Marketing is a big deal. It’s always on the minds of business owners and CEOs, and there are millions of google searches on marketing every day. With so much focus and attention on marketing, there are still so many ways companies don’t get it right.
Here are the 5 biggest marketing mistakes companies make when trying to grow their team, and how you can avoid them.
Marketing Mistake #1: Using marketing as a part time or junior role.
This is the number one marketing mistake CEOs and business owners make when structuring their organizational charts. We know how important marketing is. We talk about it in strategic plans and monthly meetings, but it’s still often relegated to part of someone else’s full time job or to a junior associate or intern.
Good marketing is strategic and consistent. It takes time, nearly three to six months of effort, to have an effect. The skills and time needed to create an effective marketing strategy and plan has increased as our technology and available data has increased. It’s no longer just about designing an ad for a magazine or buying a billboard.
Your competitors have complex customer journeys and multichannel marketing strategies that involve attracting and nurturing new people. With so many choices at the click of a button, it’s no longer about getting the most number of eyeballs on your company or organization.
Your prospects want to build a relationship with you, and you need a well thought out and consistently executed plan to make it happen.
You need someone (or a team) focused on your marketing with the experience to get it done effectively and strategically. Successful marketing is not an extracurricular activity.
Marketing Mistake #2: Expecting Your Marketing Coordinator to do both strategy and Implementation.
The role of marketing in 2021 is vastly misunderstood. We shake our heads when we see open marketing positions asking for experience in web design, social media, content writing, photography, SEO, strategic planning, and 10 years of experience.
Generally, the company is looking for a unicorn or is prepared to overwork their employees into burnout.
There are two roles in marketing: marketing strategy and marketing implementation. They require different skill sets and work best in different roles.
Strategy creates the map.
Marketing strategists look at company goals and insights, industry trends, customer and prospect behavior, and data. Most people discover and purchase your products or services through multiple channels – social media, a website, email nurturing, etc.
A marketing strategist takes the 10,000 ft view to make sure all these channels are intersecting and aligned with organizational goals.
Marketing implementers actually execute the tasks the strategy calls for. These skills are specialized – think graphic design, content writing, SEO and digital advertising, creating social media posts, building email campaigns.
While one person can be skilled in different specialties like graphic design and writing, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find one person who can do all of it. Not only because of the deep skills necessary for each tactic, but because of the time involved to implement each piece well.
What should I do?
Hire out pieces of your marketing while you’re building your team (or indefinitely based on your organizational goals).
If you already have marketing implementers, you can hire a marketing strategy consultant to come in and build the high level plan and provide direction for your team. This is my specialty, and I love to work with new and growing marketing teams.
The 90-Day Marketing Strategy is the fastest way for a team to find success and stay consistent with their marketing.
By hiring a consultant like me to create and guide them through a plan, my clients are adaptable to changing opportunities, and can see results from consistent work.
Strategy consultants are considerably more affordable than hiring one inhouse. The median salary range for a marketing director is $133,000 and a CMO’s base salary starts even higher.
Working with a consultant can help your team achieve their marketing goals without breaking the bank.
Marketing Mistake #3: Building Your Marketing Department in a Silo
The days of marketing and sales cloistered in their separate offices with little interaction inside the company are over.
The role of marketing in your company should be to support the other departments. Marketing should:
- Support sales by educating and nurturing prospects until they are ready to purchase.
- Help current customers understand your product or service so they get the most out of their purchase and want to buy again.
- Prioritize and develop tactics based on the goals of the organization.
Your marketing department should be listening to the people who work directly with the customers. They should base campaigns on upcoming projects, sales cycles, and the needs of the customers.
Your team needs to be connected to your customers in order to serve them. Make sure there are systems in place to collaborate between departments and give updates to the team.
Marketing Mistake #4: Only Setting Marketing Goals Based on Marketing Tactics
The first question I ask prospective clients is “what are your marketing goals?” and the answers I usually get are specific goals related to website traffic, instagram followers, or email list growth.
While these are important metrics to understand or pay attention to, they aren’t directly connected to organizational goals or the end results of client interactions – they don’t always translate into purchases.
Getting more followers doesn’t automatically transfer to sales. Views on your ads don’t always translate to program success.
Your marketing goals should support your organizational and sales goals. They should focus on how your marketing tactics will support these organizational goals. Yes, gaining more followers is nice, but you need to be clear on WHY this is important and how it fits into the major goal.
The problem with only setting goals based on marketing tactics, is that your efforts may never help your potential customers make the leap from discovering your business to learning you are the best fit for them, to making a purchase.
You Can Create a Successful Marketing Team
Don’t feel discouraged if you’ve made any of these mistakes in the past. They are the most common because so many business leaders make them. Your competitors are making them right now.
The structure of a successful marketing team has countless configurations. It doesn’t have to look like an in-house team of six, just one person wearing all the hats, or even hiring everything out and hoping for the best.
Your best team is the one that takes into account the current talents and interests of your staff, the future goals of your company, and the needs you are prioritizing right now. Marketing teams can be made of in-house and contracted work, generalists with good direction, or any combination.
Your team is going to grow with you, but it doesn’t have to grow all at once. You can supplement your core team in the way that makes the best financial sense for your business.