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How to hire a campaign manager

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Finding the right campaign manager is the key to a successful marketing strategy. They’re the driving force behind your campaigns, bringing strategic smarts and sharp analytical skills to the table. They can juggle multiple projects without missing a beat. Plus, they understand your company’s vision and can lead a diverse team effectively. 

Hire the right person, and your campaigns will shine – boosting your return on investment big time. However, finding this person isn’t as easy as you might think. And a bad hire can lead to missed deadlines and a lack of team cohesion, ultimately dragging down your campaign’s success. 

That’s why knowing how to assess campaign manager candidates is so important. Read on to learn all about what skills to look for in a campaign manager, tips for writing a great job description, and common pitfalls to avoid.

What is a campaign manager?

A campaign manager is a professional responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing marketing campaigns to promote a product, service, or brand. 

Definition of a Campaign Manager graphic

Their daily activities – in simple terms – include developing marketing plans, setting goals, working with designers and digital marketers, managing campaign budgets, and keeping an eye on how the campaign is performing. They also keep clients and stakeholders in the loop about progress and insights.

A campaign manager makes sure all aspects of a marketing campaign come together smoothly. They must be organized, strategic, and excellent at communicating and connecting different teams to the campaign's goals.

They work in various industries – from retail (doing product promotions) to politics (doing political campaigns) to technology (doing software launches).

Understanding their responsibilities is key for the hiring process, as you'll need to assess candidates' abilities to handle these tasks effectively. This helps you find someone who can lead your campaigns to success.

12 skills to look for when hiring a campaign manager

Let’s look at the skills you should look out for when hiring a campaign manager. 

Core skills every campaign manager should have

Hard skills

  • Strategic planning. Campaign managers need to create clear, detailed marketing plans, set goals, and choose the best channels to reach audiences. They should also be skilled at tweaking strategies on the go based on real-time results, keeping the campaign effective and lined up with business goals.

  • Data analysis. A solid understanding of data analytics tools will enable the campaign manager to monitor campaign performance, interpret data, and make data-driven decisions. 

  • Digital marketing expertise. Your campaign manager should be an expert in all things marketing. This includes knowledge of digital marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media, and email marketing.

  • Budget management. They should know how to manage budgets, make sure resources are used wisely, and keep campaigns on track financially.

  • Project management. Applicants must juggle multiple campaign-related projects at once, making sure everything gets done on time while still meeting campaign goals.

  • Marketing laws and regulations: A good campaign manager should know the rules around marketing, like the Federal Trade Commission’s Truth in Advertising laws. This way, they can keep your campaigns compliant and out of any legal hot water. 

Soft skills

  • Communication. Great communication skills are key for working with creative teams, keeping stakeholders in the loop, and making sure everyone is on the same page with the campaign goals.

  • Leadership. Campaign managers need strong leadership skills to inspire and motivate their team. This way, everyone works well together and does their best work. 

  • Adaptability. Adaptable candidates can quickly change strategies based on market trends or the campaign’s performance. This way, campaigns stay effective and relevant, leading to continuous improvement and better overall results.

  • Creativity. A creative mindset helps these pros come up with new and exciting campaign ideas. This helps campaigns stay fresh and engaging so they always capture the audience’s interest.

  • Problem-solving. Great campaign managers can use their problem-solving wits to overcome any issues that pop up during the campaign and keep everything on track.

  • Ethics: A good campaign manager makes sure everything done during the campaign is above board. Being open and honest builds trust with the public.

3 tips for writing a campaign manager job description

Now you know what skills you’re looking for, it’s time to write a great campaign manager job description. 

The key to writing a great job description is to keep it focused on skills – rather than education or experience. This helps you attract a broader pool of qualified candidates with the skills you need to run your campaigns successfully. It also helps you target those who’ve got the exact mix of skills you need. 

Check out our skills-based job descriptions and templates – including our marketing manager job description – to see some examples of how to do this. 

Once you’ve crafted the base of your job description using a skills-based approach, try incorporating these three tips to really make it stand out.

1. Encourage creativity 

Encourage candidates to bring their creative flair and innovative thinking to the table. Mention what you do at your company to support creativity – be it unique brainstorming sessions, creative freedom, or opportunities to test out-of-the-box ideas. By celebrating creativity, you attract candidates who are passionate about making campaigns that stand out.

For example, you might say, "We have monthly creative brainstorming sessions where all ideas are welcome, no matter how wild!"

