C-Suite Strategies

5 Signs Your Marketing Team is Underleveraged

Building a great team (in any department) is hard. Making sure a team lives up to its potential over time is even harder. This can be especially true in marketing, where creative and technological personnel have to work together seamlessly to achieve sustainable growth. So how can you tell if you’re not leveraging your talent sufficiently? Here are 5 signs to watch for.

Getting the most out of any team is a constant balancing act. Your fiduciary responsibility to your employer mandates that you push your talent to produce as much as humanly possible. However, we also know that overworking a team will likely cost your organization in the long run.

Marketing teams can be especially tough to leverage appropriately because they’re made up of both technically-minded and creatively-minded talent.

What About Overleverage?

Of course, if your team can be underleveraged logic dictates they can also be overleveraged. We don’t need to go into details about this, as a simple search will yield plenty of information on the topic of overworked teams.

The key distinction is that a highly leveraged team is pushed to work smarter not longer. When creating a well-leveraged team your focus is on unlocking quality work, not attacking your problems with more manpower.

Signs Your Team is Underleveraged

When your team is underleveraged, you have the opportunity to accelerate growth without investing in additional team members. The most common root cause is a lack of experienced marketing leadership.

Wondering how you can know your team is underleveraged? Here are 5 signs you can look for:

Sign #1: Ideation Without Intention

One of the hallmarks of a talented marketer is the ability to identify new growth opportunities. We love to grasp onto the next shiny new trend. However, ideas should be supported with data—or at least hypotheses.

If your marketing team is constantly pitching new campaign ideas but can’t provide an underlying thought process there may be a disconnect between your team and your business strategy. Teams with a disconnect like this may benefit from the guidance of a marketing leader who can help tie ideas to strategy.

Sign #2: Ideation Without Execution

Similarly, a marketing team that generates conceptual campaigns—but can’t execute them well—is ultimately ineffective. If you find that your marketing team struggles to get marketing campaigns executed on time and on budget (or at all) you may be facing a lack of process.

Experienced marketing leaders are process-driven. They help the marketing team codify processes so execution is no longer a barrier to marketing campaign success.

Sign #3: Execution Without Retrospect

Top-tier marketers learn from previous efforts. Part of your marketing process should be frequent retrospectives to drive constant improvement. However, when a marketer analyzes their own work, they can face confirmation or self-serving bias.

Introducing a marketing leader to the equation increases the chances that a campaign’s results will be scrutinized objectively. In addition, a marketing veteran might be adept at helping the marketer connect individual campaign results to the larger organizational marketing strategy.

Sign #4: Exertion Without Focus

For organizations that market to more than one audience, a lack of focus will dilute the marketing team’s effectiveness. Each audience merits its own marketing strategy and calendar—and the marketing team has to balance messaging for each.

A competent marketing leader will install an overarching growth strategy that addresses efforts toward each market and provides a balanced focus.

Sign #5: Effort Without Output

The most obvious sign of an underleveraged marketing team is a consistent effort without a significant effect on the bottom line. In most cases, when you spot this macro-level sign, it’ll trickle down to one of the 4 problems areas we just detailed.

These signs point to a weakness in your marketing strategy, process, or technology. You can pinpoint the weakest areas using our free Marketing Threat Assessment.

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