Theoretical & Practical Marketing Questions & Answers

An organization asked me to provide several interview questions to assist the search committee in interviewing candidates for a marketing position. Below were the questions I provided to for the panel to consider when conducting the interviews.

1. This department has multiple divisions in different locations that provide their core services to various ages and audiences. Talk about how you would approach the development of a consistent brand through the existing communication channels such as customer service surveys, social media and the department magazine.

  • Study the nuances and features of all the different divisions and locations to assess their unique offerings, or “sub-brand” within the overall department brand.
  • Have a unified look with logos and taglines for the different areas that  can still effectively and concretely support the main city’s themes and department’s services.
  • Customize the consumer collateral for some of the different locations yet have it still be complementary to the overall city and department look and feel. It could be that a particular color or iconic image is specific to a location or program, but that it can still look parallel to the larger picture of the department’s values and mission.
  • Recognize that in an organization of this size, there will naturally be different selling points and imagery to support and convey the brand of some locations or services. As long as the collateral and designs are clear, concise and embody a colorful or creative link to the greater city brand or theme, then the subtle differences will appear authentic, understandable and interrelated to the other divisions.

2. If you were tasked with distributing an electronic newsletter or uploading a video to YouTube and had never done that before, what would be your approach to mastering these tactics in a short time span?

  • Study existing newsletters or online videos
  • Use YouTube & newsletter software vendor help tools.
  • Refer to Google stroubleshooting community forum questions and answers
  • Consult with existing staff
  • Refer to materials left behind predecessor

 3. Outline some website architecture changes or interactive features you have added to a recent website. What ideas would you have to enhance the current Recreation website?

  • Assess periodic blog by directors or managers
  • Add Google event calendar for each facility
  • Add specific class search function for registration page
  • Improve the online media room & press tools section

4. What is your experience with conducting surveys and organizing and interpreting the data for trends and results? Talk about how you would present survey results for the big picture for department management.

  • Compile data, sort for high-level trend analysis and benchmarking for previous years as available.
  • Write executive summary for management interpreting highlights of data

5. For an industry award application, you have the flexibility to incorporate a variety of work samples or supporting media, what kind of items would you include in addition to the writing that addresses the criteria for the award?

  • PDFs of prominent magazine or newspaper coverage
  • Video highlight link from YouTube Channel or DVD of short video samples
  • Executive summary of year’s highlights and outline of next year’s goals, pending projects and expected figures or results.

6. You will lead a monthly marketing group meeting. What would be your process for preparing yourself and the various staff members from different divisions and facilities to ensure they are informed and all attendees are fully prepared to maximize the one-hour time limit for this status meeting?

  • Prepare a succinct agenda divided into several key marketing & PR categories
  • Distribute agenda to staff 24-48 hours in advance with meeting details, time limits and expected results
  • Keep meeting to an hour while sticking to agenda; monitor unscheduled discussions and keep them from running off track for too long
  • Conclude meeting with major action items for staff or expected deliverables for the next meeting

7. What methods of communication or creative distribution of information and/or imagery would you leverage to better engage with local writers, editors and news producers to cover the department more regularly for earned featured opportunities?

  • Provide weekly or monthly previews of special events or key dates
  • Send brief recaps with photo galleries to pitch following major events
  • Have a “house call” and visit media outlets with information packets
  • Invite targeted media personnel as guests at staff marketing meeting
  • Leverage YouTube Channel by sending brief pitches with video links to promote upcoming events and activities to media contacts

8. You will be the only staff member working at a resident information booth at a free community wellness event. What items or materials will you bring to promote the department’s various programs, classes and special events?

  • A large display board and table for distributing information
  • Magazines, brochures and event flyers
  • Business cards of several staff members
  • Sign-up sheet for newsletter
  • Giveaway items such as magnets, key chains, pens or bags

9. What website, social media and newsletter metrics would you regularly monitor to assesses the engagement and traffic of the department’s online communication channels?

  • Compile and review Google business listing search and traffic stats for various key facilities.
  • Utilize free social media measurement tools (YouTube, Facebook)
  • Consult with IT’s internal traffic and user source traffic reports each month.

10. When supervising a graphic designer on marketing collateral such as a brochure or magazine, what are the branding, content and style guidelines you would look for to adjust or maintain.

  • Develop a style guide with clear and concise parameters for types of logos, positioning on materials; tagline use and brief boilerplate contact information.
  • Conduct a creative audit of past logos and brochures to see progression and evaluate whether an update or newer look and feel might be a productive endeavor for staff to undertake for future resident marketing communication collateral.

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