How to Hire a Great Chief Marketing Officer

Business owners should count with the best marketers because marketing will play an important part in the business plan.   

If you are planning to hire a new CMO, Chief Marketing Officer, this article may help you to choose the right candidate. The right CMO can build a world-class marketing team that will not only help you acquire more customers but also strongly enhances the perception and brand value of your company.      

In case that you are a CMO, this brief article may help you evaluate yourself, see your strengths, weakness and work with them to overcome the weakness.

This post is about what life taught me about how to be a good marketer. You won´t find any chart, reports, statistics or graphics on it, just my life lessons as a marketer working in different business industries.

You may agree or not, this is just my experience and I would appreciate your feedback.

Well, let´s start! Here are the six qualities you should look for when interviewing potential CMOs for your company.

1.Does he consume your product?

If you want to hire a good marketer, you should find out if he consumes your product or if he is interested in your industry. This is the most important thing to consider before hiring or considering a candidate.


When someone consumes your product. He has already identified its core values. He has tried different competitors, he has already made his own mental benchmark and, finally, he made the decision to buy your product.

Besides, people consume products because they want to satisfy certain needs. This new CMO can provide not only his expertise but also a valuable consumer insight and a good knowledge of the market and your product.

2.Have a critical thinking.

I consider critical thinking as the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment. The CMO should be able to identify and detect what is good in your product and what needs to be improved.

This critical thinking is really helpful when they analyze the current marketing strategy. But it is more important when marketers analyze the market because it helps to detect unsatisfied needs.

They are able to see the big picture and see where the industry is going, what competitors are doing and what the market wants.

A good Chief Marketing Office should be alert to opportunities, remain well-informed and be flexible in considering alternatives and opinions (I suggest to read my previous post: Conflict enhances your Complex Problem-Solving skill)

3.Common sense versus the need for innovation.

Common sense is linked to the previous two points. The more the CMO knows about the market and consumers, the better he will be able to take the right decision.

Marketers must stand in their clients’ shoes and their decisions should be guided by common sense.

Innovation is more than ever necessary in the current highly competitive and global environment, but it is important to consider if the market is ready for this kind of innovation.

Consumers accept innovations when the cost of this innovation is less than the benefits that it provides. Cost doesn’t mean only money it also means changing your clients’ habits or doing anything unusual.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Henry Ford

I also like the following quote :

“We don’t ask consumers what they want. They don’t know. Instead we apply our brain power to what they need, and will want, and make sure we’re there, ready.”

Akito Morita

Both quotes can summarize my point of view about innovation and common sense.

4.Corporate culture.

Your corporate culture and your system of values are more important than any person. Without them, companies will drift.

No matter how good is your CMO, if he or she has not bought into your corporate culture, you need to move them out quickly. It´s to his benefit and your benefit.

Don´t forget that bad behavior is contagious. Before hiring anyone, you should check if the candidate really matches your corporate values. If he doesn’t, just forget it, because you will regret it.

5.Combine a humanistic background with a business-oriented mindset.

A few weeks ago, I posted the following image on the Facebook fan page of Leads to Success:

marketing is art and science

According to Alicia Dietsch: “Marketing is art and science. For a while we over-indexed on art. Now we risk over-indexing on science.”

I agree with her idea.

Humanism in business tends to explore the possibility of creating a company that is value-oriented and human-centered anchored on humanistic principles. Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of the Humanistic Approach, stressed on motivation to be essential in understanding behavior.

The reality is that feelings and emotion drive human behavior. Consequently, how companies make consumers feel when buying their products will have the greatest impact on their bottom line.

Have you ever asked your candidates if they have any interest in humanities?

Arts, Music, literature, religious studies, history and philosophy. Humanities aim to teach individuals about the human condition in a variety of forms, as well as look at them with a critical and analytical eye.


Humanities help individuals to learn and analyze the ways of the world and put forward interpretations.

We are overloaded with information and data. Nowadays, the real problem is how to decode this data and figure out potential trends, customer needs, future disruptions…

Besides, having interest in humanistic may boost creativity at work, as Sarah Lin mentioned in her post “Boom Your Business Success with Creativity.”

Every business seeks to increase the number of clients and to transform regular customers into loyal customers. If they are able to foster this humanistic approach, they will be closer to reach their business goals.

6.Love Sports.

A CMO needs to handle different kind of people and align their motivations with the business goals of the company.

It implies to communicate well with the team, build positive working relationships, acknowledge the good work, delegate jobs to the right people, manage conflict in the workplace and set a good example to gain the respect of the employees.

At the same time, a CMO needs to cooperate with other departments as sales teams, product managers…

I believe that playing team games can help people develop the skills mentioned previously. I play basketball and if you want to win a match you need to master the skills I mentioned before.

Besides, taking up a sporting activity can help the performance of any employee. Involvement in sports teaches critical lessons on discipline, goal settings and competitiveness.

Well, this is the end of my 6 Ways to Identify your Future Chief Marketing Officer.

Now I would like to know your opinion.

Are you planning to hire a new Chief Marketing officer and have you considered the previous skills for your ideal candidate?

Did you miss any skill? Please, share your comments below, they will help everyone.

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends.

If you hated this post, please share it with your enemy.


Chema Lopez

A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.

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