Successful marketing takes a team effort

Published May 6, 2016 in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Successful marketing takes team effort

Too often I see marketing directors being asked to be jacks-of-all-trades, with no opportunity to master any of them.

A CEO isn’t expected to run human resources, manage accounting, take care of day-to-day operations and coordinate the company picnic. In fact, when you’re a CEO, you usually have a team to help you execute those duties.

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However, upper management frequently blames the marketing director when marketing is stagnant. A company’s entire marketing strategy shouldn’t be the responsibility of one individual. I have yet to meet one person who is a stellar copywriter, master web designer, accomplished creative director, designer and production artist, branding pro, a social media superstar, public relations rock star, stellar media planner and buyer, event coordinator, search engine optimization specialist, photographer, videographer and project manager.

A good marketing person will excel in key areas but shouldn’t be expected to be a master in all of them. Running a lean business is fine, but expecting success in every area of marketing from a single source is unfair and unproductive. Great work is created by teams, with each person coming together with key, or even a few key, skill sets to execute on short-term and long-term goals. Here are three key things to consider when developing your marketing department.

Human capital

Your marketing person needs a team. You may opt to hire additional staff, contractors or an agency. As someone at our agency often says, “teamwork makes the dream work!” I know, totally cliché, but it’s true. Great things happen when you put a team in place toward a common goal. Good ideas become great. With creativity, brainstorming sessions come alive, and marketing programs are executed more efficiently and effectively.

Budget

Marketing and marketing people aren’t cheap, so you have to budget for both. But it doesn’t stop at human capital. Just because you have a marketing person on staff that is proficient in PR doesn’t mean you don’t budget for media releases, media tours, press conferences, media kits, photography, video and more.

Even if your marketing person is a social media superstar, many of the platforms today are pay-to-play, so you’ll need a budget for your audience to see what you’ve posted. And if your social media superstar is doing a great job planning, curating content, managing, executing and properly reporting on your social media, they will not have the time to execute the rest of your marketing program alone. Hence, you need your budget to go beyond a single player and allow for it to provide the resources your marketing staff needs to succeed.

Goals

It’s important to outline what you want to accomplish and assign your budget and resources accordingly. Developing a successful marketing department takes time and planning. There needs to be specific goals that are clearly outlined with regard to the department itself and the marketing program overall. Once everyone is focused on a singular goal, and the resources are assigned in order to accomplish those goals, you’ll be in a far better position to take your marketing program to the next level.

Unlike what many people think, not everyone is a marketer. It takes a combination of education, imagination, leadership, key skillsets, proficiencies and more. A marketer has the ability to look at the business and consider what is needed to support sales, all while never losing sight of the brand story and how to best tell it. It takes discipline, focus, resources, and most importantly, an amazing team to do great marketing. Whether you’re running HR, operations, marketing or an entire company remember, there is no “I” in team. When you look at a department within your business, remember that “teamwork makes the dream work!”

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