It is difficult being a business owner, especially for an SME, where you need to have a good understanding of such a variety of issues. With this in mind, Growthology was struck by an article – The 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most – we read recently from the Harvard Business Review, which identified the biggest challenge CEOs worry about. Marketing Talent was the top issue that came out, with the article stating that “CEOs had a range of concerns, beginning with finding the right talent”.
We reassure you that this isn’t going to be yet another talent management piece concerning talent attraction and retention! The aspect of talent we are going to focus on in this article is more fundamental than that. Additionally, it is one we usually come across when working with Managing directors.
First things first..
As marketing strategists, Growthology often sees companies that have, or are planning to assign, a marketing resource without truly understanding what they want them to accomplish, and where they fit into the business management process. We’ll further elaborate on that later.
Prior to searching for new talent, you’ve first got to know exactly what your business needs to grow profitably in the current environment – by reference to your business strategy.
After you have implemented a skills gap analysis and identified what more capabilities are needed, you can then decide whether this requires a full-time recruit, or could instead be accomplished more cost-effectively by an external specialist contracted to provide a set amount of time each week or month. This route also provides you the flexibility to add or reduce the external time and skills you buy in, therefore, you can flex this resource according to your evolving business needs.
While this approach can be enforced across a variety of disciplines, the area that we are going to focus on here is marketing, as marketing can play a key role in helping your business grow.
Build your own Marketing Talent
Building the marketing talent of your business is an important issue for business owners to address, however, to get this right you need to have a basic understanding and appreciation of marketing strategy – as opposed to marketing tactics. Business owners armed with this knowledge are in a much better position to determine what is needed to build the marketing talent of their business.
We begin from the position that all companies need a marketing function, which usually looks something like this:
- Marketing Strategist – assesses the market, its dynamics, and the positioning of your business within it develops a marketing strategy to help deliver your business objectives, reviews progress against plan, and evolves programme accordingly
- Marketing Manager – tactical implementation of the marketing strategy
- Marketing Executive – organisation and administration
Business leaders can then determine whether small or large amounts of each role need to be bought in, which can be achieved either through standard recruitment of a full-time marketer or by bringing in. Let us say, for example, a senior-level marketing strategist to work on a limited one-day-per-week basis, to begin with.
Whatever your business is, you will need some of the above-mentioned. The key is working out how much is enough to deliver to your business goals!