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Jorge Zuñiga Blanco discusses how to create an expert digital marketing team on a budget

Jorge Zuñiga Blanco / Blog /

If you want to build a stellar digital marketing team, you have to look for the most talented individuals and convince them to be by your side. If it were that simple, any startup would flourish with a stellar team leading its marketing efforts. No matter how good an individual is, they simply don’t have enough hands – or hours in the day – to take care of everything. Jorge Zuñiga Blanco, a successful entrepreneur and eCommerce and marketing expert from Costa Rica, provides insight into how businesses can develop a professional digital marketing team even if they don’t have a huge budget.

In the early stages of the startup, you can probably get ahead for a brief period with a person who takes care of various tasks, what we would call an “off-road” individual. Sometimes that’s you, but chances are you’ve brought in a marketer to manage all your marketing efforts. Regardless of the organization, these specialists work in virtually any area of marketing. They focus on the client and the result rather than specializing in a specific field. They have a wide range of skills, which makes them more versatile.

It might be tempting to try to find a couple of marketers who can handle it all, but keep in mind that while these individuals may have extensive skill sets, they’re not always the ideal solution for your business for a few reasons. These could be personal limitations, unequal skills or any of a number of other possibilities. “The marketer fits better with small businesses and startups. In that environment, they can use their entrepreneurial spirit to generate growth. As companies grow, it’s best for this type of individual to move to a leadership position where they can develop your team of stars to include specialists with specific skills,” asserts Zuñiga.

As you build your digital marketing team, there will be three roles you’ll need to focus on, including acquisition, monetization and content. There’s no rule regarding the number of people you need for your team, so build your marketing team based on your business needs and the strategy you’ve developed. If you don’t have a marketing team, your first goal will be to hire at least one person for the above tasks. This will make you have someone responsible for each of the main marketing responsibilities. Initially, you probably only have one person in charge of each of these areas. As your business grows, the goal is to grow each of these teams, so that the work can be distributed.

Looking for candidates is a start, but you should focus on improving your culture and creating a better workplace to attract talent. This starts with a change of perspective. Instead of taking candidates from the point where they apply directly to the hiring, treat them as if it were the customer’s buying day. Adds Zuñiga, “Grow relationships with your employees the same way you cultivate relationships with your customers. This will make you proud to have brand ambassadors proud to represent it.” It doesn’t matter how many recruiters you have. Nothing compares to your employees operating as a true extension of your company.

Your social channels make it easy to connect with talented people from all over the world. Not only do they help you find talent, but they open the door for candidates also to see if you’re a good choice. This is more than just posting job openings on your Facebook page. Think of every interaction with your customers as an interaction with a potential candidate. Explore LinkedIn groups and online communities. If you want to get the best talent for your marketing team, you need to go where those people are and spend time with them.

Go against traditional recruiting customs, and look for the people you know. You probably know someone with a creative mindset and some marketing talent. Find them and see if they are good candidates. Old habits tell us not to hire friends and family, but in a growing business, they might be more committed to your success. There is a risk with an employee, but hiring friends (or even family) means there is already some level of trust.

Hiring paid interns is always a possibility, but don’t close yourself off to the possibility of hiring fellows for social service. Work with a local community or university to create a social service program. You can benefit from ambitious marketing students who might need to do their social service before graduating. A good candidate can grow with you and become a star on your digital marketing team, and hiring someone younger can help you get an idea of how younger generations think today.

For a startup, having people perform different tasks at once can be an ideal solution. But as a business grows, you need to hire a team of talented marketers with the specialized skills to help you scale your business. “Aim for acquisition, content, and monetization skills as you grow your team,” asserts Zuñiga. “Exhaust all your options when looking for talent globally. Invest in your organizational culture to attract those talented marketers who are motivated by more than just money.” With the right organizational culture and a solid integration program, you can build that stellar marketing team that will be the mainstay to grow your business.