Most businesses have a marketing team, which comprises of sets of sub-teams such as design, PR, website development, content writer, event coordinator, campaign manager, product marketing, field marketing, etc. These individuals/ teams mostly work in silos and come together on as need basis to accomplish a specific task, which generally revolves around activities like tradeshows and events, sales conferences, product launches, etc.
You might be wondering – where is the problem? That is business as usual.
In my 15+ years of experience in working very closely with sales, product, customer success, product marketing, and marketing communication teams, I have noticed a huge gap. The missing link is the alignment across all these individual sub-teams and with other cross-functional teams for sales, product, and customer success. The alignment gap is not just in terms of common sales-oriented goals and marketing strategies, but also the alignment of skills needed in the team to drive that growth.
Whether you are a team of one or one hundred, in my experience, it requires 10 unique personality traits to flourish as a strong technology marketing team in the emerging “innovation-centric” market. These are:
- Intellect: The subject matter expert who understands the nuances at both technology and business levels
- Story Teller: The messaging expert who interprets the nuances and translates them into consumable stories to which the audience can relate
- Artist: The visual imagination expert who converts any story into a memorable impression in the mind of the targeted audience
- Infopreneur: The data expert who knows how to get the relevant market and competitive insights without breaking the bank
- Technologist: The architect of sales and marketing technology stack who fundamentally understands the needs of both sales and marketing, and creates alignment in operations
- Scientist: The inbound digital sales and marketing automation expert who experiments with different strategies to execute and attain sales-oriented goals
- Hacker: The growth hacking expert who knows how to crack the code to establish organically a reputable and authoritative digital presence around a targeted topic
- Evangelist: The trusted thought leader and influencer who builds communities and tells credible stories
- Socialite: The social bee, the networking guru, the crowd puller. The one who breaks the ice, reaches out to people, and takes the conversation to the next level
- Healer: One of the essential additions – the one who cares to listen and dares to ask “Why?” to connect the dots between sales, products, customers, channels, and marketing teams to ensure that all are aligned
Most businesses lack a number of these critical skills in their marketing teams and struggle to maintain a consistent value they offer to their key customer – the sales teams and channels. In the new world of “agile innovation,” the technology and the associated business value are changing so dynamically that it is nearly impossible for any single individual to stay on top of everything. However, unfortunately, most sales and marketing individuals are expected to know it all. The sales and marketing organizations still operate on a fixed team structure basis with the same set of in-house individuals (who may or may not have evolved as fast as the technology has) and expect them to be infopreneurs, the intellects, the storytellers, the evangelists, etc. on every topic on which the company is trying to establish brand credibility. That is insane!
In this continually changing environment, the new mantra of success is to build dynamic teams for each core topic based on which your organization wants to build brand credibility. The dynamic team for each core topic must have a set of individuals who bring the 10 personality traits, mentioned above.
The emerging role of technology marketing leaders is that of the healer, who understand how to create the right set of dynamic teams, reach out for help (internally and externally), and ensure cross-functional alignment while connecting the dots.
If you have come this far reading this article, here is a call to action for you.
Just take a moment to sit back and list the three main topics that matter most for your organization to build brand credibility. Start dropping in names of people you think can provide the 10 personality traits relevant to the specific topics. To make things easier for you, download this simple table to get started (No need to fill any form).
Tip: Do not put any unnecessary limitations of only looking with a narrow scope of your own team, budget, timelines, etc. Broaden your horizon when you are forming these dynamic teams. Look inside and look outside. The people who will serve these functions may or may not be part of the in-house marketing team, or for that matter, part of your organization. They may be someone from the sales team, from the customer support team, from the product team, from the IT team, or an extended group of external experts, who provide specialized skills, subject matter expertise with outside-in perspective, or simply assure alignment in the execution. Also, do not view the personality traits with the lenses of traditional roles they play. For example, an artist does not have to be a professional designer but someone who can visualize the concept on a piece of paper or whiteboard.
Get the team right first on paper and then figure out how to bring them together and make it happen. Remember these personality traits are not specific tasks or job roles, but the skills people bring to the table. The same person may offer multiple skills.
If you try it and see a difference, I would love to hear about it. Regardless, would love to hear your thoughts. Drop a note in the discussion box below or email me directly at [email protected]