While there are plenty of marketing team “recipes” available out there, building a department from scratch isn’t always going to be a piece of cake. That’s because there is no cookie-cutter approach that works from one company to the next. Considering your business’s individual goals, culture, budget and existing skills is key to making sure your marketing hire plan doesn’t end up half-baked.
1. Before you roll out your hiring plan, think about your business’s marketing goals. What will the marketing team’s objectives be? How will those objectives be prioritized? For example, a marketing team whose primary goal is revenue bookings will look different from a team helping a brand own a market category. Shape your future team around your business goals to help bring clarity around the mix of roles and skills you need for success.
2. Combine the company culture well into your marketing hire plan. While you need the right skills mixed into the team, it’s just as important to bake in the right people. A good team culture is one built on honesty, creativity, loyalty and passion. If your team loves what they do and the company they work for, that’s a great foundation for success.
3. Adding smart cookies to your marketing function is essential. Adding team members who are smarter than you is what will really help the marketing function to rise. Flavor your team with knowledgeable people to allow for growth and success. Season it with different types of people too, as diversity makes for a well-rounded group. Take eccentricities with a pinch of salt; creatives can often be unorthodox, but their great talent shouldn’t be overlooked as a result.
4. How much dough do you have to play with? If you don’t have the budget you require to hire and deploy everyone you need straight away, take a look at where your most pressing gaps are first. Fold in a few multiple-hat roles, to begin with. Mix in a range of contract types to make the most of your budget, too; full-time, part-time, contractor and agency roles are all useful when hiring lots of full-time employees is a bit “pie in the sky.”
I won’t sugarcoat it: Building a great marketing team from scratch takes time. It’s important in the beginning to create a strong base layer that you can build upon as you scale. Making sure that every new team member fills a specific skills gap, as well as fits the company culture, helps to maintain that foundational strength as you grow.
Of course, not every hire is going to be perfect forever; people’s lives change, and so do their needs and priorities. Having a strong marketing team around you supports sustainability when you need to adjust and adapt in the face of change.
It can be daunting to start building a marketing team and overwhelming to think about scaling. Take it step by step. Start to think about the company goals and the basic skills your marketing team would need to start working toward them. Consider your company culture. What personalities complement the business’s ethos? Finally, plan in line with your budget. What needs to be prioritized with the funds you have?
Starting with these key considerations will help get you on your way to forming a great marketing team — one that’ll be selling your business like hotcakes.