The Barebones Marketing Team that Will Deliver Results
If you are like most businesses out there, your marketing team consists of one “rock start marketer”. The problem is there are only so many of these rockstars out there and the majority of businesses require a marketing team.
The thought of marketing your business might be a new idea in your organization. So, the thought of hiring a marketing team might seem like a task that is impossible. You know that you are going to need to get multiple tasks done to drive results. Your job ad might look something like this.
We are company X. We are a high-growth company looking to take our company to the next level. We are in search of a highly motivated, self-starter that can drive marketing strategy from ideation through execution.
This position will handle internal marketing, social media, digital marketing, graphic design, search engine optimization, and public relations efforts of the company. This newly created position will be responsible for double-digit growth. Travel for the position can be as much as 50% to locations across the US because the candidate will also handle all major conferences and event marketing.
The job posting goes on to state that the ideal candidate should possess at least 5 years of marketing management experience, an MBA, proficiency in the Adobe Create Suite, and great personal and communication skills.
The starting salary is $55k per year with benefits after 90 days. (Wait, say what?!? No wonder nobody is knocking down the door.)
If you are like me, you are asking yourself, ‘who goes to graduate school to learn how to use Photoshop? What MBA is going to start working for $55k a year.”
The problem with this marketing manager job description is the company is looking for an entire marketing team to get the job done. This jack of all trades does not really exist. Even if they do, your $55k plus benefits per year is not going to cut it.
The company then goes on to hire a solid new recruit that cannot hack it because they are a real person, not a robot. They understand marketing principles, branding, and PR, but the graphics look like they were created by a 3rd grader. I mean Microsoft Publisher is a great tool, for a kindergarten teacher.
It has been my experience that in order to nail marketing there are 3 key positions needed to execute your marketing plans. The marketing manager, the graphic designer, and the copywriter. This is the dream team of marketing.
The Marketing Manager
The leader of your marketing team is the marketing manager. This is probably the person you are looking for when you place your ad on Monster and Indeed. The problem is that because marketing continues to change, most marketers out of college are not as creative as you might think. Yes, marketing takes some experience to nail the targeting and develop the right message.
Your marketing manager is going to be a hybrid researcher, phycologist, brand expert, data nerd, and sometimes graphics novice (emphasis on the novice). This individual is most likely going to be in charge of all the print and media purchases and even create and manage contracts with vendors.
The marketing manager is a vital role on the marketing team and should be one of the first marketing hires your organization makes.
Here are just a few roles the marketing manager should be in charge of.
- Set and maintain strategy – Determine the game plan for the rest of the marketing team. This can also fall to the VP of marketing, CMO, or Director of Marketing. But we are talking barebones marketing team.
- Manage marketing projects and push thighs forward – Once the plan is in place someone needs to push projects forward. Again, a project manager is going to be ideal here, but we are looking at the barebones marketing team.
- Manage and deploy marketing tools – Do you have a CRM or marketing automation platform? (I recommend that you do) These software packages include email marketing, search engine optimization, website tracking, social media management, and a whole bunch of other features. Unfortunately, these tools do not run themselves.
- Manage social media marketing – Social media marketing is not going anywhere. Your marketing manager will be in charge of executing the pillars of social media management.
- Measure results and pivot as needed – Marketing data might be the most underutilized marketing asset. A solid marketing manager is going to keep track of the effectiveness of each marketing campaign. Analyzing your data is only going to make your marketing programs better.
The marketing manager is looked at to do a lot of things. Trust me, I know from experience. “Hey, I heard of this new marketing thing, can we do that?” This is a typical question asked for marketing managers and is more common than you think.
What is the marketing manager job description?
The Graphic Designer
Marketing needs to look professional. A good graphic designer is worth their weight in gold. The main responsibility here is to get the marketing message and strategy and make it look great. However, there is much more to a graphic designer than just pretty pictures.
- Ensure that all images are of the company brand – Your company brand is important. You spent tons of time building the right brand that your customer wants to engage with. Your graphic designer should be responsible for keeping all creative, print, and digital assets on the brand. They ensure that the marketing manager is not sending out social media posts with cute cats. Unless you work at a pet-focused company.
- Ensure the website is up and running – Okay, this is really not the responsibility of the graphic designer, but again we are looking for a barebones marketing team. Many times, the graphic designer was the creative soul that also developed the website, again worth their weight in gold. So, by default, they are going to be the lucky person that is responsible for the website. Sorry guys, this is just becoming a reality.
- Create all sales enablement material – Your sales team needs to look professional too. Sales copy, product updates, and pricing change rapidly. Your graphic designer will be in charge of keeping the sales enablement piece up to date and making them look great.
- Create graphics for marketing projects – Part of your marketing should be around creating content that appeals to your customer base. This includes infographics, landing pages, finding the right stock photo, trade show booth design, and so much more. Your graphic designer will keep these projects on brand and look fresh.
Many times, the graphic designer is overlooked in the marketing team. “I have PowerPoint and can make great looking graphics with this great looking clip art. Sales flyers are a breeze.” A graphic designer is going to make your company look professional and take your marketing to the next level.
In the past I have hired an outsources graphic design firm. They offer unlimited graphic design for a low monthly price. They are great for social media posts and designing infographics. If you are on a budget, Design Pickle could be a great resource for you.
