Before you hire another marketer, do these 5 things first

Consider these cost-effective alternatives to expanding your team's capabilities and ensuring marketing success.

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Hang on a minute. Do you really need another marketer on your team? Or is there a different way to look at the situation?

Hiring is costly, time-consuming and distracting for your team. Moreover, adding a new team member significantly increases complexity and the need to communicate.

Eventually, you’ll need to hire another marketer as your team grows. But before you do, here are five things you should consider first.

1. Upgrade your process

One of the biggest challenges marketing teams face is a lack of processes and systems. This lack of structure results in inefficiencies, waste and confusion, negatively impacting the team’s productivity and morale. Before hiring another marketer, consider investing time and energy into improving or creating better processes.

Creating processes and systems can often solve most of the issues your team is facing, whether it’s miscommunication, failure of work, a lack of accountability or disorganization. Your team will be able to collaborate more effectively and work more efficiently, and you may not need to hire another marketer.

Even if you still decide to hire another marketer, building more processes, systems and structure in your marketing team never hurts. And the improvement to your operations will still benefit the entire team, including any future hires.

2. Upskill your team

Before you expand your marketing team, it’s worth considering the potential impact of investing in your existing team. Marketing constantly changes with new tools, platforms, channels and tactics. This means that your team needs to stay current in order to be efficient, effective and competitive.

Think back to when you first hired each of your existing team members. How much training and professional development have they had since then? In most cases, probably not much. Because the competition, consumer behavior and the industry are constantly evolving, it’s important to support your team with opportunities to keep learning and improving.

Investing in your existing team doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can host lunch-and-learns, give them access to training platforms like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning, or hire experts to deliver training workshops for your team. No matter what, you must be constantly investing in improving the skills and abilities of your marketing team.

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3. Prioritize and focus

Do you need to hire another marketer? Or are you trying to do too many things?

Marketing leaders often want to hire more help because they have so many priorities. If that’s the case, it’s important to step back, zoom out and look at what’s really important before bringing in additional help.

A good way to look at your priorities is to map them out on a double-axis chart with “impact” versus “effort.” This lets you quickly see which initiatives will greatly impact marketing and how much effort they require. Remember the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) and focus ruthlessly on the few things that will move the needle. Prioritizing ruthlessly is a key attribute of successful marketing teams and will result in increased productivity, higher morale and transformational results.

You might decide you still need to hire another marketer after reevaluating your priorities, and that’s OK. At least you’ve taken a moment to reflect and realign your team, and now you know exactly where the new marketer can have the most impact.

4. Audit and optimize

When was the last time you took a close look at your marketing performance? Doing a deep-dive audit of your marketing performance can be revealing. You might realize you don’t need another marketer to get better results. Sometimes, analyzing what’s working and what’s not can lead to tons of insights.

Digging deep into your campaigns, channels and analytics can reveal waste, missed opportunities, low-hanging fruits and quick wins. If you haven’t done this sort of thing in a while (or ever), then now’s the time. You and your team will learn a lot — and you’ll be able to create a shortlist of the items that need the most attention.

After completing a thorough audit like this, you’ll have a sizeable backlog of areas to improve and actions to take. You can prioritize these for your team and assign them to get started. This type of deep-dive audit often showcases that you don’t need to hire someone quite yet. But when you do, you’ll be confident that you and your team have looked under the hood, understand how everything is operating and can easily onboard the new hire.

5. Grow your team without hiring

Growing your team doesn’t always require a full-time hire. Another approach to consider is working with a contractor or consultant. This allows you to scale your team without scaling your headcount. Whether you need assistance with a specific campaign or help solving a tricky problem, working with a consultant or contractor gives you flexibility without the full-time commitment of resources.

Contractors and consultants also provide another invaluable resource: Outside perspective. With their diverse experience and skill sets, they can offer unique insights, techniques and ideas. Most teams benefit from the transfer of skills just as much as the work completed.

And in some cases, the right contractor can even graduate into a full-time hire under the right conditions. No matter your situation, it’s worth considering how you can supplement your team in the short term and the value you can accrue as a result.

Dig deeper: Closing your team’s technical gap without hiring

Key considerations before scaling your marketing team

Here’s the deal. Expanding your marketing team doesn’t always mean hiring. There are often more cost-effective and high-impact ways to get better performance from your team without adding the complexity and cost of another marketer.

That’s not to say that you should never hire another marketer or that hiring a marketer is a bad idea. Sometimes, you need to expand your team, and there’s no way around it. But no matter what, each of these tactics is worth considering before you hire — and even if you aren’t hiring — to ensure the effectiveness of your marketing team.

Dig deeper: How to overcome marketing budget cuts and hiring freezes


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Tim Parkin
Tim Parkin is a consultant, advisor, and coach to marketing executives globally. He specializes in helping marketing teams optimize performance, accelerate growth, and maximize their results. By applying more than 20 years of experience merging behavioral psychology and technology, Tim has unlocked rapid and dramatic growth for global brands and award-winning agencies alike. He is a speaker, author, and thought leader who has been featured in AdAge, AdWeek, Inc, TechCrunch, Forbes, and many other major industry publications. Tim is also a member of the American Marketing Association, Society for the Advancement of Consulting, and an inductee to the Million Dollar Consulting Hall of Fame.

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