3 Things to Know About Creating a High-Yielding Marketing Department

LeadMD logoWe all want to achieve our Marketing goals and drive our organizations forward, and we need the right people at the helm to make this happen. But even if you believe in your team members and feel good about their performance, it’s common to have lingering questions. We’ve found that most of the CEOs and CMOs we talk to wonder if they have the right people in the right roles at the right salaries. But the breakneck pace of Marketing today leaves little time to really dig into these questions, and identify solid answers.

The good news is, there’s almost always an opportunity to optimize. We’ve seen the gamut when it comes to Marketing departments, and even the savviest teams can see dramatic results by making the right personnel changes. So if you want to get on the right track and find success in this area, we’re here to help.

To start, we updated a really popular infographic we created five years ago about the job titles you (may) need in your Marketing organization, to reflect current changes in the industry and trends in salaries. We recommend checking it out and getting familiar with it. It can act as your guide as you begin to identify the gaps in your organization, how to fill them and with whom.

In addition to this, here are three things to keep in mind to help you create and maintain the type of high-flying Marketing department you need to succeed.

1. Your ideal Marketing department won’t look like everyone else’s

This might seem weird, given that our infographic shows the types of roles that often support the best Marketing departments, so you may think yours must mimic this exactly. But it shouldn’t, and won’t. Your business is unique, your goals are specific and the role of your Marketing team in your company is going to have its own flavor accordingly.

So, consider the positions we’ve outlined in our infographic as a starting point or a template of sorts. Review it with the mindset that you may need all these jobs at some point, or may never need a few of them. But every Marketing organization will need some of them (maybe even most). And it’s best to understand how they all work together, holistically, to help you achieve your goals. Only then can you start to make decisions about what pieces and parts you need most.

2. Expertise is essential, not expendable

At this stage, you’re going to need wise words from a seasoned Marketing professional. If you don’t have a time-tested VP of Marketing or CMO, ask yourself honestly whether your CEO has the right chops (e.g. enough marketing know-how) to make strategic, informed decisions about assembling the right Marketing team. If not, we encourage you to find a third-party agency you can trust to help you make these decisions.

The expertise of a person or agency who knows the ropes of marketing, understands technology and strategy, and has seen the industry evolve through the years, is invaluable. This individual or team will help you connect the dots between what your Marketing department looks like now, and what it needs to look like if you want to accomplish your BHAGs. They can tell you which of the roles of our infographics are important to your trajectory, and which aren’t necessary right now. This will help you make strategic decisions and get crystal clear about hiring intentionally.

3. Marketing hires are investments, not expenses

And finally, if you get nothing else from all this, please remember this point. All too often, well-meaning leaders get consumed by their bottom line and become skittish about hiring experienced people who know how to get their jobs done well. The thinking goes that these people cost more money, so they, therefore, represent an unnecessary operational expense.

But, no! Hiring is an investment, not an expense. After all, if you’re selecting seasoned practitioners for the roles you really need, they should be wild revenue generators. The hires you want to make might account for $1 million dollars in salaries between them, but don’t panic – they should more than makeup for this in the ROI they bring. What if they bring in $10 million for you or more? Worth it!

When all is said and done, the best thing you can do for your Marketing department is to realize your people are not overhead; they are instruments of revenue growth. And this will remain true, no matter what technology and other trends ebb and flow over the years. Hire the right people, and hire for the organization you want to be – not where you are now. Only then will your Marketing department do its job and yield you the wickedly awesome results you’ve been hoping it would. Here’s to you getting there, one “right” person at a time. 

Read more: 5 Ways Your Human Resource Department Can Connect with Candidates Faster