It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s an inbound marketing super team that generates high-quality leads in a single bound. Having a marketing department worthy of being in the ‘Justice League’ doesn’t have to be a fantasy. In fact, it’s actually quite simple. It’s all about having the right people on your team at the right time. But, just as having the right talent can take your team up, up, and away, not having the right talent can be your organization’s kryptonite.
OK, enough superhero references. Let’s get serious.
Even if you know all the benefits of inbound marketing, if you don’t have the talent to deliver the goods you won’t reap all the benefits that inbound has to offer. So what does an inbound marketing super team look like?
The first thing you need to look at is the size of your organization.
- SMB (Small to Medium Sized Business) = Somewhere between 5-100 Employees
- Mid-sized business = Somewhere between 101-1,000 Employees
- Enterprise = Upwards of 1,000 employees, but NOT including your massive Fortune 1000, big brand-type companies where it starts to get extremely big, siloed and global.
If your organization has reached above a mid-sized business then you probably have dedicated marketers for all facets of your marketing needs. So for today let’s focus on what’s needed in terms of marketing for SMBs and mid-sized business.
SMB: Jack of all trades
For businesses just starting out, their marketer – if they are lucky enough to have one – will wear more than one hat. But when your company is ready to have one dedicated marketer, there are specific traits and talents that they must have to help your organization gain inbound success. When you are looking to fill this position, make sure you find a person who is a jack of all trades. Basically, someone who is willing and able to tackle every aspect of inbound. The person you hire will demonstrate success in the following areas:
- Content Creation: Do they understand how to craft a killer email? Do they understand how to put together an eBook that gets noticed? Content doesn’t just mean writing a blog a week. Content is everything from the tiniest tweet to an in-depth case study. If they haven’t had the experience writing all the different types of content you need for your specific business then make sure they at least have a solid writing background.
- Analytics: This person doesn’t have to be a total number cruncher, but they should have a working knowledge of the marketing funnel, know what questions to ask and be comfortable doing some basic tracking and ratios using tools like Google Analytics, Excel or even HubSpot .
- Graphics: At this point in the game you don’t need a bonafide graphic designer but you will need someone that has a good working knowledge of basic programs like Illustrator or Publisher. With these or other programs like Canva, they can create enough imagery without having to outsource too often.
- Goals and Strategy: Without a solid set of goals and a strategy your organization will not grow in a sustainable and scalable way. Whether they use the S.M.A.R.T goal setting method or have a specific gameplan, your jack of all trades marketer must know where they are going and how to get there.
- Marketing Automation: If you organization has a marketing automation platform, this marketer needs to have at least a basic working knowledge of that platform and the willingness to learn more.
- Campaigns: Ideally, you’ll find someone who has run a few campaigns across multiple channels — they can be as simple as email + call campaigns, or be through full-fledged event type campaigns. Your jack of all trades needs to understand the lifecycle of a campaign and how the different pieces play together for a bigger bang than a sole tactic.
The jack of all trades person is probably going to be someone who has had an intense internship or has 3-5 years of agency experience that has given them a wide variety of skills.
Mid-Sized Business: Fusion of talent
The mid-sized business usually has graduated from the solo marketer to needing a team to generate leads. Although you’re creating a team, you are still in need of having team members that have the same sort of skill-set as your jack of all trades, but are also stronger in one particular area. At this level you need a fusion of skills so that each person has specific strengths, but can also still pitch in and help when they are needed.
- Blog & Social Media Lead: B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not ( InsideView). This makes blogging one of the key components of successful inbound marketing. That means that you need a person in this position that knows blogging best practices, can edit their own blog, and can also promote blogs and other offers on the right social media channels. For this role, you want someone who loves to write, has good judgment about social messaging, and is pretty good at motivating others to contribute expert articles.
- Content Offers Lead: How do you convert visitors into leads? You need solid offers. That means ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc. This also means a deep understanding of the buyers journey. This person should also be empowered to source content externally if needed.
- Team Leader: Even though there needs to be a fusion of skills and talent, there also needs to be one person who drives the overall strategy for the organization and should be someone who has working knowledge of all the facets of inbound marketing. They still create some content but spend the bulk of their time using analytics to make decisions and empowering their team to be successful. This person should be accustomed to rolling up their sleeves 30% of the time to help out with blog posts, content offers, or resolving tough execution challenges.
It’s important to note that NONE of the roles above absolve folks from being content creators or let them crawl into an email or social media silo. At Alaniz Marketing although we all have inherent strengths that we play off of, we routinely swap roles to ensure no one is missing a key skill.
Interns: Filling in the gaps
Whether you are an SMB or a mid-sized business there are benefits to taking on interns. These benefits of hiring interns might persuade you to start an internship program:
- New perspective on organizational issues. Interns bring fresh, new ideas to the company and the right intern will bring light to a new way of doing things.
- Ease of use with technology. Social media, computer programs, iPads – these are a piece of cake for young professionals. And, although you’re a young entrepreneur, you can always use a hand from a fellow Gen Y tech-savvy professional.
- It’s a trial period that could lead to something more. An internship is a great way to see how much potential a student or recent graduate has in the field. You’ll get to see their skills and work ethic as an intern—and might choose to bring them on as a paid employee down the line.
- Help with projects or tasks that you’re struggling to complete. An interested candidate takes on an internship in hopes of accomplishing something to use on their resume or in future interviews. Give them real, meaningful work that will help your organization run smoother, accomplish more, or be more successful.
- Gain brand advocates. Hiring an intern helps spread the word about your company—whether you mean to or not. If you’re an impressive internship supervisor and mentor, your interns will probably talk about their experience with peers, friends and family members, essentially advertising for your organization (but it’s free!).
Inbound works, but only if you have the right people in place. If you have trouble creating your marketing super team it may be time to think about outsourcing your marketing. Have a marketing team in place but they aren’t producing the results you want, check out our new eBook below.