a masters in business administration online should be able to give specific examples of how they would help increase sales. After all, the goal of the whole company is to generate revenue.
Even if you aren’t going to put someone with a business degree or training via marketing courses from one of the many online MBA programs, they should be able to list several concrete changes they’d make, even if it starts with collecting data to make data driven decisions for marketing to customer demographics after you identify those demographics. And if the marketing hire says they couldn’t help sales, they probably aren’t a fit.
What Experience or Projects Do You Have in Marketing?
You can ask this question of people straight out of school or with a decade of experience in the field. Someone who successfully marketed a social cause and generated a known amount of revenue for a charity has demonstrated marketing experience. Building a website and learning how to identify visitor demographics and channel them to the site is another.
Class projects for recent graduates could provide evidence of someone’s marketing skills, whether studying the customer base of a business and identifying how to sell to that group or analyzing previously untapped customer needs to generate more money. Someone who earned a masters in business administration online has likely completed at least one project like this to demonstrate why they are a better fit with the marketing department than a person who has only worked in sales.
A marketing job candidate must know the difference between marketing to sales and have at least some idea of how they support salespeople. They should know multiple marketing strategies and be able to explain how they’ve used some combination of these strategies for class or a real life application. The ideal marketing job candidate can give immediate advice on how they would help your company whether placed in sales or the marketing department.