Success in marketing is dependent on the workflow, structure, and most importantly, the people. Read to learn how you can build a successful marketing team.
Marketing plays a vital role in the success of a business. A strong marketing team can help drive brand awareness, attract and retain customers, and increase revenue and profits.
The right people, clear goals, a healthy culture, and structured systems are essential for marketing success. Here are some key things to do to build an effective and successful marketing team for your organization.
The first step in building a world-class marketing team is identifying your core needs and creating a clear strategy. Hiring and retaining skilled marketing professionals is costly. It's essential to ensure that everyone added to the team can bring value that ultimately covers those costs by bringing in revenue.
Identify your company's pain points in your marketing efforts. Are you experiencing bottlenecks in social media graphic creation or email marketing efforts? Does your existing talent lack experience in a new channel you'd like to explore?
It's also essential to clearly understand your marketing goals and direction before expanding the team. The more clarification you can gain before adding to your staff, the more effective your strategy will be.
How to you identify your needs?
Create a clear structure around the roles and expectations of each job. Many marketers are all too familiar with the chaos of the startup world. Scope creep, workflow gaps, and friction are incredibly common in marketing work and can lead to higher employee turnover.
Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member, and make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. Write detailed job descriptions and ensure all new team members know who they can talk to when they need help with something outside their wheelhouse.
When team members clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, they can focus their efforts on the tasks and projects they were hired to perform. This clarity helps ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that nothing falls through the cracks.
Furthermore, team members become more accountable when they have a clear role. This combination of clarity and purpose will help drive performance and ensure everyone is doing their best to support the team's goals.
The key to a successful hire is putting the right person in the right role. When looking for skilled and experienced marketers, there are a few key things to remember.
Start by looking for the technical skills and experience for each marketing role. For example, you may be looking for someone with experience in successful email marketing campaigns, social media management, or market research. It's also helpful to seek candidates in your industry, as they'll have more relevant experience surrounding the challenges your business faces — and hopefully, how to overcome them.
Review resumes and portfolios to look for performance metrics demonstrating a candidate's ability to produce results. Some relevant metrics included on a resume could be increased website traffic, improved conversion rates, to higher engagement rates on social media.
Incorporating skills tests during the hiring process can help you find the right candidate for your marketing team. Consider personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or relevant test assignments like copywriting.
When recruiting for marketing employees, here are some skills to look for:
Ingrain continuous learning and development in your company mission and values. Encourage your marketing team to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends, technologies, and methodologies.
Provide opportunities for training, professional development, and attending industry events. Consider incorporating training and professional development opportunities into the marketing budget.
A culture of continuous learning goes hand in hand with a coaching-based culture. Encourage employees to set personal development goals and provide them with the resources and support they need to achieve them while leading by example.
The difference between a good marketing team and a great one is organization. Implementing systems and workflows can improve communication and productivity.
Start by identifying communication delays, challenges, and breakdowns. Leverage project management software and automation technologies to help solve those issues and streamline communications. These tools can also help reduce time-wasters — like email threads — while centralizing project tracking.
Consider adopting agile marketing methodologies, emphasizing iterative, data-driven decision-making and focusing on delivering value quickly. There are several different methodologies within the agile marketing framework, including Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. These methodologies provide a structure and set of practices to help marketing teams work more efficiently, effectively, and responsively.
Implementing workflows can be challenging. Consider working with a consultant to implement systems that help your marketing team become a streamlined, effective machine.
Marketing work is a beautiful balance between logic and creativity. While collaboration is essential for success, empowering employees by encouraging autonomy is also important.
Encouraging autonomy in a marketing team requires a supportive and empowering management style. Leadership must:
By giving employees the freedom to make decisions, take ownership of their work, and experiment with new approaches, managers can tap into the full potential of their team and drive better results.
Creating opportunities for collaboration is an important parallel to autonomy. Encouraging team members to collaborate and share ideas will provide an opportunity to garner different perspectives and build upon each other's input.
When creating a collaborative culture, it's important to create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and working together.
Leverage technology to create opportunities for the marketing team to connect on non-work matters, such as virtual coffee houses or happy hours. Engaging in team-building activities can also help foster trust.
Ensuring everyone has a platform to share their thoughts is also crucial for success. Marketing teams often contain a combination of introverted and extroverted individuals. Unfortunately, this factor can create an imbalance during meetings and group chats — this is another reason why a balance between autonomy and collaboration is essential.
Leadership can encourage team members to communicate in their own style, whether speaking up in meetings, writing down their thoughts, or contributing through online tools. Providing opportunities for one-on-one conversations between team members can also help introverts feel more comfortable sharing their ideas.
During meetings, asking quiet members directly for their thoughts can help create space for sharing. Managing agendas and fostering a culture of inclusiveness by encouraging diversity of thought, promoting equality, and valuing the contributions of all team members will also contribute to an effective marketing team.
Encourage your team to think outside the box and take calculated risks. While making data-driven decisions is crucial for long-term marketing success, it's also important to try new things, get ahead of trends, and see what happens.
Consider implementing an experiment form for team members to submit or use when they come up with a new marketing idea to try. This form should highlight the hypothesis they're testing, their confidence in the success, and the level of difficulty or resources the experiment requires. This approach to testing and tracking experiments will contribute to better systems and structure.
Create clear expectations around experiments and the fear of making mistakes. Ensure your team knows that making a mistake or "failing" is ok — as long as they learn from the experience.
Encouraging team members to experiment with new ideas and creating a safe environment where they can test and refine their work will drive innovation and continuous improvement.
Provide regular feedback to your team members to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses and how they can improve. Here are some key things to keep in mind when providing feedback to employees:
It's also important to offer recognition of positive events. Make time to celebrate success and acknowledge employees for their efforts. Celebrations should be a team experience, allowing everyone to share in the success.
Consider encouraging a peer recognition program to improve collaboration and morale.
Building a world-class marketing team requires a combination of strategy, leadership, and execution. It's important to be proactive, stay flexible, and continuously evaluate and refine your approach to ensure that your team is delivering the best results possible.
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