3 must-ask questions to ask your next CMO candidate + Bonus Question for B2B companies
Finding a great CMO is hard. Finding a great CMO that matches with your company’s industry, needs, and culture is harder.
If this is your first time hiring a marketing lead, it’s difficult to know what to look out for in a candidate.
In this week’s episode of the CMO chat, I’ll be sharing 3 must-ask questions to ask a CMO during an interview process.
These 3 questions will reveal, if
➡️ they held a real “commit” and delivered outcomes in their previous roles—not just PowerPoints.
➡️ they understand the fundamentals of a good marketing strategy
➡️ they can potentially bring new talent & other marketing resources to your company.
Stay tuned for the bonus question for B2B companies at the very end. You really wanna know the answer to this one!
Can’t watch it right now? No problem, there is a full transcript of the video below.
Welcome to CMO Chat.
Okay, Tanja. Let's say I am a small to medium-sized tech company, and you've convinced me. I'm ready to pull the trigger. I want to hire a Fractional CMO. How do I do that? What kind of questions do I ask? A potential hiree to make sure that this is the right person?
Yeah, that's a really good question.
I would say the first question I would ask is that what commit did you hold in your past roles? Meaning that did you have real KPIs you needed to fulfill? Did you meet those KPIs or are you just like preparing PowerPoints for management meetings? Because there's a difference between a CMO who just does high level strategy stuff and the CMO who can actually do hands on work and deliver results.
Wait, you say there's a difference. Why is one better than the other?
One is not necessarily better than the other. They are just different. And depending on what stage your company is in, you might need more of a hands-on CMO. If you're a bigger company in Enterprise, it's okay if you have a CMO who is more on a high strategic level.
Mm hmm. Okay. So you said in three questions. That was number one. What's the second?
The second question I would ask is that; what would you do in the first couple of months working with us? And if they don't mention talking to your customers, talking to your partners, anything like that, don't hire them. Because then they don't understand marketing. Marketing is all about understanding the customers. If they come with some fancy tactics, some fancy channels, you should try. It's not going to work. They have to understand your industry and your customers first.
Okay. So question number two is, what would you do in the first few months? And then after you ask that question, you are listening for specific answers. You want them to say, I want to talk to the customers and I want to talk to the stakeholders.
Yes, exactly. And the third question I would ask is that; what kind of agencies, freelancers, like outside talent, would you bring in to the company when you work with us? Because like very often or in most cases, you don't have a website developer, you don't have a content writer, you don't have a designer in-house. So you really have to rely on your CMO, and that they have good connections to talented people outside of your organization as well.
Yeah, that's huge. So a valuable Fractional CMO comes with a network, a wide network of industry contacts.
Yeah. In our industry and a marketing industry your network is everything. Because you cannot do everything on your own. And if I can add another, a bonus question for B2B companies, I would ask them how they have been working together with the sales department in the past, because marketing and sales should work closely together.
But if they have been working in silos, it might be difficult to create real change and real growth in your organization if they don't know how to communicate with sales.
Awesome. So that was three very useful, valuable questions to ask and one bonus one.