See what it takes to build a truly skilled marketing team, and, most importantly, how to continue to qualify the team you took time to build.
The success of a Marketing team begins with its formation, with the choice of competent professionals to occupy strategic positions that will have a direct impact on the results achieved.
This certainly involves a lot of work and represents quite a challenge, but it is also what differentiates high-level teams from those that are not above average.
What does it take to build a truly skilled Marketing team? And more importantly, how do you continue to qualify the team you took the time to build?
See everything you need to know to make the right choices and have the best professionals on your side!
What to consider before assembling the team
Before you start looking for candidates or thinking about job descriptions, it’s a good idea to consider a few important factors that will help define the team’s build.
Taking this into account will help you to not rush into things and avoid the mistake of hiring too many people ahead of time, which could unnecessarily complicate the job.
Here are 3 basic aspects you need to pay attention to:
The size of your company is a determining factor both for sizing the team and for defining the profile of candidates who should be hired.
While small businesses will need a few professionals with a more generalist profile, the famous “wild cards”, large companies should seek complete teams, with specialists in their respective areas.
Challenges to be overcome
What are the Marketing and Sales challenges facing your company? What about the goals and targets set for the business in the future?
Thinking about it will help you to fully understand what kind of people you will need to have on your team to achieve what you set out to target.
In fact, you will also know how to mix different personalities and work styles in search of the right diversity to build a differentiated team.
When is it worth outsourcing?
As soon as your company decides to adopt a Digital Marketing strategy, one of the questions that arises is whether to structure a team internally or outsource services. Or, mix the two options. This will depend on your company’s size, area, budget and priorities.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these choices. In the case of a hired team, they usually better understand the context of the company and its objectives. In addition, they have more time to dedicate themselves exclusively and deliver results only for the company itself. However, hiring experienced employees tends to be more expensive, and if they have less experience, the learning curve is longer.
On the other hand, an outsourced team gives your company the freedom to focus on other aspects of the business. But these outsourced professionals will also have less time to devote to their project, as they will likely serve other clients as well.
To know what to outsource or not, it’s worth asking yourself:
- Does this activity take a lot of time for an employee and could it be with another person or company?
- Is it such an important activity for the company to require the hiring of a specialist?
How to hire team members
Hiring your team members will be a challenging task, but it will also prove to be a very positive experience as the pieces fall into place until the line-up is complete.
Pay attention to the following 5 steps to find the ideal candidates for each vacancy:
1. Identify the main challenges by sector
Blue World City already talked about identifying the challenges of the business as a whole, but now is the time to think about the specific difficulties of each position.
This is the first step in defining precisely which type of person is ideal for the position and looking for them in order to solve the problems that will arise on a daily basis.
2. Create an ideal candidate profile
Based on what was defined when thinking about the challenges of each role, you should build an ideal profile of the candidates you will recruit.
It’s not time to go out actively looking for them yet, but this will give you a good sense of what the final team will look like, with everyone in their respective areas.
3. Know the positions you need to fill
This step is like fitting a jigsaw puzzle, but it goes far beyond associating the roles you need on your team with the names of common market positions.
The idea is that you know very well each vacancy for which you are going to hire and know how to select the best ones to be part of the company.
4. Set up an early selection process
Instead of starting the selection process randomly, without a defined direction, it is much better to elaborate a process in advance.
This way, you will avoid unnecessary emergencies and headaches and will show a serious image of the company.
This will also make it easier for only the most qualified people to apply for the job and for your assessment process to be more efficient, increasing your chances of getting hires right.
5. Automate part of recruiting
Of course, you don’t want to be relieved of the responsibility of choosing members of your marketing team, much less see someone with a disability playing an important role.
But that doesn’t mean you have to go through the entire process manually. To attract candidates, there are many useful recruitment sites that can help.
Depending on the vacancy, there are also testing tools that can be used to facilitate your assessment work.
How to qualify your team
After you hire, your job is done, isn’t it? None of that! Anyone who works in marketing knows the importance of qualifying.
It’s no surprise that this is a requirement, but how do you ensure that everyone stays up to date with market standards?
After taking the 4 actions below, you will be able to do this.
1. Give and receive feedback constantly
Feedback is a key point within any team, and it has to come from the leader. So don’t hesitate to give and receive this feedback from each person on your team.
This constant exchange of information will only contribute to everyone’s personal and professional growth and will create a stronger environment to achieve the proposed targets.
2. Promote collaboration across the company
While some leaders foster a spirit of internal competition, believing it will rouse the thirst for results, the best way out is collaboration.
