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Building Your Small Marketing Team to Survive – and Thrive

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Building Your Small Marketing Team to Survive – and Thrive

Your small marketing team is probably struggling to keep up. You’re engaging in all the traditional marketing tactics, but you’re not getting the results that you used to.

That’s because customers are changing. They no longer respond to billboard ads, networking events or direct mail (in the same way). That doesn’t mean you should stop doing these activities, but typically, organizations need to look at combining traditional marketing activities with inbound marketing tactics.

That means you need to adapt your small marketing team’s structure to accommodate customers’ ever-changing buying habits.

And that’s true whether you’re a B2B or B2C company.

It all boils down to this: your talent.

If your team doesn’t have the right skillset, you won’t get the results you need from ANY of the marketing tactics you engage in.

To create a high-performance marketing team, you need to first consider your company’s size and the players required for the department.

The solo marketer

The lone marketer, first and foremost, can NOT be a specialist. Rather, this generalist must be a savvy individual who can perform many different types of marketing tasks well. This utility player should know how to:

  • Create content.
  • Analyze data.
  • Automate marketing.
  • Leverage the right digital tactics.
  • Be creative.
  • Generate campaigns across multiple marketing channels.

It can be a huge challenge to find one person to fit this role. Your best bet is to hire someone with experience – not a newbie – and pay them more. You’ll get a higher return on investment and ensure marketing results. Another option is to outsource your inbound marketing to an agency that can fill the gaps in your solo marketer’s skillset.

The mid-sized marketing team

If your organization is large enough to have a team of more than one person, you’re in luck. This is where you can really start to move and groove. It’s also the right time to hire individuals with specialized skills. Here are some positions to consider when creating or adding to your team:

  • The leader. This organizational wizard should have a working knowledge of all the positions listed below. The leader should be the decision-maker and empower the rest of the team to excel in their individual roles. In a small marketing team, however, the leader should be ready to get a little dirty and help out “on the ground.”
  • The social media and blog specialist. This person needs to be a strong writer, able to create lots of relevant content and create a consistent social media message across multiple platforms.
  • The free offer specialist. Your inbound marketing results depend greatly on creating the right offers to target customers at the right time. From webinars to ebooks and more, this specialist needs to be able to create an entire campaign, starting with emails and ending with landing pages.

Finding the right person for each of these roles become easier when individuals can specialize. However, even with a mid-size team, employees still need to able to take on another role when necessary. Look for experienced professionals with flexibility.

A mid-size small marketing team can also benefit from working with an inbound marketing agency. It’s generally less costly to partner with an agency that has specialized skills in all the areas you need, than it would be for your company to hire people to fill all of these roles.

Looking to the future

Enterprise organizations have significant marketing challenges and demands, which makes the skillset of your team even more important. At this point, specialization is critical and it leads to efficiency; however, keep in mind that silos are bound to happen.

With experts at the helm, you can be confident that your inbound marketing engine will run smoothly and generate the leads you need. Some of the roles you’ll need at this stage include:

  • A marketing CMO.
  • A marketing VP.
  • A director for various departments (brand, lead generation, etc.).
  • Blog specialists.
  • Social media specialists.
  • Free offer specialists.
  • Email marketing specialists.
  • Product specialists.
  • Analyst specialists.
  • PR specialists.
  • Paid marketing specialists.
  • Customer engagement specialists.
  • Strategy specialists.

As your marketing team grows, consider the skills of the employees you already have. Where does their passion lie? What area would they like to specialize in? For example, perhaps your blog specialist has leadership potential. Shift that person to the Director of Content Marketing role and hire a great writer to replace him. Or shift your social media and content specialist to a pure social media role, and promote a paid marketing specialist to lead-management role.

There are lots of options when it comes to building your small marketing team. Creating a long-term plan will help your organization think long-term and hire the right team members to meet your company’s current and future needs – and ensure that you thrive.

Organizations of any size can also benefit from considering a partnership with an inbound marketing agency. An agency is specifically designed to specialize in every area of inbound marketing, and partnering with a trusted vendor can help fill the gaps in your current team.

Where does your organization struggle filling out your small marketing team?

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Maja Jaredic

Maja is passionate about what she does, and she goes “all in,” whether that means crushing a marketing strategy for a client or helping out a friend. With an MBA in Business Management from the University of Latvia and five years experience in marketing, she holds multiple Hubspot certifications. Maja’s marketing approach is organized and systematic, allowing for lots of creativity and freedom. She speaks four languages, and in her free time, this city girl enjoys traveling, hanging out at the beach, discovering new kinds of beer, and coffee.