Chief Marketing Officer | Global Not-For-Profit
NGS Global identified and attracted an accomplished CMO who would be responsible for enhancing the marketing and communications function for a top-tier not-for-profit.
Founded in 2000 by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, our client was a global not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation, and skills development. Today, the foundation is scaling impact in 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America through their flagship programs in each of these areas.
Our client was seeking to bring in a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to significantly up-level their marketing and communications function. This was a critical and influential leadership role, which would advise the operating leadership on all matters related to brand, digital marketing, media management, and internal communications. There was a need to infuse fresh energy into the brand, build a strong community of influencers, and create vibrant and loyal social media engagement.
Additionally, the CMO was to drive awareness and recognition among the firm’s target audiences, which were many and varied, ranging from policymakers in government to entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized business support ecosystems, skills development organizations, and the public at large. This was to be conceptualized and executed across all geographies that the foundation served globally.
They were looking for an accomplished leader who had in-depth know-how of building a B2B brand portfolio in global markets, and a passion to give back to society. S/he was required to have had a track record scaling B2B marketing campaigns globally and an appreciation for – if not a deep understanding of - the challenges that small to mid-sized businesses, start-ups and employability ecosystems faced.
An ability to position the foundation as a leader and connect with both influencers and decision-makers from media, start-up incubators and accelerators, small and mid-sized business support ecosystems, and venture funds was also fundamental to success.
The leader was also expected to have an understanding of technology and platforms, as our client deployed technology extensively in scaling the impact of their programs. The desire was for someone who had a high order of communication and leadership skills, and could effortlessly collaborate with cross-functional and cross-geography teams.
Our Search Process
The search was particularly challenging as our client was looking for someone who had the ability to work with limited resources and budgets but still achieve the desired outcomes. Ethical alignment with the organization and a strong desire to give back to society was paramount, as was evidence of building marketing strategy and programs by leveraging technology and platforms. There was also a strong preference for a diversity candidate in the role.
We aligned ourselves fully to the client’s key asks and went deep into the market to find relevant candidates. After extensive research, covering technology consulting, technology services and professional services firms who had shown significant growth in global markets, we built a comprehensive list of diversity candidates.
Our primary criterion for filtering candidates was their portfolio of campaigns to date and the outcomes delivered, as evidenced by the brands’ visibility on social media and other public platforms. Following interviews and due diligence, we presented seven candidates, none of whom were actively looking to move to the not-for-profit sector, as they were accomplished executives at for-profit enterprises. After a rigorous selection and negotiation process, one of these candidates was successfully offered the position.
After a comprehensive selection and evaluation process, from amongst a short-list of three exceptional finalists, a standout candidate emerged and was successfully offered the position.
On paper, the individual ticked all the boxes (stellar resume, reputation, skill-set, and experience – she was jumping from a big brand in the market). But it was her energy, honesty and integrity that really set her apart. She was candid and authentic, showing genuine affection for the products, but also indicating where they could be improved in a constructive and positive way. She was also realistic but genuinely excited about the prospect of building a team from scratch.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• Execution led by two Partners which meant that we were able to excite a large swathe of passive candidates for the role.
• Teasing out the deeper motivations and ethical considerations underlying each of the candidates to ensure there was a high degree of mutual commonality with the client’s ethos and goals.
• Close alignment with what the client thought success would look like in the role.
• Thorough due diligence, including confidential reference checks, were intended to uncover strong points and areas of improvement with regards to the chosen candidate, thereby reducing the hiring risk.