In my experience professional firms first step into Marketing is often hiring a new low-cost member of staff to write brochures and do mailshots. Being a low-level member of staff he/she gets lots of “direction” from different people and gets asked to take on whatever new Marketing ideas senior managers hear about. Typically they don’t know a lot about SEO, Customer Experience, Social Media, Big Data, Cloud, email marketing, CRM etc so things go wrong.
The outcome could be to just stop doing Marketing because “it doesn’t work” or more likely to hire a more senior marketing person. Some firms do both with a time gap of several months in-between. The hiring of this more senior marketing person has to be done well.
Trying to do it yourself could be dangerous
As there is very little knowledge about Marketing in most firms my strong advice is to get outside help with the selection process. Don’t ask the recruitment company because they have a vested interest. Get an independent Marketing expert who can understand your business and how Marketing can help it grow.
A jointly created job description and set of measurable objectives linked to the organisations business objectives will ensure that partners in the firm buy in to and understand what they will, or will not, get. Also use your external Marketing expert to test expertise in the hiring process and help set the interview questions. But, the final hiring decision must be yours as cultural fit can be more critical for success than Marketing prowess.
No Marketing person is good at everything
My final point is that there are two types of Marketing and it’s very hard to find people who are good at both. If firms don’t recognise this unrealistic expectations can be set. The easiest way to explain the two types of Marketing is to start with my definition of Marketing. To me Marketing is the servant of Sales and the master of Business Strategy. If you want Marketing to get involved in helping to set the strategy, direction and products of the business don’t try to do it with someone who is the servant of Sales whose focus is generating leads. It works equally badly the other way round too.
The solution is to either hire one Marketing person for each role or decide to hire for just one of the roles and outsource the other role as required. The right Marketing resources can make a big difference to the majority of firms.