Founders' Guide to Building an Effective Marketing Team: 3 Essential SkillsOct 03, 2023
When it comes to managing marketing teams, founders often make a crucial mistake by assuming that their marketing team possesses the necessary skills and experience to construct and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Creating and managing a full-funnel marketing program might be a skill set typically associated with experienced marketing directors and CMOs, but smaller businesses often can't afford such positions early on. As a result, they rely on lower-level managers and executors, expecting them to create and manage a full-fledged marketing program. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to wasted time and money.
Understanding that manager and assistant-level marketers excel in executing their respective tasks but might lack the broader strategy expertise is essential. To build an effective marketing program, founders must acquire three crucial skills.
Skill #1: Learn How to Create your 24/7 Marketing Flywheel
One common mistake is focusing excessively on marketing tactics, such as growing social media presence or running ads, without a clear strategic framework. Founders often hire specialists for specific tactics without comprehending their role within the broader marketing strategy. To avoid this pitfall, founders should grasp the concept of the 24/7 Marketing Flywheel. Your 24/7 Marketing Flywheel is the six-step process that guides potential customers from initial awareness of your business to making purchases and then recommending your product or service to others, helping to refill your Flywheel. Managing a marketing department effectively means staying connected to your Marketing Flywheel and continually refining and improving it. If you're looking to understand how to create your 24/7 Marketing Flywheel, download this FREE Guide to get started.
Skill #2: Prioritize Projects and Set Clear Goals
Once you've created your 24/7 Marketing Flywheel, it's crucial to share this system with your team. Ensure that they understand each stage of the Flywheel and how their roles contribute to the overall marketing program. Next, prioritize projects that fill any gaps in your Flywheel For instance, if you lack an effective "awareness" strategy (lead generation), plan to launch ads or a partnership program, and set clear quarterly goals. Team buy-in is essential, so break down the goal into manageable steps. Even team members not directly involved in a project should understand how their actions contribute to business goals, with clear expectations for relevant metrics.
Skill #3: Lead, Focus, and Provide Support and Resources
To ensure your marketing team's success, establish regular check-ins to monitor project progress and key performance indicators (KPIs). Active leadership is the key to getting the best performance from your team. Weekly meetings can address performance issues, remove roadblocks, and stimulate creative ideas.
An important piece of advice is to treat all your teammates as full-fledged employees, regardless of whether they are fractional hires, contractors, or interns. Hold them accountable for outcomes, encourage collaboration among contributors, and consider structuring your marketing team as a department. The more seriously you take team-building and maintain clear and organized expectations, the better results you'll achieve from everyone working in your business.
By mastering these three essential skills, founders can lead their marketing teams effectively and build a robust marketing program, even without the resources for a full-fledged marketing department. Understanding the 24/7 Marketing Flywheel, setting clear goals, and providing support and leadership are the key steps toward achieving marketing success.
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