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What Does a Modern Marketing Team Look Like?

By Dave Bornmann • February 1, 2018

If you head up marketing for your association or organization’s programming, services or products, knowing who does what in any given marketing situation can be a balancing act as roles and people shift.

If your organization is constantly expanding its offerings, team organization can be a juggling act to logically recalibrate your team so that all available skill sets are effectively covering your marketing activities.

And if you’re trying to market your organization’s evolving products with a changing staff while trying to take advantage of the some of the available marketing technology that promises to help you keep up with change while the technology itself changes, running an effective marketing team can feel like trying to hit a moving target while juggling.

But clearly delineating marketing roles on your team is imperative to running an effective marketing operation for three reasons:

  1. The skillsets required to be an effective marketer are always evolving.

It’s difficult for marketing professionals to be generalists anymore. In addition to a communications theory or a business knowledge foundation (or sometimes both), here’s a non-exhaustive list of concepts modern marketers are expected to know to perform their jobs:

  • Business writing
  • Understanding needs of the market
  • Lead generation
  • Solution messaging
  • Competitive analysis
  • Data analysis

Adding much more to this list makes for a range of responsibilities that is too wide for any one person to effectively manage. Clearly define your marketing personnel’s roles so no one becomes overwhelmed.

  1. Most people tend to be creative or analytical, but not both.

Modern marketing is a balance of creativity and data analysis, but most people tend to be stronger at one or the other (left-brained vs. right-brained). Your team should have the right balance of creative and analytical skills that works best for your company’s goals, and within your team, the right mix of roles and individuals filling those roles. On the left-brained side, you need people who can quickly understand how to adopt and leverage fast-evolving marketing technologies: marketing automation, customer relationship management platforms, Google Analytics (or other Web data tracking platforms), and search engine optimization software. On the right-brained side, you will need people who understand their role is to power your campaigns with fresh content that makes your organization stand out using material and data that someone not as immersed in your product will still be able to digest.

  1. The importance of ROI on marketing spend has increased dramatically.

Your marketing team should understand that they are being evaluated on the return on investment they can offer the organization. Put another way, what are they going to produce with the marketing budget the organization gives them? To give back successfully, each member of your marketing team should understand their role in tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to report on those KPIs to offer a comprehensive picture of what is working and what isn’t. This may demand expertise in data analytics and lead generation of some, but not all, roles of your team. At minimum, all roles should be expected to know how their work contributes to your department achieving your marketing goals and what they need to do to effect progress toward those goals.

As marketing practices evolve, there will always be a need for traditional marketing skills like understanding the buyer, as well as a need for more modern skills like navigating a dynamic marketing campaign. Some skills, such as social media marketing, become considered “traditional” as time goes on. No matter the changes in a marketer’s toolbox, the one key tool that will determine your marketing team’s success is a clearly defined set of roles. Organize your marketing team effectively, and you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your marketing goals.

Dave Bornmann, Naylor Association Solutions

Dave Bornmann is the chief marketing officer for Naylor Association Solutions. Catch him during the “What Does a Modern Marketing Team Look Like?” panel at MarTech Magnified on Feb. 2, 2018.