Running a small business is a complex web of processes, from the way that you conduct interviews for prospective employees to what closing duties are in place at the end of the day. Although it takes time to build these processes and get a firm grasp on them, one thing that you need to make a top priority is the kind of marketing strategy you have in place. Advertising and marketing your company is everything, and its concept has changed dramatically in the last ten years. If you’re beginning the task of organizing a marketing team to help you drum up more business, what are some ways that you can help your team be the most successful?
Identify Your Purpose
You know why advertising is important, but have you ever stopped and considered what direction you’d like to go in during the process? Why are you reaching out to marketing specialists at all? There are plenty of reasons that businesses hire these professionals, and it’s not just to create a snappy new slogan.
- Are you a pro at negotiating with difficult customers or are you in need of negotiations training? No worries — that’s one thing that marketing consultants specialize in. Working with others and coming to a happy resolution is an incredibly valuable skill, so even if it’s one you lack you can hire someone to do it for you.
- Is your logo starting to look tired and outdated? Rebranding and reimagining your business with a fresh, updated logo is one service offered by marketing agents. Graphic design skills and knowledge of what is hot in the design world can give applicants a leg up if this is what you’re looking for.
- Do you manage six different professional social media accounts, a company website and run your business all at once? Social media managers are there to help you. These professionals have specialty software available to them that can help to identify trending keywords, hashtags and topics.
Once you’ve identified a clear purpose and figured out what your needs are, you can start going through the application process and seeking people out who can help you. Make sure that you’re looking at a professional portfolio, have spoken to references and have written a clear purpose in the job description.
Be Upfront About Your Goals — And Ask For Help Achieving Them
You’ve hand-picked the team that you want to work for you and you’re on your way to getting your name out there. Hooray! That’s a fantastic start, now it’s time to discuss your goals with everyone. Where do you want your company to be in a year? In five years? Tell your team what you hope to achieve. Be specific, for example: “I hope to double my customer base within the next five years.” They can not only help you to determine whether or not your goals are realistic by having a plethora of data available to them, but they can find ways to help you achieve those goals.
Remember, even if you have a very specific vision about what you want to do, always listen to what your marketing agents have to say. You did hire them for their expertise and knowledge on the subject, after all, so take advantage of it. Who knows, they might have a stellar idea that is something you never even knew was an option. It’s okay to admit that you are not a pro in every subject, which is why you have a team of them to help you out in the meantime.
Communicate Regularly And Have Meetings As A Group
In 2013, poor communication was the number one reason for divorce. While you are likely not married to any member of your marketing team, the dynamics are the same: This is an important partnership and you are all working to achieve a common goal, and let’s face it: It’s a pretty important goal! Rather than let your team go down in flames thanks to lack of communication, make it a point to bring everyone together. Hold meetings however often you feel is necessary, discussing the decisions that are being made and the milestones that have been reached. These don’t have to be in the boardroom over a Powerpoint presentation, why not have lunch or coffee meetings?
Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of emails. We’ve all been to that hour-long meeting that could have been summed up in a single email, so know when to take that route. Including all members of the team in an email ensures that all parties have been contacted, and they can also add any information as well. You don’t want your marketing team to end up in a state of confusion with everyone thinking something different, so be sure to stay on top of communication. As the leader, this is very much your responsibility!
Hold Everybody Accountable
It should go without saying that in a team, everyone is expected to do their part. All people depend on someone else to accomplish whatever task they’re working towards, and if even one person fails to do their job then the next person can’t do theirs. Remember, you are paying these people. Yes, you want to be a nice person and not seem like a nag, but the bottom line is they are working for you. If someone isn’t pulling their weight then you need to be sure you’re addressing your concerns with that person.
If you start to notice bad habits developing (infrequent communication, sloppy work, HR issues, etc), then you need to nip them the moment you see them forming. It takes 66 days (or two months) to develop a new habit; don’t let anyone pass that 66-day threshold and still be doing the wrong thing.
It can seem like a big job to lead a marketing team, and let’s not beat around the bush: It is. Having a clear path and sense of direction can help you all to stay organized, on task and ready to make something beautiful together.
Also published on Medium.