In marketing, the only constant is change. And to keep up with this change, you need a team that has a pulse on the ever-evolving demands of the industry.
That’s where a culture of constant upskilling takes an average marketing team and turns them into the movers and shakers of any given niche.
And with your marketing team responsible for shaping your brand and presenting your offer to your target audience, the actions of your marketing team often determine how you’re perceived in the market.
Consumer perceptions are powerful. One false move and your upward growth trajectory can come crashing down. Case in point, Bud Light saw sales drop 26% after one controversial marketing campaign. Ouch.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of constantly improving your marketing team. We’ll start by reviewing the benefits of upskilling your marketing team before diving into some actionable tips for making this happen.
Let’s dive in.
Why Upskill Your Marketing Team?
1. Strengthen Your Workforce
As we move towards a digital and knowledge-centric economy, the vitality of our workforce takes on a new level of significance.
Studies indicate that a material part of a company’s market value is now vested in its intangible assets. These assets include highly-skilled employees, outstanding leaders, and the collective knowledge they carry.
So the most obvious benefit of upskilling your marketing team is strengthening your workforce, which in turn will boost your organization’s market value.
Providing adequate training, improving hard and soft skills, and equipping your marketing team with the right tools will make the team stronger and more competent. Ultimately, you’ll strengthen your workforce and boost synergy across departments — a win-win.
2. Grow Your Company
You can grow your company by strengthening your workforce and improving its output. This logic may seem oversimplified, but it’s genuinely that straightforward.
Think about it this way: upskilling your marketing team will better equip them to identify your target audience, create strategies that speak to that audience, and improve the content creation process accordingly.
All of these upgrades to your marketing department should yield an equally positive shift in the team’s results. Whatever your desired conversion is, this will lead to growth. Remember, you have to spend money to make money.
3. Improve Your Return on Investment (ROI)
Your team is the life force of your company. They keep things moving on a day-to-day basis. Although these are real people, it’s also important to understand that buying their time (or paying their salary) is an expense to your business.
Like other business expenses, it is important that the individuals on your marketing team produce the results you’re paying for.
4. Retain Employees
Most people like to work in environments where they are valued and have the ability to learn and grow within the organization. In fact, 94% of employees agree they’d stay at a company longer if there were adequate investments in their learning and development.
By investing in their skills, you demonstrate your appreciation for their contributions. This fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment, which ultimately helps to retain employees and benefits your company.
7 Tips for Upskilling Your Marketing Team
Now that you better understand why upskilling your marketing team is important let’s review some actionable tips for taking your marketing team to the next level.
1. Prioritize Continuing Education
Training your team members during their onboarding is one thing, but providing continuing education is very important. This will allow you to fill any skills gaps to supercharge your team.
As you offer continuing education, there are a few things to remember. Your ongoing training programs should be interactive and engaging. For instance, simulations are a great way to give your marketing team a hands-on experience.
For some people, the prospect of growing and learning is enough of an incentive to continue their education or work on their skills. However, not everybody is driven or a self-starter and may need more motivation to level up their skills.
Offer some incentives like extra PTO, gift cards, merch, and other prizes. You know your team best, so make sure whatever you have to offer is appealing to them.
2. Send Your Team to Conferences
Conferences and seminars provide great opportunities to upskill your marketing team.
It exposes them to new techniques and information from industry leaders and creates opportunities to connect with other marketing professionals.
Some educational events to consider are general digital marketing events, ad seminars, SEO conferences, design workshops, copy workshops, etc. Use an employee schedule to stay organized in which employees are attending conferences and workshops. You can instantly deploy schedules of employees in conferences to employees at the office to ensure nonstop efficiency. This will avoid conflicts and keep your team always up-to-date on employee availability at any given moment.
Fortunately, the rise of virtual events has created a boom of webinars that allow your team to access the knowledge of experts and industry leaders without traveling. These events are typically much more affordable and accessible. The only downside is that they don’t offer the networking opportunities that in-person events provide.
3. Incorporate Mindset Training
Ensuring that everybody adopts the same mindset is an important aspect of upskilling your marketing team, but unfortunately, this component is often overlooked. This usually involves setting company standards and hiring individuals who fit that company culture.
However, if you’re orchestrating a company-wide mindset shift, you’ll need to get creative. If team members resist the shift, it may be wise to incorporate mindset training and personal development resources for your team.
Activities geared toward helping your team members grow as individuals and as leaders will help create more flexibility in their mindsets.
One simple way to incorporate this is to host a company-wide book club focusing on leadership or personal growth. This can be fun and interactive and could also serve as a team-building exercise.
4. Offer Niche Training
Every industry has its quirks and necessities, so they need different marketing approaches to make it work. With that in mind, your team must have a solid understanding of your industry.
Niche training is a great way to get your team more immersed in the ins and outs of your industry. By providing niche training, your team will be better equipped to speak to your target audience and improve customer journeys tenfold, which should help you land more qualified leads.
For example, a study by the National Association of Realtors reports that 97% of all homebuyers searched the Internet for a new home. It’s safe to say that in the real estate industry, having an effective online presence is crucial for staying ahead of the competition.
By investing in upskilling your marketing team in areas such as real estate web design — and being able to incorporate an IDX real estate software that lets buyers search for their area’s MLS properties, you can ensure your company’s success in the ever-evolving digital landscape of the real estate industry.
5. Equip Them with the Tools They Need to Succeed
In addition to equipping your marketing team with the skills they need, it’s important to provide some more tangible tools and digital technologies they need to succeed.
For example, your creative team could make do with a free tool, like Canva, but a professional tool with additional bells and whistles, like Photoshop or Figma, could be more helpful.
Your writers might be able to make do with the free version of Grammarly, but they’d be better off with the Premium version.
Beyond technology, your marketing team may need access to additional human capital to succeed. Your brand strategist might be the best in the business, but their expertise will go to waste if they don’t have the creative team to see their strategies through.
6. Provide Adequate Benefits
As we mentioned, upskilling your marketing team goes hand-in-hand with employee retention. To keep the individuals on your marketing team happy and eager to grow, it’s important that they are supported beyond the job.
Providing adequate benefits includes offering health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, paid sick days, paid vacation days, and more.
To organize the ongoing growth of the marketing team, companies often decide to use HR for small businesses to get concrete help in managing staff, overseeing benefits, and communicating with employees what updates are needed to continue working in the company and be on par with their colleagues.
7. Prioritize Analytics Training
Effective marketing strategies are typically based on a mix between informed decisions and calculated risk.
Although good marketers tend to think outside the box, great marketers recognize the importance of implementing their out-of-the-box ideas while considering analytics and data from past campaigns.
That’s why becoming a subject matter expert in marketing analytics is one of the top skills all marketing professionals should master. This hard skill helps them measure, analyze, and optimize their marketing impact.
However, marketing analytics isn’t a static skill. It requires a combination of technical, analytical, and business acumen and a curiosity and willingness to experiment with new tools and methods.
Upskilling your marketing team can be very beneficial to your organization. It strengthens your team and sets you up for growth.
Luckily, the tips we’ve provided in this article will make it easy for you to create and implement a plan to take your marketing team’s skills to the next level.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to upskill your marketing team!
Emily Krings helps customers connect with their audiences and improve their website traffic by writing engaging SEO blog content. Visit her website.