Hiring the Right Digital Marketing Director

In the current advertising world, the position of Digital Marketing Director has developed quite the industry mystique.

To start, you may have heard a number of associated names like,

  • Content Manager

  • Content Strategist

  • Chief Content Officer

  • Content Marketing Manager

  • Chief Story-Teller

  • Brand Journalist

  • Managing Editor

  • Director of Content Marketing

  • Editorial Director

  • Web Content Manager

While there are a number of titles — depending on the job description — each will entail nuanced roles & responsibilities. Regardless, your marketing director will need to be in synergy with your organizational culture, to ensure greater ad success.

However, before we go any further, this isn’t an article on the step-by-step hiring process for a marketing director. While we feel it is necessary to go over some basic information, it’s better that you focus on hiring a marketing director that fits your brand. In saying that, we’re not promoting that you don’t perform due diligence, but focusing more on how your organizational culture is a reflection of your brand.

Rather, we’d like to share

That being said, our aim is to help you discern your organizational culture, so that in turn you will be able to hire a marketing director who fits your team.

1. First and foremost, you’re looking for someone who you can work alongside — that goes for any job/career position. To help you do so, developing a small list (3 to 5) organizational values is helpful not only as a criterion for potential organizational members, but your current team as well. These values will help to define your your organizational culture.

But, what is culture?

As Michael D. Watkins of the Harvard Business Review puts it,


Culture is a process of ‘sense-making’ in organizations. Sense-making has been defined as ‘a collaborative process of creating shared awareness and understanding out of different individuals’ perspectives and varied interests.’ Note that this moves the definition of culture beyond patterns of behavior into the realm of jointly-held beliefs and interpretations about ‘what is.’ It says that a crucial purpose of culture is to help orient its members to ‘reality’ in ways that provide a basis for alignment of purpose and shared action.

And now, to summarize that quote with another quote…’We are what we repeatedly do’ – Aristotle

Considering your entire office will be working with your potential marketing director, it is a good practice to allow your entire work force to meet them. This is especially helpful if you’ve already defined a clear set of organizational values which your staff  embodies — they are the living, breathing version of your brand.

In reiterating that we specialize in branding, the office culture aspect is rarely included in our rhetoric. However, we leave you with this thought from TalenAlexander‘s Simon Walker,

Branded materials are developed by human capital — your organizational culture. Brand messages and marketing collateral will develop organically if you’ve developed a value system that you adhere to in your work daily.

2. There is an innate curiosity to be found among marketers in their fascination with new media, social media, and all things trending. The digital landscape is ever changing and it’s important that they are naturally drawn to experimenting with new media technology.

As The Hired Guns Lisa Schneider puts it,

I believe native curiosity will increasingly be the difference between people who succeed and thrive in a rapidly-changing business environment, and those who calcify in this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it mode. Do you approach new tools and challenges like a child with a new toy, gleefully digging in and poking around until it becomes second nature? Or do you ask someone else, ‘how does this work?’ 


More often than not, not only will a marketing director have experience focusing on brand deliverables, but will duly have developed their own social following. Whether in the form of a blog, vlog, social media account, etc., a good marketing director will have experimented with content on multiple platform.

Pairing a solid, seasoned marketing director within the right organizational culture is key to creating an innovation driven environment. They are a cornerstone member, necessary to build a team that’s capable of meeting and exceeding marketing campaign goals.

3. The last thing we suggest at TalenAlexander is that you ask the question, “Does this person bring a new perspective to our organization”?

‘Yes, Men’ are notorious for their inability to provide negative or constructive feedback. On the other hand, ‘Negative Nancy’s’ can literally drain the energy from your team. While neither is bad for us in small doses, in large quantities a marketing director with these qualities can stifle your brand’s creative efforts.


But what about someone who builds upon the open dialogue? Can they challenge and test presented ideas in a constructive manner? How about someone who listens to opposing viewpoints?

As a brand, your job description is to be a problem solver. You passion to provide a solution to a common problem is what drove you into business in the first place…and then you found out you had to market that passion and product.

Don’t fret though because by this stage you understand the importance of marketing. And in having that knowledge, you need only remember that you are a problem-solver. So, to help further make your vision a reality, hire teammates that are solution-oriented.

What do we mean by solution-oriented?

To elaborate, check out this example by Steve Mueller on Planet of Success,

An employee has to face a new task that he is not familiar with, or has little to no knowledge about. Those that think problem oriented would be imagining all the negative consequences they might have to face or all the mistakes they might commit, when trying to solve the task. The employee will talk about his difficult situation with different colleagues, his partner or friends, which will only increase his fear of the upcoming task.

The employee that quite in the contrary knows of the benefits of solution focused thinking does not struggle with the new task for a second, as he is too busy to take necessary preparations to solve it. He will completely accept the new task as a challenge, or even consider the task as a chance to prove his boss that he is capable to solve even the more advanced tasks.

Discovering whether or not your marketing director is a problem solver doesn’t require a written test — although they are helpful — but does require asking more than surface-level questions. Adding a solution-oriented marketing director is beneficial not only for external communications, but internal as well.

Building a team who share the same problem-solving trait (common among entrepreneurs) is essential to establishing an organizational culture that is the living incarnation of your brand.