Growing a business is challenging, no matter what sector you operate in. Having a robust marketing strategy in place and the right team to deliver it is fundamental to success. Naturally, your marketing requirements will change as your business faces different challenges. The need for different skills, levels of external support and budget requirements will all change over time. But it’s not always obvious what your priorities should be, and how these might change over time.
Should you outsource your business’ marketing or keep it in-house? You might expect us to answer this question with an emphatic ‘outsource your marketing to marketing experts’. But here’s where we might surprise you. Marketing encompasses everything a business does to drive sales and promote its brand; from advertising to direct marketing to digital marketing, market research, PR, product development - even distribution methods.
Building a marketing team can be challenging. Modern marketing is made up of a variety of specialisms and the team that you create will need to closely reflect your sector and your strategy. For instance, a B2B software company may focus their marketing efforts on events. A luxury fashion brand may focus on PR. A consumer SaaS platform may focus on digital marketing. Whatever your strategy is, you need to hire, or buy-in, talent that matches that strategy. There are few genuine all-rounders out there but it’s no good hiring a brand marketer when what you really need is an SEO specialist.
Who’s the best driver in the world: Rally star Sébastien Ogier or F1 champion Lewis Hamilton? Trick question. Both are viable contenders, but only for a given value of “best”. Their driving styles are worlds apart. F1 is a matter of speed, precision and perfect understanding of the vehicle. A rally champion may not hit the same raw m.p.h., but they need to drive with flamboyance and a will to improvise. There’s a fundamental difference in mindset and skill set involved, and a champion behind one wheel may end up in the middle of the pack behind another. There’s a lot more to the choice than: “well, they both drive fast, don’t they?” So it goes with many things - including sales and marketing.
A friend of yours invites you a charity gala dinner organised by her business. By coincidence, you both turn up at the same time, her Jag just beating your Golf into the car park.