If comments like, “I need to hire a marketing person to launch our product in two weeks” or “We need a marketing VP ASAP…or maybe just an intern,” sound familiar, you should know that marketing is one of the hardest business functions to ‘get right’, especially for small businesses. But struggling with recruiting, managing, and keeping marketing talent is not uncommon for any business.

Although marketing automation like ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365 for Marketing saves an enormous amount of time by reducing repetitive tasks, in some ways it has made finding the right marketing people even more crucial. You want to make sure that the tools you’re using have a purpose and that they’re being used properly.

5 Things You Need to Get Right Before You Make Your Next Marketing Hire

Marketing is a must for any business in an extremely competitive environment that’s struggling with lead generation. This means the right people, the right positions, and the right skills. You must get the following five considerations right before your next marketing hire.

  1. Timing

You may have heard, “timing is everything.” And it certainly is when hiring a marketing person or team. The right time to hire a marketing person or team depends on if your go-to-market strategy is more marketing or sales intensive. If you need to create a path to conversion that is marketing driven such as organic, paid, PR, or content— you need a marketer when you reach 10+ employees. For sales, you will want a sales model in place first then layer on marketing to create a story and use channels to drive leads.

The same is true when it comes to technology. Small businesses typically start with a CRM to help close deals and as the business grows integrate marketing automation that’s compatible so that all of the information about the contacts you have and the prospects you want are easily accessible by both sales and marketing.

  1. Budget

B2B businesses’ marketing budgets are historically too low and this inhibits achieving the growth you want in your business. The core things your marketing dollars need to pay for include:

  • Your website (SEO, content marketing, paid ads, analytics, etc.). Think of your website as your star sales rep, available 24/7 and accessible anywhere in the world. Find out what it really costs to build a website 
  • Marketing collateral (catalogues, sell sheets, advertising)
  • CRM & marketing automation
  • Trade shows (booths, displays, booth shipping, etc.)
  • Resources (learn more about what we mean below)

In the past, a powerful CRM like Microsoft Dynamics was simply too complex and costly for small to medium-sized organizations. But the release of Blueprint, and the even more affordable Quick Launch Blueprint, have made CRM technology a credible option for any sized business.

If you need more help creating a marketing budget, read this blog

  1. Right People in the Right Positions

Since you need different people for different positions it’s good for your organization to be aligned on what specific roles need to be filled.

  • Strategy Role – Someone with extensive marketing experience who can see things from the customer’s perspective and think about the bigger picture.
  • Execution Role – Someone who can do the grunt work, does not require too much direction, but is not too senior because they’ll want to focus their efforts on strategy.
  • Analysis Role – Someone who can track spending and KPI’s to see if marketing efforts are effective and what’s not working.
  • Creative Role – Someone with a diverse set of skills including art direction, graphic design, web development, copywriting and more. You may not be able to find one person who has all of these skill sets.
  1. Skills

In the past 15 years, the number of marketing channels has grown tremendously. Today marketing is a dialogue between company and customer that takes place in real time. A big advantage to marketing automation is that it delivers real time data that can be seen and acted upon immediately. Although required skill sets can vary from company to company, these are some essential skills you should look for—and don’t expect one person to fill all these roles.

  • Content Creation – Blog writing, photography, graphic design, and web maintenance are common skills needed. Occasional skills are video editing, podcast development, and white paper development.
  • Digital Marketing Management – Display ads, search engine marketing, Google Analytics, email marketing, web design, and web development
  • Social Media – Common knowledge of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  1. Resources

People are costly and the reality is that in many companies marketing teams are woefully understaffed and often lack the in-house capability to fulfil their marketing program. Even small businesses need people with a variety of skill sets. Marketing agencies are a great resource for filling one or more of the missing roles we’ve summarized in #3.

  • Strategy – Sometimes, companies need outside help with a fresh perspective to look at their situation and determine a broad direction for marketing efforts.
  • Execution – Agencies can take care of Adwords execution and email newsletters that become messy and difficult to manage.
  • Analysis – Compiling all the data from marketing campaigns can be time-consuming and difficult. Agencies are good at figuring out what’s important to save you time and money.
  • Creative – If you don’t need a content creator or graphic designer full time, agencies are a great option!

Do you need more help convincing your company that you need marketing? This blog  has some advice for how to talk to management about a marketing program.

Good decisions are driven by good data and it’s important to nail these 5 things before hiring your next marketing person. Contact us  and we can talk to you about how Marketing CoPilot can help you minimize efforts or answer questions about how to get ahead and get ready.