How to Build a Winning Data-Driven Marketing Team

How to Build a Winning Data-Driven Marketing Team

At Blueshift, we’re invested in helping data-driven marketers in every aspect of their career. Not only do we pride ourselves if offering forward-thinking tech that makes data activation and AI-powered marketing pain-free, but also provide resources for marketers to thrive in conjunction with great tech. As a result, our customer relationships go beyond typical 9-5 banter, we’re personally invested in their success and development. 

One such customer, Josh Francia, evaluated over 30 platforms before choosing Blueshift for his team as a true partnership in data activation and personalized customer experiences. Josh was an early adopter of the data-driven mindset and his ethos has paid off in amazing results for his teams. Luckily for us, Josh saw something special in Blueshift and in March of 2019, he joined the Blueshift team as Chief Growth Officer

Now, Josh has assumed the (informal) role of head marketer advocate — and he’s working to bring his experiences and expertise to data-driven marketers who are looking to drive repeatable growth for their business. This process, sadly, doesn’t happen overnight. It requires key foundational pieces to pull off 1:1, data-driven marketing: the right strategy, the right tech, and (as we’ll be exploring here) the right team.

CROSS-FUNCTIONALITY IS KEY

Conventional teams are a product of function — marketers make up a singular team, engineers another, and so on and so forth. But, the key to pulling off the transformation into a data-driven, digital team is to rework how you think about team building. Rather than creating “functional” teams, leaders have to establish archetypal teams. The archetypal team is concerned with overall themes and plans for your business, rather than granular, role-based goals.

Therefore, the perfect archetypal team is comprised of members from every facet of your business. Let’s say for example the overall goal of your team is to transform the customer experience into a digital, 1:1 experience. Bring in your most experienced digital lifecycle marketers, alongside engineers or data scientists well versed in AI/ Machine Learning, and finally add in designers to make it all look beautiful and compelling. This cross-functional open collaboration will not only reduce disconnect from different departments, but will also promote a greater, holistic understanding of every aspect of your customer experience. From 1s and 0s to CTAs, each team member will have a great appreciation for the others involved in making the process work.

THE GOLDEN RATIO

Teams should be cross-functional (check), but there’s a helpful ratio Josh has continually used to build successful, data-driven teams. Similar to the Fibonacci Sequence’s regular appearance in perfect acts of nature, the “Golden Ratio” of cross-functional teams is often the common denominator among winning organizations.

The optimal team consists of:

  • 1 Business Lead
  • 1 Application Lead
  • 1 Design Lead
  • 2 Data Leads

There is, obviously, room for adjustments within unique organizations, but sticking to this outline has proven time and time again to build the strongest, most agile teams that drive growth.

LEADERSHIP INVESTED IN THE PROCESS

Lastly, at the core of all these tips is a fearless leader who is willing to commit to the vision and goals of the team. The untraditional structure requires buy-in from key leaders to pull off. And while these teams can and should become more commonplace, strong leadership is needed to pull off the shift in structure. It’s unfamiliar territory for everyone involved, and your team will need your guidance and commitment to the vision to stay on track for success.

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