An effectively engaged marketing team has multiple players and many moving parts. Marketers look to managers for guidance and to help the team stay focused in a constantly changing environment.

In a field where solutions require creativity and technology changes constantly, it’s critical to keep open communication, clear company values and efficient work flows.

Here are 8 tips to help you manage a high-performing marketing team.

Communicate it’s Okay to Fail Sometimes

Marketing is continually evolving which means marketing initiatives and campaigns must be fresh and innovative. In order to thrive, your team needs to know its okay to take risks and even fail. A team that is afraid to fail will not push boundaries to innovate. Knowing they have a manager that understands some failure is needed to inform success will free team members to suggest ideas that you may need to hear. Provide your team guidelines, encouragement and constructive criticism. Knowing you’re willing to listen and take measured risks with them will make them more willing to step outside of their comfort zone and produce better results.

Recognize the Effort your People put into their Work.

Acknowledge it. Thank them for it.  Sure, they get a pay check, but that’s not personally gratifying. Creative teams take risks and invest themselves into their work.  Often there’s a personal passion for design, analysis or engagement that drives team members to pursue the best possible results. Recognizing how hard your people worked to get something done is a genuine way to show value for their contributions. And it’s a great motivation to keep improving next time.

Create a Culture of Encouragement

Start by modeling it yourself. Compliment your team. Regularly thank them for their help, work and contributions to collaborative efforts. Don’t pander, but find ways to genuinely appreciate the creativity, originality and effort they put in. Then lead your team in developing a habit of encouraging each other. Don’t tolerate negative, critical attitudes or behavior. A culture that encourages everyone to offer their best and do their best will become a safe place for truly genius contributions.

Map Out Micro Goals

Every department and team needs goals. When setting goals for the next fiscal year, it’s important to break them down into quarterly and then smaller micro goals. Micro goals are narrower in focus and attained more easily or rapidly. Micro goals should always compound and lead to the larger goals.

Start by creating a checklist or tracking system that lets your marketing team know what should be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in working toward team goals. Tracking what you’ve completed and the progress that’s being made will keep you on track to meet your larger goals. It also provides smaller benchmarks of progress to celebrate. Each win in micro goals leads to a greater victory for the team.

Establish team roles

Role ambiguity is a serious issue. It can be a threat to any team. Many industry experts recommend your internal marketing team consist of at least these nine essential team roles to achieve maximum productivity.

  • Project Manager
  • Strategist
  • Content Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • SEO Specialist
  • PPC Manager
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Email Marketing & Automation Specialist
  • Social Media & Engagement Specialist

When putting together a marketing team, make sure roles are clearly defined and clearly communicated. Collaboration will require the expertise of several members at a time, but knowing each individual’s specialty allows for greater energy focus and skill development.

Team members that can wear more than one hat are valuable assets, but having clarity on primary responsibilities and contributions reduces confusion and promotes productivity. Of course, some or all of these duties can also be outsourced to a marketing group like 17blue.

Determine KPIs

Key performance indicators are metrics that help you determine the success of your goals. For example, if you want to increase your conversions by 10%, you’ll need to know your current conversion rates and what a 10% increase will look like.

Not only should KPIs be set for your marketing team’s work, they should also be set for things such as:

  • Employee Turnover
  • Employee Engagement
  • Professional/Personal Development

By looking at your team’s baseline and aiming to improve in the key areas, you will create a more productive, efficient and happy marketing team.

Model Your Brand’s Values

As a business owner or marketing team manager, it’s important to communicate and model the values of your brand. This will empower your marketing team to do the same which creates a cohesive brand image. For instance, if courtesy is a core value, but employees aren’t being courteous, there’s a problem.

Here are a few ways to communicate your company’s values:

  • Leadership/Upper management should model company values
  • Get involved in the community in a way that aligns with company values
  • Gather employee feedback to see if they fully understand the brand’s ethos

Keep Communication Lines Open

As a leader, it’s important to support clear and open communication with individuals throughout the company. Communicate often, consistently reinforcing the values of the company. Remember to make time to listen to employees and team leaders. Their feedback is priceless.

Breaking down silos within the company will allow ideas and feedback to flow between departments and foster creativity. Slack and Monday.com are excellent platforms to stay in touch with those in various areas of your business.

It’s worth the time for business leaders to learn effective strategies in managing a creative marketing team. A thriving, high-performance marketing team will help your business thrive.


Danielle is a digital marketing professional who works to help businesses thrive. Outside the office, you’ll find her eating Tex-Mex with her high school sweetheart.