2. Share a success story

Share a fun story or case study about a successful campaign your team has run. Talk about the challenges you faced, the creative solutions you came up with, and the awesome results you achieved. This shows candidates the exciting work they’ll be doing and highlights your company’s success and innovative spirit. 

For instance, you might say, "Our recent campaign for [product] faced a tight deadline, but through innovative thinking and teamwork, we exceeded our goals and saw a 50% increase in engagement."

3. Highlight the tools and technology you use

Every team uses different tools, technology, and software. So list the specific tools your campaign manager will be working with – such as marketing automation platforms, analytics software, and project management tools. This helps candidates understand the technical environment so that they can figure out if they’re comfortable with the tools they’ll need to use. 

You might say, for example, "Our team uses tools like HubSpot for marketing automation, Google Analytics for performance tracking, and Trello for project management."

Where to find a campaign manager for your business

Once you’ve got a great job description, where do you post it? You’ll catch only one type of fish if you cast your line in the same spot. Cast your net a little further, and you’ll be surprised at the talent you can reel in. Here are some friendly tips to help you find the perfect campaign manager for your business.

1. Social media

Use the power of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Post about your job opening, and use relevant hashtags to increase visibility. Try using #CampaignManager, #MarketingJobs, #HiringNow, or #JoinOurTeam to reach a general audience, before niching down with #[YourSpecificIndustry] to find targeted applicants. 

You could also join marketing groups and forums where professionals discuss trends and job opportunities. 

Don’t forget to share the post on your company’s profiles to reach your followers. They might know the perfect candidate!

2. Internal candidates

Did you know it’s 18% more expensive to hire an external candidate than it is to promote from within? Look at your current team to see if there’s someone ready to step into the role. Internal candidates already understand your company culture and processes, which can make for a smoother transition and faster ramp-up time. Plus, it’ll save you a pretty penny on your recruitment costs!

Pro tip: Try looking beyond your marketing team to find your next campaign manager. Sometimes, the perfect campaign manager might be hiding in another department, like sales or customer service. These employees often have valuable insights into your products and can bring a fresh perspective, transferable skills, and a deep understanding of your customer base to your campaigns.

where to find your next campaign manager pro tip

3. Freelancer boards

Check out freelancer platforms like Upwork and Fiverr and search for campaign managers. Many skilled campaign managers offer their services on these sites. This can be a great way to find someone with the specific skills you need, and you might even find a long-term hire. Look for freelancers with high ratings and strong portfolios that demonstrate the hard skills you need.

4. Specialized job boards

Post your job listing on specialized job boards like MarketingHire and the American Marketing Association’s Job Board. These platforms attract marketing professionals actively seeking new opportunities and are perfect for reaching candidates with the right skills.

Alternatively, try using a skills-first job board like TestGorilla’s. Our remote-only jobs board can help you identify candidates based on their skill sets – not their resumes. This way, you can make sure the candidates you find genuinely have the skills to do your job well. 

5. Marketing recruitment agencies

If you can’t find the caliber of candidates you need anywhere else, marketing recruitment agencies are a great way to find the crème de la crème. Recruitment agencies do the legwork for you and are highly skilled in matching candidates to the right roles. They have access to a pool of pre-vetted candidates, making the hiring process smoother and faster. 

How to test your future campaign manager’s skills 

After your strategically placed job post brings in a pool of candidates, you must start testing their skills. 

Skills-based hiring is the future, and 98% of employers believe it’s more effective at pinpointing talented candidates than resumes are. But, you need an easy-to-use and effective platform to help you do the job.

Enter TestGorilla. TestGorilla is a talent discovery platform that can help you find your next great campaign manager. 

We offer individual tests to measure specific skills, and you can combine two, three, four, or five tests to create a job-specific assessment. For instance, try using these specific skills tests to find your next campaign manager:

  • Communication Skills test. This skills test measures how well candidates can interpret written communication, interpret non-verbal cues, and understand professional etiquette. 

  • Leadership & People Management test. This shows you how well candidates delegate responsibilities and support and develop others. It’ll also help you see if they’re capable of influencing those around them. 

  • Marketing Analytics test. This test measures how well candidates can collect data from different sources, use marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), and make decisions based on data. 

  • PPC Advertising test. This test measures whether candidates can plan, execute, and measure PPC campaigns. It also reveals if they understand strategy and optimization and can target specific audiences. 

  • Project Management test. This test measures how skilled an applicant is at defining, managing, and delivering high-quality project work. This includes managing conflicting schedules, managing budgets, and communicating progress. 

