27 June 2022

How to make the most of a small or one-person marketing team

Christine Durkin
Written by Christine Durkin

Christine Durkin is Regional Director for The Marketing Centre and specialises in working with small and mid-size businesses. She has over 25 years’ experience working in Telco, SaaS, Financial Sectors, and Agencies.

We recently ran a lead generation Q&A session with our audience of SMB owners. One of the questions that came up was: How can I maximise the value of my one-person marketing team?

It’s an interesting question - and one that we thought was worth exploring in a bit more detail. 

Just because you don’t have a big marketing team, doesn’t mean you can’t deliver good results for the business. You just have to stay laser-focused on high-impact work that aligns with your business strategy and set meaningful goals.

However, if you don’t have a clear plan and rush into ‘doing things’, your small or one-person team will struggle to have any real impact. 

Here’s how to maximise the value of a small marketing team.

Have the fundamentals in place

If you’ve got a limited amount of time you need to make sure that the fundamental decisions and documentation are in place before you get started. This will make sure that your work is consistent and focused on the messages that matter.

Here’s a quick run down of what you need:

  • A clear and compelling value proposition - here’s how to write a value proposition
  • Brand guidelines
  • Tone of voice guidelines
  • Proof points (case studies, testimonials, etc.)
  • A website that reflects all of the above

Without these in place, you can end up drifting from one message or customer segment to the next without any long-term focus or direction.

Ruthlessly prioritise your time

It’s vital to focus all your efforts on activities that clearly align with your business strategy. If it isn’t explicitly helping your business get where it needs to be, don’t do it. 

This also needs to be communicated to the rest of your business. Sales and MDs often distract marketing with last-minute requests to help design slides or write copy. But every minute your marketing team spends helping you out is a minute they don’t spend helping your business grow.

We covered how to prioritise your time in another post. The basic premise is:

  • Map out SMART goals for your business
  • Define the strategies needed to achieve your goals
  • Break down the tactics needed to make your strategies a reality

By starting with high-level business strategies and ‘waterfalling’ down through your strategies and tactics, you make sure that your day-to-day activity is aligned with your business strategy. This is a fundamental requirement for a small marketing team.

Set goals and stick to them

.Identifying high-value activities that align with your business is a great first step. But you also need to set goals that will keep your team focused and accountable.

Without meaningful goals, it’s very easy for a small or one-person team to get distracted by requests from other departments or nice-to-haves.

There are always small tweaks that need to be made to the website or edits to sales decks. But these things won’t move the needle. And you want to stay focused on things that will.

Some smaller teams avoid setting hard-and-fast goals because they’re unsure what to measure or whether they’ll have the time to hit them. But something is always better than nothing. We’ve shared a neat guide on how to set goals and hold your team accountable in the past. 

Ultimately, goals drive performance and keep people focused. That’s more important than ever with a small team.

Choose the right partners

Most marketing teams - big and small - rely on specialist partners to get the job done. Choosing the right partners to help you execute and making sure those partners are well-managed is key.

Obviously, we may be biased, but maximising the value of a small marketing team is one of those areas where a Part-Time Marketing Director can really help. Our team regularly help SMB owners to align their marketing with their business goals, define meaningful goals for their team and select the right partners to deliver.

If you’re a business owner with a small or one-person team that’s struggling to get results, feel free to get in touch anytime.


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your marketing seriously?

Since 2010, we’ve helped business owners make sense of marketing.
To make smarter decisions and make the most of their investment.

So if you’re tired of switching from one thing to the next hoping one will stick, maybe it’s time to try a different approach.