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Key Questions to Assess the Competence of a Marketing Leader

If you are on the VC side and meeting the new marketing leader, knowing if they are competent in the context of Series A/ B and scaling the pipeline to the next level is essential.

It's a critical decision.

You must ask the right questions to gauge their expertise, mindset, and vision for the marketing function.

Here is a list of questions to ask a new marketing leader to ensure you make an informed choice.

- What do you see the first 100 days looking like, and what is your plan? Understanding a marketing leader's approach to the initial phase is crucial. Are they more inclined to observe and create a plan or prioritize quick wins before developing a long-term strategy? This question provides insight into their mindset and approach to setting goals.


- What's your view on what's currently working? Assessing the candidate's perception of the current marketing landscape helps you gauge their ability to identify and leverage successful strategies effectively. It also demonstrates their awareness of industry trends and their analytical skills.

- What marketing channels will you focus on? Understanding the candidate's priorities regarding marketing channels enables you to evaluate their strategic thinking and alignment with your organization's objectives. Do they have a clear plan for maximizing the potential of existing channels or introducing new ones?

- Where does the current lead flow come from, and how do you see it evolving? Evaluating the candidate's understanding of lead generation sources and their forward-thinking approach provides valuable insights into their ability to drive sustainable growth. Look for leaders with a comprehensive knowledge of lead generation strategies and who can adapt to future changes.

- How do you plan to create more inbound leads? Inbound lead generation is essential for sustained growth. Inquire about the experience and success of creating inbound leads. Ask for specific examples, such as how they achieved an increase in inbound leads at their previous organization, to assess their creativity, strategic thinking, and execution capabilities.

- Where do you believe it's essential to focus the marketing budget? Understanding the perspective on budget allocation is crucial. Do they narrowly focus on specific channels or prefer a diversified approach? Look for alignment with your organization's priorities and the ability to justify their budget allocation decisions.

- What's your view on the future of B2B marketing and its impact on the marketing function? Explore thoughts on the evolving landscape of B2B marketing. Are they knowledgeable about content strategy, influencer marketing, new tactics and thought leadership? Look for marketers who embrace innovative approaches and can articulate how these trends will shape marketing in the coming years.

- How do you prioritize brand building? A strong brand is vital for long-term success. Assess the candidate's understanding of brand-building strategies and ability to align marketing efforts with the company's vision. You want them to understand the intersection of value in brand equity and have experience cultivating brand awareness/ or, more specifically, "an audience".

- How do you plan to build and contract the marketing team and resources? Understanding the approach to team building and resource allocation is crucial. Assess their ability to identify critical roles within the marketing team, such as content, demand, and product marketing, and understand the importance of alignment with the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Head of Sales.

- Beyond strategy, what are your plans for the next nine months+? This question reveals the candidate's operational and execution-oriented mindset. Are they comfortable rolling up their sleeves and actively contributing to marketing initiatives? Look for people who strike a balance between strategic thinking and hands-on execution.

Please note; This framework assesses a marketing leader for a B2B SaaS company in the revenue range of £2m - £15m ARR. Certain variables apply to other ranges, but some will change.

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

(1) DUE DILIGENCE FOR INVESTORS & CEOs: A bespoke framework and capability model 'DEMAND KARMA' that delivers DD services to investors, VC firms and CEOs.

(2) ADVISORY: Retained advisory at funded scale-ups. A simple monthly fee. Helping CEOs build a scalable marketing machine. (Booked out until December)

(3) STRATEGY COACHING: Book time on my calendar to work through a standalone project or to get answers to your most pressing marketing strategy and execution questions.

If you're interested, let's jump on a call to see if you're a good fit.

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