Management Tips: Guide Your Marketing Team to Growth
Regardless of whether you choose to have a marketing agency assist, a strong and empowered in-house marketing team can move mountains for your company. They are the mastermind of your brand, the communications liaison for outsourced jobs, and the main point of communication to your customer. Your marketing teams have hands in all of your communication buckets. Whether they are teams of 3 or 300, your marketing department has the potential to impact thousands of consumers and incite exponential growth. Here are some management tips that have a positive impact on your team’s output.
Are you empowering them to do their best possible job?
The most successful marketing leaders put conscious thought and effort into the cultivation of their marketing team. The team leader can’t take on every single project or have eyes on everything.
“The cost of empowerment is paid in decisions that weren’t the ones that you would have made.”Joe Chernov, Coffee with a CMO
For better or worse, your team will make decisions without you. That’s why ultimate trust in your team is paramount to a productive marketing strategy. Here are a few ways to foster the passion, dedication, and knowledge it takes to grow a successful marketing team.
Always Ask Why
Complacency can be a huge reason your marketing efforts are not showing the return you hoped. Many believe complacency to mean lazy, or lacking originality, but at its core, it means ‘overly pleased.’ A team’s complacency can manifest in being perfectly satisfied in conducting a mediocre job and receiving mediocre results.
You can spot complacency very quickly by asking one simple question: “Why?” When you ask for an explanation on a specific strategy, and your marketing team says “that’s just what we usually do” – That is complacency.
So how do we eradicate complacency? Empower your team to talk with their team or with you around WHY. Sweat the small stuff – question fonts, calls to action, targeting – anything that will encourage a dialogue that connects back to the main company goals.
Stimulate conversation around reasoning behind decisions. This will condition your team to always have a thought-out response for all aspects of a campaign or marketing effort. Thought-out responses for decisions making just a roundabout way to say a decision took conscious effort.
Promote Research and Support Curiosity
One of the best management tips we’ve heard is to offer your marketing team the chance to satisfy their curiosities. The content topics that can improve your marketing strategy is surprisingly broad – so if you let your team chase their creative questions, they will come back with creative answers.
You need to understand who is creating quality content to have a good handle on your own. Empower your team to read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, join webinars, or read articles on a plethora of topics.
This sparks curiosity and helps you think out of the box, stimulates content ideas, allows your team to increase their industry and general knowledge, and will inevitably increase job satisfaction.
In order to be effective, marketers need to have credibility. Because they have to do a lot of leading by influence, they have to do a lot of aligning and engaging and evangelizing, and that only works when people trust you. They only trust you if you deliver the goods and are accountable; you do what you say and you say what you mean.
— Peter Horst, CMO, The Hershey Company
Stimulate this curiosity by setting up opportunities for group learning or sharing valuable info – whether it is directly connected to your efforts or not. People get excited to share new ideas, even if it’s just a section of your CRM or a quick shoutout in the weekly meeting. If the right person hears the right idea, it will lead to creative efforts that benefit the company.
Treat Marketing efforts as a cycle and circle back
Similar to the agile marketing method, it is important to be continuously learning from past efforts. It is not a waste of time to revisit old data and results from multiple campaigns. This practice is a great way to learn from mistakes or find the reason why something didn’t perform as hoped. The more eyes and discussion you have around campaign results, the more insight you have onto how those results came to pass.
Offer up time blocks to analyze past data and set up processes to maximize actionable insights from this process. This can be as simple as a quick bulleted list. It’s not meant to be pretty or impressive, it’s only meant to stimulate conscious problem-solving.
Set up monthly or quarterly meetings specifically to discuss the most objectively successful marketing campaign and ask WHY it worked out that way. (Have déjà vu from the first tip?)
Communication on repeatable campaigns and areas for improvement
If you have a large marketing team, or a team that works on completely separate projects, take some time to connect everyone through wins and fails. This time for specific communication on creates an environment of nonjudgemental learning. It’s not about who gets the blame when something didn’t work, or who gets the credit when it does. It’s about how to spread the success of campaigns across channels, or how to avoid the mistakes of campaigns in the future.
Whether it’s a full team meeting or a quick write-up, broadcast the top best campaign and the lowest performing campaign to the entire team. This will stimulate the repetition of the good campaign strategy and crowdsource solutions for the low performer. This practice may even catch some key implementation mistakes that can save the campaign.