Top-Shelf Tip No. 7: 

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."
Phil Jackson

How To Affordably Assemble A Marketing Dream Team

Marketing continues to evolve. From traditional channels to new digital platforms, there are more ways than ever to promote a brand, spread a message and generate awareness. As new technologies emerge and audiences change, marketers must stay in tune with trends and re-strategize when needed. This requires the right people with the right knowledge and skills. If you want to build a marketing dream team but don't have a sizeable budget, read on.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, New York-based business consultant Jen McKenzie discusses some ways to assemble a stellar marketing team without breaking your budget. 

Choose the best tools. Your marketing must have built-in efficiency to be successful. While you'll have upfront costs, you can't do without e-mail software. E-mail marketing and sales software allows you to reach the widest audience with minimal effort. It's also important to ensure you capture data on customer behavior so you can refine your content and boost your ROI. Robust systems can aggregate information, generate reports and help you connect with customers in near real-time. 

Trade services with other companies. When you exchange services with other companies, you help increase your brand awareness and save on costs. Keep an eye for talent at conferences and tradeshows. See if you can reciprocate your skills to swap services. Browse social media for opportunities to trade services. If you need IT help, for example, offer to help an IT company with their next promotion. 

Motivate your team. When your team feels inspired to do their best work, your ROI will naturally increase. Create a meaningful vision and help your team members see how they play an important part. A loyal, motivated staff is a better business solution than spending a fortune on a new team that lacks buy-in in your company. Strive to connect with your marketing team at a personal and emotional level and help them better connect with each other. Give them transparency into processes and goals. Make sure each team member feels empowered through freedom of expression and recognition of their achievements. 

Improve your existing team . Have you noticed any gaps in your team? Is there a particular skill set or type of experience you lack? Make note of these gaps and work on improving them. You should also document your goals and review them often as a team. When you review performance, don't just look at results obtained, but also loyalty, work ethic, cooperation and integrity. Always track individual contributions with fair and consistent metrics to work out a numeric score. If you don't know your team's strengths and weaknesses, you can't keep accurate data on their performance. 

A dream marketing team doesn't require a massive budget or a complete company overhaul. Instead, make sure you have the right people with the right skills on your team and equip them with the best tools to do their jobs. It takes some time to research and refine your team, but with a dream team powering your marketing efforts, your business will flourish. 

Source: Jen McKenzie is an independent business consultant from New York. She writes extensively on business, education and human resource topics.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers