3 skills to look for in your next marketing consultant hires

By Tomas H. Lucero

As a business leader, it should come as no surprise that the number of marketing jobs is expected to grow through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor. You may also be aware that the marketing sector is seeing a 3.9 percent increase in starting salaries. So you are going to be hiring new marketing consultants and paying them more, which means that you must do your best to hire the best talent out there. You will be looking for a number of skills in your future marketers, but the following are the most valuable, according to Business 2 Community (B2C).

[Related: How programmatic advertising is poised to change the fate of marketers ]

1. Strategic planning

One of the best indicators of a person who is proactive, as opposed to reactive, is whether they plan or not and how well they do it. The marketing consultants that you hire must know how to make a plan and how to work it. As you interview potential candidates, make sure that they can create a written plan for different periods of time: a month, a year, a single campaign. Written plans are one of the best ways for people to stay accountable to their own goals.

2. Research

Effective campaigns, tactics and strategies are built on solid research.

It’s critical that today’s marketing consultant know how to design and implement research. More importantly, however, is understanding how to apply the results to improve a brand’s campaign.  

“Research” entails a lot of skills. One of the fundamental ones is knowing how to inform a campaign through primary research via A/B testing.

[Related: How to humanize algorithm marketing for success ]

“A/B testing compares two versions  of a Web page, form, piece of collateral or other tool to see which performs better,” reads B2C. It’s a critical skill because in marketing the smallest of modifications can make or break a brand. So it’s useful to know how to identify these differences and leverage them.

Knowing how to deploy primary research tactics like A/B testing shows that the potential employee can harness his own data and put it to use for your organization. By using a measured and strategic approach to deploying these changes, and keeping track of what works, the prospect won’t just make an impact on your current campaign – he’ll create a roadmap for success in future projects.

[Related: Marketing is not about the marketer]

3. Collaborative leadership

According to a new report from NACE, employers are looking for leaders who can work in a team and communicate effectively. Furthermore, in a Job Outlook 2015 survey, about 78 percent of respondents  chose “leadership” as the attribute they look for in a resume.

“In marketing, leadership is often defined by the ability to spot the ‘next big thing’—and successfully working together with others to leverage it for your own brand,” according to B2C. Marketing pioneers don’t wait for the latest trend to come to them, they actively seek out best business practices and figure out how to input them into a campaign.

[Related: 4 essential marketing tenets from the giants]

To make sure that you future marketing consultants have this skill ask them if they are tapped into industry news, and if so, which ones. Is the prospect following rainmaker brands on social media? Does he know who the thought leaders are in your industry?

After interviews call their former employers and ask if the candidate is a person who asks for help in his leadership skills. Does the prospect surround himself by colleagues and resources to improve as a leader? How well does the candidate identify with and team up with colleagues who complement his own skills?

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