Hiring a head of marketing or someone to take care of marketing can be a daunting prospect for many companies, especially SMEs. The sad fact is that many SME leaders don’t actually know much about digital marketing themselves and this makes it really difficult to know what questions to ask a digital marketer when hiring them. So let’s make things simple.

Like other professions, the hiring process consists of the usual interviews and CV reviews, and of course you should do the same when considering your first marketing hire, however, consider using something else: Your website data.

What you need to do is start from the reverse. You should follow this formula for successful hiring:

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up to google analytics and get data on your website’s current performance. (See this article we wrote called Getting the most out of google analytics)
  2. Set where you would like to be across all those fronts. e.g. 5% more conversions.
  3. Challenge your potential hires to pitch you their solutions to achieve the objectives you set.
  4. Ask the applicants to prove they could do what they say by asking for the metrics from the last marketing campaigns they ran in their previous positions.
  5. Pick the one who can back up the quickest and best solution to your objectives.

You see the great thing about digital marketing is that the results speak for themselves. There is no hiding from that fact. Anyone who rates themselves as a digital marketer should be able to demonstrate their personal traction history. This is what matters in hiring because the numbers are what matter to your business at the end of the day.

It’s also important for you to know what your ideal/initial digital marketing channel is going to be. Most SMEs start with one channel (PPC, Facebook, SEO etc) and you will want your first hire to be very confident in the exact channel you’ll be starting to invest in. It thus makes sense to do the same sort of test within that channel. So if you are already running Google AdWords the questions to ask a digital marketer in that case would be around improving your existing AdWords account. Ask them what they would do differently and to estimate the improvement in CPL would be over 6 months if they made the changes.

What questions to ask a digital marketer in Adwords