Marketing Strategy · Digital marketing

How to find a true online marketing expert?

Dr. Geoff DePaula

November 9th, 2015

We are moving from B2B to the B2C market for our online diabetes/pre diabetes program (www.imhealth.com) and are looking to expand our on line presence.  I have spoken to many folks but to truly find someone who is an EXPERT in the field of online marketing seems to be tricky (our company is in the business of reversing Type 2 diabetes and weight loss, and we use a unique integrative medicine approach that utilizes telemedicine). 

Any thoughts on what specifically to look for in a candidate?  Also what to be weary of?
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Paul O'Brien

November 9th, 2015

First stop looking for "online marketing"
That's a old fashioned term from when the internet was fresh and the new breed of marketers needed to distinguish themselves from traditional marketers.  That distinction continues to evolve with digital marketer, internet marketer, and more recently "Growth Hacker" or Mar/Tech being the nom de jour.

Fact is this.  The internet's technology has enabled marketing (marketers) to be analytical, real-time, search based, optimization oriented like never before.  Anyone who isn't capable of "online" is being retired as quickly as we can pass a National pension and retirement program ;)

What you're going to get when you look for an "online marketing" candidate is a more often than not, a Jr. professional or one who claims to be online so as to broaden the scope of their resume.

Search out a Marketing Director or higher to get the experience you need and look to the skills you're seeking for this particular job.

Based on your tags it looks like you want Product Marketing.  What else?  Content marketing?  Social marketing?  
  • Search Marketing and SEO
  • Analytics & statistics
  • Web development (yes, Good marketers can do this)
  • Marketing automation
  • CRM
  • A/B testing or multivariate testing
  • Content marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Product marketing
  • Design
Having figured that out, here are some thoughts on how to attract them

Elise Connors Full-Stack Digital Marketer and Customer Acquisition Specialist

November 9th, 2015

I'm not sure you'll find what you're looking for. 

There are a few types of marketers:

1. Those who know A LOT about one or two areas. 

2. Those who know a little about A LOT of different areas. 

3. Those who pretend to know A LOT but know NOTHING. 

Who are you looking for?

Annette Tonti Founder, President at The Start Exchange

November 9th, 2015

Agree with Paul for the most part. I would add you need a person familiar with 'customer development'. By that I mean someone who can translate whatever needs to be packaged from your b2b to your b2c offering.  Then it is a matter of creating the 'hypothesis' about which online channels will help you ramp the business.  Important this person is senior enough to understand what it will take to listen to the market, make adjustments to the offering (working with your team) then retest.   The online execution of marketing is fairly well defined, Paul listed the tactics.  I would also be concerned that the person in charge understands how to listen to what signals you get back. 

Joris Peucheret Regional Manager Europe at MR PORTER

November 9th, 2015

A true "digital" marketing expert would assess your current digital commercial and technical capability to execute digital marketing. It is back to your priorities and business objectives (user, aquisition, customer activation, revenue generation). Are you selling online or aim to generate leads as this may require variances such as dedicated UX and customer activation roadmap. What team do you have in place to ease execution (tech, design, editor for content creation, sales , etc...). Look in a candidate their ability to bring expertise relevant to your business and goals with actionable and feasible plan. Make sure you have a mix of someone who knows all channels and have worked hands on some channels. Be weary of your expectations and your available resources. I am happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have Geoff Thanks Joris Sent from Samsung Mobile

Fabio Gratton Co-founder & CEO at CureClick, Sonic, inVibe, DrinkBryte & Alchemy

November 9th, 2015

I use to run a digital health agency that was pretty strong in this particular area - and in my post-agency life continue to work with many very strong online marketers that have a unique capability and expertise here. Feel free to ping me if you’re interested in chatting - always love to help a fellow digital health entrepreneur. Not looking for business, just Karma points :) (t1 & t2 creds // companies: Medtronic Minimed, Dexcom, Eli Lilly, BMS, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Allergan + more // brands: Humalog, Symlin, Byetta, Lap-band, Accu-chek + more; services: web dev, animations, mobile apps, patient communities, social media, online media, search, influencer marketing, market research, online games, wii games, clinical trial recruitment, content distribution +). 

Cynthia Hernandez Founder at KirinGie.Me (Social Entrepreneur)

November 9th, 2015

I'd highly recommend that you find someone who is not only passionate about the topic but someone who already has connections and influence in that industry in order to make the greatest impact. Leverage your social channels connecting with the right groups and same with LinkedIn. Good luck to you. All my best, Cynthia Hernandez (480) 206-3300 Manifesto | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google+ | KirinGie.Me | Pinterest

Anton Yakovlev Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same

November 9th, 2015

Totally agree with Paul in terms of there's no online and offline marketing any longer. It's just marketing, and all components of your marketing should work together. Digital part plays the main role in most cases though, so technically it could be called 'digital marketing' instead of 'online marketing'.

I believe I'm kind of expert in the field of digital marketing, as I did a lot of product and brand marketing in my life. I never ever dealt with diabetes market though, and I'm quite sure that to be really a greate fit for your team your CMO should have really huge expertise in the domain. 

Where could you find a perfect marketer for you? Just continue looking for. Somehow it happens. It just takes time to find a gem. There's no marketplace for digital marketers for diabetes. 

Mark Wing Client Engagement Director at Small Back Room

November 10th, 2015

I also agree that Paul's answer get's right to the point extremely well. There are many different roles and skill sets to manage if you are to do this properly.

One person an orchestra does not make.

This needs to be a long term investment for the business and the advantage you will get from hiring a marketing director in house is that s/he will be able to create the best strategy and then coordinate the various skill sets required, over time, to implement the plan.

Corey Barkach Digital Marketing Consultant

November 10th, 2015

It speaks volumes when current/previous clients of an "expert" can give positive testimonials about that individuals skill set. When speaking to a potential partner, request credentials. If the "expert" is not willing to share any testimonials, or put you in touch with someone they have worked with, they may not be the right fit.

Hiring a marketing partner is a relationship. Both parties need to have realistic expectations, and it is best to lay those expectations out at the first meeting to get the elephant out of the room.

Anonymous

November 11th, 2015

As Nadia says, there are many kinds of skills.

There are also many levels. Enterprise level for Fortune 200s? Mid-size companies? Companies only for the US market? For the German market? Or China? Regional, such as Latin America? Global? City-level (only Denver)? Or truly local such as a corner restaurant? 

A world-class expert in one of these levels won't be able to do much on another level. There is no such person as an expert in online marketing. 

Geoff, you certainly know what you want, but that's not what you need. You'll likely hire the wrong person and it'll be an expensive mistake. Talk with people who have deep experience (your board, your advisors, etc.) and figure out what you really need.