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How to Manage a Marketing Team (and How to Lead One) Part 2

February 21, 2018 • 4-minute read

How to Manage a Marketing Team Part 2

As many people who lead marketing teams can tell you, the job isn't what they often make it out to be on movies and television. Leading a group of creatives in 2018 means coaching and growing people of different learning styles, working preferences, focus areas and sometimes, locations.

Many internal marketing teams and marketing agencies are now composed of both offshore creative support and internal team members in different regional offices.

To get people on the same page, at StraightArrow, we sometimes incorporate improv exercises into team meetings and workshops. One exercise involves assigning turns to team members who are physically present and on Skype and asking them to tell a collective story one word at a time.

In this second part of our blog post, we share four lessons we’ve learned on leading marketing teams and the people (writers, designers, SEM Specialists and analysts) in them. Some of these tips, we've lifted off from our greatest agency owner, creative director, and content marketer clients.

Part 2: Leading people with vision and empathy

  1. Create diversity within the team.

    One of the most critical responsibilities of any leader is to build a team by hiring the the right people externally or from a pool within your organization. Just as we create buyer persona profiles for ideal customers, we recommend writing team member profiles to help you and your recruitment officers spot a good team player when you see one.

    You might have to create multiple profiles if you work with team members of different skill sets and disciplines. Not all creatives and marketers are made of the same ilk -- and they shouldn't be. The teams that often produce the best results are those composed of both introverts and extroverts, and serious folk who prefer to look at data who can bounce off ideas with artistic folk who prefer to look at the story.
  1. Envision a strategy with your CMO and be clear about it.

    While 2017 has proven how marketing really doesn't exist in a bubble, being able to communicate the following is key to setting your creative team for success: the buyer personas and customer behaviors a specific collateral should speak to, what campaign it will support, the goal of the campaign and how it will support your quarterly iterations and yearly goal. A marketing manager then needs to keep in touch of trends in the industry, in digital marketing, and in the database of customers.
  1. Seize opportunities to develop team members.

    At its best, the relationship between a marketing manager and a marketer or creative can be something of a mentorship where each one can build the other’s skill sets. Look for certifications or advanced training programs that you can include in a career track they can follow. Marketing Automation and Design Software providers like Adobe, HubSpot, Marketo, Hootsuite usually offer these to subscribers.

    In your team's day to day activities, opportunities can come in the form of asking your writer to work on a posting schedule with a social media manager. This can widen each member's knowledge and provide a shared understanding of strengths, processes, and challenges.
  1. Develop a strategy for analyzing and testing in the initial stages.

    Depending on your focus, you will need to set Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) marketing goals at the early stages of your team's formation so they can define success and smoke out present and potential issues regularly. These goals can range from the broad (website traffic and marketing qualified leads) to the specific (LinkedIn metrics or email newsletter metrics).

    Another thing we recommend is to set one additional goal per iteration specific to your focus for that quarter; this will help your creatives define the playground in which they can experiment on for, let's say, an A/B test to determine the best way to improve email marketing clickthroughs. How many variables should they place, to which set of contacts, and what percentage of that population should they send version A and version B to?

Transform your relationship with your creative and marketing team by building a diverse group of people, envisioning your strategy, seizing opportunities for their career growth, and developing a strategy for analyzing and testing in the initial stages.  For more tips, subscribe to our blog.

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Xenia-Chloe Villanueva
Xenia-Chloe Villanueva
Chloe is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at StraightArrow Corporation. She is also a poet whose works have appeared in Philippine and U.S. literary publications. She runs a blog on regional arts and culture while experimenting in the kitchen, jogging around the city and collecting unicorns -- in marketing and in toys.



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