Digital Marketing

Building a Modern Marketing Team

The following is a guest post from Jody Farrar, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at Chute.

If you’re a marketer, you’re fully aware of how your role, demands, areas of expertise and ownership have dramatically changed, and continue to evolve. According to a 2013 study by Adobe, 67% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50. This disruption leads to questions about staffing, hiring and training. Who do you hire? What skills should he/she have? Can your more seasoned marketers make the leap to be a nimble, modern visual marketer?

Over the past several months, we’ve asked marketing and digital experts some of these very questions, including during a panel at SXSW moderated by Chute CEO Ranvir Gujral.

He asked:

“How does your business need to evolve as the role of marketing evolves? Who do you need to hire, how much more money do you need or where are you going to spend it?”

Matt Eby, former SVP Consumer and Brand Marketing for the Weather Channel:

"Look for social-minded people. What I’ve found is when you hire people who don’t say they’re a social media person, but they are young enough to have lived through social media and they use it every day and you talk to them about their usage – they get it – intuitively. It’s easy enough to explain brand marketing and the fundamentals they need to know to publish content and what the brand is and how to speak like the brand. But that knowledge of knowing social intimately, from an early age is in their DNA. At the end of the day…they create the best pieces."

Matthew Anderson, CMO for Roku:

"One of the greatest things about marketers is that in our DNA, we’re doers. But when I interview I often ask a lot of questions about perceptiveness. And actually I think what happens in most marketing teams, people are working all day long, all night long, working hard, sending tons of emails and to really get to the next level of black belt, you have to have people who are very perceptive and see beyond their area. We try to have lots of meetings where we close every laptop, no one has their phone out and you just really talk about what’s going on – a lot more mindful, and that’s a practice that is hard to do, but I think it is really important to be tuned into what’s going on and staying on this because it does change really fast."

David Berkowitz, CMO for MRY (and a man of few words):

“We look for jack-of-all-trades. We need renaissance people at our shop.”

Those are excerpts from the conversation, to see the entire video go here.

I recently spoke about this topic with Mike Effle, CEO of 11 Main, which if you haven’t visited 11 Main you will both love me and hate me for the recommendation to check it out. They have access to thousands of boutiques from across the country, selling original and unique wares from home goods to fashion.

What skillsets do you expect your senior marketers to have?

We expect them to effectively and authentically communicate the right message to the right audience. Today’s consumer is discerning. In order to create brand loyalists, leadership needs to be able to understand what type of content is driving conversations and in what area.

They also need a strong focus on dissecting and translating data and analytics. With every download, click, conversion, channel, transaction, and customer interaction tracked, the marketing organization has an overwhelming amount of information available provided it can be organized, analyzed, and synthesized into action. If the team can’t tease out the critical insights to improve, we’ll lose to teams who can. It’s competitive. That said, the senior members have to be able to get to the underlying reasons for the data and make intuitive leaps to test and learn when adapting the implementations across channels. The team needs to be informed by the data but not constricted by only the data.

And finally, fearlessness in trial and error. We are an agile organization. We’re always looking to bring fresh perspectives on new marketing techniques that push the boundaries of what everyone can do. We have to get the “basics” right, but real value is created when identifying a key asset or channel or marketing program no one has thought to execute. The team needs to think outside of conventional wisdom and encouraged to push these boundaries.

What about Chute?

How does Chute hire? Glad you asked. We’re a young tech company with a small team and big ambitions. We hire experts across content, media relations, social, demand gen, creative, etc., but we also look for people with multi-faceted skills and interests plus a passion for learning and growing personally and professionally. This allows our team to remain nimble and be ready for what’s next day after day.

If you have ideas, tips or recommendations on how to hire, train and evaluate your team’s success, please share in the comments below!

AdStage Team