Think about any great story you’ve read. It usually follows a formula where the main characters have these outstanding attributes: the brains, the warrior, the mentor. These guys come together to complete a task as a team – a completely impossible feat if they didn’t have each other. To get seriously productive with your marketing, you need to organise your team in a similar way. How can you focus on your team’s skills, rather than just their job titles?

Recognise the digital marketing skill sets

E-commerce and marketing digital skills generally fall into four categories:

Once identified, you need to proportion your skill sets throughout your team. As fun as having a team full of creatives would be in delivering the perfect tag line, without anybody strategic, you’ll have the world’s greatest unread marketing material.

Look for members falling into more than one category

It’s great to find employees specialise in a particular area. For example, your copywriter will probably have a great track record of creative and commercial experience, with a focus on writing. But – if this copywriter also has an interest in demographics, statistics and online advertising, then their usefulness is increased.

These are called ‘T-shaped’ individuals – it’s an HR term used to describe people really good at one thing, and pretty good at several others. Getting as many ‘T-shaped’ team members is your key to a lean, cohesive digital marketing team.

Identify skills gaps and training opportunities

Having a marketing team with a unique set of skills is fantastic – but what about 5 years from now? What skills will take precedence over others? In such a fast-moving industry, with automation on the rise, employees need to keep ahead of the curve. Keep your team agile with training that is built into the work-life of the team. This not only helps to keep your team sharp but also is a great time to audit your team’s abilities and see what could be improved upon.

Marketing is facing a time of fascinating change – managers and business owners are having a harder time with the complexity of digital marketing as it takes on new forms and new requirements. Having a flexible team who keep on top of trends and having a balanced mix of skills at your disposal is your best bet when it comes to riding that marketing wave!