As a CEO or COO of a high-growth technology company, you know how little room for error and wasted time there is in an industry that never stops moving. Your marketing team can make or break your efforts, so structuring that team correctly from the start will help to ensure you stay well ahead of the competition. Whether you’re a startup just entering the market or a more mature company looking for better marketing results, special attention to marketing department staffing is critical. A thoughtful and strategic approach will pay off from the get-go, helping you avoid typical pitfalls and generating results that command positive attention and power your company forward.
Using these four staffing tips, you’ll be well on your way to hiring – and keeping – an ace marketing team that will consistently fire on all cylinders and give you the support you need to realize your company vision
Focus on strategy first and hiring second.
As in most fields, planning is crucial in marketing. Scattershot marketing – or throwing things to the wall and seeing what sticks – may generate a few short-term successes, but you’ll be stuck on a slow and bumpy road that may never reach long-term growth and scalability. Clarify your strategic goals first. Then, and only then, will you be able to outline the skillsets that your marketing team members will need to help you achieve those goals.
Don’t rely solely on a marketing generalist.
It’s a common mistake. Too often, companies bring on a marketing generalist who knows a little bit about a lot, expecting that person to singlehandedly do all that is required from the marketing function to increase revenue and drive growth. From strategy to copywriting, from automation to social media, today’s marketing is anything but simple. No one person can know it all thoroughly enough to generate optimal results in every area. Expect that from your generalist, and he or she can easily wind up overwhelmed, overworked, and potentially out the door. Churn in the marketing field is notorious. According to LinkedIn, marketing roles have a 17 percent turnover rate, well above the global turnover rate of 11 percent. That means an awful lot of time wasted on training and retraining. By thinking about staffing differently, you can structure your team so that it’s set up for success right from the start. The key takeaway? Your generalist shouldn’t be operating in isolation. Which brings us to Tip 3…
Engage a Fractional CMO and stay lean.
In order to stand above the competition and meet your growth goals, you will need a strong marketing leader who understands modern marketing methods – one who can ask the right questions, introduce bold ideas, develop a comprehensive strategic plan designed to drive growth, and make in-house and outsourced staffing decisions that best deploy valuable capital. And this demands experience.
That said, many if not most middle market, high-growth companies do not need a full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). You only need a fraction of one! Consider bringing on a Fractional CMO – a seasoned, part-time strategic leader who will provide high-level marketing leadership for a fraction of the cost of a full-time marketing executive. A Fractional CMO will dig deep to understand your business, mentor and guide your existing marketing team, create a strategic marketing plan, and bring on skilled specialists to implement that plan. Engaging a Fractional CMO keeps your in-house team lean, allowing you to tap specialist skillsets only when you need them. As technology, the tech marketplace, and marketing itself evolve, your Fractional CMO will ensure that your marketing department keeps pace and moves from being a cost center to a reliable and innovative profit center.
Spend more on outreach and less on salaries and benefits.
It’s not just about keeping your in-house team lean. Using a Fractional CMO and a network of outsourced specialists means there will be more resources left for actual marketing outreach. Why take up more than half of your marketing budget with salaries and benefits when those dollars could immediately be invested in scalable marketing technologies, a cutting edge and highly effective website, paid and earned media, knock-out trade show displays, and memorable inbound and outbound marketing campaigns? With an experienced and connected Fractional CMO keeping a keen eye on the big picture and directing your outsourced network, you can go straight to the specialists who know these areas best as you need them rather than over-staffing in an attempt to cover all the marketing bases in-house. Less money on salaries and benefits. More bang for your marketing buck!
Your Marketing Department Can Be Agile, Effective, and Cost-Efficient
No tech company wants to waste time and resources on trial-and-error tactics. By focusing on strategy first, giving your marketing generalist the full support he or she needs, and keeping your in-house team lean so that more budget dollars can be directed toward actual outreach, your marketing journey will be smoother, you will avoid employee churn, and your company will be positioned to hit home runs time and time again on the way to meeting – and maybe even surpassing – your high-growth goals.
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