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How to Build a High-Performing Ecommerce Marketing Team

The success of your business relies on the quality of the team you build — and ecommerce businesses are no exception. So what does it take to build a world-class ecommerce team? We sat down with Rich Bernstein, Director of Marketing at GhostBed to hear what the key building blocks are of establishing his high-performing team and culture.

You can hear more from Rich in our webinar, How to Build a World-Class Ecommerce Team.

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10 Building Blocks of a High Performing Ecommerce Marketing Team

Build a Culture for Marketing Success

1. Find a CEO who gets Marketing (and build an understanding of Marketing among leadership) - GhostBed’s CEO inherently understands the value of marketing and the role it plays in customer experience. There’s even an opportunity to get the CEO involved in marketing efforts, such as social media. One TikTok video with their CEO got over 87,000 views! But even if you don’t have a CEO who already understands marketing, make the effort to get buy-in and explain what marketing does to the full c-suite and other key leaders in the business.

Establish a Framework for Team Productivity

2. Organize the team by Performance and Creative - Having the team organized into two distinct parts of marketing, performance and creative, with individuals focused on functional areas allows you to gain the expertise needed to succeed in each of those areas. This also presents a natural growth path for the team, expanding each functional area into a team of its own as the business grows.

3. Use a playbook to align on goals - Set clear goals on a regular cadence, such as quarterly, so that everyone on the team knows what they’re working towards. This allows the team to constantly be focused on moving in the right direction without having to dictate every little detail.

4. Stay agile - Using an agile approach to your team’s activities can help you move fast, adapt to changes, get things out the door quickly, and iterate over time. To do this, you’ll end up spending more time creating MVPs (minimum viable products) and then iterating later. This applies well to creative as well, so that you can keep your content fresh and evolving with the brand.

5. Leverage project management systems - Establish a project management flow to make it easier to execute as a team. GhostBed used to not have a specific project management process, but now they’ve built out a system that’s actively used by the team to stay on task and on schedule.

6. Know your numbers & KPIs - Make sure you understand your spend, ROAS, CPAs, conversion rates, etc. and make it easy to access these numbers so you can make decisions accordingly. You don’t necessarily need fancy tools to track these KPIs Google Sheets with daily spend, forecasts, and so on are great for providing easy access for the team. Also make sure to balance out the quantitative measures with the qualitative, such as customer survey feedback.

Lay a Strong Technical Foundation

7. Keep good relationships with your developers - Developers are the teammates that implement changes to the website, so it’s critical to have solid relationships with them to ensure you can do what you need to do. Build strong relationships and keep regular communications with them to maintain that alignment.

8. Build your tech ecosystem - For example, if you’re using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, take advantage of the Shopify ecosystem and apps to round out your tech needs. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for each technical problem, instead you can leverage the work that’s already been done so you can solve problems faster and easier.

Focus on the Top Two Priorities: Revenue and People

9. Move around projects to solve for revenue first - At any given time, there can be dozens of potential priorities for the marketing team. So it’s important to focus on what will drive (the most) revenue and rearrange priorities as needed. Having a clear north star around this metric can provide a clear roadmap of what initiatives to prioritize.

10. Provide career growth opportunities - The consistent thread here is that the quality and effectiveness of the marketing function comes down to the team. And to allow for continued growth, leveling up the team, and retaining top talent, it’s important to provide career development opportunities as part of your everyday team management.

Building a high-performing team is not an easy task, but if you can accomplish this, you’ll be set up well to defeat any challenges that come your way. Being intentional about how you set your team up to be productive, aligned with the company’s goals and metrics, plugged in with other teams including development and leadership, can be the critical steps to building a world class ecommerce marketing team.

Learn more team building best practices from Rich in the on-demand webinar, How to Build a World-Class Ecommerce Team.

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Ellie Mirman

About the author

Ellie Mirman has over a decade of experience building and scaling marketing at high-growth tech companies, including HubSpot and Toast. When she's not digging into the latest ecommerce trends, you can find her in the kitchen trying out a new cookie recipe.

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