Fresh eyes

Creating a happy, high performing marketing team

Creating a happy high performing marketing team
Simon Turner Freshfield Managing Director

Written by Simon Turner,
Chief Executive & Group Client Director at Freshfield

I’ve been lucky enough to have advised and worked with some great marketing people and teams. That extends to business owners and leadership teams just as much as dedicated marketing functions. And it’s fair to say I’ve seen some bad ones.

Those who do get it right create a happy, high performing marketing team and a healthy return on investment. While getting it wrong leads to poor returns, high staff turnover and money down the drain. It can also lead to awful marketing.

Here I share some traits of what makes a happy, high performing marketing team. Like all good marketing, it’s unashamedly simple.

  1. Get buy in from the top

It’s vital that any marketing team – whether it be two or 20 people – has the buy in from the leadership.

I’ve seen examples of business owners or senior figures having little or no involvement in the marketing function, leaving the poor marketing team to work blind. Obviously, for large businesses, not every senior figure can be involved but at least one should form part of the marketing team.

If possible, leadership teams should share their strategic goals with their marketing people and any external suppliers. Any investment in marketing should be made to support your business goals.

  1. Give authority

If you are taking marketing seriously, the marketing team should be given authority to make decisions. Set a budget and give them the freedom to invest it. Likewise, within the marketing team, give the individuals specific responsibility to make decisions. This will make team members feel empowered.

  1. Be clear

What does success look like? Is it enquiries, website visitors, sales, good media coverage? As a team, you should have a simple one-page summary of what success looks like. Again, get buy in from the leadership. Your tactics should be tailored to achieving that success and your regular meetings should be an opportunity to see whether you are on the right track and whether your marketing policies are right.

  1. Be realistic

Too many marketing teams try and do too much. It becomes quantity not quality. It’s far better to do a smaller number of things well then do lots of average things. I have seen many a marketeer brow beaten trying to get through a lengthy to do list – much of which the business could live without.

  1. Be a team and make it enjoyable

It’s often overlooked that if someone is happy in their job, they will do a better job. Again, whether you are a large or small team, you need to invest in building a team culture. Get to know what makes each other tick, go for a beer or Sambuca, and create a bond. Try and keep things fresh. Have meetings offsite and use flexible working practices.

  1. Reward and celebrate success

It doesn’t cost anything to say ‘well done and thanks’. Yet many marketeers feel unloved or unappreciated because their efforts fail to get recognised. When you hit a goal, celebrate as a team. Create a quarterly ‘outstanding achievement’ award. It needn’t cost the earth. Small things like this can have a real positive impact on morale and performance. It also creates loyalty.

  1. Invest in learning

This doesn’t have to be monetary. Allocate time for members to swot up on latest marketing techniques. This can be through a professional membership or by allowing team members to spend a couple of hours a month out of the office learning.

Everyone loves to learn. And the more your people learn, the healthier your business will be.


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