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How to Build A Successful Marketing Team
Everything You Need to Know About Developing a Marketing Team
As you build a new marketing team (or restructure your current department), there are several factors to keep in mind. The goal of this process is to help your employees feel empowered and engaged in their work, resulting in better performance. In addition to focusing on the individuals that make up your marketing team, you also need to make sure they have the tools and resources necessary to accomplish their objectives.
Having helped many B2B companies become more effective, we have compiled a list of our top tips and techniques for building a marketing team that delivers. Continue reading to get started on your team’s transformation.
The Importance of Developing Your Marketing Team
Some executives believe the marketing team to be less important than the engineering or sales teams, for example. However, this is not the case and here is why. A large portion of your sales team's leads come from marketing. If your sales reps are spending the majority of their time on lead generation, they are missing out on nurturing the warm, inbound leads brought in by marketing.
Moreover, marketing is the single most important factor in acquiring and keeping customers as it establishes brand awareness, provides engaging content, and offers value to encourage purchasing decisions and maintain customer loyalty. If you question the necessity of your marketing team, it might be time to reorganize your team in order to achieve the results you want.
Start with Leadership for a Strong Foundation
This tip applies to both new and current teams in place. The leadership, or lack thereof, can make or break your team. Many companies fail to recruit leaders who know how to manage others. Keep in mind that leaders are not only managing the various workloads of their team members, but their individual personalities as well. The best leaders are natural collaborators who lead — not command.
When building a marketing team of current employees, refrain from promoting individuals as a form of recognition — instead, give priority to employees who possess the necessary skills and actively contribute in a leadership role. Unfortunately, a hardworking employee does not necessarily make the best leader. Rather, promote said individuals in other ways; such as higher titles, responsibilities, and salaries, but avoid putting them in the position of overseeing other team members.
If possible, select people with previous management experience, current employees who don't have conflict with their colleagues, or those who are respected and appreciated by their team members. As soon as you have leaders in place who possess a natural talent for encouraging and inspiring others, it's time to take a look at the employees they will be closely working with.
8 Traits and Skills to Look for When Building a Marketing Team
An employee who is both willing to learn and adaptable makes an excellent team player, and sometimes the greatest leader. The individuals on your marketing team should ultimately be flexible, possess a good attitude, and open to receiving criticism. They should be willing to take the feedback you give and put it into practice. Consider this trait a must-have in new hires when building a marketing team.
2. Emotionally Intelligent
Employees who are emotionally intelligent are in tune with and capable of handling their emotions, in addition to being empathetic and deeply understanding of others. These qualities make for good marketers with an ability to see things from their customers' perspective and easily identify their pain points. They also work better with their fellow team members, contributing to a better team culture and better working environment overall.
Marketing professionals need to be curious in order to be willing to test and pivot their strategies at a moment's notice. An employee who is curious is always looking for ways to find out what works better. This quality is essential in every part of your marketing team, including your copywriters, designers, UX experts, data specialists, and so on.
To succeed, your employees must not only be curious, but also unafraid to fail. Curious thinkers often end up in situations where their ideas don't pan out as they expected. Not because they are wrong, but because they tend to experiment. The ability to learn from failed lessons and move on quickly can make the difference between a high-performing marketing team and one that falls short.
Individuals on your team should be passionate and tenacious about exploring and nurturing their creativity. Marketing is a creative job by nature, so testing their creativity during your hiring process can be beneficial. Writing and design professionals in particular should be evaluated on this from the start when building a marketing team.
In the marketing field, creative and curious marketers should also be strategic in how they think and approach creative solutions. When backed by data and planning, an employee’s efforts are far more likely to succeed because they can pinpoint what isn’t working within a campaign, and can employ plan B or C when plan A isn’t producing the outcome they were aiming for.
Sales and marketing go hand in hand, and both teams should learn how to do each other's jobs in order to fully understand the customer’s journey. Marketing professionals who know how to make a product or service more attractive, explain how it benefits the buyer, and know how to promote it, have the best results.
