How To Build a Rockstar Marketing Team #Semrushchat

Elena Terenteva

Mar 07, 201611 min read
How To Build a Rockstar Marketing Team

Building a strong, close-knit marketing team is essential for every company, whether it’s a large global enterprise or a small business. No doubt, everything starts with the right leader who will inspire and motivate people who work under their direction. People will pay attention to what their leader says and how they behave, and their actions will set an example for their employees.

So, what should a leader do to build a marketing team that will provide benefits to their company and that they can be proud of?

To discuss this question, we decided to invite a person who teaches and motivates us! I’m talking about Oleg Shchegolev @aramisguru, the CEO of SEMrush and our rockstar leader. Oleg was happy to share his own experience and discuss with our other SEMrush Chat participants some strategies and tips for building an awesome marketing team!

First of all, we found out what roles every company should have.

What marketing team roles are essential for every company

Our chat participants gave several examples of the most important team roles for every company that engages in online marketing.

In a fast-developing world we must adjust to constantly changing conditions. Today it’s difficult to stick to just your specific scope of functions. It’s great when team members can support and learn from one another.

It’s no secret that we all want to express ourselves. We also want to gain new knowledge and experience. If you encourage the initiatives of your employees and listen to their thoughts about your company's working processes, they’ll be more willing to produce new ideas and provide benefits to your company.

Amel points out another important matter: every team member, regardless of his or her role, should always set goals both for each marketing campaign and for their own tasks. Julia Ole @ole_julia emphasizes the importance of one specific team role: “A good content producer is essential! First of all, for other team roles, such as social media marketers, PR managers, etc.”

Exactly! We should always remember that a creative mind is essential to our working processes. It helps us stand apart from our rivals in such a competitive market.

Couldn't have said it better! Indeed, a great team is what we all need. And now it’s time to sum up the answers to our first question!

Essential marketing team roles

Even though there are a lot of major roles that every marketing team needs, it’s very important for marketers to be multifunctional. The next question was about the qualities of a successful marketing team.

Key skills and qualities a marketing team should have

When advertising for a position, many employers write that they desire in a potential employee such person specifications as accuracy, a sense of responsibility and calmness under pressure. But these qualities have already become cliché. So, what key skills should a team of marketers have?

It may sound sad, but alas, it’s true: the marketing industry evolves very quickly, which means that employees should also progress and expand their knowledge. Oleg also mentioned one of his favorite qualities: “There is one quality I value the most: the ability to learn fast. Not just in words in a CV.” I wish we could all do that!

We can learn to speak a foreign language, program in Java, and work with Excel, but there’s one thing we can’t learn – passion. Passionate people don’t need to be forced to do things all the time, because they naturally want to learn, grow and improve.

David provided us with a whole list of a great team’s key skills. Besides some professional qualities, he also mentioned a sense of humor, and we can’t disagree! No doubt, there is no way to survive in marketing without humor!

Good communication among team members is a must. They should exchange their ideas and thoughts, and brainstorm and innovate together. Also, as a team member, you shouldn’t be afraid to point out your colleague’s mistakes; you won’t hurt them, you’ll just prevent more serious failures in the future.

It looks like we have a list of qualities from our chat participants!

Must-have marketing skills and qualities

Besides the important professional skills mentioned above, it’s also great when team members have passion, enthusiasm and even a sense of humor.

How can companies increase creativity

As we’ve already mentioned, creativity is a must! But what should companies do to help employees live up to their potential?

Today many companies have abandoned the standard system of employee hierarchy in favor of self-control, self-discipline, creativity and partnerships between leaders and employees. Hierarchies and managers have become boring!

A stand-up can be a real idea accelerator, so make one a daily habit. Also, Chris Desadoy pointed out that marketers shouldn’t be afraid of being punished for their ideas: “ If people are afraid of their 'wrong' ideas getting them chastised, they will never speak up. Sometimes 'wrong' ideas are the best ones.” Whether it’s a bad idea or even a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. We are not robots, but human beings, and nobody’s perfect.

Indeed, the best ideas appear by surprise and sometimes in unexpected places!

It’s difficult to build a loyal team without trust between team members and their leader. Believing in your team and collaborating with your employees can bring about incredible results!

This is a fresh approach, which can be very helpful. Team building and other activities of this kind may help you unify your team members. And usually a unified team is more cooperative and productive, because its members work in comfortable conditions, which brings talents to light. But as Provoke Marketing @ProvokeOnline says: “Be careful of 'forced fun!' Let the team decide what they want to do funwise.”