Through it, they learn from each other and acquire skills that they would not be able to achieve on their own.
In other words, a collaborative environment promotes qualification in everyday life, just by exchanging ideas and experiences.
3. Invest in training
Investing in training, certifications, and events that relate to the concepts your team needs to understand is undoubtedly one of the best ways to qualify your team.
The opportunity to learn from industry references about topics relevant to the team’s daily life will make all the difference to keep the team at the highest technical level.
Two excellent channels to certify its employees are RD University and Rock Content University, which offer courses in fundamental areas of Digital Marketing.
4. Encourage content production
Producing content is another amazing way to improve your team’s skills. Think about what it takes to produce a blog post, for example.
Searching for references on a subject, organizing ideas, and communicating them in a simple and objective way so that they create value for readers, it’s not for everyone, is it?
A team that produces content on a regular basis becomes more thorough in tackling the company’s marketing problems successfully.
What’s New in Marketing Management
The arrival of the internet brought complexity to marketing management. Today, there are many channels that need to be worked on. A Digital Marketing strategy, for example, requires a large number of tools and skills.
In addition, consumers today want to interact with the company through different channels, which requires more personalized service. Therefore, marketing managers need a view of consumer behavior and integration with the Sales area.
This professional needs to be concerned with content, customer acquisition, enchantment and more. It’s not just about generating the Lead and passing it on to a seller.
The areas of a Marketing team
Determining core functions, as we said, is difficult because it varies from company to company. But it is possible to list some activities that are critical for the functioning of a marketing area today.
It is difficult for a marketing area to succeed without a good leader. Whether coordinator, manager or director, this person acts as a guide for the team. That’s why, in addition to technical capacity, it needs to engage the team and identify with the company’s culture, representing it.
Having an SEO professional is also essential for the functioning of a marketing strategy. With a more technical profile, he is responsible for developing and executing strategies for websites to be relevant in search engines.
Those who work with content are responsible for one of the main means of attracting Leads today. The production can even be outsourced, but it is important that someone is involved in editing and reviewing the contents received, adapting them to the company’s needs.
The designer is currently responsible not only for the creative part but also for usability techniques. Websites need to be responsive and user-friendly for your internet strategy to be successful. That’s why a professional specialized in this area is essential.
Finally, the person responsible for operations is the one who will ensure control in the execution of activities, following the planning. He can also implement Marketing Automation tools, which free up the rest of the team for those more strategic and less repetitive activities.
The main roles for a marketing team
What, after all, are the main roles a marketing team needs to do well and make profits for the business?
As we have already seen, depending on the size of the company, the marketing team may have a few professionals or dozens of them.
Therefore, we’ve analyzed below just some of the vacancies you might want to fill in your company:
The role of an SEO analyst is to follow the progress of a company’s optimization strategies and look for opportunities for improvement, which involves keeping an eye out for the latest news on the subject.
It must also ensure that what has been defined in this sense is actually put into practice. For that, you need to understand SEO metrics, collaborate with the content and development teams.
social media analyst
The social media analyst, in turn, has the mission to understand how the company’s image is doing on these networks, as well as the engagement of followers and fans with the content produced.
Of course, he should also lead the improvements made in this regard, particularly with a view to increasing conversions through these channels.
content marketing manager
The Content Marketing Manager is responsible for coordinating a team of professionals responsible for all content production and maintenance of the blog: writers, designers, and others.
You must always be aware of the company’s goals — such as generating leads and increasing sales — and creating strategies and processes that lead to their achievement.
web development analyst
The web development analyst needs to keep the company’s corporate website and blog running flawlessly, as well as maintain and update as needed.
Must understand advanced design and development principles, and collaborate with content teams, social media and others to create great user experiences.
Optimization and Conversions Manager/Analyst
This is the professional responsible for managing all marketing tests and using them to improve the conversion rate through the sales funnel.
Landing Pages, forms, Call-to-Action buttons and A/B tests are some of the concepts he needs to understand very well to increase Lead generation and conversions of these into customers.
Indeed, the process of finding and recruiting talented professionals to join your marketing team requires a lot of proactivity and a careful analysis of candidates. But by following these tips you’ll have what it takes to do a great job and reap the rewards.
How to structure a Digital Marketing team using the Growth Machine methodology
Creating and maintaining a structured marketing team is one of the first – and most important – requirements to implement a Digital Marketing strategy. But for that, you need to start by determining the ideal professional profile for your business. What are the necessary experiences? What characteristics, skills, and knowledge are desirable?
