How to Build Your Marketing Team

Rich Higham has built strong marketing teams across many sectors of the industry, and has advice for companies looking to recruit for their growing business. He gives tips on what to look for in potential candidates, as well as advice on recognising your own management style to ensure a good cultural fit.

Here are some key elements to consider when recruiting for your marketing team.

Ensure a Holistic Marketing Perspective

The biggest thing you have in your arsenal to develop both yourself and your team is based on one simple word – ‘why’.

It's so important to appreciate this holistic understanding of Marketing as a whole. If the candidate doesn’t know how each specialism interacts with each other, then understanding their impact on the business is almost impossible. By understanding how the Channel Mix can impact Growth Strategies, and how Testing can directly improve Profitability etc., they can make sure all of their work is geared towards increasing profitability – therefore making sure your potential new starter knows this is vital. Knowing what skills suit their role whilst appreciating the overall strategy of the brand means a more effective approach overall. This general marketing knowledge doesn’t have to be taught at university either – it can definitely be gained through practical experience and some proactive learning, so considering candidates without a degree is encouraged!

Leadership Style – Cultural Fit

When hiring for your company, it’s important to consider the type of leadership in place. Some people may be more of a ‘Boss’ – someone to push targets, drive results, and commands authority. Others prefer a ‘Leader’ – someone who will work collaboratively with their team, leads by example, and develops skills rather than expecting top level performance. Different candidates may work better with one type of leadership in particular, so by understanding your team’s own leadership style, you will be better placed to make a good match when building your team. This is not just exclusive to the marketing industry, but the often creative and collaborative elements of this sector mean that cultural fit has to be well matched.

What to look for in your latest Marketing hire

  • Hard vs Soft Skills – Hard skills are things such as qualifications and technical skills that typically get listed on a CV, whereas soft skills are things such as communication and teamworking abilities. Both are important, but it is often the soft skills that get overlooked, when in fact they can make or break a talented candidate. Especially as remote working gains popularity, being able to communicate effectively and still form relationships digitally is more vital than ever, and is something to consider when recruiting for your team.
  • Passionate – if the candidate demonstrates a passion and genuine interest in the industry, they are likely to work hard and want to improve their skills. They may be subscribed to newsletters, keep up to date with industry news, research up-and-coming techniques or trends, or even an active industry-focussed blog or LinkedIn account.
  • Holistic View – It’s important that they understand the bigger marketing picture and not just the process they may specialise in. Experience in other sectors, formal education, or willingness to learn are all good indicators of this trait.
  • Realistic Approach – There will be ups and downs of any role, so having realistic and sensible expectations can go a long way. This may be in terms of progression, work load, responsibility etc.
  • Cultural Match – communication is so important in any organisation and department, especially in marketing. Making sure that the candidate is likely to get along with your team is such an important factor! Good morale can keep teams motivated during challenging times, and ensure your company fosters a supportive and open working environment.

Thank you for your advice Rich!