When you’re growing your marketing team it can be hard to maintain a consistent message. And to do so in the same brand tone of voice. Yet, there are things you can put in place either when growing your marketing team from scratch or expanding a more established team.
Focus on internal communication
It is far too easy for marketing teams to become silos when a business is growing. The CRM team has their own campaign which isn’t aligned with the website content and then social media is talking about something different again.
Research by LinkedIn finds that a huge 97% of sales and marketing professionals face challenges when there is no alignment on messaging and content.
There ends up being no coherent story even if your tone of voice and messaging are spot on. The answer to this problem is working on the internal comms. Making sure the left-hand knows what the right is doing and that they’re shaking hands at the start of each day.
This means looking beyond what is happening in marketing to take into account PR, sales, the wider business so you align everyone to the same set of goals. Then encourage this wider view for everyone as you grow your marketing team.
Everyone at an organisation has an impact on other jobs and roles. Seeing how what you do fits in with everything else is crucial. Especially when you consider how much of the values and mission of the business connects through the comms.
Make sure your messaging is solid
It may seem obvious, but making sure you have solid messaging in the first instance is the strongest foundation for growth. If your message isn’t crystal clear or you don’t have the confidence behind it then it’s easier for it to bend into something that is beyond your intentions.
If your messaging leaves scope for interpretation you’ll soon find out when you bring on a new copywriter or marketing manager and their work doesn’t quite resonate with the right people.
This isn’t because they aren’t as good at their job as you’d hope – it’s because the brief is informed by the messaging. And you can bet that if the people working for you are unclear – your audience is less so.
Getting a solid brand story that you want to tell will solve this problem. And it’s a problem that bigger businesses can have. You’re growing. So your audience may change, or your purpose or you need to pivot your services slightly to better serve your customers. All of these things can mean your messaging starts to look a little shaky and then before you know it, your comms look like they are written by five different people that don’t know what the other teams are doing.
It’s messy and it’s losing you sales.
Tone of voice guidelines
Once you get your messaging right, you’ll be better able to brief your staff and any contractors you use. But you still might find marketing work coming back in that’s slightly off-balance. It looks alright but it’s not quite there. While you expect revisions to happen, you might be needing more rounds than anticipated.
Or your CRM team says one thing and your social media team another. This is where you need good tone of voice guidelines. Tone of voice is important and for someone new joining the team, can be tricky to get straight away.
Even with a strong tone of voice (like that of Oatly or THIS!) it can so easily go wrong. In fact, I’d argue that when the tone of voice leads the brand as those do, it stands out more when something is slightly off. Yet, you don’t need conversational packaging to get a strong tone of voice. As long as it reflects your brand values and that all-important messaging, and is consistent – it will attract the right audience.
Tone of voice guidelines saves huge amounts of time for anyone doing your copy. Right from the first draft.
But it’s not enough to have a fancy document outlining how you communicate, you need everyone on the team to be using them each and every time they produce any content. This will help keep your growing marketing team on the same page and telling the story in the same way.
You should never know if there is one person or 20 people writing the copy for your brand. It should only ever look like one and the same one. Different voices cause confusion and confused people don’t buy.
Build your team around existing skills
Not everyone is brilliant at everything. There will be some parts of your marketing job where you’re only okay at it. You can do the job but you know that someone else can do it better.
Part of keeping your messaging consistent is down to recognising these areas where you’re not at the top of the game and using this to grow your team.
“When building a marketing team you need to look at the skills you currently have and where you have a gap,” explains Hannah Silverstein, Brand Manager.
“You need to understand your weaknesses to build a stronger team. Do more of what you love so that it feeds you and the parts you don’t love, either develop it within the team or bring someone in who does love it.”
If all the parts of your marketing team and not linking up then it may be time to get some kind of outside support to train them. Or look at where the gaps are happening.
Make sure the story joins up
I mentioned this earlier but making sure that the story you tell is joined up to everything else that is happening will keep that messaging from being diluted as your marketing team grows.
Having a single story that pulls like a thread through all your departments, and all your communication channels makes the job of your content creators that much easier. When everyone understands the intended journey for the customer, they can pull together better campaigns. So no matter how big your marketing team grows, there is a clear map for everyone to follow.
How do you do this?
You can put these actions in place with your team. Or you can hire someone to work with your team to build that solid story, tone of voice and messaging. And make sure that it’s being used with a view that your blossoming marketing team will build this into their processes.