Leaders often make a common mistake when building teams; they fall into the trap of surrounding themselves with people who have similar professional backgrounds or experiences, as it feels good and safe. However, surrounding yourself with entirely like-minded individuals is rarely a strategy for success. 

 

Leveraging diverse skills within teams enhances creativity, drives innovation, and increases problem-solving capabilities. The diversity of skills within a team can be a powerful driver of success, as it allows for a wider range of perspectives, experiences, and expertise. Leaders must prioritize skill variability to create dynamic, high-performing teams.

The Importance of Skill Diversity Within Marketing Teams

Surrounding oneself with a team of strategic partners from different backgrounds with diverse skill sets brings a wealth of experience and expertise. Inviting divergent thinking and professional experiences brings different points of view and value propositions to challenge the status quo and inspire fresh ideas. In today’s dynamic business environment, the ability to pivot and respond swiftly to changing circumstances is essential. 

 

Leaders take on numerous responsibilities, one of which is fostering a collaborative environment. You should not look to replicate what has been done, but instead be disruptive and create something new. Encouraging team members to develop and showcase unique talents enhances individual growth while strengthening the collective capabilities of a team. Diverse skill sets enhance adaptability and resilience as teams comprised of a myriad of skills are better equipped to navigate challenges and collaborate to capitalize on emerging opportunities. This versatility helps enhance problem-solving while simultaneously cultivating a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

No One is an Expert in Everything

It’s essential to recognize that no individual has expertise in all areas of an industry. That’s not to say that team members should be ignorant about areas they are not as familiar with, but reducing the expectations of each team member to be knowledgeable in a facet of areas paints a more realistic picture of leadership. Embrace the differentiation of skill sets and leverage individual strengths while mitigating their weaknesses. This ensures that tasks are delegated effectively, with each team member contributing in a meaningful and impactful way.

How Varying Skill Sets Balance Each Other Out 

When looking at someone’s industry experience, it’s easy to see differences as a disadvantage or gap. Unless you are looking for a subject matter expert, instead of fixating on whether someone has the exact experience in your industry or function, focus on the soft skills you need. If you’re looking for innovation, hire curious people. If you are looking to develop your company’s reputation and expert brand, look for connectors and relationship builders. Reset expectations of what “good” looks like and focus on the candidate’s strengths and transferable skills.

 

Assembling a diverse array of talent and expertise is essential to create a well-rounded, capable team. For example, while one team member may excel in data analysis and market research, another may possess strong creative skills and innovative thinking. These complementary skill sets combine to form a cohesive and effective unit to take a strategy from start to finish.

Different Skills, Same Vision

Ultimately, the goal of any team is to work towards a common vision or goal. While individuals may have different skill sets and approaches, teams are united by a shared sense of purpose and drive. By aligning diverse skill sets with a common vision, teams can harness their expertise to get results.

 

For example, imagine a marketing team tasked with launching a new product. While each team member may have a distinct role to play—whether it’s crafting compelling messaging, designing eye-catching visuals, or analyzing market trends—they are all working towards the same goal of driving awareness and adoption of the product. If all team members were experts in messaging development, they would likely have trouble creating the right messaging without knowing their target audience, which would be determined by market research experts. By leveraging their diverse skill sets, the team can execute a comprehensive marketing strategy and messaging that resonates with target audiences.

Building A Diversified Team

There are several factors to consider when building a diversified marketing team. 

  1. Review your 3-year marketing plan to identify the tasks and skillsets required to meet the goals.
  2. Review your current team’s skills to match the right team member to the required tasks.
  3. Monitor their output to ensure the standing team can achieve the desired results.
  4. Fill in outstanding skill gaps with new hires or external resources.

When it comes to filling outstanding gaps, consider the following questions:

Is the knowledge of your company required to carry out the task? 

Determine whether or not an intimate understanding of the product/services is required. While external vendors can learn about your products or services, no one is as well versed in company knowledge as those within it day in and day out. 

 

How important is the quality of the output? 

Does it need to wow potential customers? Depending on your team size and expertise, external support for new product launches, re-branding, or any other mass customer-facing projects is worth considering. 

 

Is the task a one-off or ongoing?

Is the task a one-time thing or will it need to be done regularly? This will determine if it’s best to seek out an external resource or handle it in-house. 

 

Single project-based tasks are a great opportunity to seek out external help. External teams can bring expertise to help drive projects and strategies while bringing a fresh perspective. 

 

Ongoing tasks are often better handled in-house. Not only will this enhance the skillset of the individual or team executing it, but your additional costs of external help are eliminated or reduced. 

 

Pro tip: Look for external help that can support both one-time and ongoing tasks. While project-based freelancers (ie. web developers, graphic designers, etc…) are often only needed for single-use engagements, fractional agencies can support one-off projects and provide ongoing oversight and training for day-to-day tasks that follow.

Fill Internal Skill Gaps with External Support

In addition to nurturing diversity within internal teams, it’s also important to recognize when external expertise is needed to complement existing team member skill sets. Whether it’s engaging specialized agencies for digital marketing campaigns, consulting firms for strategic guidance, or freelance experts for niche projects, you can access an entirely new team of individuals who possess skills and traits that support and complement your internal team. By strategically integrating external expertise into teams, companies can fill knowledge gaps, foster continuous learning and contribute to team member growth. 

 

The diversity of skills within a team can be a powerful driver of success allowing for a wider range of perspectives and expertise. Though it’s often enticing to work with people who share similar backgrounds and skill sets, don’t let your comfort zone hold you back. Hiring and working with individuals who think differently, and possess different strengths and weaknesses can help dodge conformity pitfalls and encourage innovative thinking. 

Written By:

Ilarya Ochab

Ilarya is intrigued by the science and theory behind marketing. She pairs an honours degree specializing in digital marketing with years of hands-on execution. Possessing a breadth of knowledge, her specialties are digital advertising, search engine optimization, and content writing.