I’ve been a marketer in-house for several companies and a marketer for several marketing agencies, and I’ll tell you, the skills needed for either position are exactly the same.
However, it’s more difficult for a business to find a competent marketing specialist who will make a good fit in-house, compared to finding a competent marketing agency that can reach the goals that you have in mind.
It’s not only more challenging to hire someone in-house, it’s also more expensive, making it even more imperative that the perfect person is hired.
Why is it easier to find a competent marketing agency rather than a competent marketing specialist? If a marketing agency is more than two years old and has more than two people working there, you can consider it successful. You, as an employer, will also have a much easier time talking with the agency’s previous clients than tracking down someone’s previous employers and biased references.
When (and if) you hire an in-house marketing specialist, ideally you should pick someone with a sharp mind, good eye and a wide range of skills who can hopefully grow with your company as you grow. Maybe your business has five to ten employees now, but this marketing specialist can grow to one day become your Director of Marketing who supervises a handful of people. That should be the goal in mind.
There are many qualities that you should look for when hiring an in-house marketing specialist.
Below are what I would call my top 10 necessary qualities that I suggest you adopt.
10 Necessary Qualities When Hiring A Marketing Specialist In-House
- Understands your industry, your products/services and your company’s mission and goals: Choosing someone with relevant experience or a passion for your industry is very important. If the person conducting the marketing does not fully understand or like your products/services, the work won’t be as effective, if at all.
- Excellent communication and listening skills: This is the person who will have control of the “megaphone” for your company, so you will need him/her to be a stellar writer, editor and speaker. Listening and note-taking skills are just as crucial.
- Problem solver: You need someone who can recognize a problem as early as possible, who will be able to advise the team on possible solutions and how to execute them.
- Appropriate experience and education: Ideally, you should look for someone who understands inbound and outbound marketing tactics, traditional and modern marketing channels, social media, advertising, seo, basic graphic design fundamentals, public relations, content management systems, website content, blogs and email marketing.
- Strategic-minded: Marketing is extremely strategic, so this person must be able to design a plan for what should be done, how it can be done and creating reasonable goals.
- Detail-oriented and organized: This person needs to pay close attention to detail in writing, design, strategies, and all things marketing, and also must be organized. Marketers often love using calendars, lists, categorizing things, appropriately organizing files on the server and other similar habits to stay organized.
- Creative but also analytical: Every year there are more and more opportunities for marketing professionals to be creative and think outside-the-box. An in-house marketing specialist must be open-minded to new ideas (since a big part of marketing is trial and error), but the person also must be analytical and good with math in order to analyze campaigns, the results and return on investment.
- Collaborative but also a leader: You, as the boss, need this person to be both a team player and an independent thinker. Collaboration is important, as well as following your instructions, but this person should also have the confidence and experience to make decisions without you.
- Hungry for knowledge, challenges and climbing the corporate ladder: All employees should strive to climb the corporate ladder, but you need this person to always be hungry for more. He/she should not shy away from challenges or fresh ideas. It is also beneficial for this person to be regularity reading marketing blogs and learning the newest tools and tricks from webinars.
- Focuses on improving the customer-experience: This person (like all of your employees) must be as customer-experience oriented as the business. If your customers have a poor experience anywhere along the purchase journey, don’t expect them to return.
- Sit down with the head of your company’s finances and the head of your company’s sales team and deliberate if hiring an in-house marketing person or an agency is the best fit for your business’s budget and other needs.
- Make sure you have some idea of certain goals that you’d like an in-house marketing professional to achieve. There should be a reason why you are hiring this person. You can leave the in-depth planning and strategizing to him/her.
- Be extra careful with the hiring process! Don’t just hire anyone. Make sure you find someone of the highest quality who is an impeccable match.