With this profile defined, it’s time to analyze the available candidates: based on what your company needs in relation to the professional, design a test that allows the candidate to show if he is the person you need.
The knowledge needed
If you decide to keep an internal team or part of it, you will need to know what are the skills and characteristics necessary for a Marketing professional. Of course, some of this depends on the role that will be assumed, but in general, it is desirable that a professional in the field be:
- T-shaped: This means he must have a general Digital Marketing background, but he must also be an expert in some area, such as content production or SEO;
- Data-driven: professionals must justify their opinions and choices through data, not “guessing”;
- Differentiated: among the differentials of a good Digital Marketing professional are dynamism, curiosity, willingness to learn, and proactivity. Other good indications: certifications in the area, good previous references, etc.
In the beginning, it is difficult to know how many professionals will be needed to put your Digital Marketing strategy into practice. The truth is that the team can vary, as it will depend on how much you are willing to invest.
If your company is small or medium, you can start with an employee with a more generalist profile, that is, one who understands a little of everything. As marketing demands grow, you can hire more and more qualified professionals for specific roles.
But which professional should start hiring? Although there is no single right answer, Digital Results has a methodology, the Growth Machine, which serves as a guide to know what the size of your team should be according to your development and growth in Digital Marketing.
How to build and increase the performance of a team using the Growth Machine as a methodology
The Growth Machine methodology aims to help companies grow in a clear and predictable way, following a path of success in Digital Marketing.
It is divided into 4 phases that indicate the degree of evolution of the company in Inbound Marketing. In each phase, there are some steps to implement or evolve the Digital Marketing strategy, and also a suggestion on how to compose the Marketing and Sales team.
For those starting out, phases 1 and 2 of the methodology are addressed, which we will see below.
Phase 1: Channel Test
Phase 1 is the start of everything. This is when the company is still learning to use Inbound Marketing as a tool for acquiring customers, generating Leads, nurturing them, and qualifying them for sale.
It usually lasts between 3 and 6 months. The team must have at least 1 or 2 people in Marketing and Sales: one of the collaborators must work in Digital Marketing, knowing at least the basic concepts, such as Lead, Blog, Email Marketing, etc. The other should focus on sales, working on the Leads generated from Inbound actions.
At this stage, it is suggested that professionals take courses and consume more general contents, which helps to apply the methodology. It is necessary, first of all, to understand the strategy and how it applies to the context of the company. It might be a good idea to have a Lead Generation consultancy.
Phase 2: Replicable Model
As of phase 2, the company starts to make more Inbound sales. So, it’s time to start actions that generate more volume and predictability in the generation of leads and sales.
For this phase, 6 to 12 months will be needed. The team must consist of 2 to 5 professionals. One must be in Marketing, there must be a part-time person in Pre-Sales (Leads Qualification/Half Funnel), a designer or freelancer, and salespeople. Everyone must know basic Digital Marketing techniques and understand the mechanics.
It’s time to invest in specific courses and content, consulting and even outsourcing focused on solving the main bottlenecks of the team, such as the problem of scale in content production and media purchase.
Phase 3: Automating and scaling
For those who already do Digital Marketing, that is, who already have a certain maturity in the strategy, it is time to automate and scale the process (Phase 3 of the Growth Machine methodology). This is because the operation has grown naturally to the point where some pain appears.
The volume of Leads to be qualified becomes too large for this to be done manually, and the pace of organic growth slows down, appearing to be close to a saturation level. Making communication, content and Leads management operational is starting to become difficult.
It is in this context that you should increase your marketing and sales team as follows:
- at least two marketing professionals;
- a content publisher/producer (internal or outsourced);
- a pre-sales;
- a designer;
- at least three sellers.
At this stage, your team should already be able to use intermediate techniques of Digital Marketing and sales, generate more volume of recurring Leads, work on paid media and develop a well-designed buying journey for your target audience.
It’s also time to start using automated email flows (which will relieve a part of the team from manual production) and have automation of qualification for sales (Lead Scoring).
When your business is running at full speed this way, it’s time to move to Phase 4 (Optimization). Here the company already has a high-volume, fluid operation, with good market penetration, and is already struggling to continue gaining volume. The focus now is on gaining efficiency.
At this stage, the concern is to use data and intelligence to be able to better capitalize on the entire structure and actions that are already being carried out. Here, it is highly recommended that you create a structure of experiments ( growth hacking ) to make continuous improvements in the most diverse Digital Marketing practices available, always based on numbers and advanced analysis.
So, the team already has to be a little more robust. It is expected that the team already has:
- a CMO or marketing director;
- 4 or more specialists by technical subject;
- 2 or more content editors/producers;
- creative team of 3 or more people (designers, video editors or others);
- at least 1 sales ops on the sales team.
