Whether you’re looking to hire someone inside or outside of your company to run your inbound marketing, there are some specific traits, talents, and skills I’ve found over the years that can better set your company up for success if the candidate has them.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it can help you identify the right partner or hire when making this important decision. It can also help you determine if hiring internally or finding a partner might be better for your needs.
1. They have hands-on experience with inbound marketing.
It seems obvious, but it’s important to clarify the difference between traditional marketing (like media buying) and inbound marketing. While having traditional marketing experience and being able to think and plan strategically is very important, if your candidate doesn’t have any background or skills in effective content marketing, online lead generation, email marketing, and so on, then it might be wise to look elsewhere for support or ensure you have an extensive training plan in place for this person.
2. They have strong writing and editing skills.
They don’t have to be a professional writer per se, but someone with a keen eye for quality writing who can make basic copy edits while following grammar rules, general best practices, your style guide, and brand guidelines will help set you up for success and save you a lot of time. They should be the last person to see emails before they are sent and blog posts before they are published. Knowing your brand is in qualified hands that you can trust is key.
3. They are able to work on many projects at once, and can move quickly.
Inbound marketing is by nature online, and tends to move quickly, with a lot of moving parts. In one week, an inbound marketing manager could be expected to review multiple blog posts, upload them, create and execute a tactical marketing plan, oversee design of an eBook, schedule social media posts, create a landing page, place CTAs, write copy for lead nurturing emails, review and qualify leads, and communicate with sales managers about lead followup.
They can’t be bogged down with making something perfect and slowing down action, but they have to be able to adhere to your organization’s quality standards as well. It's a fine line that, for some, is a true talent.
4. They work well under pressure and with deadlines.
Again, things can move fast with inbound marketing, and there are lots of deadlines to adhere to. This is especially true when other people are involved, such as sales managers, salespeople, writers, designers, marketing support, agencies, and more. Having a content and marketing calendar and being able to hit deadlines on a consistent basis is of the utmost importance because it’s easy to fall behind. Then, it is harder and harder to catch up.
5. They understand sales and the role it plays in marketing.
This might be the most important, yet overlooked, trait of an inbound marketer. Marketing is only half the battle, and while beautiful design and strategically-crafted campaigns are incredibly important, if your marketing person doesn’t have a general understanding of the role sales must play and how marketing and sales work together, then you’re going to have some missed opportunities.
This does not mean they need to be a sales guru or even have experience in sales, but they should thoroughly understand your organization’s sales process and be able to maintain open lines of communication with the sales department.