Nick ie w highly regarded HR executive and he is evaluating how to build your own personal brand value and relevance in your CMO position. Check out what he has to say, and perhaps you can implement some of these strategies as you move thru the C suite of your company.
4 Ways CMOs Can Boost Their Value
by Nick Corcodilos
Here are four important ideas from this column that I encourage you to act on:
- To find the best people, the CMO has to get out there and meet them.
- When you’re negotiating a compensation package for a new job, where do you start?
- The best managers do their own direct assessments of job applicants.
Focus On Substance More Than Image
Marketers are much more tuned in to online branding than most people, and sometimes I fear you get lost in the rabbit hole. In an early column titled “The Painful Truth about Your Online Personal Brand,” I offered this reminder:
Write some articles (or maybe a book), have experiences that yield a really good biography, and actually have a specific objective. The takeaway: You can’t create an online brand. You have to create it in the real world and communicate it online.
Sometimes we focus too much on the image we want to portray, and we forget that images are secondary. What kind of substance is your image based on? Why spend your time polishing your LinkedIn profile when you can share your value through shared experiences with people you want to impress?
Go out into the world: Mix it up, hang out with people who do the work you want to do, and share experiences that make you a better marketer and reveal to the world who you really are in person.
Do Your Own Recruiting
Your success as a CMO depends on your team. Posting jobs and fielding applications is a lame excuse for recruiting great people. One of the central ideas I try to pound home in this column is that recruit is a verb—it’s an action you do out in the world to find, meet, seduce, and bring home the best marketers. From “Stop Recruiting: Find Jobs For Talent”:
Imagine if a company’s recruiters stopped trolling the job boards for resumes of people who can fill open jobs. Imagine if those recruiters instead invested their time finding the very best talent in their industries—and actually recruited those people. But isn’t that backward? No, because any smart company should want to hire the best talent. If you hire the best, then you can assign them where they will produce the most profit for your company.
Blasphemy! Hire people without having a specific job to match them into? Yup, because true talent can ride a fast learning curve without falling off. Those people will figure out how to do a job, just like a skilled entrepreneur knows how to create a great new product without anyone handing over a blueprint.
It’s a lie when HR departments proclaim, “People are our most important asset.” Most companies recruit like keywords are their most important asset. It’s also a lie when HR says there’s a talent shortage. But you can’t see talent when you’re searching keywords. To find the best people, the CMO has to get out there and meet them. My advice: Spend 20% of your time recruiting.
Make Yourself Worth More
When you’re negotiating a compensation package for a new job, where do you start? In “Salary Surveys: How To Prove You’re Worth More Money,” I tried to cut away the fluff so we could see where the money really comes from.
Never restrict yourself by relying on what someone has paid someone else somewhere else. That’s why I don’t like salary surveys. What you should be earning depends on what you can deliver, and that’s worth more to some companies than others. So here’s the takeaway on your future salary:
• Pick one company you want to work for and figure out what it needs exactly.
• Map your skills to those requirements and explain how you will meet the objectives.
• Demonstrate how you will surpass expectations and estimate what that will be worth to the business.
• Outline your plan to make it happen.
• Estimate how hiring you will impact the company’s bottom line—that is, how much additional profit you represent.
Now you have the basis for a powerful negotiation to determine just how much you are really worth. As for the salary surveys, ignore them. They’re descriptive data about a population. They’re not prescriptive of what you should be paid. The takeaway tasks above are your prescription for higher earnings.
Make Your Team Worth More
You can use plenty of tools to assess job applicants, but in the end, they’re all indirect assessments. The best managers do their own direct assessments and take responsibility for the work their teams do. In “CMO: Chief Manager Of Outcomes,” I shared a top executive’s secret for building the best teams from day one:
Buck Adams was the commanding general at NORAD, the North American Air Defense Command—the self-contained, five-acre, seven-story facility deep in the heart of a granite mountain near Colorado Springs … When he retired, Adams became vice president of a multinational telecommunications company and helped establish more than 40 new companies in emerging markets around the world in a little more than two years. He spent much of his new career still in the air, taking personal responsibility for hiring the right people in each locale to ensure success. [Here’s how he says he did it:]
“Behavior, skills, personality—none of it by itself accurately predicts how well someone will do a job. None of it means you can perform. I reference the interview to the outcomes I need—to the work that must be done. I don’t hire people because of what they say. I hire them because they can prove they can do the work!”
If you’ve found one idea in my columns that has helped you increase your value, or your team’s value, or your company’s bottom line, then I’ve done my job. I’d love to know what you’ve found most useful in Ask The Headhunter—and what problems and challenges you face that you’d like to see covered in future columns. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, using CMO.com in the subject line. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!