One common mistake companies make when hiring marketing leadership is offering high salaries while providing limited resources and budget for actual execution of the work. This scenario repeats itself time and time again in our industry. Prospective clients often express their desire to hire a marketing director because they believe they need marketing. However, what actually happens is that they invest a significant portion of their budget in a marketing director’s salary without allocating enough funds for execution and media coverage, which are crucial for achieving desired marketing outcomes.

Many times, clients and prospects boast about having a marketing director and claim that it’s beneficial for them due to the high salary they pay. However, in reality, this approach doesn’t yield favorable results because the marketing director isn’t equipped with sufficient resources and media budget to effectively execute the work and drive tangible outcomes.

Another issue we frequently come across is the hiring of young, inexperienced marketing directors who focus primarily on daily tactical activities without considering the strategic aspects, return on investment (ROI), or the overall impact on the business. These individuals are often tasked with fulfilling marketing obligations without fully grasping the strategic imperative behind their actions. A seasoned marketing director, on the other hand, brings valuable experience to the table, contributing not only to the execution of marketing tactics but also to decision-making processes and overall management of the internal business.

One of the most significant mistakes companies make is hiring the wrong type of marketing director at the wrong stage of their business. For companies with a revenue range of two to ten million dollars, the key is to ensure that marketing dollars are actively working in the market by implementing strategies and tactics that yield tangible results. This way, marketing efforts contribute to sales, lead generation, brand awareness, and overall business growth. Instead of channeling all the budget into a single person without providing adequate resources and budget for marketing outcomes, it is crucial to focus on effective market deployment.

Here are five solutions to address the challenges associated with hiring marketing leadership:

1. Align compensation with available resources: Rather than allocating a large portion of the budget towards a high salary for a marketing director, consider adjusting the compensation to be in line with the available resources and overall marketing budget. This ensures that there are sufficient funds remaining for execution, media coverage, and other essential marketing activities.

2. Invest in resources and budget for execution: Recognize the importance of providing marketing leadership with the necessary resources and budget to execute their strategies effectively. Allocate funds for media buying, advertising campaigns, content creation, technology tools, and any other resources needed to drive marketing results.

3. Prioritize strategic thinking and experience: Instead of solely focusing on tactical skills, emphasize the need for strategic thinking and experience when hiring marketing leadership. Seek candidates who can analyze the business, identify opportunities, and develop comprehensive marketing plans that align with the company’s goals and deliver measurable results.

4. Consider outsourcing or specialized expertise: If the company lacks the internal resources or budget to support a full-time marketing director, consider outsourcing certain marketing functions or hiring specialized experts on a project basis. This way, you can leverage external expertise and ensure that critical marketing activities receive proper attention and execution.

5. Evaluate timing and scalability: Assess the stage of your business and its marketing needs when hiring a marketing director. A start-up or smaller company may benefit from a more hands-on, versatile marketing professional, while a larger organization might require a seasoned director with experience in scaling marketing efforts and managing larger budgets. Matching the right type of marketing leadership to your company’s current needs can significantly impact the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives.

By implementing these solutions, you can optimize the hiring process for marketing leadership and create an environment that supports their success while maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts.

Michael D’Antonio is Founder and Partner at Bongo Consulting and can be reached at