Throughout my career, I've worked with lean digital-minded companies as well as legacy organizations. In most cases, I've managed to successfully run digital with a couple of teammates, generating far more revenue and driving bigger brand growth than the "non-digital" side. As a digital marketing advocate, I aim for the same thing at every company: running digital with just the right talented headcount. That's the right way to run digital.
How can you keep your headcount lean? Doing a thorough job; making sure that you make the right hires to increase ROI. Working with people that understand the technologies needed for digital marketing.
This can be tricky. A lot of legacy companies still rely on bureaucratic management, and bloated processes that get in the way of digital. Companies must find a way to get past these hurdles and allow digital to come up with a new growth playbook; higher revenues with minimal headcount. You can run a $1 billion company with a team of 5 digital people. As long as you make sure you have people who are digitally strategic, technology/data driven, and agile-minded – including management – you will be able to do it successfully.
It still surprises me to see companies trying to drive growth without adapting to digital. Look at your company; is it settling on legacy PMs that still can't understand how your project management software works, copywriters who love lengthy copy that doesn't convert, or marketing directors who still believe that list-rentals will help get new customers? In the digital world companies can't afford to have people that they don't need – it slows them down and makes them the perfect meal for smaller, faster, more-agile companies.
Of coarse, this means that legacy companies with traditional marketing teams will have to downsize. If a company has 30 employees in marketing, and it's only seeing growth from the digital side with a smaller team, what should they do?
Getting to a mature digital state isn't easy. But it's something to which more companies should aspire if they want to stay in business.
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Digital Marketing Technologist & User Experience Advocate.