I deal with marketing people daily and over the years I have noticed a disturbing trend.
It appears that more and more small businesses are placing marketing graduates or young marketing professionals within senior marketing roles.
Why is that bad?
First off here are my reasons why I think this happens:
- Marketing graduates and young professionals are cheaper than the battle-scared 30’s+ professionals who know the game and have vast networks.
- They assume that young people know how to market within the latest communication channels such as Txt, Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook, FriendFeed.
- They assume that the graduate has been well trained in all the theories and effective strategies for marketing.
- The business owner believes that marketing is not important as other departments within the business and a “newbie” can handle this simple task.
What I have found mostly is that marketing graduates at best have a basic understanding of marketing but lack the most important skills that you can only get with experience and a few major marketing failures.
For me marketing is the art of building networks that you can tap into when you need them.
I have dealt with graduates and young professionals who cannot even write a decent business email, have never heard of Twitter or lack the maturity to deal with a very irate client.
Marketing is a vital part of any business and should never be delegated to the cheapest resource or treated as a “back-of-house” task.
In my opinion it is very much in the “front-of-house” category and should be managed with people who have good experience in marketing or if you cannot afford this level of experience hire a marketing graduate but you – the business owner – take the role of marketing manager.
Here are a couple of tips when interviewing a candidate for the marketing role:
- Search online using the person’s name. If they are focused on marketing their name should come up enough to prove that they can promote themselves effectively.
- Ask the candidate what are their favorite marketing books and bloggers. If they have none then how on Earth can they market your business in the real world?
- The candidate should have done pre-interview research on your business so ask the candidate where they think you are lacking in marketing. If their comments make sense to you then that’s a good thing.
- I always ignore fancy education certificates if a person can show self-motivation and a passion to learn.