Assessing key skills for a CMO position using optimized evaluation methods in a tech firm

CMO JD – Chief Marketing Officer Job Description – must include a wide range of skills to ensure the candidate is well-suited for the dynamic and demanding role. (Revisit the CMO Definition here for a quick refresher).  Here are effective methods to evaluate the essential skills for a CMO position:

Digital Marketing Expertise

  1. Certification Programs:
    – What to Look For: Certifications from recognized institutions such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Facebook Blueprint.
    – Why It Matters: These certifications validate a candidate’s knowledge and proficiency in key digital marketing areas.
  2. Practical Tests:
    How to Conduct: Assign a task where the candidate must develop a comprehensive digital marketing campaign. This should include strategy, execution plan, and expected metrics.
    – Evaluation Focus: Assess creativity, strategic alignment, execution capability, and understanding of performance metrics.

Strategic Thinking

  1. Case Studies:
    – How to Use: Provide real-world scenarios relevant to your industry and ask candidates to outline their strategic approach.
    – What to Observe: Look for clarity in thought process, innovative solutions, and feasibility of the proposed strategies.
  2. Interviews:
    – Focus Areas:
    Conduct qualitative interviews with a focus on past experiences in developing and implementing go to market strategies.
    – Key Questions: Probe into specific instances where the candidate demonstrated strategic foresight and impactful decision-making.

Leadership and Team Management

  1. 360-Degree Feedback:
    – Method: Collect feedback from previous team members, peers, and supervisors.
    – Insight Gained: This provides a holistic view of the candidate’s leadership style, interpersonal skills, and effectiveness in managing diverse teams.
  2. Situational Judgment Tests:
    – Scenario-Based: Present hypothetical management scenarios and assess the candidate’s responses.  For example, if your company plans to launch a new SaaS product ask them how they would prioritize the Go to Market strategy for an effective use of the marketing budget.
    – Evaluation Criteria: Analyze their problem-solving abilities, decision-making process, and how they handle team dynamics.

Analytical Skills

  1. Data Analysis Exercises:
    – Exercise Details: Provide datasets related to marketing campaigns and ask candidates to analyze the data and present insights.  For example you could share fictitious data from a recent LinkedIn campaign and ask them to assess whether the ROI was suitable and what they would do differently.
    – Skills Assessed: Ability to interpret data, derive actionable insights, and make data-driven recommendations.
  2. Technical Interviews:
    – Interview Focus: Ask specific questions related to key metrics, KPIs, and data-driven decision-making.
    – Assessment Goal: Ensure the candidate can effectively use data to guide marketing strategies and measure success.

Technological Savvy

  1. Technical Assessments:
    – Testing Areas: Knowledge of marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and emerging technologies.
    – Why It’s Important: A tech-savvy CMO can leverage technology to enhance marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. Project Portfolios:
    – Review Focus:
    Examine past projects that demonstrate the use of advanced technologies and innovative marketing solutions.
    – What to Look For: Evidence of successful implementation of technology-driven marketing strategies and the ability to adapt to new tools.

You have to define the role to align with what the organization finds of value. As marketing has become more measurable, there is more demand for marketers to be responsible for growth. It’s tricky because most CMOs don’t have control over the sales organization. But as sales become more digital and automated I think we’ll find sales and marketing merging into a single “Growth” function. – Jessie Paul in an interview with Ian Truscott for Rockstar CMO.

Comprehensive Assessment Approach

Using a combination of these methods can provide a well-rounded evaluation of a candidate’s skills relevant to the CMO JD. By ensuring a thorough assessment process, organizations can identify leaders who are not only skilled in their craft but also equipped to drive growth and innovation in the tech industry.

By integrating these assessment techniques, companies can effectively pinpoint candidates who not only meet the technical and strategic requirements of a CMO JD but also possess the leadership qualities and innovative mindset needed to thrive in a tech-driven environment.


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