Talent wins games but teamwork wins championships.” -Michael Jordan
Modern marketing engages today’s hyper-connected, omni-channel consumers. Building a winning modern marketing team with the 8 essential positions, and developing a solid plan to meet that challenge, requires mindful attention to architecture.
Here’s what I mean…
Companies must build a multi-layered and thoughtfully-designed structure to attract target customers, deliver value, build trust, generate leads and eventually close sales.
The specific components that constitute a winning modern marketing team are too often deemphasized. Strengths and weaknesses are overlooked for the sake of speed or lack of a plan.
Determine organizational strengths.
A medium or large company has the financial resources to fill the essential 8 positions. However, it’s important to capitalize on the strengths of each player and training should be considered. Organizational strengths would include a dialed-in human resources process, structured leadership and a strong consumer-centric company culture.
A small company with fewer than 50 employees may find it unrealistic to have 8 different people fill their modern marketing team positions. Being nimble is a strength for small business but it’s worth mentioning that lack of structure is an impediment to success.
A small company’s team structure might consist of fewer players, and in some cases, only one person. Whichever way the company integrates its team though, the essentials for success remain the same.
Don’t expect the impossible.
Proceed with caution when relying solely on one person because no matter how smart or talented your one person is, the chances that they possess all of the modern marketing skills needed are highly unlikely. Why? Because mastering each one of the 8 team positions’ duties depends upon simultaneous focus from different sections of the brain.
We’ve all met the left-brain, analytical types and also the right-brain creatives. Who we haven’t met very often are individuals who are highly adept at both.
Imagining every modern marketing skill in one individual is like expecting an entire sports team to win by using only one player. In other words, don’t expect something that’s physically impossible.
Allowing for this physical fact when designing the architecture of your marketing team will help produce a more solid structure to build on.
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8 Essential Positions in a Winning Modern Marketing Team
Each one of the following eight positions need not all be separate individuals. However, each personality type and its corresponding skills must be thoroughly considered should a company decide to employ one individual as a Social Media Manager (for example). It’s ok to have an overlap of duties, as long as the structure is sound.
1. Modern Marketing Team Leader/Editor
The role of a team leader is instrumental in ensuring brand consistency and alignment of business objectives. This management position oversees:
- Content strategy
- Content production
- Goal setting & metrics
- Team performance
- Time management
- Marketing and advertising campaigns
- Online reputation management
- Measurement & analysis
- Sets & tracks milestones for accountability
2. Community Manager
Content is a valuable company asset.
Distributing content while engaging customers and prospects holds great responsibility. This position is the voice of your business. The skills needed to grow and develop your online community are:
- A genuine delight in engaging people in conversations
- Finesse with asking questions to learn more about a customer’s needs
- A solid grasp of company brand identity
- A good sense of empathy
- Professional communication
- Ability to deliver quick thoughtful responses
- Competency in recognizing leads in conversations
- Proficiency in moving sales leads from social/online to offline (Facebook Messenger, texting, email, etc.)
Content is a main driver of authority online.
The more contributors you have, the easier it is to deliver consistent, relevant, and helpful content. However, with a team of content contributors, an established process is essential.
Engaging employees, especially salespeople, who know your customers’ needs and desires is a best practice. A further best practice is establishing a workable content collection process that organizes everyone’s contributions.
A winning modern marketing team will invest time and effort on creating new content. A curator keeps their ear to the ground for industry trends, out-of-the-box ideas and unique ways to help customers on their journey to purchase.
A curator’s contributions to the team also include finding ways to repurpose content for different mediums and advertising campaigns.
A good curator always has their finger on the pulse of your intended audience.
Larger companies should install a CCO “Chief Content Officer”. This person should be responsible for setting the overall editorial or content marketing vision and integrating all of your content. As every silo (PR, email, social, search, etc.) starts to create and curate content, it is the CCO’s responsibility to make sure the stories remain consistent and make sense to the audience(s).
In addition, the CCO must understand how the stories translate into results that address the organization’s business goals – driving sales, saving costs, or creating more loyal customers). This role is almost always the liaison between the content marketing strategy and executive leadership.
Never underestimate the power of good design. Many businesses (and even clients I work with) gloss over this fact and resort to do-it-yourself photoshop disasters or website customer experience debacles.
Tools do not an artist make. Great designers bring your content to life through vibrant visuals and smart design. They make sure your customers’ website experience is focused on frictionless flow towards action.
Modern marketers must embrace data and analysis. Here’s where the right brain/left brain conundrum comes into next-level play, especially when you’ve got only one person running your entire marketing and advertising campaigns.
Many “creatives” have little patience for data and spreadsheets. Many “data wizards” can’t recognize or don’t care about the difference between Comic Sans, Helvetica and Papyrus fonts.
The right person for this task is one who can look at data regularly, determine where holes might be and provide actionable insights.
7. SEO/SEM Specialist
Every bit of content on your website, no matter how compelling, needs a push to make it more visible. This position takes your consistent, relevant content, optimizes it and makes it indexable for search engines to find it easily.
The SEO/SEM specialist will provide recommendations and guidance for content strategies to increase organic and paid traffic to your site.
Website development would be included in a SEO/SEM Specialist’s duties. Even if a company outsources development, it’s helpful to know website design basics in order to make small updates to your site.
8. Outside Expert (Architect)
An expert architect sees the big picture. She/he listens and interprets company business goals and thoughtfully educates and guides the players through the process. She/he gleans the most potential out of a marketing plan and earnestly interprets company aspirations.
Architects are trained problem-solvers. The value of an expert architect lies in her/his pragmatic ability to balance design, construction and cost. Marketing efforts become more fluid and desired results are achieved more quickly.
This 8th “expert architect” position in your winning modern marketing team can be thought of as a marketing compliance solution. A less-formal audit component to make sure your resources – time, effort and budget – are spent wisely.
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