Fielding the right team makes all the difference.
For over 50 years, Eddie Feigner and his four-man softball team, known as "The King and His Court," played over ten thousand softball games, winning 9,743 of them against teams from around the world. How'd a team with less than half the normal number of players beat teams with a full roster? You can get away with only having four fielders when your pitcher throws 100-plus mph gas. On top of that, Feigner rifled pitches past batters from behind his back, through his legs, from second base, and even while blindfolded to compile 141,517 strikeouts, 930 no-hitters, and 238 perfect games.
I’m a big sports guy, which means I can easily make the analogy work for a marketing team. Even if you have a full roster, you’ve probably got a few holes, and very few companies have a “King” at their disposal.
Here are a few roles you’ll find in a modern marketing department:
- Chief Marketing Officer
- VP of Sales & Marketing
- Marketing Strategist
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Coordinator
- Graphic Designer
- UX/UI Designer
- Front-end Web Developer
- Full-stack Web Developer
- Content Specialist
- Social Media Manager
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Video Producer
- Data Analyst
It’s unlikely that a small to midsize company would have all of these positions in-house. A more common marketing department makeup is:
- Sales and marketing leader, usually a VP of Sales & Marketing, to oversee the department
- Marketing Manager to coordinate tasks
- Graphic Designer to design marketing materials
- Social Media Manager, sometimes the Marketing Manager, to keep up the company's social media presence
That leaves a lot of gaps to fill with too many projects to do and insufficient bandwidth to complete them. As a result, marketing inevitably takes a backseat to other projects, usually sales, and the company’s brand suffers as a consequence. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There’s a way to keep marketing moving forward and not break the bank. It’s called a fractional marketing team.
A fractional marketing team is an outsourced team of part-time marketing specialists.
If you’re not getting the results you want from your marketing, consider these benefits of a factional marketing team:
1. Deepen your bench
Fractional marketing teams partner with a company's in-house team to develop and implement strategies to increase brand awareness and promote the organization's products and services. Rather than adding team members who are only needed part of the time, outsourcing select marketing functions allows businesses to leverage their in-house talent and free up internal resources to focus on other areas.
2. Play to your strengths
Most VP of Sales & Marketing are not natural marketers. They’re heavy on the sales skillset and light when it comes to marketing experience. As a result, marketing tends to fall by the wayside. By tapping external marketing professionals, sales leaders can concentrate on what they’re best at and leave the marketing to an outside resource.
3. Know when to call on a pinch hitter
There are only so many hours in the day. The typical marketing manager is being asked to do more with less. By working with a fractional marketing team, you can add bandwidth when it’s needed and throttle down when it isn’t. Take, for example, a website development. Most companies work with an outside resource to build the site and maybe even write the copy. A UX/UI designer, a front-end web developer or a full-stack web developer are all needed when the site is being built but only occasionally afterward. After launching the site, a fractional marketing team can be brought in write blogs and additional case studies.
4. Keep your budget on the ball
How much should you spend on marketing? The SBA says small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8% of their actual or projected gross revenue to ongoing marketing efforts. However, this number can be as high as 20%, depending on the type of business. Regardless, if you’re spending more or less than the guidelines, a seasoned marketing professional will provide strategic insight and knowledge to maximize your investment.
If all that sounds great, how do you know if a factional marketing team would help your business? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s probably time to look for outside help:
- Do you have a written marketing strategy?
- Are you getting marketing projects done on time and on budget?
- Is your in-house team burnt out?
- Are you turning out the same old marketing material?
- Do you need to take your marketing to the next level?
With a fractional marketing team, you only use the skills the team brings to the table when they’re needed. Need to run a social media campaign to promote a new product? Call the team. Looking to drive traffic to your trade show booth? Tap the team. Have to hire twenty new employees? Bring in the team.
Fractional marketing teams offer the best of both worlds. Experienced marketing professionals that only work on what they’re needed for when they’re needed. Build the right team, and the next thing you know, you'll come out looking like a king.