A Marketing Team of One’s Playbook

Michelle Lawrence Picture

by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Apr 19, 2021

If you’ve been on a marketing team of one, you know there’s no other experience like it. These marketers have a reputation for getting stuff done, driving results with a limited budget, and can run circles around marketers at larger organizations. Anna Schlott, Director of Marketing at EcSell Institute, knows this first hand. On her episode of the Real Marketers podcast, she shared her favorite hacks for marketing teams of one.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

When you’re on a marketing team of one, you’re inevitably wearing multiple hats. But it’s unrealistic to think you can put 100 percent of your effort into all of the things you’re juggling. At some point, the balls come crashing down if you don’t figure out how to manage them well.

That’s where tracking your time comes into play. Before you roll your eyes at adding another thing to your plate, hear me out. Time management is key for a marketing team of one. We’ve all seen the effects burnout can have on our lives (we’re looking at you, 2020). You can’t do everything, so it’s okay to outsource a portion of the tasks on your plate.

Anna recommends tracking your time. By tracking your time, you’ll be able to visualize how many hours you’re spending on certain tasks that may not be worth your time. It could take you 12 hours to work on something, or it could take an expert two. Even if you have a limited budget, outsourcing can still be an option for you. You don’t have to shell out a ton of money for an agency to take on some of these tasks. There are a ton of amazing freelancers who are willing to take on projects within your budget.

The Scrappier, the Better 

Let’s stay on the theme of budget. The harsh reality of smaller marketing teams is there are usually limited resources and budget to work with. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it makes for an extremely scrappy marketer.

Having a budget of zero dollars enables you to exercise your creativity muscle...a lot. You have to think outside of the box without spending money. You need to rely on cost-effective channels that have the same ROI (if not higher) as higher-paid channels. Enter: influencer marketing.

No, I’m not talking about Instagram influencers or TikTok creators (although you can certainly do that but it might come with a higher price tag). I’m talking about your customers. Influencer marketing enables marketers to leverage an audience bigger than their own. During the episode, Anna recalls the numerous virtual events and webinars she put on for her organization that included a virtual meet-and-greet at the end. With the obvious rise in virtual events in the past year, is there a more perfect time to test it out?

Having a large budget doesn’t make for the best marketer; in fact, marketers with limited resources are often the more creative ones. They’re the ones who are constantly thinking outside of the box, brainstorming ways to do things for cheaper. These marketers are also built to move faster than their enterprise counterparts; when you do spend money on a channel and it isn’t working, you’re able to move quickly and tweak things as necessary.

Data Beats Opinions 

A Real Marketer is someone who moves fast, has a ton of crazy ideas, and drives real results. A Real Marketer is a marketing team of one. Anna had a ton of hacks for small marketing teams during her episode but perhaps my favorite one was using data to get resources. Use the data from your tracking sheets to get a few hours back in your day. Use data to prove which channels you need to be investing in, and which ones aren’t worth your time. Data beats opinions.

Being on a marketing team isn’t easy, but those of us who have gone through know we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Take a listen to Anna’s full Real Marketers episode here to discover even more hacks she’s learned along the way.

Digital Experiences for Every Moment

Create digital experiences for every touchpoint in the customer journey from product packaging to product registration to onboarding to customer support and so much more. What do you want to create first?