Ever been part of a marketing team that struggled to hit its stride—possibly one full of talented yet frustrated colleagues all hyper-focused on their individual roles? It’s a real missed opportunity when marketing teams fall short of making magic because the conditions aren’t yet in place for it to excel. The result tends to be tension, higher-than-average employee turnover and missed revenue opportunities for the company.

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Organizations who want to maximize marketing return on investment (ROI), build a great company culture and retain top talent need to purposefully create the infrastructure and processes marketing teams need to thrive.

Here are four hallmarks of truly effective marketing teams today.

Clear Roles & Expectations

It may seem readily apparent, but defining roles and setting clear expectations for each person on the team goes a long way in helping employees understand the scope of their duties. Laying out these expectations and clarifying them regularly will help marketers avoid redundancy and keep miscommunication to a minimum.

One marketing director writes for Forbes, employees are “free to do their best work” when they understand what’s expected of them and are supported in their endeavors by colleagues and team leaders. This points to the importance of building expectation setting and accountability right into the very culture of the team and company.

Power to Generate Revenue

Feeling engaged at your job depends in part on knowing you’re making an impact. This satisfaction is amplified when employees feel they’re directly contributing to company performance; rather than chasing abstract key performance indicators (KPIs) there’s a sense they’re making a real difference in the business’s bottom line.

Tying marketing performance to revenue impact will help employees continue to stay engaged in their roles. Demonstrate the bigger picture to your marketing team—not only are they working for a salary, but their actions and decisions are an irreplaceable part of what allows your organization to grow.

Data-Driven Approach to Problem Solving

Speaking of revenue impact, the latest wave of marketing analytics from providers like ThoughtSpot allow employees to perform their own ad hoc data queries, create automatic visualizations and share their findings with others throughout the company in seconds. There’s no longer the need to submit requests to a centralized IT or data team then wait the requisite days or weeks to receive a static report answering specific questions. Data analytics today are giving users the ability to drill down on the spot for a more well-rounded understanding of performance metrics and insights.

Nowadays, it’s possible for even non-technical users to ask questions and get answers on an as-needed basis—empowering marketers to optimize how they make decisions, then understand their impact. Giving your marketing team the tools they need to take a data-driven approach to problem-solving has the potential to reduce operational inefficiencies and optimize revenue streams. Embedded analytics even integrate directly into business apps and company workflows for easy access to search analytics and dashboards full of insights.

Customer Obsessed

Ever come back from lunch to find you’re CC’d on an “Re: re: re: re:” email chain? Wading through everyone’s replies tends to be taxing—and this is how important nuggets of information slip through the cracks on marketing teams.

Building an effective communications strategy requires the right tech and clear guidelines for employees. Are team members supposed to use Slack? Email? A shared project management tool? A company portal? An internal messaging system? Choose the simplest tools for the job, then make sure everyone on the team gets the memo so they know how to best communicate. Provide training and how-to guides as needed so employees can get the most from each tool.

Truly effective marketing teams today operate with clear expectations regarding job duties and communication. They’re able to take a data-driven approach to problem-solving, and they understand the genuine impact they have on the organization’s bottom line.

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