How to Survive as a Marketing Team of One

How to survive—and thrive—as a marketing team of one

If you’re your company’s only marketer, advancing and achieving your marketing goals can seem like an uphill climb, but it doesn’t have to be, experts say. Here’s some advice for succeeding as a marketing team of one.

1. Prioritize 

Think about the goals of your business and how marketing can support those goals, says Andrew Caravella, vice president of marketing at Chicago-based Sprout Social, a social media and marketing consultancy that works with small businesses. “Understand your bandwidth as one individual and where your priorities lie, and make those priorities known.”

Think about your business’ priorities and work toward them, says Bill Flitter, CEO of dlvr.it, a Portland, Ore.-based social media content distribution platform, who has blogged about time management tips for solo marketing teams. “Whether it’s sales, leads or traffic, figure out your objectives for the short, mid and long term, and how to reach those goals. Each day, determine the most important thing you can do in 15 minutes, a half hour or an hour.”

2. Communicate

Communicate with other departments. Check in regularly with both your executive team and other department heads to make sure you’re working toward the same goals, Caravella says. “You could do a million things on your own and then if everyone else in the company says, ‘That’s not what we’re trying to do,’ then it’s irrelevant.”

3. Ask for help

Tap other departments to help with marketing projects, such as writing content or posting on social media. “Be up front about what you’d like them to do and how much time it would take, and play to their strengths. Say that you’re asking them to do it because they’re really good at it, and people will be more helpful. You don’t want it to seem like you’re just throwing your work at them, but if you can offer to help them with their responsibilities, that’s great,” Caravella says.

Adds Flitter, “A lot of people don’t share the same passion for marketing. In that case, it’s about sitting and interviewing somebody—maybe an engineer you work with, or somebody in customer service—and asking them what, if anything, they’d like to do to help you.”

Kayla Hersperger, online and design communication specialist at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Penn., who heads the university’s social media recruitment efforts, enlists student interns to help. “The only thing that’s unfortunate about working with students is that they graduate. They’re amazing, but you have to get new ones every year.”

Face time is important when working with interns, she adds. “We’ll have monthly meetings where I bring donuts and coffee and everyone crams into my office, and we powwow and talk about what we’re going to do on Instagram and Snapchat. Because a lot of the stuff we do is digital, I could just text them with instructions and, theoretically, never see them, but it’s important to keep that face-to-face interaction so everyone is on the same page.”

4. Budget wisely

 If you’re a marketing team of one, you likely have to deal with budgetary headaches. Stretching budgets is about maximizing relationships with existing vendors and partners, says Jeff Woelker, vice president and senior director at Chicago-based Zocalo Group, a digital and social media consultancy that works with SMBs. “It’s a lot of beg, borrow and steal. It’s also about making hard decisions. If you only have X dollars a year to spend, you have to find what aligns with those priorities. If relationships with vendors don’t align with organizational priorities, you have to cut them.”

Never sign long-term contracts for products or software, Caravella says. “Minimize risk to your budget by thinking about quarters, not years.”

5. Be realistic

Solo marketers often try to increase their marketing reach through social media, but it’s better to do one thing well than several things badly, Caravella says. “Understand your audience and where they’re active on social media, and build a community

of one or two of those networks. Do that in a way that’s authentic versus trying to be on 10 different networks and doing them poorly.”

Flitter agrees. “People think they need to be on every channel. They think, I’ve got my blog, Instagram, Pinterest—oh my gosh, Periscope just launched, I need to jump on that. But you have to think about who your market is and where they are, and where you can get the most bang for your buck. If you’re great at writing, make a blog the hub of your marketing efforts. Create the best content you can and use it as your marketing vehicle and your lead generation tool.”

It also helps to network with other teams of one or marketers outside of your company to ask for advice and share ideas, Caravella says. “Vet your ideas with people who understand what you’re trying to accomplish.”

Adds Hersperger, “Try not to get overwhelmed by the big picture. Take things one step at a time and put out fires as they come. Being a marketing team of one is a struggle, but it’s rewarding when you can look back at your successes.”

[Source:- AMA]