Getting under the covers with a B2B Marketing Team

Will Haydon

An internal marketing department is now more than ever an agency’s secret weapon, as both a brand guardian and promoter of success. Prior to arriving at Manning Gottlieb OMD for work experience, I had an expectation that your time would be filled with learning acronyms, creating clever alliteration conceptions and studying the world of social media, frantically searching for ‘trends’ to piggy back on. However, where to some extent this is true, I have come to see that it is only a very minor aspect of what is actually a complex and high-pressured team.

Administration. For many, this is a dirty word to be scoffed at and is often judged unfairly as an area of business that is dull and uninspiring. The simplicity and comprehensiveness of a well implemented spreadsheet should not be underestimated. It can take a whole load of information from being messy and convoluted to clear and concise. Ensuring clarity of documentation enables decision makers across the business to review and suggest amends or areas of development efficiently, avoiding wasting valuable time when crucial information becomes lost in translation. This leads onto the last line of defence before publication…

Editing. Simple in principal, potentially catastrophic if done incorrectly. Ask yourself a question: Has an internet thread or physical document of anything you’ve ever read contained spelling or grammar mistakes and instantly your judgement of the information became negative? If so, why is that? One word, trust. If the agency’s attention to detail permits lazy grammar, what can a client expect from other work?  In such a competitive environment, if a business can gain an advantage simply by editing prior to publishing, why wouldn’t this be a priority? It is a case of building and maintaining a reputation and whilst no-one is perfect at this, editing should be applied to every output no matter how small, from blog posts to Instagram hashtags.

Socialise. According to www.contentfac.com, “84% of business to business marketers use social media in some form” thus making it a valuable (not to mention free) asset for media agencies. A marketing department is responsible for following (sometimes literally) trends in social media, keeping up with clients and their successes, making sure that their own tone of voice remains consistent yet current amongst a constantly evolving virtual world. Although it may be perceived as a rather mundane task to regularly check that all stakeholder’s social feeds are being followed, the importance of it should not be underestimated.  Furthermore, for an agency such as Manning Gottlieb OMD which prides itself on its digital skill; a less than engaging social media would be severely inconsistent with its brand positioning.

Rasterize. What does it mean? My initial thought was of radicalised milk, perhaps from being heated too much in the pasteurisation process. Unfortunately, the truth of it is much less bizarre. According to Wikipedia, rasterisation (or rasterization) is the task of taking an image described in a vector graphics format (shapes) and converting it into a raster image (pixels or dots) for output on a video display or printer, or for storage in a bitmap file format (say what?) but symbolically, it acts as a portal to the dizzying capabilities of Photoshop. Being able to create images to suit a theme may not seem wholly essential to an agency’s output, but the growth in appreciation for visual cues in written content has increased following the digital revolution. So much so, that strong supporting imagery can serve as the hook into wonderfully niche subject matter that would otherwise be overlooked by a more general readership.  After all, most people would be more likely to open a blog post exploring the mechanics behind search engine optimisation if greeted by a header image of the Michelin Man holding up the Google sign (as a first attempt at Photoshop I am particularly proud of this one…) Having a marketing team made up of individuals with a decent understanding of Photoshop will save money as it reduces the need to use expensive graphic designers for simple visual content.

An internal marketing department should attempt to be organised, well-structured, efficient and pragmatic. It should be a team made up of individuals who are not afraid of managing the stresses of their own deadlines as well as that of others.  Being the final pair of eyes to see off important documents from various specialisms for various reasons is a big task that if not actioned correctly could easily damage the agency’s reputation. Although a marketing department is often responsible for the less glamorous administrative jobs, it is also a very creative, autonomous and excitingly reactive part of a media agency. I have come to see that internal marketing teams are a cornerstone of a business and couldn’t have enjoyed my time with the team more.