A colleague of mine asked me today how I would build my marketing dream team if I had 5 FTEs to work with. We were daydreaming about how we’d build a killer team. There was some debate on who to include, but we both agreed on an unlikely position and one, quite frankly, I’ve never seen out in the corporate wild; a marketing technologist.
The Marketing Team Expectations Challenge
Here’s my thinking after working with marketing departments from 1–20 FTEs.
The challenge I see is that every marketing position is expected to have some degree of technical competency. In fact, the expectations in most job descriptions are absolutely insane.
A communications manager is wired brilliantly to work with other human beings…building relationships…coming up with joint projects. They are usually not wired to make sure their press release has proper tracking parameters on the URL links in order to measure clicks.
The lead generation manager is expected to come up with cutting edge ideas to capture the attention of their ideal target while at the same time staying up to date on GDPR, CCPA, CASL, and other privacy laws to make sure the cookies are in compliance.
It’s bat shit. The system is broken.
The Problem with Modern Marketing and Digital Marketing Technology
We have seen some amazing technologies over the past 10 years. Heck, Google is only 22 years old. Facebook is still a teenager at just 16 years old. The tech is new and it’s constantly changing. Do businesses invest heavily in professional development to help with this? Heck no! At least I haven’t seen that happen yet.
What I have seen is ridiculous job descriptions expecting college grads to turn from content consumers (with their Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube consumption) to content producers overnight. Somehow they are supposed to magically learn how to strategize, create, design, and measure content. Watching YouTube doesn’t qualify you to shoot, edit, and publish videos. That takes practice and usually means making a lot of mistakes. In short, it takes experience.
I bring this up to reset expectations. Just because you grew up with the iPhone doesn’t mean you’re qualified to code apps. If you’re a senior marketing leader, please stop thinking it does.
Digital marketing technical skills need to be trained and nurtured like any other role, perhaps more so because of the speed at which tech changes. We have to re-learn constantly. Integrations change, laws change, UI and UX change, and many times for the better, but we need time to learn all the new bells and whistles.
Enter the Marketing Technologist
My point is this: if you’re a communications manager there is no way you also have time to know all of the tech pieces. If you specialize in crafting compelling lead generation campaigns, there’s no way you have time to babysit your marketing automation system and re-learn it every time there’s an update.
So why not treat marketing tech like we treat IT. Not everyone needs to know how the computer is built or how secure your intranet is. You have specialists for that. IT allows workers to focus on their own specialty and just keeps the system functioning.
A marketing technologist could do the same thing. Let a specialist live and breathe the techy part of marketing so the communications manager can focus on communicating. The lead generation manager can focus on generating leads and not on the latest WordPress update.
By creating the role of marketing technologist, it frees up a ton of emotional bandwidth dealing with these tasks. The best part is there are people (yes, like me) who absolutely love the tech side of marketing. By adding this position everyone can operate in their area of unique brilliance.
Watch your team’s efficiency skyrocket. Watch how much more everyone is smiling. Watch how much easier it is to fill positions when you don’t need to require a ridiculous resume of having worked 5 years on enterprise-class marketing automation systems to be the social media manager. You can hire someone that is wired to want to engage with other people instead of trying to find a mythical unicorn that is wired for both tech and communication.
A marketing technologist is a jack-of-all-trades in the digital world. They are skilled at everything from web development to social media marketing tactics and everything in between. They can free up time and stress from other staff. Just watch the creativity flow!
Meet the Marketing Dream Team
So back to the original question. If I were to build my marketing dream team with 5 positions, this is how I would build it:
- Keep everyone motivated and moving in the same direction
- Budget allocation
- Reports up to C-Suite
- Works with product and sales teams for cross-departmental alignment (timing for product launches, feature releases etc)
Lead Generation and Customer Retention Manager
- Builds campaigns to drive leads
- Builds retention campaigns
- Steward of the entire customer lifecycle
Community, Communications, and PR Manager
- Handles internal and external communications
- Organizes events (conferences, speaking events, webinars)
- Handles social media comments and posting
- Builds relationships with media outlets and influencers
- This position is the voice of the company
- Supports all positions above
- Maintains CRM data integrity
- Codes and sends all email campaigns
- Codes blog posts as well as optimizes for SEO
- Builds and optimizes the website and landing pages
- Maintains all user accounts for security
- Manages SEO of all content added to the website
- Analytics reporting for all campaigns
Graphics and Multimedia Specialist
- Supports all positions above
- Creates graphics and videos for social media, web pages, infographics, ebooks, white papers
- Edits video from events and handles video production
If I could, I would hire more of course, but a 5-person team built with a marketing technologist can do a lot more than a 10 person team without one. That is up for debate of course and I’m making up those numbers, but just imagine what it would be like to never have to worry about “tech crap” ever again in your marketing campaigns…or the expense of having to hire a developer every time you need a new landing page template. Just sayin’ it’s something to think about.