Marketing Team Assessment for Marketing Leaders
Do more with less. Marketers are being asked to drive results while managing finite resources. This may not be true in every business, but the application of responsible spending and getting the most from what you have should be standard practice.
Chief Marketing Officers, VPs of Marketing, and Directors of Marketing, alike, are tasked with balancing complex business needs with the skills of their team. Here is a straightforward workbook to identify where your marketing team is strong and where you have room for improvement.
Marketing Team Evaluation
While not all employees will possess or excel at every skill, it’s important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Where there are gaps you will want to train or hire to better align with your need, or even outsource the tasks to a marketing agency or specialists.
Below, you will find a brief description of the core competencies featured in the assessment:
- Coding/Programming: While your company may not have programmers (developers), your marketing team must understand how to leverage technology. You will want to have a baseline competency for integrations, APIs, data hygiene, creating scripts, taxonomy, tagging, and more to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
- Copywriting/Publishing: Effective marketers are strong communicators. Copywriters must be strong writers, as they create the voice and tone representing your company. They need to write with correct grammar, in a creative style, persuasive and concise, and accommodate style into multiple formats, as a website landing page, email campaign or traditional press release. They should balance education and engagement to craft consistently valuable and easy to read pieces for your audience.
- Data Analysis: Data-driven marketing is an important component of the modern marketer. Today’s marketers must possess strong analytical skills—the ability to interpret data from the website and marketing activities, interpret the success of a campaign, and communicate insights. They must be able to turn data into insights, and insights into actions.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers, leads, and prospects. It should be built following best-practice to distribute action-oriented messages, including company announcements, product updates, new premium content and more. The best email marketers understand the buyer’s pathway, capture and target lists, segment messages for audiences, and tweak campaigns based on performance.
- Event Planning/Production: Expanding your brand through in-person events can be highly effective in facilitating growth. Understanding the internal capabilities your team has for planning events for your business and professional groups is critical. Do they have the necessary connections to vendors, facilities (venues), and personnel to pull off a successful event? For organizations focused on events, this skill set is vital to successful execution.
- Graphic Design: Consistency in your visual storytelling is critical in marketing. Diverse graphic design skills are important to the value and sharability of your marketing content. Graphic design needs will cover a wide range of output – print, media (video), digital, infographics, brand systems, and more. Similar to coding/programming, teams need strong capabilities in-house or work with a trusted partner.
- Lead Management/Nurturing: How effectively is your team managing and nurturing leads? Are you appropriately working the leads received through different channels—website, social media, form downloads, inbound phone calls, etc.? Using CRM and/or marketing automation tool is essential to creating the right organization and engagement for leads throughout their journey in your funnel.
- Mobile Strategy: Businesses are going mobile. Does your team understand how to leverage this transition in a way to grow effectively? Do they understand how to use SMS, in-app notifications, and messages to create an engaging strategy? The addition on new tools like MixPanel, AppsFlyer, and other mobile marketing tools will be important to ensure you are getting the most out of your strategy. Like programming/coding and graphic design, a modern marketing department will need these skills in–house, or work with a trusted partner.
- Paid Search Management: The technical understanding required to build successful campaigns off a pre-determined budget with strong segmentation and optimized call to actions is a critical part of driving results. Your team should have a strong command of how paid search works, what channels are performing well, and what changes are coming. If your strategy or skills are not in-house, this is a good area to work with a partner – as long as you have someone who understands it to ensure you are getting the outcomes your business needs.
- Public Relations: PR is any activity, online or offline, designed to build relationships and improve communication with the market. This can include influencer relations, blogger relations, analyst relations, community relations, crisis management and communication, employee relations, public speaking and media relations. Professional marketers with PR skills are a valuable asset in the modern marketing mix.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Does your marketing team have the keyword intelligence it needs to optimize your website, create valuable content, align your social media accounts and updates, develop online listings, and configure PPC campaigns? How capable are they in creating new visits to these channels through the targeted keywords for your business, and how does organic search impact your sales conversion rates?
- Social Media: Social engagement is critical to creating a trusted communication channel for marketing and customer service. As millions of people are engaging online for content, brand relevance, and learning they are trusting their information from social networks. How well does your team integrate social media into the experiences of your company through their communication plan? Are they responding quickly and appropriately on behalf of the brand to communicate your ideas?
- Strategic Planning: Change is inevitable and the best way to prepare is with a strategic plan. It’s likely your resources are limited and the variety of marketing tactics endless. What a marketing team must excel in is how they all work together as part of an integrated, strategic plan. How well does your team understand the marketing strategy, select the appropriate objectives and goals, then chart a plan of action to determine success or failure? Does your team have a strong grasp of the end-result and can the team determine the KPIs each program will need?
- Video Production/Editing: Video is the hottest form of communication in today’s market. Creating visually stimulating content to engage your audience is important to any vibrant marketing effort. Have you built your team to have the ability to create scripts, capture events, vlogs, edit and complete post-production or do they partner with a trusted vendor?
- Website Management: A website is often the first experience a prospect will have with your company. It is a critical lead-generation and content publishing tool. Using it correctly will give your organization the ability to build a strong brand online creating powerful connections with your audience, and driving business growth. Your goal for the website should be to connect with audiences, convey value – drive action and turn the action into leads.
- Product Marketing: Big and small companies alike are creating new, and innovative products more rapidly than before. A strong product marketer will help your team identify the right message, and position in the market. Your goal for the product marketer should be to help you grow the audience of the product and create a cohesive sales enablement program. If you have the right person in place they will likely be really good at a variety of the things already listed, but it’s unlikely they will be “great” at anything other than making the sales engine go faster.
- Marketing Operations: The complexity of marketing data, and the need to align systems to give sales improved leads have created a new type of marketer. The operations professional will be focused on clean data, prospect funnel flow, KPIs, and ensuring your systems meet the marketing objectives. Your goal for this person is to apply their skills to structure, or have them create it where it is missing because the stronger this skill set is in your company – the more efficient your marketing team will be.
Here is a way we have solved the challenges of understanding the talent for your company. If you have 4 or more marketers on your team it’s a good idea to assess where they are, and understand what gaps you might have.
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Adapted from – 15 Skills of the Modern Marketing Team. http://www.themarketingscore.com/blog/bid/226747/15-Skills-of-the-Modern-Marketing-Team