Many small companies have a single in-house marketing person or are about to hire their first in-house marketing person.
A lot of times the CEO does not realize the changes in buyer behavior, where as much as 70% or more of their research and decision making is now over before they are ready to speak with you.
Marketing is more important than it was five or ten years ago. Today your company must get found by the right people, in the right places, at the right time, and in the right context.
Creating the Key to Revenue Growth
Marketing is key to unlocking value and future revenue sources. Without a strong marketing team, the right marketing technology, and the right marketing strategy in place, there is a strong likelihood that potential clients are ending up on your competitor's websites, filling out their lead generation forms, and in their sales funnels, and ultimately becoming your competitor's clients.
Losing potential clients to your competitors is not a good place to be, especially, in a world where software and digital are disrupting many traditional industries (retailing, broadcasting, print/media, travel, healthcare, etc.). Software is disrupting everything.
To pretend this is not going on is completely naive. It is nearly impossible for a one-person marketing team to be effective anymore, since there are so many different disciplines needed to specialize in to be effective.
For example, in healthcare, there are still general physicians, general practice doctors, internal medicine doctors, and pediatricians, but we see a decline in generalized fields.
The above example compares with your marketing team. It is impossible for someone to wear all the hats on your marketing team and be really good at all of them.
Having one person who is analytical, a good copywriter, a good designer, knows PR, and knows multimedia is nearly impossible. If you can find someone who can wear all these hats, they are extremely rare and crazy expensive.
Specialization to Scale Your Team
What tends to happen more frequently is that specialization is a much more effective way to scale a marketing team. Then you need a marketer who puts all of the campaigns together. A project manager who organizes everything, and another person who is exceptional at content.
People will judge a book by the cover. For example, Sony lost the race to Apple ten to fifteen years ago in the iPod/mp3 player business. Simplicity and design are important.
Even at the absolute minimum, a small marketing team needs a marketing coordinator, content creator, plus a designer and developer. Even design and development are two completely different disciplines.
Then there are offline marketing projects that small and mid-size companies tend to go after (tradeshows, sponsorships, events, etc.) The more you expect one person to wear ten to twelve different hats, it is impossible for them to keep up.
Setting Realistic Expectations
Search engine optimization is constantly changing, along with pay per click advertising, email marketing, and landing page optimization. You cannot think of one person being able to be effective as a marketing team. It’s like trying to find the baseball player who can pitch, catch, play infield and outfield, and sell popcorn and hotdogs in between innings. It’s nearly impossible. If you have these completely unrealistic expectations of your marketing team, you are setting them up for failure.
The second part of being successful with marketing is to have the right technology in place. Things are changing very rapidly:
- If you want to keep up with the pace at which people are researching and making purchase decisions,
- If you want to segment properly,
- If you want to personalize the buyer’s journey for who they are and where they are in the journey,
- If you want to know what they are doing with your content,
Having the right tools, platform, and technology stack is critical for being competitive. If your CRM is sitting in an Excel spreadsheet, or worse yet, residing in someone’s head, it’s a lot more messed up than you probably realize.
If you are using ten different tools to do things, for instance, you have:
- A different email vendor
- A different social media vendor
- A different content management system
- A different blogging tool
Just trying to get those systems to talk to each other is an impossible exercise. You’re trying to build a “Franken-system,” playing with CSV files and API integration - nothing talks to each other. You end up sending three or four duplicate emails to customers -- which pisses them off. You don’t have all the information in one place. Your sales team is going too slow with missed opportunities.
Also, if you do not have all the information in one place, it causes your sales team to go too slow and miss opportunities. So, the tools and the technology are super important.
A Team to Cover the Field
The team has to be right; it has to be able to cover the full field. You cannot win the game by showing up with only a pitcher and catcher. Otherwise, what ends up happening if no one is in the infield and outfield?
What if the Yankees and the Red Sox were playing, and one team just brings a pitcher and a catcher. The other team has all 25 players. You can’t compete with just the pitcher and the catcher. You can’t compete if you just have someone who’s a designer and can play with a little bit of email marketing.
You have to have the right team in place, the right technology in place, and most of all you need the right strategy. It’s really easy for entry-level marketing teams to get distracted and spin their wheels with all kinds of extraneous nonsense and vanity metrics.
SMART Goals and Buyer Personas
Start developing a strategy by setting SMART goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Goals must be specific.
- You must have a way to measure your progress on goals.
- They need to be attainable based on things you’ve done in the past.
- They need to be relevant to the overall mission of the company.
- They must be time-bound and have deadlines.
In addition to SMART goals, the next most important thing is defining your buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal client based on research and educated speculation. The buyer personas frame everything going forward that your marketing team should be doing.
The Bottom Line
If your marketing team is not focusing on the right kind of people and goals, chances are they are dropping the ball, and they have not defined their SMART goals or buyer personas.
If your sales team is spinning their wheels chasing after opportunities that are a really bad fit, chances are something is missing with your buyer personas.
If your product team is struggling to innovate and stay competitive, chances are something is missing with buyer personas.
To scale your revenue, your marketing needs to have the right team, tools, technology, and strategy. It all has to come together, and it has to be orchestrated, synchronized, and aligned in the same place like a symphony conductor.
Does your marketing team have the right talent, technology, and strategy? Let us know in the comments below.
To learn more about why it’s critical for your marketing team to have the right talent, technology, and strategy, download our guide 3 Revenue Growth Opportunities Your Business May Be Missing.