Stretch your marketing team – and its budget

How lean marketing departments thrive

Today’s B2B corporate marketing departments are lean – while expectations and requirements grow large. Digital strategies, content strategies and overall data management have become all-consuming – as marketers feed a voracious appetite for leads, awareness, authenticity and authority.

The hats corporate/in-house marketers wear change frequently. At any given point your company’s marketing team is managing your events, creating buzz, generating leads, building your brand, talking to your community and managing your website. At times something as simple as a social media post can cripple even the most seasoned marketer.

To properly and efficiently deliver against the laundry list of expectations, lean marketing teams – often made up of one or two people – depend on guidance, resources and technology to help them thrive.

For a lean marketing department to thrive, it requires an experienced, seasoned marketer at the helm – either on the executive team, on the board, or as a resource on speed-dial.

This person will have at least 15 years of corporate B2B experience. They’re creative communicators and have survived trade show nightmares, generated hundreds of leads, managed teams of marketers and are as comfortable with the executive team as they are with newly experienced marketing managers.

A senior marketer will help you develop a strategy, a budget and a tactical plan that maximizes resources – both internal and external. Some will even pinch hit when there’s a void and ensure a professional and comprehensive hand-off once a new hire has been found.

They will help you guide and build your growing team of marketers, who will thrive in some areas and struggle in others. They expect mistakes will be made, know that lessons will be learned and feelings will be hurt – yes that actually matters – but in the end, careers and business will blossom.

Automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks – from social media posting to content curation – helps marketers squeeze more juice out of every hour.

Today’s B2B marketers need to know everything about who they’re selling to and how they help. With this knowledge, they can create highly personalized digital, direct mail, email, mobile and social media campaigns and content – critical to engaging today’s business buyer.

Assaulted by data coming at them from a variety of sources, smart marketers are constantly on the lookout for ways to automate tasks and measure results so they can quickly figure out what works, what doesn’t, and why.

When you can take even a little bit of pressure off the marketing team it gives everyone a chance to just breathe. It helps them focus on what matters most to help their business thrive.

There’s no shortage of marketing automation tools, including Hubspot, Hootsuite and Zapier (to name a few). MindFire is a marketing automation company that develops solutions to help our industry’s print and marketing professionals. Da Vinci gives B2B marketers the insights they need to create “campaign blueprints” – proven recipes for obtaining more leads and driving sales. Marketers can spend more time moving more leads through the pipeline – and less time executing drip-and-nurture sequences.

Lean marketing teams maximize their ROI by outsourcing tasks that cost them money and time.

According to Glassdoor.ca, the average salary for a marketing manager in Toronto is between $57,000 and $104,000 per year ($27/hr – $50/hr.), requires 5+ years of experience, and includes a laundry list of requirements simply too long to post in this article.

That means you could be paying $50 an hour to have your marketing manager ship FedEx packages. How often does this need to be done and how long does it take each time? Can you bring in a temp, intern, or co-op student?

No matter how large or small the marketing team, sometimes there are projects and opportunities that pop up that don’t merit the hiring of additional, full-time resources. But taking them on could cripple the team to execute successfully. Outsourcing make sense here.

Sometimes, a vacancy needs to be filled – leaving a potentially huge and lengthy void – throughout the hiring and onboarding process. Options here include short-term contracts or retainers.

The frequency, duration and knowledge required to execute against a marketer’s task list impacts the decision to outsource everything from keyword research to tradeshow management. Balancing resources, technology and experience will help your lean marketing team – and your business – thrive.  

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Joanne Gore

Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: joanne@joannegorecommunications.com Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121