Marketing requires a set of skills and a vision of a company as a whole that is unique from other individual departments within a company. There are many valuable skills that can be learned from the marketing team and applied to all other divisions and aspects of your business.
Knowing what you should be getting out of your marketing team when it comes to analytics and strategy is one thing, but knowing what you should be learning from your marketing team to apply to other aspects of your business is another.
1. Seeing Opportunities
Marketing is never over. It is never a completed task. You may be finished with one project, but your marketing team should always be on the lookout for some new way to benefit the company and grow its reach. This means instead of being focused on one minor goal, see the other opportunities that are available to the company.
So lets say we want to increase social media interaction, instead of just focusing on what is being posted on social media, perhaps an email campaign that encourages people to interact and like the page on Facebook would create that growth. Marketing is about seeing what tools are available and using them to open up a world of possibilities.
2. Striving to Improve
Ever heard someone say, "well that's just the way we've always done it...." That should NEVER be your marketing team! Your marketing team should be constantly looking to change and improve things. If you've been writing your blog posts the same exact way for the past year cause that's just "how you've always done it", your marketing team should be catching onto that and seeking for some change. Consumers are constantly changing, therefore marketing must lead the way on these changes.
3. Being Creative
This isn't just limited to artists and short story writers. No, creativity should be taking place in all your marketing campaigns. Creativity is at the core of marketing and it is what enables marketing to be a positive experience for consumers. Oftentimes we get this idea that marketing is considered to have negative connotations. But viewing marketing as not evil is key to creating a marketing campaign that will actually interact with consumers. Marketing does not mean boring or pushy. Marketing means creativity that is able to push through this idea that marketing is unlikable and is able to present a company in a creative way.
When it comes to other aspects of your business, this creative thinking can provide you with a new perspective on what it is your company's initiatives actually are. Creativity spurs growth and the boldness to change and improve a company.
4. Problem Solving
'Cause trust me, there will be some bumps along the way. But the sign of a good marketing team is one with quick and effective problem solving skills. This requires the creative thinking we just talked about.
Being able to see multiple ways to solve a problem is one of the most important skills your company needs to learn from your marketing team. They are experts at figuring out multiple ways to produce the desired effect. This then allows them a variety of choices when it comes to making those decisions about handling problems. There should always be multiple solutions, its a matter of finding the perfect one for your company.
5. Strategic Thinking
Another way to think about this is thinking about the long term. Your marketing team should never be striving to get those numbers up just for the present.
Instead, they should be focused on creating a plan that has long term benefits and will result in a positive affect now, and down the road. This requires those same thought processes that go into problem solving: that way of creating many possible outcomes, and choosing the one with the most positive affect down the road.
While the list of things to learn from a great marketing team can continue to grow, this is just the general idea of not only what you should be learning, but also how you can be grading a marketing vendors success. Are they teaching you these skills that can be applied to almost any aspect of life? Are they showing you transparency in their dealings? Are they willing to educate you and take time for you? If not, it may be time to rethink your marketing team. But if they are, then your marketing team is making you look like the hero you deserve to be!