The tricky thing about marketing teams — especially in the B2B space — is that each role on the team plays a very specific part in moving prospective buyers through the funnel.
For example, your Community Manager is the kingpin of your content marketing distribution strategy, and is essential for driving top-funnel traffic, while your Demand Gen Manager typically lives at the bottom of the funnel, working closely with your sales team.
However, if you want your marketing team to facilitate growth, it’s important to bring on more “T-shaped” marketers. While the function and responsibilities of each role is clearly defined, there are a few traits that every B2B marketer should be able to identify with, or be able to develop. The key to growth is hiring for attitude over aptitude, and looking for those workhorses who are jacks of all trades and (hopefully) masters of one.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. A Growth Mindset
Obviously, if you’re looking to scale your team, you need to hire people who are on board with that growth.
The difference between a “growth mindset” vs. a “fixed mindset” is that a growth mindset doesn’t assume that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens. Rather, a growth mindset believes that these are skills that can be grown and enhanced, and will adapt the habits necessary to develop them.
2. A copywriter’s left hand
Between content, email campaigns, landing pages, and ad copy (the list goes on), B2B marketing teams are producing dozens of pages of copy on a weekly basis.
It’s not enough to get words down on a page — after all, if you’re creating tons of copy on a weekly basis, your competitors probably are, too. Marketers are all communicators. Regardless of their specific role or position, they need a strong grasp of language to write engaging copy that persuades and stands out.
3. A developer’s right hand
A little code and UX know-how never hurt a B2B marketer. One of the biggest bottlenecks on a B2B marketing team is having to rely on IT or your dev team to make technical tweaks. The more you can break this bottleneck, the more productive your team can be.
4. An SEO expert’s nose
As more and more B2B marketing teams are investing in content to drive inbound traffic, it’s important to keep SEO best practices top of mind.
Of course, at the end of the day, it’s all about creating content for humans (or you risk going the way of the dinosaurs), but there some general SEO guiding practices that can not only bring in more traffic, but also allow your team to identify new content and campaign opportunities.
4. A graphic designer’s eye
As much as we can get bogged down by the “business to business” mindset, it’s another human reading your content or converting on your landing page, and humans are visual beings.
Even if a B2B marketer isn’t a Photoshop pro, they should at least have a the capability to understand when something needs to be improved from a visual standpoint (e.g. should that email include a header? Should the CTA button stand out more? Could that blog post use an image?).
Marketing and creativity go together like wine and cheese. Even the most “boring” industries manage to inject creativity in their work and find new ways to engage their audience.
5. An artist’s creative intuition
Modern marketers need to be willing to take creative risks, especially in growing organizations. Creativity is the fuel that drives the rocket ship!
6. A journalist’s investigative drive
Journalists know how to conduct research, seek new opportunities, and uncover the bigger story. They also follow developing trends, and ensure that everything is grounded in fact.
B2B marketers should possess a similar drive, whether they’re writing content, or analyzing data. They need to be able to uncover the real story and use this insight to inform their marketing decisions.
7. A coach’s leadership
As mentioned, there are rarely any duplicate roles on today’s B2B marketing team, so everyone must be a leader in their own right.
In addition to owning projects, however, part of leadership is leading your other team members by sharing skills. Think about it — a team could 10x its efficiency simply by educating each other. If your graphic designer takes 30 minutes to help you learn a new Photoshop trick, it will save time in the long run because you won’t have to tap into their time to complete a remedial task.
8. A marathon runner’s legs
Forget “set it and forget it”! Most B2B marketing tactics aren’t a sprint, they’re a marathon.
As such, marketers need to have patience and endurance to see a campaign or project through to the end, no matter how long it takes, or no matter how uphill the struggle.[Tweet “Most B2B marketing tactics aren’t a sprint, they’re a marathon.”]
9. A philanthropist’s heart
If you’re approaching your B2B content strategy under the belief that your content is going to behave as a direct response campaign would, well, you’re doing it wrong.
Even though content marketing is a top tactic for generating B2B leads, it’s all about helping and building a relationship with your audience, and relationships take time.
10. A community manager’s ears
Marketers need to be where their audience is if they want their efforts to be effective. This doesn’t just go for content creators — performance marketers and analysts also need to understand which channels their audience is tuning in to, and figure out how to reach out and join the conversation.
11. An inventor’s inspiration
We’ve all hit a creative block. While creativity is an important trait for any marketer, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to come up with a constant stream of amazing new content ideas — even Walt Disney couldn’t accomplish such a feat.
Inspiration won’t always hit. What matters more than constant ingenuity is the persistence to get the ball rolling again and seek those “Eureka!” moments, even when deadlines are tight.
12. Your customers’ shoes
Last, but certainly not least, every B2B marketer should be willing to walk a mile in their customers’ shoes. Empathy is key to building out your buyer personas and understanding your audience’s motivations and pain points. If someone isn’t willing to take the deep dive, then they’re probably not going to be willing to help your team go the distance, either.[Tweet “Every B2B marketer should be willing to walk a mile in their customers’ shoes.”]
13. The growth mindset
While it’s key for marketers to possess a number of traits and characteristics from different disciplines, having a growth mindset is arguably the most important trait to look for.
Hard skills are valuable for obvious reasons — at the end of the day, your team has to execute. However, it’s the often underrated soft skills that can stunt a team’s true growth potential. When hiring, make sure that growth mindset exists, and use it to help your team flourish.
About the Author
As a Content & Community Manager at Uberflip, Victoria helps to execute Uberflip’s content and social media strategies.