Many of us work with a small marketing team. In fact, a recent marketing industry survey found that the majority of marketers work in teams of five people or less – with most of them spending the majority of their time on lead generation and content creation, as well as juggling multiple tools, channels, and tactics to try and achieve their goals.
While the stress and pressure of delivering high volumes of qualified leads isn’t getting any easier, how can small marketing teams manage the multitude of channels, tactics and online possibilities to meet their goals?
Here are 10 tips to help small marketing teams kill it.
Focus is important for every company, but for small marketing teams lacking resources, focus is essential. It’s essential in almost every part of your marketing work, but there are few aspects where it’s critical:
- Target audience. You have to pick a specific segment you're targeting and focus all your efforts on that segment. It doesn’t mean that later on you can’t change it, expand it and add to it, but with a small team focusing your efforts on one segment will yield better results.
- Campaigns. Marketers who consistently meet or exceed their goals invest big blocks of times in specific lead generation channels. Their less successful counterparts divide their time across multiple channels, tactics, and campaigns and invest less time in each.
- Goals. Star performers spend significantly less time on administrative tasks, focusing their time on tasks that had direct impact on their goals. It is also beneficial to have specific goals to drive towards and have those be as clear and specific as possible so you can focus your efforts on reaching those goals.
Smart, thorough planning leads to better results. Make sure you dedicate time to plan out your campaigns and don’t be afraid to trade off time planned for admin tasks for time spent on planning. It will pay off.
There’s much to say about attitude and how it contributes to moral and performance. But while it’s important to keep a positive outlook on your future, it’s also important to be realistic. With a small marketing team you can’t waste time trying to “rally the troops,” so intrinsic motivation is important.
Star performers complain less and have a far stronger “can-do” attitude than their counterparts. Less successful marketers tend to blame external constraints on their performance while star performers take more responsibility and ownership of their fate.
“Perfect is the enemy of good” says the old proverb, and Jim Collins, the author of “From Good to Great,” rebutted with his famous line: “good is the enemy of great.” I love this book and believe in the leadership concepts outlined in it, but when it comes to marketing execution is a small marketing team, I’m a strong advocate of the principle of good enough.
Most successful marketing teams face challenging goals all the time and execution coupled with velocity is the only way to achieve them. If you wait for something to be perfect or sometimes even just great, you’re going to miss the mark anyway.
The nice thing about online marketing is that you always have the opportunity to change, reiterate and improve. So start with good and make your way to great.
5. Be Unique. Be Different. Be Special.
This point kind of explains itself.
6. Master At Least One Thing
Another big differentiator between star performers and less successful marketers is their perceived expertise level in different marketing tactics and the confidence they showed.
Mastery can be achieved through repetitions and practice and it takes time to get there, but if you want to be a successful marketer, you need to completely master at least one area. So pick one and be the best at it.
7. Learn From Others
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton. Learn from your peers, your colleagues, your friends, and your collaborators. Learn from you competitors. Learn from other disciplines and other schools of thoughts.
The only way for a small marketing team to be successful is to use the knowledge out there and build upon it. You don’t have the time to learn everything from experience, so read, watch, observe others and then give it your own spin.
8. Always Think About Scale, Have a Process
You know the saying “Think big?” Well, in online marketing (and online business) in order to think big, you need to think scale.
How can you take what you did once and do it 10 times? How can you replicate the success of a small campaign and do it over and over and over again? Will it sustain or break? Will it still be at the same quality or would it deteriorate?
Building a scalable marketing machine is one of the biggest challenges any marketer can face; the answer to how is the process. You need to have a process that works and that you can test, modify, analyze and reiterate on until you optimize it. So start small but think big and have a process to scale.
If you aren’t testing, you aren’t learning. Online marketing includes so many variables that there’s no way for you to ever get it right on your first iteration. So test and let the data show you the way.
10. Measure, Analyze, Refine, Repeat
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a small marketing team or in a large one; the process of measuring and analyzing your results needs to be in your marketing-DNA. It’s an integral part of every marketing activity but small marketing teams can’t afford to ignore it.
Every single pixel you put out there need to be traceable and measureable, otherwise you’re just wasting money.