  • Problem Solving test. This test measures how well candidates can adjust and create schedules, interpret data, and analyze textual information to draw conclusions. 

Our relevant tests don’t end there! Check out our other campaign-related tests to see what fits your needs. If you don’t see something there, keep searching our test library, as we just might have what you need! For instance, if you need a campaign manager who knows Google Analytics 4, we’ve got a Google Analytics 4 Skills test, too. 

Top interview questions for a campaign manager 

You can use your assessments to shortlist the most skilled candidates. Then, the final step in the recruitment process is inviting your candidate to an interview. This is your chance to learn more about their skills – including everything your assessments didn’t show you. 

To really get a feel for their skills, try asking these questions:

  • “Describe a time when you had to pivot a campaign strategy at the last minute. How did you handle it?” This question measures their adaptability and problem-solving skills. You'll get to see how they manage unexpected challenges and stay calm under pressure. (If they don’t have direct experience with campaigns, give them a made-up scenario and see how they’d handle it.) 

  • “What's your favorite marketing campaign of all time and why?” This question measures how well they understand impactful marketing. It reveals what they value in a campaign and provides insight into their strategic thinking and creativity. Plus, it encourages candidates to think outside the box and showcase their passion for marketing. 

  • “What is one trend in digital marketing that you think is overrated?” This probes their critical thinking skills and awareness of industry trends. Their answers can show if they’re just following the crowd or thinking independently about what truly works.

  • “Describe a campaign that failed and what you learned from it.” Everyone makes mistakes – what's important is how they learn from them. This question reveals your candidate’s ability to reflect on experiences, take responsibility, and improve. (If they don’t have direct campaign experience, ask them about a related failure.) 

  • “How do you keep your marketing skills sharp and stay updated with industry trends?” This question looks at their commitment to professional development and their passion for marketing. Continuous learning is key in a fast-paced industry, and their answer will demonstrate their dedication to staying current.

  • “How do you handle feedback and criticism from clients or team members?” This assesses their interpersonal skills and professionalism, which are crucial for maintaining positive working relationships. Plus, it highlights their resilience and ability to use feedback to build stronger campaigns.

Make your questions unique to your industry – for example, when hiring a political campaign manager, ask interview questions that probe their experience with voter outreach, ability to handle crisis management, and familiarity with campaign finance laws.

2 mistakes to avoid when hiring a campaign manager

Don’t make these common mistakes when hiring your next campaign manager. 

1. Overlooking unethical advertising practices

Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert, wrote in a Forbes article, “If you cross your customers, they may walk. Even worse, they may talk. When they talk, it may be to more than just a few friends. It could be the next viral message that is seen by tens of thousands, or even millions. Transparency is key. Your reputation is your brand. Don’t destroy it with unethical marketing messages and customer experiences that skirt the line of good taste and ethics.”

If you don’t check a candidate’s understanding of marketing regulations and handling of advertising ethics, you might end up with a campaign manager who uses shady tactics just to get quick results. This can hurt your brand’s reputation and even get you into legal trouble. Make sure the person you hire understands the importance of being honest and transparent in their advertising.

2. Overlooking experience from other fields 

It’s a mistake to ignore applicants with experience in psychology, sociology, or other fields that provide insights into human behavior just because they don’t have direct marketing or campaign management experience. These candidates can offer unique perspectives and innovative approaches to campaign strategies. Their diverse backgrounds can help you better understand and engage with your audience in creative ways.

FAQs

Check out these answers to common questions about campaign managers.

What’s the difference between a campaign manager and a project manager?

A campaign manager focuses on running marketing campaigns, developing strategies, and tracking performance to meet marketing goals. A project manager oversees various types of projects (not just marketing). They organize resources and manage timelines to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Do I need to hire a campaign manager? 

If you find your marketing efforts are scattered or not delivering results – or you need a strategic approach to drive engagement and sales – then hiring a campaign manager can make a big difference.

Shake up your hiring campaign with TestGorilla

Finding the right campaign manager is the key to your marketing success. A great candidate will bring fresh ideas, boundless creativity, and the ability and willingness to juggle multiple products and stakeholders. They’ll be the dynamo driving your campaigns to new heights so that your marketing efforts will be impactful and efficient. 

TestGorilla can help you find them. We’ve got a wide range of skill tests that go way beyond just technical skills. Plus, you can combine up to five tests to create the perfect assessment for your open role.

Excited to try it out? Explore our library of 400+ tests, schedule a live demo, or sign up for a free TestGorilla account today!

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