Developing professional, effective marketing strategies starts with improving team organization. Whether you employ an internal marketing team, outsource to one or more agencies or utilize a combination of both, great marketing starts with a well-organized team.
Great people lead to great marketing.
The start of the process is reviewing your company’s past marketing performance to determine where your company succeeded and where you failed. Did you meet past goals and targets? Are you proud of the marketing communications you presented? Next, it’s time to complete an in-depth analysis of your marketing team and organizational structure, as well as future goals. You can then assess the options available to your organization, and begin to choose the structure that works best for you.
Here is a short step-by-step guide designed to help you build your great marketing team:
Assess your current team members - What type of experience do they have and what are their core skills? Do they have marketing backgrounds, are they product experts, or both? Do they have design, writing or web capabilities? People are the key to marketing success. Having passionate people working within your organization, people who know your business and your unique benefits, people with the drive to help you succeed should be considered stars in your company.
Assess your current team structure - How is your marketing team currently organized? Is the owner of your business involved? Does this setup enable project success? Does it make it easy for external practitioners to create great work efficiently? The structure you choose should minimize decision-making bureaucracy, while maintaining set standards for your marketing materials.
Analyze your budget – Your budget plays a large role in the types of services you can access. For example, your budget will determine whether you can develop a simple website, or one donning slick videos and animations – this then determines the type of agency you need to develop it. Your budget will also dictate the size of team you can employ. It may be the case that an internal practitioner is what your budget affords. And remember, hiring a web practitioner and expecting him/her to manage your entire marketing strategy is not realistic. It may be more efficient to work on a project by project basis with a single agency instead. Any budget can go far with the right planning and strategy.
Assess future goals and objectives – This stage should not only include an analysis of future marketing efforts, but structure as well. Would you like your company leader to play a role, or should marketing be compartmentalized? Does your product or service lend itself well to a variety of mediums (email, web, print, video etc), or should you dedicate more of your budget to hiring, training and supporting direct sales representatives (keep in mind this may also include marketing across a variety of mediums)?
Remember to factor time into the equation – For a team or agency to fully understand your company, brand and message, it takes time. Think of it like a dance – it takes time to learn to move in unison. Once it happens it’s a thing of beauty. Until then, frankly it’s a little awkward. If you do not have the time to incorporate new team members or agencies into your company, this should be factored into your decision.
Some possible scenarios:
- Keeping marketing internal - For small organizations, hiring a marketing expert, graphic designer, website developer or someone with a range of these skills is one option. The important thing to realize is that your marketing product is only as good as your team, so dedicating your budget to one individual with a specific set of skills may limit your options.
- Using a single agency – For the sake of simplicity, appointing a single marketing manager or working this role into the scope of a current manager’s position (general manager, sales manager etc), and utilizing a single marketing agency for advertising and web work is a great option. This can help save you time, reduce errors and keep your focus on your business while experts manage your brand. For many small businesses we encounter, this proves to be the best system. It means that only one relationship needs to be built, projects are easier to organize and your marketing materials will be more cohesive, consistent and developed to professional standards. This relationship also requires a strong, trusting, open and professional foundation.
- Using multiple agencies – If you choose to use an array of specialty agencies (one for video, one for web, one for email etc), you have to plan a system to manage these services. Your options include using your internal marketing team or coordinator to manage the big picture and overall marketing strategy, or you can appoint your main agency to manage them. This also allows your team to focus on your business, while ensuring your brand standards are managed by specialists. Often this option is preferred by larger firms.
To Summarize - Great marketing starts with great people. Once you target key individuals to act as brand ambassadors, the rest of your team members, team structure, as well as decisions relating to outside agencies should be strategized around these individuals.
Other Relevant Articles:
- How to choose a marketing agency
- 7 Steps to Develop an Effective Marketing Communications Strategy
- Is Your Website Producing or Snoozing?
- See our full list of marketing articles
6P Marketing supports our clients in all three scenarios. If you have any questions on this topic, or need assistance building your great marketing team, contact Paul Provost: email@example.com or 204.474.1654.