How To Hire a VP of Marketing

Vp of marketing strategising

The VP of Marketing is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the marketing team. They ensure the quality of your campaigns and various marketing channels are maintained and budgeted correctly to ensure the best ROIs are achieved. When should you hire a VP of Marketing for your business and how do you go about hiring for this critical role?

Let’s first fully understand the role of the VP of marketing to better establish the positive impact they can have on your business.

What does a VP of Marketing do?

The VP of Marketing plans, implements, and monitors all aspects of the company’s marketing strategy.  They aim to ensure that the company reaches its target market and generates leads that will convert into sales.  The efforts of the marketing team should be tied directly to the performance of the sales function in your company.

VP of Marketing Core Responsibilities

The VP of Marketing is responsible for:

  • The marketing strategy and its execution
  • Managing the marketing team
  • Creating a brand identity
  • Conduct market research
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Planning and executing marketing campaigns
  • Analyzing data to understand customer behavior
  • Hiring, training and developing the marketing team
  • Ensure high ROIs are achieved within the marketing spend
  • Manage, optimize and prioritize various marketing channels
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (PPC & SEO)
  • Traditional Marketing (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Outdoor)
  • Email Marketing
  • Social media marketing

Who does the VP of marketing report to?

The VP of marketing most commonly reports to the CMO, but also the CEO or COO. Due to the nature of their responsibilities, they work closely with the sales team for things like campaigns, pricing strategy, digital approach to market, etc. 

Why Get a VP of Marketing?

The main reasons a company creates the role of VP of marketing in their business are:

  • For growth. A company will only scale if it can increase its customer base and market share. The VP of marketing is responsible for executing the plans that will achieve this goal.
  • To offload work from the CMO.   This will enable the CMO to focus on the strategy, vision of the brand and monitor the markets. The CMO can then pass the work onto the VP of Marketing to execute.
  • In larger companies, they can have multiple regional VPs of marketing such as a:
    • VP of Marketing for the Americas
    • VP of Marketing for Europe
    • VP of Marketing for Asia
  • These take on the regional leadership and planning and execution of the marketing of products to best suit those regions.

When to get a VP of marketing?

The simple answer to this question is when your company is big enough and has the budget to properly support the function.

If you are a small start-up with a limited budget, the CMO will likely wear many hats, including that of the VP of marketing.  Ofen the reverse is true in that a company has a VP of Marketing first, and as it grows, the need to appoint a CMO emerges,

A good rule of thumb to decide whether or not you need to hire for the role of VP of Marketing is to consider if you can delegate the work and if you have the budget to do so.  If not, then it might be best to wait until your company is a little more established before hiring for this role.

Additionally, are you fully utilizing all your channels?  What would optimizing the various marketing channels look like for your business?

Qualities of a good VP of Marketing

The qualities of a good VP of Marketing are as follows:

  • Leadership: They must have excellent leadership qualities to manage and motivate a marketing team of diverse roles such as: developers, writers, designers & marketers.
  • Strategic: They should be able to think strategically and plan long-term marketing goals that align with the company’s overall business goals.
  • Analytical: A VP of marketing needs to be able to analyze data in order to understand customer behavior and make informed decisions
  • Creative: They should be creative in order to come up with new and innovative marketing campaigns that will capture the attention of the target market.
  • Flexible: They need to be flexible in order to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of marketing. Keeping up with current trends and being prepared to change campaigns quickly based on their performance is critical.
  • Organized: They should be organized in order to plan and execute marketing plans effectively.
  • Communicative: They should be able to communicate effectively in order to relay the company’s marketing message clearly.

How to Compensate a VP of Marketing Vage of a VP of marketing US

According to According to we can see that the average yearly salary of a VP of Marketing in the USA are as follows:

  • 10% $164,930
  • 25% $206,902
  • 50%(Median) $253,002
  • 75% $318,802
  • 90% $378,709

With median salary + bonus + benefits = $409,578

Marketing term in scrabble pieces

How To Hire A VP of Marketing

The process of hiring a VP of Marketing can be long, taking more than 5 months. Let’s look at some of the best practices on how to hire a VP of marketing. And see how you can conduct your executive search faster and more effectively.

Develop a Search Team

When hiring a VP of Marketing, it is crucial to work as a team, establish your needs and decide on candidates.  In a start-up or a large multinational, you need to make a search team of your leadership, which should include your CEO, CMO, CTO, and leaders who will interact with this person daily. 

Assembling a small group of key stakeholders will ensure that one person’s biases do not over influence the skills and attributes you are looking for in your new VP of Marketing.

Establish your Business Needs and Wants

Your search team should have an open conversation about the needs of your new hire.  This will align you in your search, and best describe the person you need for your role.  Your collective effort will help define what goes into the job description and will help those searching for the best candidate.

Some questions I would recommend asking your search team to drive the could include:

  • What will this person be responsible for in our business?
  • Who was previously responsible for their tasks? Will they need to hand it over?
  • Who will they report to?
  • What are our main marketing channels?
  • Is there a knowledge gap we need to fill?
  • What experience is required?
  • What industries or sectors could they come from?
  • What core marketing skills must they possess?
  • What would succeeding in their role look like in 6 months and 1 year?
  • What would under-performance look like?

The investment you make upfront to define what is needed will ensure you focus on identifying the right candidates for the position and help you mitigate the risk of hiring the wrong person. 

Work with an Executive Search Firm

What do Executive search firms do? They work closely with your search team to understand your company’s exact requirements for your next VP of Marketing. They can leverage their past experience to obtain a deeper understanding of your needs. 

They tackle both the active and the passive job markets by talking to people who are suitable for your role and who are both actively and passively looking for work. Because of this, you will have the opportunity to receive high-caliber potential candidates through the extensive global network of the executive search agency. The executive search consultant, on the other hand, is responsible for managing the demanding process of approaching potential candidates, getting them to consider your role, and qualifying them against the agreed requirements. This is by far the most significant aspect of the job. The entire process can take between two and four months to complete. While the search is being executed on your behalf, it ensures that your company’s leadership can continue to put their primary attention on managing the business.

Do you need help with your next executive search? Please don’t hesitate to Contact me. I am a Managing Partner at Boyden, a gobal executive search firm with offices in over 43 countries and specialists in every industry and experience recruiting every function. Together we can determine the best path forward to solve your human capital need.

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