October 30, 2008

Twenty-Seven Questions For A Multichannel Marketing Candidate

In 2009, some multichannel marketers are going to have to find new jobs. Others will have to filter a veritable plethora of candidates.

If you are an interviewer, or you are looking for a job, you might want to be prepared to ask/answer these questions.

Question #1: Do you think "CRM" if a four letter word?

Question #2: You send a weekly e-mail campaign to your opt-in audience. Your inventory executive wants to add a monthly "outlet" campaign to clear merchandise, one not integrated with those executed by the marketing department. Explain the reasons why you would or would not allow this new monthly campaign to exist.

Question #3: The merchandising team is upset because each merchandising leader does not get to feature merchandise equally on the homepage. Some of the merchants are being pressured into improving sales productivity by the CEO. Should their under-performing merchandise get more access to the best real estate in the company, the home page?

Question #4: Describe the marketing strategy you would employ with a customer who lives in Butte, Montana, far away from retail stores.

Question #5: Describe the marketing strategy you would employ with a customer who lives in a condo off of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

Question #6: What is the role of a catalog marketing program in a modern multichannel brand?

Question #7: Your CEO wants to decide where additional money should be spent, either retaining existing customers, or finding new customers. What metrics and facts do you need to determine where to spend marketing dollars?

Question #8: Thirty percent of demand flows-through to profit. Your marketing program generated $100,000 in sales, and costs $40,000 to execute. Was the marketing program profitable?

Question #9: Under what circumstances are you willing to lose money on a marketing program?

Question #10: Should all channels look and feel the same, offering the same prices and promotions and merchandise? Explain your answer.

Question #11: Describe one company that is what you would call an "excellent" multichannel marketer. What is it that is "excellent" about the marketing this company does?

Question #12: Describe one company that is what you would call an "excellent" single-channel marketer. What is it that is "excellent" about the marketing this company does?

Question #13: Is it important for a company to employ industry-standard "best practices"?

Question #14: Describe what innovation means to you in multichannel marketing?

Question #15: Your retail channel generates $10,000,000 in net sales a year, and $200,000 profit. Your online channel generates $2,000,000 in net sales a year, and $200,000 profit. Should your marketing efforts focus on improving retail productivity, on growing a profitable online channel, or growing the overall brand? Describe your thought process.

Question #16: Your CEO wants for you to execute an e-mail campaign where you sell your opt-in e-mail list merchandise from a non-competing company that wants to pay your company $300,000 for access to your list. Your company is losing money. Will you execute the wishes of your CEO, or are you willing to lose your job to not violate e-mail marketing best practices?

Question #17: You work for a company that has a catalog advertising channel, an online channel, and a retail channel. Your web analytics guru tells you that paid search campaigns generated a 4.386% online conversion rate in the month of September. Assuming all online data is tabulated in your web analytics package, was your company-wide conversion rate 4.386%?

Question #18: If you know that multichannel customers are the best customers, are you willing to shut down what appears to be an unprofitable channel, knowing that the decision is likely to disappoint your best customers? Why?

Question #19: Describe the skills that a Chief Marketing Officer needs to have to be an effective multichannel marketer.

Question #20: Describe what metrics are needed to illustrate that your company is doing a great job of multichannel marketing.

Question #21: Would you accept advertising from non-competing brands on your homepage? Why or why not?

Question #22: Is the purpose of a website to drive traffic to a retail store, or to convert visitors into e-commerce buyers? Can a website do both? How?

Question #23: If e-mail marketing drives $0.20 per e-mail delivered, while paid search generates $2.00 per click, is e-mail marketing effective? What is the role of e-mail marketing in a multichannel brand?

Question #24: How would you lead employees who have two decades of experience in old-school marketing techniques like cataloging, compared with employees who have a few years of experience, but the experience is in online marketing or social media? What role do each set of skills play in your organization?

Question #25: Should social media efforts drive a positive return on investment? If you answer no, describe your thoughts.

Question #26: Describe the role of radio advertising, newspaper advertising, and television advertising in a modern multichannel brand.

Question #27: Describe the role of mobile marketing in a modern multichannel brand.


  1. Anonymous3:58 AM


    For two years I have cobbled together a few dozen interview questions from your blog, in sort of a "What would Kevin ask?" document. And now, BOOM: Here they are!

    How much can I pay you to delete this post??

    Harry Joiner
    As seen in "Internet Retailer" magazine

  2. Had our economy not imploded, I may not have needed to write this!


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