Anybody with half a brain can write. I agree with this. However, the magic happens when your marketing team creates a great headline that draws your customer in and the copy and pays off the headline with a great story. This is an art people.
Content is becoming more and more important for your marketing efforts. The better your content, the better your results. A copywriter is going to enhance your marketing message and connect with your audience. A copywriter will be responsible for the following.
- Write website, sales, and social copy – Your website needs to sell and just look pretty. Your sales material needs to connect with your customer. Your social media marketing needs to tell a story. The marketing team is going to rely on the copywriter to craft words that engage with your audience and do the selling for you.
- Write and distribute press releases – Your copywriter may not be a PR rock star. But again, we are talking about the barebones marketing team. Your copywriter will be in charge of crafting press releases for your company and pushing them to the media contacts they already have.
- Write copy for all marketing projects – There are going to be marketing projects that come up. The annual trade show that happens in Vegas needs some copy for the booth and possibly an event flyer. Your copywriter is going to produce any copy needed for your planned and unplanned marketing projects.
- Blogging – Blogging for business continues to become a necessity for your business. Blogging is a great way to attract customers to your website. A copywriter is going to be in charge of writing the blog content and ensuring that the copy fits with the company branding policies.
Your copywriter is an essential part of the marketing team. In the past, I have tried to get away without a great copywriter and failed. A copywriter is going to make the marketing team look better and get the expected results.
Internal versus External Marketing Team, What Marketing Team is Right for Your Business?
Okay, the team is set. The talent is clear. The question becomes should you hire an internal team or look to outsource your marketing team? There are pros to each approach. Let’s take a look.
Internal Marketing Team
The internal marketing team is a team housed in your company. This is the traditional way of building a high performing marketing team. An internal marketing team can be the right call for your company. Here are a few reasons you would consider an internal marketing team.
- Company knowledge – The team is going to be part of the culture and learn everything about the company.
- Full-time support – With an internal marketing team, they will be there 40 hours a week, 100% dedicated to your company. This gives your internal marketing team the freedom to focus on the right tactics to get the job done.
- Growth within the company – Your internal marketing team is going to grow with your company. Who knows, maybe your next CEO is going to be a marketing wiz that you hired as a marketing manager 10 years ago.
- Expand your company’s ability – If you do not have a marketing team now, your company will never learn this skill set. Having an internal marketing team will give you the ability to learn new skills that will help you company for years to come.
The internal marketing team is going to be right for many organizations. If your company can afford the higher cost of an internal marketing team, it might be the right ways to go.
External Marketing Team
The external marketing team or marketing agency is a high performing team that is not going to be embedded in your company. Here are a couple reasons you might want to look into an external marketing partner.
- Marketing knowledge – Your external marketing team is going to be working with multiple companies. They are going to be testing ideas and tactics to get the best results. This marketing knowledge is passed onto your company.
- Lower cost – The cost of a marketing agency is going to be lower. The overhead of the employee is passed onto the external marketing company. This includes space, technology, and benefits. Further, you may not need a full-time graphic designer and this cost will be covered by multiple clients, not your business.
- The right tool for the right project – An internal marketing team is going to be limited to the skill set of the employees hired. An outsourced marketing team is going to have an expert on pretty much everything. Search engine optimization, pay per click, content marketing, direct mail, trade show, and anything else you are going to need to execute your marketing plan.
- Marketing strategy – This might be the most important aspect of an external marketing team. The ability to come up with the right marketing strategy and execute the strategy.
- Flexibility – Your marketing partner or outsourced marketing team will be able to scale as needed. If you have a huge event coming up and need extra help on graphics, the team will be able to pull resources needed to accomplish your goals. When the project is done, they can scale back as needed. This eliminates a huge human resources burden.
An external marketing team might be the right call for your business. From saving money to getting the marketing strategy right, your external team will give you a great solution for your budget.
Should your business go internal or external? Well, that is going to depend on your budget and your needs. Many times there is going to be a hybrid approach that is going to work best. Maybe you start small and work your way up to a fully functional marketing team.
Marketing Team Conclusion
Your marketing needs a team, not one person. There are many skills that are needed in order to execute against marketing the right way. The jack of all trades, master of none does not really cut it. Yes, there are people that have multiple skills, but you get below average across the board versus above average in all aspects when you have a team. For example, I can do all the thing a marketing team needs. However, I am proud enough to state that I am not the best at everything. Here is how I would rate myself:
- Marketing Management: Solid A
- Graphic Design: Not so good. I mean I use photoshop on a daily basis, but cannot really create new graphics. C-
- Copywriting: I am better here. I have learned to write over the years and have even come to enjoy blogging. But again, I am just okay. Solid B.
As you can see, if I want to get the very best marketing results, I am going to need some help. So, at work, I have a solid graphic designer and a part-time copywriter that can help in a pinch.
I am also going to tell you that marketing strategy and stellar graphic design typically do not exist in the same person (do not believe the person that says otherwise). These people that can do all these skills are typically the top dawg at a startup or own their own agency. Remember, marketing is a long-term investment in your organization, ensure that you have the right marketing team in place to drive results.
“No one of us is as smart as all of us.” – Steve Boehle (thats right, I can quote myself in my own blog post).
I hope this has helped you understand the marketing team in a little more detail. Yes, large corporations have huge team and agencies that are creating the best and most creative marketing. But even with a small team, you can use minimal marketing to get the job done and drive results.