The 5 Critical Steps to Finding Your Perfect CMO/Marketing Director

Hiring a new senior marketing leader allows you to enhance your company’s leadership team and access the skills, insight, and expertise that you’re currently missing. Whether you’re replacing an outgoing director or looking for someone to fill a newly created position, it’s vital to find the right person.

A Marketing Director or CMO has a substantial impact on your company’s performance, both in terms of your financials and your workplace culture. By taking a strategic approach, you can simplify the recruitment process and ensure your new hire is an asset to your brand. With this in mind, take a look at these five critical steps to finding your perfect CMO:

1. Why a New Hire Is Needed

When someone decides to leave an existing role, many companies begin automatically searching for a replacement. This often results in them hiring someone with a similar background or outlook as the departing member of staff. However, assessing what you want from your new CMO will enable you to re-write the job description and get more from your senior marketers.

Before you begin your search, think carefully about what you want from your new hire and why they’re needed. If someone is leaving the role, ask yourself why (or, better yet, ask them!). Their feedback may uncover in-house issues that could dissuade future candidates from taking the role. By really analysing why a new hire is needed, you can take steps to optimise the workplace to get the most out of your team and hire someone who can expand your resources.

2. What You Want to Achieve

All successful businesses rely on effective marketing, so a Marketing Director or CMO is a necessary hire for the vast majority of firms. However, not all marketing leaders work in the same way or have the same specialisms.

When you identify your company’s commercial and marketing goals, you can make sure that you choose a CMO who can help you achieve them. Is the company going through a period of growth, for example? If so, you might be looking for someone with experience in launching new products or expanding companies into new markets. When the market is shrinking, however, you may favour a risk-averse marketing leader who has helped companies survive challenging economic times.

If you hire a Marketing Director with proven experience in helping companies achieve the same objectives you’re aiming for, you’ll instantly increase your likelihood of success. Furthermore, you’ll provide the individual with a workplace and challenge that matches their specialism and capabilities.

3. What Skills and Background Do They Require?

If you don’t come from a marketing background yourself, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the industries and differentiate between the different sub-sectors! When you’re running a B2B company in a niche industry and deploying account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, for example, a marketing professional with experience solely in B2C mass marketing might not be the best fit.

While there are plenty of marketers with skills spanning multiple areas, most senior professionals will have a particular interest or specialism. Selecting a candidate whose specialisms match your existing or future strategies will be advantageous in the long run, particularly if you want to leverage their skills.

When you’re hiring a CMO or Marketing Director, don’t overlook the importance of selecting an individual with great leadership skills. As a senior-level leader, they’ll need to unite teams, set the tone, and inspire others to achieve measurable goals, as well as take accountability for an entire department. In addition to sector-specific skills, make sure your preferred candidate has leadership qualities that mark them out as a reliable and successful manager too.

4. Where to Find Them and How to Engage in the Right Way

Now you have a clearer idea of what and who you’re looking for, how do you go about finding them? For many businesses, placing an advert online seems like the most effective way to attract applicants but, in reality, this can limit the range of potential candidates.

At Acquire Digital Talent, we execute unique methodologies to identify candidates that fit your organisation’s needs. The Acquire Method relies on the retained partnership search model and allows us to scour the market for people who can provide you with the skills, vision, and creativity you need in your next CMO.

From building a talent pipeline to keeping potential candidates engaged, we’re adept at identifying the skill set your company needs in a marketing leader and finding the right people to elevate your operations.

5. Ensuring They Have a Compelling Reason to Join You

Businesses are often so focused on finding the right candidates that they overlook a vital step in the recruitment process: making sure top talent wants to work for you!

Talented CMOs and Marketing Directors are in high demand and they’re not likely to be short of job offers. If you want to attract the most successful industry leaders, you’ll need to provide them with a compelling reason to join your company.

While this isn’t solely about the salary you can offer, a competitive remuneration package is always expected. However, you’ll need to provide more than this to entice successful leaders to leave their current roles and take up the position.

Perhaps your company culture is revered throughout your sector? Maybe you provide staff with a great work/life balance? Can you provide an incoming CMO with a new career challenge? Or give an emerging leader a promotion to the next level?

Take the time to review what you’re offering so that you can ‘sell’ your company and the role to your new marketing leader. By doing so, you’ll naturally enhance your working environment and increase the number of talented professionals vying to join your company.

Start Your Talent Search Now

Why wait until you receive notice that a member of your leadership team is leaving to start your search? By building a talent pipeline now, you can ensure that your next CMO is already being primed to join you. To get started, contact Alex Marriner now on 44 (0)7583 648 612 or email him at