Your marketing initiatives are only as effective as the team executing them, but it’s not always easy to identify and put together an effective team. The reality is, marketing team building doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. It takes careful planning. And it takes plenty of patience. But when done correctly, the right employees can close skill gaps, eliminate barriers to progress, and meet key business objectives.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled six key considerations to assemble a better marketing team. Keep reading!
1. Assess your current marketing team.
Instead of jumping straight into the recruitment process, take the time to evaluate your current team. Department audits help marketing leaders avoid redundant, unnecessary, or inaccurate hiring decisions – but only when done strategically.
Remember, the primary objective of this initial assessment is to determine your team’s strengths and weaknesses – both as a whole, and individually. Once you’ve done this, map these strengths and weaknesses to your marketing goals. This will help you quickly identify areas in need of improvement.
Here are a few key areas to take into consideration when performing your audit:
Productivity: How do team members spend their time? What’s expected of them within the average day/week/etc.? Do they meet this expectation? Is this expectation reasonable/fair? Are there any team members with too much on their plate? Are there team members who don’t have enough to do?
Skillset: What skills and expertise do you need to achieve your overarching marketing goals? Which of these does your marketing team already possess? Is anything missing? Are there too many individuals within a given skillset? Are there any unnecessary skillsets on your team?
Culture and job satisfaction: Which employees demonstrate a passion for their role/team/company? Are there any employees who aren’t a great fit? If so, how does this impair your team’s success?
ROI: Which team members contribute most to overall marketing goals and the organization’s bottom line? Which team members always meet the individual goals set for them? Are there any individuals whose efforts are less-than-impactful, or even wasteful?
Performance: What does your team excel at? Where do they miss the mark?
The answers to these questions will distinguish a team’s all-stars from the benchwarmers. This information can not only guide a more effective hiring strategy but can also help shape your existing marketing team to function more efficiently.
2. Take the hiring process one day at a time.
Whether your goal is to improve your existing marketing team, or create one from scratch, securing the right mix of talent, personalities, and skillsets is never an easy process. Don’t expect to move mountains overnight. Instead, take the process one day and one position at a time.
The hiring process is not only time-consuming and draining, but for many organizations, it also brings steep financial risk. Hiring mistakes impede a team’s success and productivity and, in turn, can take a huge toll on your organization’s bottom line. In fact, 27% of employers report that a single bad hire can cost a company more than $50,000 (source).
Focus first on building a solid foundation. Then, carefully consider where you have the most need and prioritize your hiring accordingly. For marketing leaders working to improve the current team dynamic, this is where the results of your department audit can come into play.
3. Hire multitaskers.
For many marketing leaders, the ideal marketing department looks something like this: A large group of intelligent and experienced marketers, who each possess a unique, specialized skill set.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a feasible dream for many marketing leaders – especially for those operating within a start-up environment. Think about it: Staffing a marketing team doesn’t come cheap. With each new addition to your roster comes a list of extra expenses – i.e. salary, benefits, liability, etc. Unsurprisingly, most organizations don’t have the monetary resources to do this on day one.
Instead, we recommend that you hire smart marketers who have experience in a variety of marketing roles. When you hire smart, hardworking people who can do multiple jobs, you’ll be able to expand quickly.
Think about it this way—you have two candidates competing for an email marketing role. They have the exact same skills and experience—except one is also a proficient graphic designer. Which candidate would you pick? The one with the design experience of course!
4. Promote high-performers and hire from within.
One study reports that 40-60% of external hires aren’t successful in their new role, compared to only 25% for internal hires (source). For this reason, we recommend hiring from within whenever you have the opportunity.
If you hire smart, versatile employees, you already have top marketing talent right at your fingertips. Use your team assessment to determine a plan for promotions and mentorship opportunities. Also, consider hiring from outside the marketing department. An employee with a knack for marketing could be just a few cubicles away.
Promotions also help build team morale. Say you promote a lower level employee and hire a replacement for their entry-level position. Your employees will feel appreciated—and you’ll also have someone with the experience to train incoming employees.
5. Develop an effective onboarding strategy
If you don’t implement appropriate onboarding practices, you’re setting new hires up for failure. Instead, set your employees up for success with a comprehensive training and onboarding program. No matter how long it takes, don’t rush this process. Here are a few quick tips and tricks:
Create a plan: Put a plan in place before a new hire’s first day. Organize trainings for their first week to discuss marketing processes. Gather the appropriate training files, such as brand style guides, how-to documents, and templates.
Introduce the team: New employees will see a lot of new faces on day one. Help to break the ice by introducing the new hire to every member of your marketing team. A first-day team lunch away from the office also helps new employees connect with team members, identify common interests, and learn more about the company culture in a relaxed environment.
One more tip before we move on: Ask each team member to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the new hire. Team members can introduce themselves and discuss their role within the company.
Assign first projects: Meet with the new employee on the first day to discuss initial assignments and deadlines. This is a good time to discuss goals so the employee understands the expectations for their first week, first month, and so on.
6. Document systems and workflows
Without a good understanding of how your marketing department operates, the reality is this: You’ll have a difficult time identifying and rectifying issues. Documentation of important systems and workflows can help, and the reason is simple: writing out tasks brings issues to light. Not to mention, clear process documentation helps employees put forth consistent, error-free work. And in the end, you’ll have a helpful training guide whenever you bring in new or replacement employees.
As a marketing leader, it’s your job to identify the different processes that keep your department functioning. Strategically work your way through each task or activity your marketing team carries out. Consult key stakeholders and ask them to put together training guides for each critical component of your marketing strategy. Then, organize these guides in a folder available to your whole team. Remember to update these files as processes change and evolve.
Final Thoughts about Building a Better Marketing Team
We get it—hiring is never easy. But when you focus on the big picture, it’s easier to set smaller goals and eventually build a marketing team meant for success. There’s nothing more important to a company than the people who work there. Dedicate the time and resources necessary to the hiring process and you’ll reap the benefits.
Contact ZoomInfo today to learn how our B2B contact database can support your most important marketing initiatives.