Article

Tim Biddiscombe
Tim Biddiscombe 30 September 2020

How to Assemble a Crack Team of Marketers

Creating a winning marketing team can be achieved in many different ways, without breaking the bank. While some of those ways are definitely better than others, there is no single right answer.

Whilst I’m sure you aren’t reading this blog post with chequebook open, it’s worth making the point right away, up front that “money is no object” isn’t a good approach to follow when building out your dream team of marketers.

I admit, it may seem on the face of it a good approach to seek out individuals with the right skills somewhere else and entice them to join your team. However a basic fact of human nature, I have seen time and time again, is that individuals primarily focused on money, (however talented they are), will often not stay the distance. That’s fine if you only want individuals to stay for 12-18 months; but more often than not you want people who will be in it for the long haul. It could take most of that time simply for someone to really, at a deep level, learn how your business works. When you’re just seeing value from your investment in a person you don’t want to find out they have their eye on the door.

It is for that reason primarily that when looking for your A-Team (showing my age there) you need to get creative.

Graduates remain a tried and tested method of adding value to your team, though many larger organisations Grad Schemes tend to restrict longevity in each department as they progress through an organisation in as little as six months, making it difficult to add any value.

I’ve seen many an internal transfer add immense value into a marketing team. The creative problem-solving mindset needed in modern marketing can flourish in the most unexpected of settings. I’ve seen several successful high-fliers in marketing who started out life in finance for example. A triumph of nature over nurture…

Another great way of building talent on a budget is to look in the market for enthusiastic juniors with the potential to become great seniors. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of hiring and promoting people a little before they might be considered ‘ready’, at least on paper. You’ll get greater loyalty and productivity by giving someone a little room to grow into a new role rather than waiting longer to tick every box on what makes someone Purple (in our particular case).

The most important thing a marketing team needs though, is diversity, in every sense of the word. The ancient Greeks, ever an insightful people, had a word “Homophily” to describes the opposite, the intriguing human tendency (from our tribal roots) to surround ourselves with people like, well, ourselves. It’s the reason that a great many of your friends are the same age and earning similar wages for doing similar jobs as you. Bird of a feather is a more recent simplification of this concept, but I much prefer the original for its classical sophistication.

It is very important that you avoid this tendency with every fibre of your being. Your instinct may be to hire people you have a natural rapport with, but that may not be the best thing for your business. Hire people with different viewpoints than you, celebrate and embrace differences in upbringing, race, ethnicity and religion. Your marketing will end up reflecting this policy of diversity with greater creative resonance, and your customers will thank you with their loyalty. To paraphrase the late, great Gene Roddenberry, you will enjoy “Infinite Diversity, in Infinite Combinations”.

Underpinning every successful marketing automation organisation, is a strong and focussed team. For an overview of the key roles that make up a crack marketing team, as well as their responsibilities, download Purple Square’s ebook, An Introduction to Successful Marketing Automation. 

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