Whether you’re a solopreneur, micro-business or larger SME, if you want your marketing to as effective as possible, you really need to consider: Who should be on our Marketing Team?

 

Who do we actually need?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘Marketing’ is a pretty straight forward ‘task’ or series of tasks that can be done by one person in an organisation. That’s often how it’s set up in smaller firms. It’s as organisations grow, that it becomes obvious  marketing is more complicated than was first thought and that one person can’t ‘plan it all and do it all‘.

So, a good place to start when thinking about, ‘Who should be in our Marketing Team?’ is to assess what you actually need. Broadly speaking, every organisation needs to be able to operate at these Four Levels of Marketing:

  1. Research and set a Strategic Marketing Plan – the Plan that answers the key strategic questions such as, ‘What are we selling, whom to and our overall approach / strategy to reaching them’.
  2. Research and set a Tactical Marketing Plan – the Plan that outlines your key marketing tactics, such as, on and offline marketing communications, campaigns that are needed, what those campaigns involve in terms of marketing tools, messages, creative, budget.
  3. Deliver the Tactical Marketing Plan  – ensuring that all that content is written / designed / created ready to go, then posted / emailed / sent / followed up.
  4. Monitor and Assess the results of the Tactical Marketing Plan  – checking that the Tactical Plan: 1) is actually happening (has all that content been posted, on time?)  2) is having the desired effect (are we getting the engagement we wanted, the click throughs we need), then finally if the Plan isn’t working someone needs to report that back and change and adapt the approach.

Find the gaps

Now you know who is needed and what they need to do, it’s time to assess what you do and don’t have already. This can be done by asking a few questions:

  • Do you have people who are doing Levels 1-4 for your organisation?
  • If so, who are they and how well are they doing it?
  • Should they be doing it? eg is the CEO having to set a Strategic Marketing Plan because there is no-one else able to do it?
  • Where are the gaps where no-one is doing it or the wrong person is doing it?

Make a note of these gaps. Take the time to map out exactly what your organisation needs in terms of skills and knowledge. Then think about how much and how often you need that skill or knowledge and the impact of getting it wrong / not having it. The more you need it, the higher the priority to fill it. The higher the impact of not having that skill / knowledge and the higher the impact of getting it wrong, the higher the priority to fill it.

For example:

  • You run a lot of Facebook Campaigns but have no-one who really knows how to do them. That is a gap and the need to fill it is is high.
  • You only do Strategic Marketing Planning once a year but as no-one in the organisation can do that well, you’re marketing all year round is really is off key and ineffective. The need to fill this gap is high because of the impact of doing it badly but you don’t need it all the time.

Fill the gaps

Once you know exactly what you need and the priority, it’s time to fill these gaps. At each of the levels, there are different options available to help you do this.

Here are some of those options:

  • Skill-up an existing team member: whether yourself or someone else, you can invest in a suitable Professional Qualification or ‘How To’ course, depending on what gap you need to fill is.
  • Bring in a contractor / consultant / freelancer: make sure you are very clear which ‘level’ you need them to operate at, who is going to manage them, and treat them like a partner – these relationships work best when they know, like and understand your organisation.
  • Recruit: ensure that whatever Level you recruit at, you are very clear who is responsible for the other ‘Levels’ so that the new person knows where they fit in. Too often I have seen a Junior Marketer brought in to ‘do’ but there is no-one above them who has set a plan and giving them direction. They can only get so far before they are destined to ultimately fail.
  • Engage an Agency: a good partnership with a good agency can really make the difference to an organisation. First, decide what kind of ‘Agency’ you need by looking at what needs to be done – is it work across all the levels? Is it at the ‘Deliver the Tactical Marketing Plan’ level? Then, map out the detail of what you need them to do. Is it an entire Digital Marketing campaign, or elements of it eg social media management, or just the copy writing?

To help you choose which option, you may wish to consider:

  • how immediate your need is – do you need to fill the gap NOW or can you spend the time investing in development / building a relationship
  • budget – be realistic about how much you have to spend now and later; and make sure that no corners are cut now that could be disastrous later
  • what happens if you don’t fill those gaps – this can often provide the incentive to make it all happen.

 

To conclude…

Whatever size business you have, you need a ‘Marketing Team’ comprising different skill sets and abilities. Making sure that you have the right ‘Marketing Team’ can be the difference between happy success and painful success or just pain. Take the time to consider who you need, where you can find them, and build that Marketing Team.

 

The author, Kara Stanford is:

– a Strategic Marketing Consultant at KMS Marketing

– founder of The Marketing Spaces

– a tutor for CIM Professional Marketing Qualifications at Oxford Professional Education Group.

Do find and connect with her on LinkedIn to say if you’d like to discuss any of the ideas raised in this blog post.

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