Speaking to clients every day means that here at MacGregor Black we've been able to build valuable insight into what works and doesn't work when it comes to building great marketing teams.
Here are four tips to keep front-of-mind when thinking about setting up a marketing team or refocusing marketing in your business inline with the increasing pace of technological and marketing changes.
1 Develop a marketing strategy
There's so much advice out there on marketing, digital, social media etc, use this social media for generating business, push out content in this way. That isn’t strategy, it’s just marketing tactics. The first step you should take is to develop a marketing strategy.
The following is from the book Strategic Marketing Management by Jean-Jacques Lambin.
“There is a tendency to reduce marketing to its active dimension, that is a series of sales techniques (operational marketing) and to underestimate its analytical dimension (strategic marketing)”.
To develop a marketing strategy it's important to think about your business in its entirety and to make sure that you research and analyse customers, markets, business opportunities, competition and the internal customer. Essentially, think about the 7P’s of marketing: product, price, place, promotion plus the three for services that are people, process and physical evidence. Don’t just think about the P for promotion.
For further reading on this, check out the blog by Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson: Tactics without strategy is dumbing down our discipline. https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/11/mark-ritson-beware-the-tactification-of-marketing/
2 Hire on attitude as much as skills
In case you haven’t heard there’s a skills shortage, meaning it’s difficult to get qualified and experienced marketing people.
If you can’t hire people that have 100% of the skills you require, hire someone with the right attitude who can learn and learn quickly. It may mean investing in some additional time and management resource, but it will be worth it once the person grows into the role.
Set a training budget for each individual in the team. Let those individuals decide, or at least have a deciding interest on where that budget should be spent. It’s key ensure that team members take responsibility for their own personal development and they're actively keeping track of all that’s changing in the marketing/business/digital landscape.
3 Get everyone talking the ROI talk
Return on investment. Return on investment. Return on investment.
People forget that marketing is about numbers and not just words.
Get everyone in the team talking about ROI regardless of their role. In today’s digital age it's become easier than ever to provide a return on investment analysis on most marketing investment (not marketing spend!).
In the digital age, marketing teams must work within their CRM and/or lead generation tools to make sure that any source of customer and/or lead is attributed correctly and then the data used to make future informed decisions.
This focus on numbers and ROI is the only way to improve marketing’s position in a business and to be in a position to talk further about future marketing investment to senior colleagues and/or finance teams to help grow the brand and the business itself.
In his great book, the Marketing Manifesto, David James Hood outlines
"marketing must find a new paradigm, a framework to work with finance teams to gather shared ROI measurements and improve the overall standing of marketing as a discipline and a profession".
Demonstrating the ROI is the first step in this journey.
4 Everything is about championing the customer
In every business, every single employee that comes into contact with your customers is representing the brand. Every touch point your customers have with your business is also a representation of your brand from salespeople to the shop floor, and especially customer services.
Process and capturing feedback on that customer process (see point 1) is an important marketing element to think about, maybe even more so than starting to promote and market your business. This is where marketing can really help a B2B business; through being able to champion the customer and to bring their voice into a business for the purpose of improving that service for the long term.
Undertake market research with your customers. Ask them how you’re doing and how you can improve the service to them and others like them.
So in summary, to improve your marketing and/or your marketing team’s approach think about planning, people, ROI and customers.
Get these things right first then think about the marketing mix and which digital channels to use.
The impact on talent strategies
This could be tip number five, but let us at MacGregor Black help you understand what a great team looks like, and let us help you find great people to join that team.
Our clients are asking us, across all our disciplines, for candidates that have the ability to deal positively with change and that can work and encourage others to work in an open and collaborative way. Getting the right marketing talent into your business is critical.
If you’re a candidate you need to talk to recruitment professionals that understand the culture and what an employer stands for. You can only really get that from recruitment companies that have long-standing relationships with clients, so don’t settle for second best.