What’s the best way to build a marketing team for your venue?
It’s a question we get asked a lot and for a good reason, building a competent and reliable marketing team is the minimum requirement for marketing success. Drawing on our experience and expertise, we are going to break down your options below. By the end of this blog, you will understand the best ways to build an awesome marketing team for your venue.
The first method is an Agency partnership. This means working with an external company that provides marketing services. There are multiple ways to build an agency relationship. You can either work with a singular agency or find multiple partners.
With a singular agency, you’ll be relying on them to provide the entirety of your marketing. This keeps everything clean and in one place. With multiple agencies, you’ll combine services from different agencies. For example, your Facebook Ads and Organic Social media are managed by agency A, your Email Marketing and Google Ads are managed by agency B and your Graphic Design by agency C. This enables you to work with agencies at what they are best at.
If agencies manage the entirety of your marketing activity, you should be paying between £2000-6500pm depending on your venue and the level of service you require. See our services for individual pricing lists.
There are many positives to working with agencies, but the most powerful is the quality of work (as long as they are a reputable agency!). With well managed agencies, you get real experts on your side. People who work with your chosen platforms and marketing tools week in week out. If you pick the right agency, you’ll get the best possible results.
The second notable advantage is the diversity of available services. With an in-house marketing team, you’re limited to the skills of the individuals you employ. With an agency, you have access to their entire team’s expertise, meaning you can do some really cool s**t.
However, good results cost money. If you’re not prepared to see your marketing spend as an investment, then this might not be for you.
The second, slower way to build a marketing team is with in-house recruitment. For most venues, this means hiring a marketing manager, but larger venues it can include marketing executives and digital marketing specialists.
You should be paying your Marketing Manager between £28-45k per annum and Marketing Executives between £22-26k. (If London based, increase figures by 10-20%)
One major benefit of an in-house team is the intimate connection your marketeers form with your venue. Good in-house teams develop a tacit understanding of the business, meaning they react dynamically and intuitively to changing circumstances. Also, when your back is against the wall, you can’t underestimate the value of having people you trust on your side to share responsibility with.
An additional benefit is that in-house teams tend to be cheaper. For agencies to maintain a viable business, they need to charge a premium. With in-house employees, you get the goods at base cost.
However, there are considerable downsides. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, jack of all trades, master of none, then you’ll understand what the issues are. Small marketing teams are responsible for a wide variety of activities, so they rarely build up enough experience with any particular area to be considered an expert. What you save in outlay you can lose in performance.
Additionally, you’ve got the regular HR and people management concerns that can quickly dominate a disproportionate amount of your time.
The third and final approach is the best of the bunch. In fact, in our experience, venues that employ a blended model consistently achieve the best results. The blended approach utilises a combination of in-house and agency services. For example, your marketing manager creates campaign plans and then uses agency services to deliver the marketing activity.
By using both resources, you get the best of both worlds. You’ve got someone on the ground who acutely understands the venue and it’s needs, as well as the expertise and excellence that good agencies offer. When the two groups develop a strong working relationship, you can consistently achieve results that routinely leave you speechless.
However, the blended approach can be complex to manage. If you don’t establish rock solid roles and responsibilities, you risk important actions slipping between the cracks. You need to be clear on who is taking ownership of what.
Secondly, you need to be careful not to lose a grasp on things. As a manager, when you pass responsibility to someone else, it’s easy to compartmentalise and forget all about what you’ve passed on. It can be disconcerting when your marketing is suddenly new and sometimes unrecognisable.
So ultimately, how you build your team depends upon you and your venue. If you’ve got a decent budget and you’re ambitious, go for a hybrid approach. If you’re pinching the pennies and need someone on your side, hire internally. If you’re prepared to spend money for strong results and efficiency is high on your priority list, work with an agency. There’s no one size fits all approach.
But from our experience, the venues that perform best, the superstars and the survivors, are the ones that use a blended approach. If you believe that to become the best, you need to emulate the best, this is a great place to start.
If you want to discuss how we can help you build a superior performance agency or hybrid model marketing team, don’t hesitate to contact us. Check out our packages to get an idea of how we can make things happen for your venue.