As you have probably learned by now, finding C-level executives for a young company is pretty hard. On a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a seven. Finding a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), however, is a nine. There are a couple of reasons for such a high degree of difficulty: marketing includes so many functions that few CMOs have broad enough capabilities to rock them all, and marketing today is more wildly split between right brain and left brain than it ever has been before. That makes finding the complete package all the more difficult.
Given the depth and dichotomy of the role, the odds are almost nil that you’ll find a CMO who has every skill and attribute you want. But to quote Voltaire, perfect may be the enemy of good. The good news is that every one of your marketing requirements need not be embodied in a single person. The trick is to look at marketing as a collection of various disciplines, and then to prioritize what your company needs most.
Here are the broad marketing disciplines that a mid-sized consumer-facing company might consider:
Odds are that you won’t find anyone who is expert in all this. Instead, prioritize:
1) what you need most
2) what you’re willing to hire elsewhere in the marketing group
3) what you can outsource
4) what, if anything, you can live without.
The best CMOs will know where they’re stellar and where they’re not, and will build a team that can make sure all the right priorities are taken care of. You don’t need to find a single person who can check all the boxes, but rather someone who can check the right boxes themselves and find creative ways to get the rest checked by others.