Marketing is not for the faint of heart. It requires many different skills, and in most cases, the expertise to be effective. Let’s face it: we all wish we had a unicorn marketer who could do everything – from strategic planning to execution, to analytics, vendor management, and all that’s in-between. But, it just doesn’t work that way. For as many components as there are within a marketing strategy, there is almost an equal number of specialists, or self-proclaimed gurus, tasked with running that particular function. It takes more than just one marketing person to manage an entire marketing plan, and I’m going to show you why.
To begin, you need the visionary. You may refer to this person as your CMO, CEO or “VP of…”. They develop the overall marketing plan (including research and development), business strategy, messaging, and goals. They direct the team to make sure that each of those high-level functions are properly managed and are performing well. Each of these functions trickle down to a number of tactics, tools and best practices that require a level of expertise.
While many people think that marketing is a straightforward concept, in reality, it is multi-faceted. There are those who drive demand generation, those who are charged with vendor management and relations, content development, website maintenance, social media and lead development. Each of these tasks requires someone to manage them, or in some cases, an entire team. Marketing is an art. There is no perfect formula, and it takes a team of experts to manage, execute, and analyze campaign performance. In many cases, A/B testing is used to optimize the performance of different tactics such as email, social media posting and content – just to name a few.
Still, think the unicorn marketer exists? Try thinking of it this way.
You have what you believe to be a unicorn marketer- and they are amazing! They develop all of your strategies and send really great emails with above-average open rates. But, now you want to try something different. You are getting certified to sell a special product and are getting ready to go to market, but you have no content to distribute. Not to worry – your unicorn marketer who writes really great emails can do it! Nope, try again.
Content creation is a skillset that requires both copywriting skills as well as product or industry expertise. A whitepaper isn’t written in the same voice as a blog or social post, or better yet, an email! They also impact the potential buyer in different ways at different times during the buyers’ journey. So swapping one piece for another isn’t a recommended strategy.
It takes a village
Now that we know there’s no such thing as a unicorn marketer, how do we go about building a team? Good question! A team needs to consist of multiple people with varied skillsets. You may choose to build your own team or hire an agency who will manage your marketing initiatives. Either way, it will take a group of people to create an integrated marketing plan that can be run from start to finish. Most importantly, you will want to make sure that marketing and sales are well aligned because both teams have crucial roles to play.
Marketing may sound like a big undertaking – and that’s because it is especially in the digital age when consumer behavior changes rapidly. Developing a long-term marketing plan may seem daunting, but there are lots of resources that can help get you started.
Not sure where to begin? Start by mapping out your plan.