All members of your team should be capable communicators, especially in writing. When it comes to internal and external communications, they must possess a basic understanding of proper grammar and spelling. In addition, they also need the ability to simplify complex concepts and make them understandable to your readers.
Implement a Smart Marketing Technology Stack
As important as the above traits and skills are in building a solid marketing team, your company should also provide them with the tools to effectively complete their jobs.
A marketing technology stack refers to the collection of marketing tools and products your company utilizes. From CRMs to social media schedulers, analytics tools and graphic design software, they must be carefully selected. At a minimum, the tools must have an intuitive interface, be easy to integrate, and provide automation capabilities.
To improve your marketing stack, start by asking for your team members’ feedback on which tools they use the most, which they tend to avoid using and why, and which features they consider essential. This will give you a good starting point in seeing which ones are worth keeping, but if you want to take it one step further, complete a full martech stack audit using the MarTech Maturity Matrix Model. This model essentially analyzes your current stack to identify feature overlaps, missing features, and other aspects of your technologies that are lacking.
Take a look at our marketing technology audit services and discover how we can change the way you use martech in your business for the better.
The Best Team Development Practices to Implement
Establish KPIs and Metrics
Team benchmarks are the only way to provide your team with a sense of direction as to what they should be working toward. Create KPIs for them to aim for and determine individual metrics to get your team on the same page with your business goals. Regularly sharing the results with them will enable you to make informed decisions together.
Create Team Values
Establish team values to set the tone for the department's culture, structure, and expectations. Ask individual team members questions about their goals, and get to know what is most important to them and how they can improve. Together with your employees, develop a set of values that will keep them engaged and empowered at work.
Regular Creative Sessions
Encourage individuals to explore their creativity and don't stifle it by demanding they work exclusively on your projects. Be sure to occasionally give your employees time to work on creative projects that are unrelated to their work. This could be an afternoon each month or a whole day each quarter. Allow them to take advantage of your company’s tools and resources and let their creativity run wild. This helps them flex their creative muscles, which will in turn carry over into their work. Consider taking it one step further by encouraging everyone to share their "fun time" projects as a fun way to build culture.
When building a marketing team, there must be a solid onboarding program in place. Both new and existing employees must be onboarded so that they are all on the same page. To start, plan for every team member to attend product demos to familiarize (or refamiliarize) themselves with your offerings. Create shared resources with your company’s vocabulary and share case studies of client success stories so that they can see its value.
As a company, you should place a high value on each employee's educational development. Budget accordingly in order to provide them with the opportunity to attend conferences and trade shows specific to their industry and role. Whether it is a local event or a major conference — such as MozCon or HubSpot’s Inbound — send them as often as possible. Offer to pay for additional courses to develop their skills as well. By providing these opportunities regularly, you will keep your teams at the forefront of the latest marketing trends and increase their chances of long-term success.
Align with Other Departments
Look for ways in which these departments can learn from one another. At least once per quarter, or as often as necessary, assign your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to participate in a meeting or conference call together. This will allow the teams to see new perspectives regarding your ideal audience and how they interact with each department. By doing so, they will have a more comprehensive view on how to make their own department's initiatives and efforts more impactful.
Consider Auditing Your Marketing Team with GrowROMI
To build a marketing team that performs well and helps you achieve your business goals, begin by taking a look at where your current team stands. By evaluating performance and skill sets, you can work toward establishing a department that consistently delivers.
Outsourcing the task to an experienced team will remove bias to obtain accurate results. As part of our Marketing Department Team Evaluation, we assess your operation models, help with team restructuring, assist with recruitment, implement hiring and mentoring programs, as well as offering training and goal setting for your team.
Our marketing consulting and auditing services help tech CEOs and SaaS companies increase their return on marketing investment. To learn more about how we can help you grow your ROMI, please contact our team below.
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