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What To Look For In A Marketer

Accounting and law firms continue to work hard to find the right path for full-time, in-house marketers.

Each firm's marketing needs are different. Some may want a marketing powerhouse; others may be fine with a high-level administrative type. The trick is knowing what you need before you begin the search and certainly before you extend an offer.

While the skill requirements vary from firm to firm, there are three characteristics all firms should look for in hiring a marketer at any level:

Self-confidence. Without it, your marketing person will be unable to inspire confidence in your professionals to help them achieve their business development goals.

Optimism. Being an in-house marketer is a very tough job. Be sure your potential hire demonstrates an innate optimism and intestinal fortitude.

Empathy. I know technically outstanding marketers who can create strategies in their sleep, manage databases with one finger, and develop award-winning ad campaigns on a lunch napkin. But they don't really understand how it feels to be a CPA or lawyer who has no training in business development and is being asked (or required) to embark on such an effort. The most successful marketers I know can sense and address the emotions involved in helping professionals and firms change and grow.

One final thought: don't assume that anybody with a liberal arts degree and a great smile can be a successful marketer. Treat the hiring process with the same seriousness you would for a CPA or lawyer, and you are far more likely to make the right choice for the long term.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009