Companies that can create digital marketing dream teams will put themselves at a massive advantage over their competitors.
They will be able to:
- Create more compelling and engaging content for their customers
- Drive higher sales for shareholders
- Deliver memorable brand messages
- Increase search engine ranking and improve overall SEO across a range of relevant keywords
- Add brand value
- Control negative information about the company
Getting a group of people who can perform all these essential digital marketing functions, however, is a massive challenge. Putting together a team with the right expertise is hard, especially if you’ve never done it before.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the strategies that you can use to create your digital marketing dream team. We will look at the problem from both the creative and technical perspectives, providing you with a holistic method you can use for long-term success.
Here are the types of people you want in your digital marketing dream team and the strategies that you need to build one.
Leverage Your Existing Talent
Building a dream team from scratch can be a challenge, especially if you have limited resources. For this reason, try to leverage the people you already have. Don’t just look at their job description and experience. Ask yourself what this particular person can actually DO. You’ll often find that their competence extends way beyond their comfort zone – if they put their mind to it.
Also, ask yourself whether you know anyone outside of your firm you could use for their skills on an ad hoc basis. You might know a guy who knows a guy who has the particular expertise that you need. There’s no need to bring people in-house – at least not immediately.
Make Your Team Process-Driven
Digital marketing teams tend to be creatively-driven, spending time on projects that they find the most exciting or artistically enjoyable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate into business success (though, on occasion, it can).
Executives, therefore, need to think carefully about how to make their digital marketing teams more process-driven. In an article entitled “How To Create The Perfect Work Schedule For Your Team,” software company Sling talks about this very problem. It highlights some fascinating ideas, such as building shifts around your best employees and putting out schedules early. It also makes it clear that each person in the team needs a precise itinerary – a series of tasks arranged in a sensible order that allows them to maximize their time. There’s no point setting loads of work without offering guidance on time frames for completing it. That’s the sort of thing that makes digital marketing teams grind to a halt.
Employ A Strategist
Digital marketing is a details-orientated activity. It is something that involves a lot of fiddly analytical work and meticulous content creation.
For this reason, many company execs and marketing managers omit to include a high-level person – somebody who can see the entire playing field and make strategic decisions. Ideally, you want somebody on your team that has their finger on the pulse of current trends and can see what’s coming down the pike. You need a team player who can marshal your efforts by directing the style and coverage of content, as well as your approach to SEO.
You also need a person who feels comfortable with budgeting and can allocate resources sensibly without cratering your finances. Such people, as you might imagine, are rare, but invaluable.
Keep Your Marketing Ambitions On The Ground
The level of media coverage of, say, Apple’s marketing strategy, is enormous. And that’s not surprising – it is the world’s largest and most successful company. But if you go into this process believing that you have to emulate what Tim Cook’s company does, then you’re sadly mistaken. You don’t have to create a world-beating marketing concept – just marketing that’s “good enough.”
When it comes to marketing, you need to be realistic about where you are right now, and where you could be within a reasonable time frame. Unless you have a crack team of experienced and highly talented marketers, you’re not going to be able to launch an international brand right away. Instead, it is going to take a little time. It’s okay to work from the ground up on these things.
Find Someone Who Is Great At Building Relationships
Digital marketing is about more than just designing content and uploading pretty images to your website – it is also about communicating effectively with customers.
The art of communication is more nuanced than you might think, yet critical in a world of online engagement and social media. Companies need people who can step into the shoes of their customers and positively communicate with them. Firms who fail to do this risk alienating themselves from their audiences and losing opportunities to make an impact on platforms like Facebook, Twitte and Instagram.
People who are great at building relationships can take all kinds of roles in your team.
You could, for instance, put them in charge of public relations. Their job is to make sure that all your content and media outreach passes a basic litmus test, ensuring that it is safe for the brand.
You could also try them out in a role in digital marketing PR. Here, the PR manager actively tries to control perceptions of the company within the community by dealing with criticisms and building transparency and trust.
Create A “Monetization Unit”
The term “monetization unit” might sound a little scary, but it is an essential function of your marketing department. You need people who understand how to take an idea and turn it into something that has financial legs.
The creatives in your digital marketing team, for instance, might come up with a series of compelling videos that you and the rest of your team think are awesome. But when it comes to how much money they make for your firm, you might find them lacking.
It is critical, therefore, that you make use of “quants” – people who know how to analyse the return on your digital marketing efforts and put it into a language you understand.
Don’t underestimate the difference that having people with these skills on your team can make. You can see percentage point differences in performance in the hundreds when you have the right analytical feedback.
Create A Calendar Of Priorities
No team is perfect – even Apple’s. All can be improved. For this reason, top executives often create a calendar of priorities. The idea here is to outline the type of people that your company needs for the future, even if you don’t have the resources to hire them today.
Putting in place a calendar allows you to see where your next move will be. And, perhaps more importantly, it provides you with a window into the future capabilities of your team, allowing you to think more strategically about your branding and marketing efforts.
Look For People With Creative Spark
Strategy and analytics are essential, but the real driver of success is the creativity and passion of the people who work on your team. You want individuals who can uniquely see the world and understand the ethos of your brand. After all, the way that you present your company is little more than the embodiment of the ideas of your marketing team.
In summary, you don’t need to create a killer marketing team right off the bat. As with all things in business, it is something that takes a lot of time and patience to get right.