5 Ways to Help Your Small Marketing Team Get Big Results
By Michelle Etherton, The Partner Marketing Group
Small Marketing Team Help
Does your small marketing team need help? We get it! In the real world, most technology vendors, partners and ISVs will never be able to hire a large marketing team. Typically it’s a small group—sometimes one very exhausted individual—working their tails off to do the best they can with what they have. Whether you’re short on time, staff or knowledge, we can help, we listed 5 ways your small marketing team can get big results!
Small Marketing Team Help: 5 Ways to Get Big Results
1. Identify and document your weaknesses
Let’s just get this one out of the way first. If you do nothing else on this list, invest in a thorough marketing assessment from an unbiased, experienced marketing professional who knows your industry. Not only will it give you a list of what you need to improve, you’ll know where to prioritize your marketing dollars moving forward.
Your assessment should:
- Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps
- Evaluate state of current marketing, campaigns, content, assets, etc.
- Provide short-term and long-term recommendations
- Estimate what it will cost to execute the improvements
This will be a living, breathing document to help you build strategies, prioritize next steps and track progress against goals. Revisit it often.
2. Write a marketing playbook you can execute
Once you’ve gone through an assessment, your consultant can build on that to help you create an actionable marketing plan and calendar. This eliminates the crippling guesswork of how, when and where you should be marketing. Even if you use that assessment to build a plan yourself, just do it. This is also an evolving, flexible piece you should use to stay on track and measure results as you go.
3. Educate and inspire your marketers
Your marketers might boast advanced degrees, but chances are school probably didn’t offer a class on how to build a multi-channel campaign to market an ERP solution to CFOs in the manufacturing industry. Marketing, like technology, changes all the time. Competing today takes expanded marketing knowledge and intelligence that didn’t even exist a year ago. Bring in a marketing consultant for private group training, sign them up for online courses perhaps, or just approve dedicated time for learning. Education is the foundation for improvement. When you know better, you do better.
Identify where you need to bridge knowledge gaps and list tactics you want to add to your lineup. Empower your people to create new ways to help the company grow and succeed. Some of the areas we see requests for training are:
- Social media
- Online marketing, SEO, PPC
- Channel marketing
- Vertical marketing
- Content marketing
- Collaborative marketing
4. Provide the right tools for the job
While other departments get ERP, CRM and accounting systems to help them do their jobs faster and easier, the poor marketing department is often left out. There are many tools available that will take your marketing to the next level whether you are a department of one or many.
- Marketing automation systems: This technology isn’t new by any means, but it has come a long way in recent years. Based on our 2015-2016 B2B Technology Marketing Survey Report (watch for this to be published soon!), 67% of reseller and ISV respondents are using marketing automation platforms. Not only is it a huge time saver, it helps marketers automate processes and campaigns, build and execute omni-channel marketing strategies, generate leads, measure results and capture intelligence for more targeted and effective marketing. Adding automation is a great way to make a huge impact in your marketing without a huge investment.
- Social tools & insight: Ready to move beyond posting and sharing? Tools like Microsoft Social Engagement can be used as a standalone solution or integrated into Microsoft Dynamics CRM to enable marketers and sales teams to monitor prospects and competitors, identify trends, respond to requests, find new opportunities and stay engaged—in one spot. ContentMX (formerly Butterfly Publisher) is also a fantastic tool to curate content by monitoring multiple online sources like news sites, blogs, social profiles and more. Then, in a couple of clicks, you can flag the content you like, share it socially and even use it to create quick newsletters. It makes it super easy to fill your content library when you don’t have a lot of time to produce original content or deliver consistent, relevant content for your market.
- Market and buyer research: Understanding the market and roles you are targeting ensures you focus your efforts and dollars on content and campaigns that get results. Here’s a helpful list of research sources to get started, http://researchguides.library.tufts.edu/IndustryResearch. Maybe you would benefit from our messaging framework which gives you a solid foundation you can use throughout your marketing to write very targeted content and value statements by product, industry, role, etc. Knowing how to talk the talk of your prospects and customers builds trust and confidence that you are equipped to deliver a solution, not just sell it.
5. Give them direction and leadership
You don’t have to hire a CMO to provide your team with experienced marketing direction and guidance. Sometimes your team would benefit from having additional expertise on call when they have a quick question, want insight for a new industry or campaign, or need ongoing support through high volumes or special projects.
One of the programs we offer that has been a game-changer for some of our clients is our Virtual Marketing Director program. It’s flexible. It’s effective. And it’s much more affordable than adding another salary you don’t have the budget for. Whether you work with us or another marketing firm, just know that it is possible to give your team senior-level leadership on a scalable and interim basis without hiring a full-time manager or director.
These are my top 5 ways to help your small marketing team deliver big results. Just starting with one of these can truly make a difference in your marketing. Get in touch if you need help with any of the above or please share your comments and ideas on creative ways a small team can make a big impact.