At this stage, the team needs to be able to use advanced marketing and sales techniques, do growth hacking, produce segmented content, have email flow to customers, have a sales efficiency analysis process that brings feedback to marketing to update Lead Scoring and goals.
Phase 5: Identifying bottlenecks
Another way to assess whether the team’s structure is working is to analyze the operation and look for possible bottlenecks.
Is content production up to date? Do all qualified Leads go through pre-sales? Are sellers able to address all the Leads coming to them?
To help identify these bottlenecks, you can adopt these tips:
- Have a clear definition of each employee’s capacity in terms of efficiency and time: you need to know the production potential of your employees to know what and how to charge them;
- Prepare employees to take over management: in a growing company, it is common for individual contributors to become managers, and many have had no previous management experience. Therefore, align expectations, increase responsibilities and monitor the evolution of this new manager;
- Plan for structure and process improvement: Check what the structure of a given area is today and whether it will be scalable in 6 months for planned growth. In addition, prepare to specialize areas, benchmark and optimize processes;
- Ensure culture alignment: Have a company culture code and ensure leaders are ambassadors. And put those values into practice.
How to increase the performance of a Digital Marketing team
Once the Digital Marketing team is assembled, it is common for the company to face some problems: for example, the knowledge of the members is not completely leveled, causing development problems.
Another case: you end up hiring a super-competent professional with great potential, but with a great lack of experience. In short, situations and demands for the improvement of employees can be diverse.
Therefore, it is necessary to invest in the qualification of these employees so that teams with high performance are built. Therefore, it is interesting to think about developing the skills of each employee and seeking to align the team’s knowledge.
Below, we’ve selected some of the performance-enhancing trends and how they can positively impact a team.
Empowering employees in the use of tools becomes necessary when Digital Marketing teams are getting structured and it is necessary to increase the group’s productivity.
There are some cases where applications and/or software can help increase the performance of a team. Are they:
Case 1: If manual work is done frequently
When you have a small business, it’s relatively simple for the Marketing team to be able to do everyday tasks manually.
Results Digitais lived it firsthand: until the second half of 2013, the company converted a small number of Leads, so it was easy for us to analyze those who showed interest in the tool. When he was considered qualified, he was referred to the team of 2 salespeople to be approached.
But in about a year, the sales force grew from 2 to 21 salespeople, and the demand for ready-to-buy Leads also grew. So, analyzing them individually became much more complex.
Hiring more people to do these sorting work, however, would be too expensive and not at all scalable. Therefore, some tools were adopted to eliminate manual and poorly scalable work.
Solutions like Marketing Automation and Lead Scoring became part of our Inbound Marketing process, ensuring that the maintenance of Leads data and triggering of communication and relationship materials would happen automatically.
They were very important processes to be automated, as they ensured that our team stopped worrying about simple tasks that demanded a lot of time and turned our attention to the executions that actually generate results for us and that depend totally on the strategic capacity of the RDoers (our collaborators).
Other tools that can help streamline recurring tasks are spreadsheets and templates. For example, if your team does monthly reports, having a report template is a simple way to speed up this task. The employee will only have to fill in the template with the updated data and adapt some information as necessary.
Spreadsheets, on the other hand, can help in making calculations, preventing the person responsible for doing everything manually and minimizing the possibility of errors.
Case 2: A process depends on people outside the team/outsourcing
Another example where tools can be used is when a part of the process depends on people outside the team – outsourced work, allocated to another unit of the company or home office. There are cases of companies that work with Digital Marketing and that outsource or remotely execute part of the projects, such as the creation of Landing Pages or email templates.
This has a financial cost for the company and can also create situations in which production performance and agility are compromised. External forces can lead to delays, rework due to misalignment with the proposal, change of employees, etc.
So, it is easier for the company’s employees to be able to fulfill these tasks. You can use tools for this, as long as they’re not too complex and don’t require advanced skills that contributors don’t have.
An example is RD Station Marketing, which has intuitive features for creating Landing Pages and emails in a simple and agile way, in addition to the Marketing Automation and Lead Scoring mentioned above.
If you invest in tools, enable employees to use them
It is possible to adopt tools to gain agility in processes and reduce costs, but it is necessary to train employees to use these tools. Fortunately, many of them offer ways to empower users. One case is RD Station Marketing itself, which has an exclusive certification at RD University and teaches how to use all the tool’s functionalities.
