How to Recruit Your First B2B Marketing Manager

by Isaac Oswalt on February 23, 2017

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From SaaS to social media, B2B marketing is changing at a rapid pace– is your business keeping up?

Here at 21 Handshake, one of the biggest challenges our clients face is how to effectively bridge the gap between IT and sales departments and keep their partner marketing agency in the loop. IT, Sales and Marketing are no longer three separate departments with limited communication or coordination between each. That’s why a B2B marketing manager is so critical.

Your B2B marketing manager serves as a link between internal IT and Sales departments and your partner marketing agency. This manager coordinates everything from social media to direct mail campaigns and makes sure that all marketing efforts are aligned to the company’s bigger picture goals. Whether your company is deciding on its next big CRM investment or shifting social media strategies, the marketing manager keeps all stakeholders on the same page.

Ready to make your first B2B marketing manager hire? In order to land the right talent for your team, it’s critical that you outline position duties and required skill sets/experience in advance. Since the marketing world is evolving so rapidly, a “B2B marketing manager” could mean very different things to different people.

As you craft your job description and start sorting through resumes, here are three guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Previous experience.
Do you envision this position as more entry-level coordination and logistics management, or will the B2B marketing manager be responsible for developing the big-picture strategy in conjunction with your agency and leadership team? The seniority of this role is partially impacted by your available budget.

You won’t be able to nab talent with 10 years of experience at an entry-level salary, of course. But if can afford to pay someone with 3 to 4 years of experience, your new hire could bring both coordination experience and a background in digital strategy to the table. That extra experience could be invaluable for streamlining your B2B strategy, even if your new hire won’t be making the final call on strategy decisions.

2. General fluency in all things digital.
If your salary is more entry-level than upper management, get the biggest bang for you dollar by recruiting talent with a diverse background in digital strategy, rather than a specific specialization. A general fluency in SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and PPC advertising will serve your company better than someone who is highly specialized in only one of these fields.

3. Strong background in performance metrics.
This is a big one: don’t bring on a new hire if they are not familiar with performance metrics! Marketing departments are under increased pressure to prove the ROI of their marketing activities. While demonstrating ROI is improving, doing so still remains the biggest challenge for marketers. For example, metrics used by B2C companies like cost per impression (associated with brand lift) are not as useful for assessing B2B ROI. B2B companies have greater success using metrics aligned to B2B strategy, such as total leads generated.

While your partner agency will likely provide significant guidance regarding ROI assessment and KPIs, it is still important that your new hire is familiar with these different metrics. The marketing manager can’t do her job – coordinating campaigns and ensuring these campaigns are aligned with big-picture goals – if she doesn’t understand the metrics used to evaluate campaign success!

Considerations for the Interview

Take time during the recruitment process to really get to know your prospective hire: how passionate is he or she about digital marketing? What is the biggest marketing challenge they faced at their previous company? Based on what they know about your business, what initial opportunities can they identify for improvement across departments? Finally, keep in mind that no matter who you choose to hire, there's always a bit of a learning curve associated with onboarding. It's up to your IT, sales and marketing teams to set your new hire up for success!

Millennial Selling Checkling

Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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