In the ever-changing world we live in, the goalposts of marketing continue to evolve. As marketers, learning to embrace new ways of working has become the norm.
Today’s definition of marketing has changed from its Latin origin of ‘mercatus’ – meaning merchant or market-place. The Chartered Institute of Marketing, express it as: “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
This means earning attention and trust from consumers, and crucially – building a relationship.
At a time where social media provides a level-field platform for all to compete on, many major brands have been disrupted by agile smart small businesses. Halo Top ice-cream and Casetify are just some examples.
Just look behind any successful enterprise and you’ll see a dedicated marketing team. As such, there has never been a better time to review your offering.
There are two key considerations when building your marketing team. The first is evaluating and upgrading your existing team, the second is growing your current offering to fill in the gaps.
Here’s what you need to know.
First you need to review your existing team. The right foundation is critical for success.
This starts with strong leadership. Do you have an inclusive culture that cares and nurtures talent, and is it a place where employees feel proud to work?
Today’s candidates want to know that they will be developed, coached and mentored while working in a culture where they can be happy and thrive. They want to know they will be working with people who will motivate and inspire them.
It’s never too late to change your company and leadership mindset. Take steps to consider how you can overhaul your culture to make it a forward-thinking inclusive company, that attracts the right candidates.
In order to plug the gaps, you first need to know where they are.
A straightforward ‘strength and weakness’ assessment of your team (and yourself) will help identify this. As well as skills, you want to also look for passion and commitment – these are instrumental drivers in your marketing team’s success.
There’s plenty of resources online, including this handy self-assessment tool of 56 quick-fire questions. It will shed light on where you need to invest, both internally and externally.
By the same token, do the same for your current marketing efforts. That’s right, a quick audit of your business will highlight areas the main areas to focus on for growth.
With a clearer understanding of where your gaps are; be it team members, tools, or otherwise, you can tackle these issues.
Yes, that means sometimes difficult decisions will need to be made – not everyone who starts the journey with you will be there to the end.
This means reviewing your team, and possibly growing it. Having clear goals on where to plug these gaps, will ensure that your team is more robust than ever before.
It may seem obvious, but until you’re clear on your company objectives, how can colleagues pursue goals effectively?
For this reason, it’s useful to reflect and consider your business goals – regularly. Business is a moveable feast, with new influences changing it all the time. Teams, therefore, need to be adaptable.
When setting goals, think about what changes need to take place and the repercussions of these, especially if it means restructuring your current organisation.
Each organisation has its own set of challenges. Being able to identify these will allow you to find creative ways to overcome them as a team.
Why is this important? Because obstacles can impede business growth.
It may be as simple as setting up a LinkedIn account, to having a presence at industry events. Assign individuals or teams to tackle these obstacles, empowering them to find solutions for success.
For most of us, budgets are not limitless. This means getting creative with the tools, talent and finances available.
If you’re able to retrain team members, that’s a great place to start. Also think about creating part-time or job share roles, or crowdsourcing experts when in need of bolstering your team.
Be mindful, however, that most agencies or consultants can offer a host of skills, but will have one particular area of expertise. Use them for what they do best for the best investment of your time and money.
Likewise, fresh talent can offer a much-needed invigorating kick and fresh perspective.
Think about hiring smarter. For instance, once you have identified the gaps in your current team, work with a recruitment specialist to find a versatile candidate that has experience in a breadth of areas to plug several gaps.
Finally, keep in mind that it takes time to create a high-performing marketing team, and in many cases, it’s work-in-progress.
The first step is identifying your gaps, the second is plugging these.
The journey is long and complex, with many obstacles in the way. There will be some unpopular and difficult decisions in the road ahead, but ultimately addressing them at this growth stage will pay off in the end.