Work processes and forms of management
Using tools is a possibility to streamline processes, but this may not be enough to increase the productivity of Digital Marketing teams. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to invest in work processes and forms of management.
Below are two cases in which these strategies may be necessary:
Case 1: When there are several people involved in the same process
A larger team can have more than one person working on the same project. Therefore, to create uniformity and alignment in the execution of tasks, it is important to implement processes.
For example: when we are going to produce content for Lead generation, it is necessary to have a process for the production of this material. All people who will be part of the process must follow steps that have a logical order with a beginning, middle, and end.
Each step must be assigned to specific people and be broken down into activities. Thus, each person understands what their functions are and it becomes easier to detect possible errors.
This process also helps to “interface” the areas, as sometimes a project can involve more than one team.
In the case of content for Lead generation, the content production team (writing) and the creative team (diagramming) work. Thus, each team has a person in charge, who receives the demand for tasks from other teams and distributes it to their team members, organizing the process.
Another example: Alignment between Marketing and Sales
The alignment between Marketing and Sales is essential in a well-structured team, but it is common to see Marketing and Sales teams in which there is a lot of friction.
This detracts from the performance of the teams and impacts the goals of both. Thus, it is necessary to follow some precepts to ensure that there is no misalignment:
- Understand the duties and difficulties of each of the areas;
- Same goals in mind;
- Have an SLA (Service Level Agreement or Service Level Agreement) to formalize the agreements.
Case 2: not to inflate the Marketing team and ensure deliveries
Work processes and forms of management services to not inflate the team and ensure that everyone delivers what is needed.
By organizing the activities in this type of process, it is easier to see which professionals are needed to carry out the tasks that need to be fulfilled. This avoids hiring people who will not be well aligned with the projects.
By dividing projects into stages and tasks, you can keep track of who is carrying out which activity, increasing the chances of delivery, as each employee is responsible for their activities and is charged for them.
Training is effective way to increase performance and retain talent within your team. According to the 2019 edition of the Linkedin Learning Report, 94% of respondents say they would stay longer in companies that invested in training and development. 48% claim to have found purpose in performing their functions and 47% felt less stressed.
This training appears as a way to meet the team’s demand for knowledge and allow learning to be applied in the short term.
It is important that the training theme is applicable to several people on the team, not just one.
Online courses and certifications
Certifications and online courses can be a good option for those who want to update themselves, to align knowledge within a team and train professionals with potential but lack of baggage. In addition, they can assist in the hiring process.
Brazilian law stipulates that each position within a company has a CBO (Brazilian Register of Occupation), making the functions have some training prerequisites that cannot be ignored. Therefore, several companies have required training certificates in the recruitment process.
In addition to ensuring that the chosen candidate has the basic knowledge stipulated for the performance of their function, the training also shows proactivity in the search for new knowledge.
Online courses can also be useful when a more specific division of tasks within the team is needed.
For example, a part of the team is responsible for processes more focused on SEO; another, through social networks;, by producing content for certain steps in the sales funnel, and so on.
There are several companies that already produce their own online courses or that use content produced by other companies.
The RD University, for example, offers several courses and certifications for those who want to study more deeply Digital Marketing and still get a certification in the subject.
Corporate events have grown a lot in Brazil in recent times. And with this growth, marketing certainly could not be left out.
The RD Summit, for example, is the largest event in Digital Marketing and sales in the country and has extremely recognized annual editions.
The RD on the Road is another initiative to bring networking and quality content on Digital Marketing to several cities in Brazil during the year.
But how can such an event increase the performance of a marketing team?
Initially, it is helpful to meet and learn from people who are icons in this area. It is possible to update on new marketing trends, share experiences and learn a lot about what is currently being put into practice.
Another important aspect is networking: at these events, it is possible to exchange many ideas and tips, get advantageous contacts for future business, and share guidelines related to the marketing world in general.
A marketing consultancy has the function of helping to plan strategies in line with the objectives of the company that hires the service.
It can be a good option for a company that uses strategies that are no longer used and is looking to evolve, which is in the initial stage and does not know where to start applying these strategies, or to improve communication within the marketing team and the division of tasks, aligning team members and organizing action plans.
In other words, it is useful for all the common dilemmas of a modern practice like Digital Marketing.
Go deeper into managing your Marketing team
As you’ve seen, building a good Marketing team is just the beginning of a great journey. When leading a team, you need to constantly update yourself, bringing new ideas and challenges to your employees.
So, access our Marketing Management Guide for free. If you’re going to need to coordinate, plan, optimize and hire, know that it’s no simple task. This guide will also help you with your planning and metrics.