One of the issues we hear about frequently from marketing department heads, or managers, is the problem of knowing how to build a top notch marketing team with limited staff, or staffing ability.
This is an issue because it often means that the head manager, or management, is spread quite thin and ends up overworked.
This type of situation just isn’t healthy because it can have a negative impact on a company’s marketing performance and ability to achieve set goals.
So, what’s the solution? Let’s take a look.
Finding A Solution To Your Marketing Team’s Problems
Dealing with being understaffed, or having limited staff, is usually caused by one of these two issues (or both).
1. Budget – The funding required for a good core marketing group just isn’t available.
2. Locating the right fit – It has been difficult to find employees who are specialized enough to tackle the marketing vision being cast by company leadership.
This includes technical skills in areas like:
- PPC development and management
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Technical Search Engine Optimization
- Professional Content Development
- Email Marketing
So, the question becomes, “Within my budget, or in light of my current access to specialized marketing professionals, how do I build a grade A marketing team?
Building A Grade A Marketing Team
This can take serious time – and effort. Let’s start off by taking a look at the positions that would likely help the most for developing your marketing system.
1. Marketing Coordinator
The marketing coordinator helps manage all the different marketing plans and has the ability to put together all the parts needed to execute the plan. Usually, they’re responsible for processing other department requests and may also work with outside vendors to get projects finished and support other staff when it’s needed.
2. Marketing Analyst
This person will need to be skilled in researching data both before the marketing campaign has begun and after the campaign has ended. They should know how to research target demographics and provide insight into the customers, market, competition, and effectiveness of any campaign.
3. Technical SEO specialist
The technical SEO specialist provides technical direction and implementation when it comes to search engine optimization, but also helps tell your content team which pieces of content will be necessary to develop and support organic rankings. This individual should have a clear understanding of what it means to build out a site infrastructure correctly and map out a long term ranking plan for your company.
4. Content Developer
You may need more than one content developer, but he or she should, of course, be able to write well. On top of that, however, the content developer should be aware of the principles of calling visitors to action and be able to write very compelling copy when it’s required. They will work closely with your technical SEO specialist.
5. Graphic Designer
If your website, calls to action, and content aren’t developed into a nicely formatted, graphically enhanced presentation, you may lose out on a lot of potential sales. Your designer should know how to develop graphics that move people towards your desired action, whether it’s a sale, sign up, social share, etc.- and be both knowledgeable of good design principles and up-to-date with modern design trends.
6. Conversion Rate Specialist
This person helps promote actual sales and lead generation by testing and monitoring your online sales funnel. They work closely with your graphic designer and content team, while providing feedback to your marketing analyst and technical SEO team.
How does this sound, so far? If it feels a little overwhelming, don’t worry. These things take time. Start off with just one or two of these positions, if that works best. More can be added over time.
Practical Team Building for Your Marketing Crew
Now, I imagine the next question you’re probably asking yourself is, “Should I be building a marketing team internally, externally, or both? Which would work better?” This is a good question.
As a marketing agency we’ve worked with a lot of companies who vary in how they do this. Some already have a core marketing group internally and use our services for specialty support, while others have one or two positions filled and we help support the other marketing roles. Others only have a marketing manager/ marketing VP and we provide the entire marketing layer they need to meet their marketing goals.
What’s Best For Your Company And Your Role?
Answering this question really depends on your goals and current budget. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of all of these variations.
1. Building Your Marketing Team Internally
Advantages: This is a great way to develop team members who are well acquainted with the nuances of your company and feel like they’re a part of your company. It offers an opportunity to develop a team that really speaks in the voice of the company and feels like an extension of it.
- Team members well acquainted with company nuances
- Already feel like they’re a part of your company
- Opportunity to develop a team that speaks the company’s voice
Disadvantages: It’s a little more expensive to hire highly qualified marketers internally, so if budget is an issue, it may require hiring someone less qualified. This can impact a company’s ability to function on a high level in their marketing campaigns and require more training internally. Another disadvantage to hiring internally is that it can also be difficult to assess someone’s real skill level as a potential hire if there’s not a deep understanding of their specialty.
- More expensive
- Often requires hiring less-qualified team members
- Requires more internal training
2. Building Your Marketing Team Externally
Advantages: This is usually a more cost effective approach for the skill level a company can get access to. The team members will also typically have skill sets that are quite specialized – and that they are especially good at. When building a team externally, companies also have the benefit of tapping into marketing systems that are well organized, cohesively supporting the marketing campaign(s) of the hiring company. Usually, members of an external team also have a proven track record since they have been through their company’s vetting process. External team members will often focus exclusively on one or two marketing disciplines and bring a wide variety of industry experience to the table.
- More cost-effective
- Team with specialized skill sets
- Can tap into a well-organized marketing system
- Cohesive support of marketing campaigns
- Proven track record of deliverables and results
- Wide variety of industry experience
Disadvantages: An external team may take more communication to make sure the voice of the company is represented well. This is because communication doesn’t usually occur as often as a dedicated internal hire who is in the company work atmosphere all day.
- More communication
- Team will need to learn the voice of the company
- Team will need to become familiar with company offerings, policies, and preferences
This can be overcome by making sure the first three months of working together incorporates a lot of communication and feedback.
3. Building Your Marketing Team With Both Tactics
Advantages: This method allows companies to have core team members who are well acquainted with the nuances of the company voice to cohesively work with support members who bring deep skill sets to the table. This process allows for great campaign growth and knowledge transfer as both teams work together to push the marketing system forward.
- Core of team members who are well-acquainted with your company
- Can work cohesively with a highly skilled team
- Great campaign growth and knowledge transfer
Disadvantages: If communication isn’t intentional with both teams, knowledge transfer may suffer as well as the potential for the marketing campaign. If either team has members who struggle with being team players, it may also diminish the potential of the marketing campaign(s).
- Intermittent and unintentional communication can cause difficulty
- Possibility of teams struggling to work together – diminished marketing potential
Marketing Team Takeaways
So, say you end up deciding to incorporate external team members into your marketing process, how do you decide who to use? Here are some key questions to help guide you in the process.
Questions to ask:
- Do they have regular monthly communication built into the support they provide?
- If you’re hiring an entire marketing layer externally, do they have a dedicated communication point for you (Benefits: they get to know your company, know the direction of your marketing, and are an easy contact point instead of having several)
- Do they incorporate regular reporting that they go over with you personally?
- Do they help you figure out the numbers necessary to show a return on investment for your budget (cost per lead, cost per acquisition/ sale)?
- Do they implement high quality tracking solutions to show data and track progress (phone, form, analytics)?
- Do they make recommendations and refinements based on company business and revenue goals?
- Do they have a system of refining the marketing process based on feedback from the campaign data?
- Do they seek to make reporting easier for you?
- Do they seek to close the loop with your company’s sales department?