Exceptional in-house marketing: 5 keys to success
As mentioned in one of our previous blogs, some clients are telling us that they’d like to bring more marketing in-house. Many are already in the process, but tackling this without support can hinder your progress. One marketing leader recently told me:
“I’m really proud of how far we’ve come, the team have improved so much. We’re now delivering some really good marketing, but it’s not exceptional yet. The challenge is we don’t know what we don’t know or what we should be exploiting next.”
Put simply, they knew that they needed to do more but didn’t know where to focus or how to bring the team on.
We often speak with marketing leaders and CEOs who want to upskill their whole team, get better insights and ultimately deliver more sales with sharper, better marketing. It’s often part of the brief to ‘take the marketing team on the journey’ when delivering a project so that they learn from our process. We’re usually welcomed in, but the measure(s) of success for the client depend on the culture of the business and the team dynamics.
Change isn’t easy. In fact, most people are resistant to it. Breaking that pattern is difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Change takes time. The first time we do something new, most of us aren’t great at it. Think about when you tried a new sport or instrument, and you had to practice over and over to really improve. It’s the same with any new change or introduction.
Keys to success
In order to drive the most improvement, you need to understand where the gaps lie and where to focus your effort.
Here are several keys to success you should consider:
Empower not change
In our view, this process presents a real opportunity for your team. It will make them better marketers, propel their development and enhance their skillset. What’s not to love?
Portray projects of this nature in such a way that they see this. Talk about empowering and developing them versus ‘change’ and ‘improvement.’ If you’re enlisting external help, call them partners not agencies. This will help them to embrace it.
Partner with an agency
Introducing an external agency can sometimes be daunting. But there are plenty of benefits along with manpower and expertise. Allowing someone to review your strategy from a distance gives a different perspective, and allows for valuable contributions that could boost your business. They’re also more in touch with the market and can educate you on the latest developments.
There are many variations of agency and it’s important to get the right fit for your business. Don’t feel afraid to shop around and ask questions to ensure you find the team that will best help your business.
Divide and conquer
No one has a team of people that are great at everything. Nor should they wish to – having a mix of abilities is a really good thing. Establish the strengths of each person on your team as well as what they enjoy doing. The two are not always the same, and this process may give people opportunities to develop in areas they’re interested in. For now though, focus them on using their existing strengths.
This same approach should be applied to choosing an agency. Find one with complementary strengths to your team, allowing them to both own and concentrate on doing their tasks really well. Eventually, this will increase productivity and release time for researching innovative tactics & development.
Digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving. It’s important to understand (and be aware of) the latest methods and platforms to both maintain and better your position.
Encourage your team to learn from your agency, allowing time for group workshops and project overview sessions to discuss techniques. Give them opportunities to share what they’ve learned, and the ability to suggest how this could be applied to your business. You could also link this to gaining recognised qualifications to keep them engaged and driven.
Innovate, test, innovate, test
As previously mentioned, digital marketing is constantly changing. Your agency should keep you up-to-date with the latest trends and developments, but it’s your job to work with them to understand which benefit your business.
How to do this? Implement, test, learn, improve. New techniques often need re-configuring before they’ll deliver, so be hands-on until you’re comfortable with performance. Have regular sessions with your agency to discuss optimisation.