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Inbound Marketing   Agile Marketing

Creating the Ultimate Agile Inbound Marketing Team

Posted by  Jean Moncrieff 

Creating a powerful online presence is a key element in any modern marketing strategy. To achieve this, you need a team that, while having specialist skills, also has common skills. A team that is built on a culture of sharing and helping one another, rather than individuals and egos. A team that embraces change and innovation. A team that is self organizing and agile.

It’s Sunday afternoon on a train somewhere between Bucharest and Iași in Romania. Outside an inspiring view zips by while on the inside I'm working on ideas for creating the ultimate Agile Inbound Marketing team.

agile-inbound-marketing-teams

I'm going to spend a week with Thinslices, who design and develop mobile Apps, and Beaglecat a content marketing company with a passion for startups. 

The Thinslices team has been experimenting with Inbound for some months and they're keen to ramp up their efforts. The question is: "What does the ultimate Inbound Marketing Team look like?" and "How do we make it a reality?".

On the upside, they're an agile software development house, they get Inbound, have an awesome culture and some really smart people. So I think finding answers to our questions and testing ideas will be a great experience in itself.

In their  2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report Hubspot identified 10 Inbound Discoveries That Will Disrupt Marketing Forever. One of those is:

51% of all inbound marketing teams contain fewer than six people. This small team environment is pervasive at every level of the industry; even at the enterprise level, 31% of marketing teams contain five or fewer full-time employees.

 

Here are the skills that your ultimate inbound team needs:

  • Inbound marketing strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging
  • Web analytics / data analysis
  • Front & back end web development
  • Web design
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay-per-click marketing
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Email marketing
  • Social media / community management
  • Project management 

Now the trick is to structure a small team with these skills and an agile philosophy at its core...

 

Here are the players on your ultimate inbound team:

 

The Team Leader

A person with solid Inbound Marketing experience, who understands the others' roles and can jump in and be hands on if required. Most of this person's time is spent on analytics and decision making, while around 30% will be spent doing hands on stuff. This person may be your first hire, an inbound marketing coach or a virtual marketing team lead. The key is a strong experienced lead for the team. 

 

Blogging and Social Media Lead  

This person is in charge of blogging and social media.To be successful at Inbound, you need to create content that will get you found and your number one tool is blogging. But it's not just about creating content, it's about creating content that your visitors love. So find somebody who loves writing! Put them in charge of blogging, as both a writer and an editor. They'll take responsibility for the growth of traffic and leads generated from your blog, managing social media channels and sourcing content from across the company.

Crossover skills: They should have some analytics, copywriting and SEO skills. 

 

Content Offers Lead

Once you've begun drawing more visitors to your site, you need to convert them into leads. To do this, you need solid offers. That means eBooks, white papers, webinars, slideshares, etc. This person should be creative and great with content, using a combination of tools like email, webinars and landing pages to convert visitors. 

Crossover skills: They should have some analytical, design, social media, copywriting and blogging skills.

 

Graphic Design Lead

Having a site that combines great content and design is critical to keeping visitors. Across most industries websites have a 30%- 60% bounce rate. This means that the traffic arriving on your site leaves without viewing any other content going beyond the first page. An attractive website combined with great content offers is essential. This person will work closely with the entire team, creating the overall site look and feel as well as elements such as infographics, ebook covers, slideshare presentations and landing pages. It's great if you can find a graphic designer that has excellent design skills and some front end programming skills (HTML and CSS). If this isn't possible, you may need to split the role.

Crossover skills: They should have some social media, content creation and blogging skills.

 

Analytics & SEO Lead 

You may feel like SEO stands for "Something Extremely Obscure". Don't worry, you aren't alone! To make matters worse, there's an endless stream of Google algorithm updates you need to stay on top of. This person needs to make sure that you're always showing up in search results for your keywords. And while the rest of the team is creating brilliant blogs, content offers and engaging social media campaigns, somebody needs to be measuring success. Your Analytics and SEO Lead has their finger on the pulse of the campaigns the team is creating and running. Quickly identifying what's working and what's not working.

Crossover skills: They should have some social media, pay-per-click, email marketing and blogging skills.

 

When you start out, you may only have a single person (a kind of all in 1 Inbound Marketing Unit) or a couple of people capable of covering these roles. You might also consider using a virtual marketing team to fill the gaps. As you build your agile inbound team, keep in mind that while each individual brings specialist skills to the team, they should also be able to contribute to the overall team effort through common skills.

In keeping with the agile philosophy, the team needs the latitude to try new ideas, have the capability to measure results and self-organize, based on what's working and what's not working in terms of reaching their SMART goals. Having the agile inbound marketing team you desire, makes the difference between success and failure.

 

Posted by Jean Moncrieff

Jean is an entrepreneur with over 20 years business and marketing experience. He is passionate about helping startups and small business use digital marketing techniques to grow their companies. Currently, he splits his time between his home office in Italy and clients in Europe and North America.​

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