When interviewing candidates for mid- to senior-level marketing positions, I have a question that I like to ask which gives me a sense of how strategically the candidates might approach their jobs. It goes something like this:
“Suppose I’m one of your internal customers and I come to you and say ‘I need a brochure’ (or you could say ad, or web site, or email blast or any other form of communication). How do you respond to that request?”
Most people (yes, sadly, even for senior-level marketing positions) will begin to tell me the steps that they will take to create whatever communication tool I’ve asked them to create. So, for a brochure, they might say: “I’ll ask for information about the product/service they want to sell. I’ll want to know what size they want the brochure to be. I’ll ask if there is any specific information that they want to include in the brochure.”
- In short, they focus on the WHATs.
- What I’m looking for? A focus on the WHYs!
I don’t want marketing staff–especially senior level marketing staff–to focus on tactics. I want them to focus on strategy. What I hope to hear when I ask a question like this is: (more…)