Tips for increasing employees' creativity

Let’s move on and talk about building not only a creative marketing team, but an effective one.

Ways to make your marketing team more effective

Creativity and innovation are good, but, unfortunately, they’re not enough. You want to bring your product/service to market, and you want your target audience to consume it. In order to do this, your marketing team must be effective and productive.

More and more companies are practicing Agile Marketing. Its main features are constant learning, collaboration, responsive planning and experimentation.

We should always analyze and estimate our efforts. For this, you obviously need a person who will provide regular analytics and reporting for your team in order to track their progress. Chris Bell @riskycontent also mentioned the importance of testing and data: “Test, test, and test again. Establish clear expectations with clients. Clear benchmarks and KPIs. Work the data.”

This is another great tip! Team members must communicate, discuss current issues and consult each other. Otherwise, there will be a lot of misunderstandings, failures and missed deadlines.

This advice reinforces two previous statements – communication is important within a team or even a department, and we should analyze our efforts and track our progress on a regular basis. Being aware of the results of their own work will help team members better plan and develop their marketing campaigns in the future. Page 1 (Europe) Ltd. @Page1Europe says: “Let your team know how they’re progressing and reward them for their efforts!” And this is completely fair.

We’ve already mentioned that people are multi-talented and can learn fast. Nevertheless, we are all experts in our favorite field and responsible for specific tasks at our companies. Even if we want to learn new things, we shouldn’t forget about our responsibilities.

Chris Desadoy reminded us about some desirable things. Salary is important, but it is not a top priority. Let’s see what we have so far!

How can marketing teams be more effective

Now we have a whole list of tips on how to make a marketing team super-productive! The next question is about games! And we all love game, don’t we?

Productive games for marketers

Some leaders apply games to the working process in order to make it more interesting, dynamic and engaging. Our chat participants told us about their favorite games to increase productivity.

Before your next meeting, spare some time for a marshmallow challenge. It will help you encourage and inspire your team! Chris Bell suggests another game: “ Dungeons & Dragons! It’s great for marketing team training.”

This is also a good option that will unify and bring team members closer together.

Logical games are great because they develop intelligence, logical thinking and reasoning. Amel Mehenaoui @amelm gives an example of an unusual activity, but one that is also interesting and challenging: “Why not plan an outdoor activity like horseback riding? The fresh air and all will help with creativity and relationship building.”

But let’s not forget about good, old brainstorming! As part of game, it makes us think differently and generate more awesome ideas. HubSpot provided several great ideas for marketing brainstorming.

Easy games to improve teamwork

Games allow team members to have fun, explore new things, communicate and engage with each other. Hopefully you’ll find some of the games we listed interesting and useful!

"Pro tip" interview questions

A job interview is the moment of truth for both the employer and the candidate. How do you know if you’ve found the right person to hire? What do employers want to find out about the people sitting across the table from them besides their professional background? Let’s find out.

“No, it’s not being cruel or unfair -- this question is about values, and for me values are crucially important,” says Oleg Shchegolev. And a lot of participants agreed with him – sharing the same values is crucial. “Test their moral and tech nous. ‘What would you do if [insert situation].’ Better questions equal better hires,” as Tony Dimmock ‏ @Tony_DWM points out.

Modeling different situations is a great tactic for revealing professional qualities as well:

For example, you can ask "What would you say has been the best marketing campaign this year so far and why?" as Stephen'Bern' Banham ‏ @Berngaming recommends. Or you can use one of your own company’s strategies as an example:

And you should expect a bit more from a professional marketer than “You are doing fine.” “If they sycophant up and tell me I'm doing nothing wrong and I'm fabulous, I want nothing to do with them,” says Chris Desadoy ‏ @EliteYouTubePro.

This question will also reveal a candidate’s motivation – do they really want to work for you, or are they just looking for a job?

Since we were talking a lot about the importance of self-education, it’s absolutely logical to ask what inspires the candidate and from what sources they get their knowledge. And, by the way, don't forget that some questions that might be insignificant at a glance can tell you a lot about the person you are talking to.

It will also help you understand what drives the person. Let’s agree that we all want to work with people who share our beliefs and passions.

Now let’s summarize our results! We hope that these tips will help you figure out what to ask a job candidate during an interview.

Job interview questions for marketers

And that was our final question. Thanks to our special guest Oleg Shchegolev @aramisguru and to all who participated in our chat!

See you next Wednesday!

Author Photo
Elena TerentevaElena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at Semrush. Elena has eight years public relations and journalism experience, working as a broadcasting journalist, PR/Content manager for IT and finance companies. Bookworm, poker player, good swimmer.
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