eCommerce marketers today face two big challenges: designing strategies and campaigns that will stand out from the competition and staying abreast of the technological developments needed to compete with and conquer other online companies worldwide. I reached out to my colleague Erika Jolly Brookes, the CMO at Springbot, an e-commerce marketing data analytics company, to help me in identifying some common traits that are found in some of the most powerful marketing teams in the industry. Here is what we came up with.
1. They Don’t Make Excuses
The only thing worse than an apology is an excuse. Customers and managers don’t want to hear either one. To be clear, marketing companies DO face circumstances beyond their control: system failures, family emergencies and customers with unreasonable expectations. In all cases, a professional marketing team takes responsibility for all problems or issues that arise in their products or services – even if these issues are not their fault.
2. They Creatively Find Ways to Exceed Expectations
Effective marketing teams always under-promise and over-deliver. They wow their customers with their exceptional customer service, impeccable work ethic, and innovative marketing efforts. They solve problems, provide answers and finish ahead of the deadline. In an industry where mediocrity is commonplace and often expected, marketing teams understand one thing: going over the top for customers and managers produces greater job security than any other element of business.
3. They’re Constantly Evaluating Their Performance
High-performing marketing teams are never satisfied with their performance. Their success is not determined by what they’ve accomplished, but instead how that accomplishment springboards to the next challenge. They scrutinize every element of their workflow and look forward to refining their processes for each new campaign. Celebrate your victory, and then get ready to make the next one even more effective.
4. They’re Always Innovating
If there are rules in marketing, your top executives know about them, but they are more focused on finding the next big trend, bright idea, and game-changing solution. Great marketers take what they’ve been given from management and create something new out of it. They utilize all tools at their disposal and even develop a few new ones to fuel their high-minded ambitions.
5. They’re Customer-Focused
If marketers are to remain relevant, they have to understand their audience. Translation: They have to care about the customers the business interacts with every day. They have to understand what their customers’ needs are and what they are looking for from the company. They have to adopt their customers’ success as essential to their own. Top-level marketers are empathetic, good listeners and always looking out for their customers’ best interest.
6. They Know How to Make Money
Marketing teams know all too well the impact of revenue. Today’s online marketing tools and strategies, such as omnichannel eCommerce, give marketers instant gratification by allowing them to generate revenue faster than ever before. Marketers can also enjoy a wide range of revenue streams. This produces new challenges and opportunities for growth. Being driven by revenue is fiscally healthy and leads to a greater ROI on your marketing spend. Re-read this post on driving marketing ROI.
7. Their Goals and Growth are Measurable
Marketers deal with numbers every single day. So, it should be no surprise that their goals and level of growth can be measured using hard data. Without a data-driven marketing approach, online companies have no clue where they are or where they’re going. You can’t dispute metrics, but you can learn from them to carve out a path moving forward.
8. There is Structure in Their Organization
Many high-level marketing teams can appear to be running around chaotically, but don’t be fooled by the hustle and bustle. There is a method to the madness if everything is thought out and well executed. Effective marketers plan, schedule, analyze and create endless strategies for nearly every move they make. They rarely go into a marketing campaign or a new phase of business without a game plan.
9. They Collaborate
The highest performing marketing organizations are exceptional at working together and collaborating on projects. Each member of the team understands the value of experience and knowledge. Everyone knows that the entire team is better and stronger because of the experience and knowledge of the other members. They approach collaboration with the mindset of discovering and drawing from each other’s talents and expertise.
10. They Can Operate on Flexible Budgets
Large brands operate on expansive budgets, but small-to-midsize eCommerce companies (like most of your businesses) have a fraction of the resources. Invest in building an agile marketing team that knows how to materially move the revenue needle without a material marketing investment, and you’ll be well-suited to ensure your success online against bigger competitors. Re-read this post for example growth hacking techniques.
If you follow these tips, you can build a marketing team that is highly skilled to execute marketing strategies that will out-perform the competition. Thanks again Erika for helping me with this piece, and be sure to follow Erika on Twitter at @ebrookes.