What Makes a High Performing Marketing Team?

When you think of a marketing team what do you envisage?

Perhaps you see a tight two person function, dozens spread across a whole floor in a purpose built office, or a cast of dozens spread across the globe connected by always on software and dashboards?

Perhaps you see large marketing budgets, highly segmented ad management accounts and complicated dashboards and a bewildering array of technologies?

Whatever your view, once you bring more than one person together to improve results in one area of an organisation you have a team. And it’s critical that they work in harmony, delivering on the KPIs set for marketing, sales and the entire organisation at large.

What do high performing marketing teams do better?

According to Hubspot, the strongest marketing teams are made up of marketers that know how to allocate time and resources in the smartest way. How often do we see apparently well resourced organisations struggle because their strategy is flawed? Even with substantial budgets, less able marketing teams can waste resources and get poor results compared to a smarter and more nimble marketing team. 

Getting to and staying at the level of a high performing team means consistently achieving your objectives. It requires teams to continually refine their approach and deepen their understanding of their market, customers and offer. 

1. High performing marketing teams understand their customers and what matters to them

Effective marketing starts with a deep understanding of customers, prospects and suspects and how you can serve them better than anyone else.

Keeping existing customers happy is the best foundation to build on and means an organisation doesn’t suffer from having a leaky bucket, where despite all the new business wins they are no better off because they are hemorrhaging unhappy customers.

Understanding your current customers means you can be very clear on the types of people you want to attract, work with and the problems to solve. Create a value proposition that speaks to your customer in terms of financial, efficiency and lifetime value and also use this as your internal North Star. 

High performing marketing teams don’t continuously pivot trying to find something that works, they focus their efforts on building a brand that is trusted by their ideal customers.

2. High performing marketing teams actively seek improvement.

Whether it’s down to the love of the job, their own advancement and recompense or the lure of winning industry awards, high performing marketing teams always seek to improve. 

This might mean evaluating processes, reviewing software and technology being used or monitoring the impact of different activities over time. 

Efficiency is key as it allows more to be done and at a higher quality. Do you have too many products or services? Are there too many steps or rules in marketing approval? Are you able to act nimbly? 

The production of content or launch of campaigns might be a good place to start. How quickly can you get a landing page on your website and an advertising campaign or email sequence live? This is critical in being able to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, as long as they sit within the core overarching strategy.

3. High performing marketing teams work to the 80:20 rule.

Great marketing teams play to their strengths. They are comfortable with data and have a solid picture on which channels and activity their leads come from.

Getting crystal clear on marketing return on investment is critical to selecting and using the right channels, tactics, and strategies and not being seduced into using the latest shiny social media and digital tools that may or may not be appropriate for their audience. 

By following the Pareto principle, sweat the 20% of your work that data tells you delivers 80% of your results. 

This still allows some time to test and learn but by focusing on works and getting even better, results will improve even more.

4. High performing marketing teams share value and expertly position solutions.

Great marketing teams create marketing content and experiences that are based much more on show and tell rather than sell. Buyers want to own their own research but need information to begin to shortlist and choose. 

This is why there has been such an explosion in the uptake of content marketing strategies in all sectors of business. It’s because content can be built for customer search, search engine optimisation, advertising campaigns and even be used across email, social media and face to face events as either a first point of contact or follow up. 

High performing marketing teams recognise that the ability to produce content that helps customers make informed decisions is essential to engaging them and building trust. Content comes in many forms –  checklists, buyers guides, e-books, webinars, scorecards, educational video, blog posts – so choose the right combinations for your market.

5. High performing marketing teams re-use and build on what they have

This is especially relevant to smaller marketing teams who lack the resources to continuously create new material. It’s far better to use and re-use material that may have been created for a specific reason at a different time. 

Generally in our consultancy and coaching work, MMC Learning’s team advocates creating long form content first and then breaking it down and repackaging and repurposing it. 

Think about what customers need and how they like to receive it. It’s easy to curate several blog posts and articles (with a case study) into an ebook and sharing as a download. Or taking articles and turning into audio or video content. Or creating an email series of tips around articles or a video that has been previously produced. 

Event product and service brochures can be transformed into objectively positioned buyers guides by using what is unique about you and repackaging that as industry best practice. 

Use project management tools like Trello to keep on top of what you have and how it can be re-used or updated and save yourself the time of constantly creating new content. 

6. High performing marketing teams make sure they are constantly appraising their technology stack

The most effective and efficient marketing teams make sure they are making the most from the technology they are buying in. Almost every marketing software on the market now comes on subscription and requires a fair amount of time and budgetary investment to ensure you get the most from it. 

The priorities should be your CRM and communications tools as these are where you’ll see the biggest time sinks if they are not effectively managed. But you should ensure your website is built using technology that allows it to be responsive to whatever device it is being viewed on, it can host content and can integrate with other software easily. There’s a reason why WordPress powers over half the Internet.

If you’re new to having a CRM outside of Excel or Google Docs, consider Hubspot’s free CRM or an inexpensive solution such as Pipedrive before even considering more expensive options like Salesforce. For email consider Active Campaign as a first time user or Keap if you working at scale and have lots of segmented audiences to keep in touch with.

As Keap specialists, MMC Learning can advise on how to get started. Get in touch here.