What is the ONLY Attribute of a successful marketer that matters?

One who willingly embraces the worst or most troubled business?

WHY? ………….They love to play. 

They never focus on the attention of the big win, they simply drive towards numerous small victories.

They are very basic and logical.  Every argument they make will is rooted in the numbers, either top-line or COGS.

So if a marketer boasts about their successes, on established businesses they only know the process of avoiding failure.  They have never had to troubleshoot to save/grow a business which is what the majority of SME’s (small and medium enterprises) require.  

I have yet to encounter more than a handful of CPG (and especially at Kraft/P&G) marketers who can say NO, which should be a huge flashing red light especially if their answers are populated with groupthink.  These folks litter the halls of the CPG companies across the continent.  Those looking for the next Michael Jordan, should see a flashing red light!

Asking them to share their history is meaningless.  Most of what you hear is not truly their achievements or things they did directly.  True marketers shine through their team, under their leadership.

Driven by accountability and a love of the numbers. Their key skill is being fast at simple math, letting the numbers tell the story. This is their roadmap to critical thinking. They are not big on emails to cover a potential misstep.  Instead, they MBWA (manage by walking around) instantly conveying potential issues up and treat everyone with respect!

So how do you spot such a superlative marketer during the interview process?  

It requires 3 simple steps to determine if they are passengers or drivers.  

STEP 1: Give them 2 simple P&L’s, one for a very large business, with large profit and large budgets and a well-known brand name.  The second a $5-10M business with minimal spending and currently losing money, not made in house and has 6-12 months before it is doomed for the scrapheap.  Which business do they want to run? Selecting the second and with insights on how they will fix it, will demonstrate if they think critically and how they view their role.

STEP 2: To evaluate their key number/financial skills.  Provide a short 3 line problem and give them 3 minutes to deliver an answer.

Last night you went to the theatre could not understand how the business was staying afloat.  There were 26 rows of 14 seats, in 14 sections and the tickets were $38.  The place was 1/3 full on a Friday. 

What is the estimated annual revenue? 

Are they a sustainable  business?   

What would your first steps be to make them sustainable?

What do owner’s/shareholders value the most?

If you are satisfied with the answers above, then the process of a 2nd interview communicates through actions both parties intent, at which you will move to:

STEP 3: Determine how they care about each member of their team and what each has to contribute? 

Who is their best support person on their current team?

What is their last name, are they single, how old are they, when is their birthday and how many children do they have? The answers demonstrate true passion.

Once you find one accept that they never take no for an answer, they find solutions, but never say yes to everything!  

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