8 Critical Skills Every Growth Team Must Have
All right, what are the eight critical skills that every growth team must have? There are a billion tactics out there, a billion different things that you could do in any moment in time, especially when you think about digital, and there are new ones coming on all the time. Do we need to worry about Instagram, now there's Snapchat, do we need a Snapchat strategy? Do you need a Snapchat strategy when you're selling all the tax stuff? People probably aren't there, but you'll have teams that are like, we need to have this, you know, Snapchat. There's so many bright glimmering shiny objects that we can chase. I wanna help simplify that a little bit to we call the eight critical core disciplines of digital marketing. The first is conversion funnels, being able to effectively map what I just showed you before. What is that process of converting strangers into friends into customers into raving fans? There needs to be somebody who understand that from a high level, and they understand how eve...
rything fits together. That's usually your growth lead. The second is content marketing. Content marketing encompasses a lot, everything from blogging to podcasting and hosting webinars and producing customer stories. Content marketing is a lot, that's an essential. Demand generation. I say it all the time, if you want awareness for your product, you don't have to wonder how you're going to get it. Go to the traffic store and buy it. The traffic store is called Google, it's called Facebook, it's called YouTube. They're all there, everybody's there. Awareness is freely available if you're willing to pay for it, and you should be able and willing to pay for it. So who's managing that? Who's managing all your retargeting? And then, email marketing. Email's still the largest driver of ROI in most companies today still. It's an old fuddy-duddy that just keeps on working. Who's driving your email, your email promotions. Who's making sure that your marketing automation works and making sense? That's email. Social, of course, social. You can't ignore it, whether you're having a proactive social strategy or you're not, doesn't matter. You need to make sure you're there, and somebody needs to own that. Search marketing. Do you have people who make sure that you show up in the places that you show up? Data and analytics. You can't grow what you aren't measuring. Do you have people that own that? And then, testing and optimization. Testing and optimization, that's another biggie. Testing and optimization, down the road especially. If you're gonna establish a culture of optimization, you need to have people who understand what optimization is. So these are the eight critical core disciplines of digital marketing, and I would challenge you, every single tactic that you could come up with, every single tactic. And we made a list at the office one day, and it was almost 100. Every single tactic you'll find will fall under one of those eight categories. Hopefully, that simplifies it a little bit. Now, let's get back to the team. And there's this idea of team shape, and a lot studies been done on this. Should your team be I-shaped, meaning you have a team of specialists? Like each person, they do one thing, and they go all the way down. Should you have a team of generalists? All the latest research on organizational design are saying, you should have teams of T-shaped people, generalizing specialist. A generalizing specialist is somebody who's extraordinarily great at what they do, they know it inside and out, but they also know a little bit about what everybody else is doing as well. And if you go and read the research about this, about why this is so important, it doesn't have so much do to with the fact that well, they're really good at what they do, but, if needed, they can hop over and help somebody else out if that person's sick. But that's not really what being a generalizing specialist is about. It's not about like, yeah, I know how to do this, but if Fred want to take some vacation time, then I can do Fred's job, too. No, I mean that's, I guess, handy to have, but no, that's not what it's about. What it's actually about, when we think about the generalizing specialist, is communication, is communication. You're fluent in your language, you're conversant in everybody else's language. Fluency in your language in what you do, fully conversant in what everybody else does. And this is why cross training is so important. This is why cross training is uber critical. The best time in the world to cross train people is when they're first coming onboard, 'cause they're expecting them to do it. But if you haven't done this, you need to do some cross training. Have folks go and sit and another department for the day, sit and attend other meetings. Get some training, do some shadowing, even if they feel like this has nothing to do with the work that they do. This needs to become a regular part of your company culture. It needs to become a regular part of what you do. We're gonna talk more about how to do that from a practical matter, but this idea of training, I just wanna address this real quick. The training dilemma, hopefully for this, what if we training them and they leave? What if we invest in these people, what if we train and they leave? That's what like of a short-sighted, dumb manager thinks. The smart manager says, what if we don't and they stay? Right? The training really, really, really is critical. I love what Branson said about this, train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. A digital marketer, you see, you get a sense of how we do it. We come in, and we first train everybody on our mission and our core values. That's the first stage of alignment, what are the mission and what are the core values. Say, here's what we're about, we're about doubling the size to 100,000 businesses by 2020, and these are the core values. The core values are what you, as a team member, are going to be measured by. Yes, there's performance, but we're also gonna be measuring you by these. For example, a digital marketer, nobody gets fired for showing up late, they get fired for letting their team down. Does that make sense? And these act as a check. These are our nine commandments that make sure that everybody generally agrees. And we're gonna come back to this. I'm gonna show you how we also have baked a culture of optimization into this document. But we do spend time doing this, and I absolutely recommend that you do that. That's the first idea of making sure that everybody's speaking the language. This is culture. Some of you will talk... I'll just pause here briefly. Some people talk about culture as if culture as having like snack bar and Nerf gun fights. That's not culture, okay? Company culture, culture happens when you have shared mission and shared values. That's what creates culture. You can't have culture without a set of shared values. So teach people the values. That, in and of itself, is gonna improve communication. Right? But then we train them on their job. What are the particular areas that they need to able to go deep on, whether it's conversion funnels, content marketing, demand generation, email marketing, we let them know of the eight critical core disciplines. This is the vertical part of your T. You live here, we need you to really own this. We need this to really be your thing. I love the point. It's gonna be like, this is what you own. Here's your icon, this is your button. This what you own, now, this is where you live on the value journey in the work that you do. So we wanna go deep. We're gonna training on what they do, and we spend a week, the first week, when a new person comes on to work for us, they spend about a half day or so learning about the mission, core values, finding out where the bathroom is, then we go deep on their particular job set. Then they spend the next week learning about not their job. They spend as much time learning about what they won't do as they spend on what they will do because I want them to be able to communicate. Now, I understand that this comes off as self-serving when we're a company that sells training, and when I'm here recording this at CreativeLive, that sells training. But this is why I am so bullish on training. I think the teams that win will absolutely, positively be the teams that invest in their people. And invest not just in training of depth, but in training of breadth as well, building these teams.