It’s no longer enough to have a great product or a valuable service. No matter how life-changing it is to be loyal to your brand, there are surely others out there who can offer a comparable experience; if they don’t exist now, they will emerge in the near future. This is why marketing is so crucial to success. Especially when you’re in an industry that’s become as saturated as ours, your longevity is inextricably linked with your strength in marketing, which itself is derived from the skill of your marketing team.

The addiction recovery industry in the U.S. is comprised of over 14,000 alcohol and drug rehabs, many of which offer the same essentials when it comes to rehabilitation. At least, that’s what most prospective patients will be thinking as they search for an addiction treatment facility. When a facility has a talented marketing team and a strong campaign, prospects are able to more easily pick that facility from the many.

Having a strong marketing campaign begins with putting together the right team. As it’s often said, the strength of a team is determined by its weakest player, so the idea is to assemble a team of allstars to promote the features and benefits of recovery at your addiction treatment facility. To help you bring together only those individuals with the greatest skills in marketing, we’ve put together five questions that you can ask candidates you’re considering for your rehab’s marketing team.

“Do you have a strong social media presence?”

Perhaps the most obvious of our five questions is meant to help you gauge the level of marketing experience the person has. Obviously, he or she has thousands of Twitter followers, posts regularly on Facebook, and creates a steady flow of content on LinkedIn, you can be fairly sure that the person at least knows their way around social media, which is has become an essential tool in the marketer’s arsenal.

However, it’s important to note that not having a large following on social media doesn’t automatically negate a prospect’s viability. It’s possible that he or she has put their energies into the social media campaigns of other businesses rather than on curating their own, personal followers. Or perhaps social media isn’t this person’s strongsuit, but he or she has other useful marketing skills; if you already have people covering your rehab’s social media presence, try to figure out whether you could utilize the prospect’s skills elsewhere.

“A client has posted something negative about our facility on social media. How do you handle the situation?”

Social media can be a marketing godsend when the feedback that’s posted is positive. On the other hand, negative feedback posted to social media travels further and faster than positive feedback, which means that the potential loss via social media could, in theory, outweigh the gain. For this reason, it’s essential to have someone on your rehab’s social media campaign who knows how to diffuse such tricky situations.

There are certain responses you’ll want to look for when you ask this question. Any marketing professional would know that the complaint should be addressed as soon as possible. Additionally, the person’s complaint should be acknowledged in an apologetic, empathetic manner; under no circumstance should he or she be discredited. Perhaps most importantly, the response should provide an alternate means of content – either via phone or email – so that the conversation can continue out of public view. If the person you’re interviewing asks about the nature of the complaint, simply make something up and see if he or she responds appropriately. If your example is something extreme, you might want to note whether he or she would escalate the complaint to someone who would need to be notified in such instances.

“What are the most important SEO techniques you use to maximize your marketing efforts?”

As we all know, marketing isn’t only about social media. When it comes to web marketing, another important piece of the puzzle is search engine optimization, or SEO. It’s extremely important for your marketing team to be knowledgeable of ever-changing SEO practices since this is what drives prospective clients to your website instead of the website of some competing rehab.

For this question, the idea is to see how knowledgeable and familiar with SEO practices the prospect seems to be. Perhaps as for real-world examples of some of the techniques he or she names to ensure that the prospect didn’t simply Google “SEO” the night before and really knows how to employ an optimization strategy.

“How do you stay ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to product, service, and brand promotion?”

You might say this is a bit of a trick question because you’re not really looking for any specific answer. Instead, the purpose of this question is to determine whether your interviewee is continually trying to improve and learn new SEO techniques to fill any gaps in his or her knowledge.

The methods we use to optimize web content for search engines change quite frequently in response to evolving technologies and changes in Google’s search algorithms. You don’t want to hire someone who watched a YouTube video about SEO, picked up a handful of techniques, and that’s all he or she will ever have to work with. The ideal marketer is someone who takes the initiative to stay on the cutting edge of marketing, branding, and product and service promotion. Specifically, you want to hear that he or she does occasional research, subscribes to a few important marketing-related websites, frequents Google’s blog to learn about recent or upcoming changes, and so on.

“We’ve decided to do a complete overhaul of our website. There are two possible designs: One of which our CEO prefers while the Content Manager prefers the other. Which one do you choose?”

This last question might be something of a trick question, but it will tell you something very, very important about your prospect. With the question above, your interviewee is basically given very little information other than whether he would agree with your company’s CEO or the Content Manager. You don’t want him to choose one website design or the other based on who prefers that design; instead, you want your interviewee to choose the website design that is most functional and that achieves your marketing objectives most effectively. If he or she is a skilled marketing professional, they’ll know that this isn’t enough information on which to make that decision and will ask you for more information.

One question that a skilled marketer might ask includes the target audience or demographic for which the website is intended. You can make up the answers to whatever questions he or she asks in order to see how the individual works through the problem. The idea is to see how he or she would make choices when there’s not much data available on which to decide. Additionally, you want to see whether inserting a conflict of interest will prohibit him or her from working through the problem in an objective, rational, results-focused manner.

If he or she doesn’t ask good questions, you might consider asking what types of information would he or she need to make such a decision. The ideal candidate will eliminate each side’s opinions from consideration and may mention things like A/B testing or other methods by which the necessary data could be acquired. As well, the candidate will hopefully recognize that something like web design can be tweaked continuously; instead of adopting a design that you’re “stuck with”, he or she might mention that problems can be identified and fixed over time to improve the functioning of the website and ensure it’s achieving objectives.

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve noticed, for most of the questions we provided there’s not one specific answer that’s “correct”. Part of the reason for this is because marketing is a body of knowledge encompassing many different types of skills. Therefore, you want to ask open-ended questions that will help you to gauge the extent of a person’s knowledge and marketing expertise. Being a good marketer is about more than reciting definitions; instead, the individual should be knowledgeable enough to apply marketing techniques in real-world situations while explaining to you why he or she chose to react in that way. Using the questions we’ve provided,  you will be able to market your drug rehab or you can always contact Stodzy for all your marketing needs.

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at

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