Building the perfect team is not easy…. Especially in such a reactive and constantly changing industry.
Ensuring there is the right mix of skills, experience and personalities to deliver performance that is much greater than the sum of its parts is every leader’s goal.
But for marketing leaders in the digital space there are specific challenges that present themselves. A marketing team is often eclectic and varied, with a mixture of generations and expertise.
How do you build a team that has the expertise and ability to adapt to such a rapidly changing environment?
Building the right culture and work environment
Company culture is the most important aspect in any modern marketing workplace.
Why? Well it’s because of the collaborative and adaptive nature of a marketing team.
The old, more rigid corporate work culture doesn’t always work in a marketing environment. The marketing culture is open and fluid. It is built around communication, ideas, creativity, spontaneity and more than anything, fun!
Marketing teams are synonymous with energy and fun. In a marketing agency you will find pool tables, ping pong and plenty of creative spaces. By creating a culture where your team are free to have fun, free to express themselves and where they feel fully valued, you will always get the best out of them.
Finding the perfect team member is challenging but when you do it’s so rewarding. Where a lot of leaders go wrong, however, is when it comes to cultivating and nurturing these team members. If you don’t create an environment where they can develop and thrive then all of your recruitment efforts will be for nothing.
The ever changing landscape
Digital is the new norm. The digital landscape requires new skillsets and experiences that often find their natural home in millennials.
Seasoned marketers, with their traditional skill set and experience can often be found playing catch up, struggling to adopt the technologies and the feelings of uncertainty that come with losing the shackles of control over brand management in the online world.
But marketing as a discipline hasn’t overly changed; it’s about understanding your target audience, crafting a message that engages and identifying opportunities to reach them. A common misconception is that these new skillsets can’t be learned… Skills can always be learn’t, by any generation.
So when you are building a successful team, don’t forget about one incredibly important aspect that often can’t be taught so easily… Mindset.
You may have built a team of super talented, multi disciplined marketers, but if they don’t have the right mindset then your team won’t work. You need people who believe in your company and believe in their own skills.
More than anything, someone who champions your brand or company on a daily basis.
By building a team with the right balance of skillset and mindset, you can retain and develop the right people with the right attitude for your business.
Giving people more responsibility
The traditional model of leadership is that there is a big boss who runs the entire company and has the final say on everything that happens.
This top down corporate level of leadership just doesn’t fit into the modern marketing model…
Most modern marketing leaders need to face up to the fact that they won’t be leading and pushing the team forward by themselves… It’s more of a group effort.
In a marketing team, everyone has to be on the same page. A marketing team is a collaboration, where multiple people will be working on the same project to the same goals.
By giving everyone the chance to achieve business goals, you can instill a sense of achievement and loyalty to the company.
The younger generation who are joining the marketing industry amidst the digital revolution are more expectant on their roles and how they progress. They don’t want to sit still and wait for their opportunity to climb the ranks – they want to be given the chance to prove themselves. And when the environment is changing so rapidly, you can’t afford to have a workforce who are stuck in one position.
But it’s important that you don’t neglect the more traditional experienced marketers in your team. The ones who will take their time and give full attention to detail, and who know all about the processes and compliance issues behind marketing.
It’s a finely balanced, well oiled but fluid machine
A successful marketing team is one where everyone has a part to play, where everyone has a say in the direction, and where everyone can achieve.
But can’t this be said for any workplace team?
Well, what makes a marketing team truly unique is the free form, spontaneous nature it takes. There aren’t as many constricting processes or rules governing people. Creativity flows!
A marketing leader knows that it’s the team that pushes the business forward, not themselves or a board of directors.
When you have built a team with the right levels of culture, mindset and leadership, you can sit and watch your business grow and thrive organically.
Jon is MD of ClientsFirst, which he launched in 2010, having previously worked in financial services. With three young offspring to keep him busy, Jon conveniently found an office five minutes from home. Find him on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.