How to Build a High-Performing Marketing Team

A marketing team or marketer’s job isn’t to produce higher CTRs or stronger quality scores. It’s to drive revenue. That’s it. Everything else is secondary.

Metrics like CPA, impressions and conversions are important, of course, but they are simply a means to an end – which is to grow revenue. The moment the focus shifts away from revenue and onto something else, then you’re doing it wrong.

But how do you assemble a marketing team of this ilk? In this post we’ll show you how to build a high-performing marketing team.

Kim Cooper
Director of Marketing, Amazon Alexa

Single Grain enables us to increase our impact without increasing our headcount

Assemble Top Marketers

Defining Top Marketing Performers

Before we explain how to build a team of top marketing performers, we must understand what makes talented employees stand out.

These are not individuals who merely generate reports or drive clicks and followers.

Top performers are those who excel in producing revenue, and their primary goal is to optimize revenue-boosting tactics.

They understand that metrics like followers and traffic are only valuable when they lead to actionable outcomes that grow the bottom line.

How do top-performing marketers increase revenue for an organization? They not only focus on increasing your visibility, but also optimizing existing customers, making sure you attract and retain the right customers.

Qualities of Top Marketing Performers

Identifying top marketing performers can be challenging, but it becomes easier when you know what qualities to look for. Here are some key characteristics to look for on a marketer’s resume:

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1) Rainmakers

Top marketing performers are always rainmakers. They don’t just drive traffic or leads, they directly impact revenue. Their actions result in tangible, measurable outcomes, making them indispensable to the organization.

Rainmaker as type of top-performing marketer

One of the biggest tells that prove someone is a marketing rainmaker is if revenue dips and rises at a 1:1 ratio with what they’re doing.

If a rainmaker starts at a company and just a few months later the revenue goes up, that’s a signal. If they leave and revenue dips, it’s another signal that their presence was making an impact on the company.

At the individual contributor level, rainmakers are self-starters. They don’t need supervision and can finish projects independently. They take initiative, propose solutions and actively seek opportunities to make a positive impact.

There’s a reason why 86% of employers want to hire professionals with problem-solving skills. Rainmakers are not just quick to point out problems, but are also proactive in offering solutions.

2) Network Builders

At the leadership level, it’s not just about directing teams — it’s about constructing robust networks. After all, 79% of professionals believe that success is based on networking. These professionals possess a unique talent for identifying and recruiting other top-tier talents. This ability is pivotal in assembling high-performing teams capable of delivering outstanding results.

Network builder as type of top-performing marketer

But the skills of these leaders extend beyond mere talent scouting.

While they might have the expertise to perform the tasks themselves, their real strength lies in strategically placing the right individuals around them. By taking advantage of the strengths and capabilities of their select team members, they can scale their impact far beyond what they could achieve alone. .

In essence, network builders are the architects of high-performing teams.

They recognize that the sum of a team’s expertise can far exceed the abilities of any single individual, and they master the art of turning this principle into a tangible competitive advantage.

3) Motivators and Leaders

Effective top performers can motivate and lead teams. This trait tends to apply more to VP-level marketers and higher. They understand how to get the best work out of their fellow employees and can inspire them to achieve collective goals. They’re trustable, believable and have an inspiring work ethic that compels others to match their standards and energy.

Motivator as type of top-performing marketer

In recruiting the best leader, the key lies in finding someone who combines professional expertise with a deep sense of understanding and empathy for their team. It’s about acknowledging that people are motivated by more than just financial incentives.

For instance, 81% of workers cite recognition as a potent motivator, with 69% willing to exert extra effort when they feel appreciated and valued:

Thus, an effective leader not only guides but also genuinely recognizes and appreciates the efforts of each team member. They understand that when employees feel valued and part of a purpose-driven team, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the company’s vision and objectives.

Building an Organization of Top Marketing Performers

Though it’s integral to hire the most talented marketing employees, you’ll also want to focus on building an organization. Now that we’ve defined what makes a top marketing performer, let’s explore the steps to building an organization filled with such talent:

  • Look for specialists: Top performers often excel in specific marketing channels or skills. Some common marketing specializations include content, SEO, branding, advertising, market research, and product management. Allow your team to focus on what they’re best at.
  • Leverage referrals: Leverage the networks of your existing top performers. Ask them for recommendations to other talented individuals they’ve worked with. Referral hiring can be a powerful strategy for bringing in top talent.
  • Analyze your competitors: Look at your competitors’ teams. Identify individuals who have consistently excelled in roles similar to those you’re hiring for. If someone has a track record of success at multiple competing companies, it’s a strong indicator of their competence.
  • Set clear outcome expectations: Clearly define the outcomes you expect from each role in your organization. During interviews, discuss these outcomes with potential hires. Make sure they understand the impact they are expected to create.
  • “Anti-sell” your company to candidates: Be upfront about the challenges and drawbacks of working in your organization. Highlight the areas that might not be ideal for everyone. This approach not only helps potential hires self-select, but also sets realistic expectations.
  • Check in regularly: Once you have top performers on board, invest time in regular check-ins. Understand their work-life balance, their experiences within the team and any obstacles they face. Your aim is to unblock them, so they can continue performing at their best.
  • Incentivize growth: Incentivize and reward your top performers–but make sure you’re giving your employees what they actually want. When employers offer the right incentives, organizations experience a 79% success rate in reaching their goals.

What are some examples of quality and demanded incentives? Offer them stock options and equity that align with financial growth. Acknowledge their contributions and provide opportunities for advancement. You can also simply ask them on an individual level what incentivizes them and then give them what they care about most.

Create Your Winning Marketing Team

Building a revenue-boosting marketing team is an integral hiring strategy for all businesses. Marketing individuals are the driving force behind revenue growth, and their presence can elevate your company to new heights.

Once you understand what defines a top performer and identify their talents, you can assemble a team that consistently delivers exceptional results.

In doing so, you’ll not only achieve your goals but also create a culture of excellence that attracts and retains top talent for the long haul.

Assemble Top Marketers

 

For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.

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