The collaborative approach to bringing in an independent professional - In conversation with Vineeta Wagh
Vineeta is a seasoned brand enthusiast with nearly a decade of experience in brand building and advertising. She has a track record of building brands and is a product and consumer marketing leader (ex-Xiaomi). She is now an independent consultant and expert on Wizly.
1. How important is the diversity of skills and backgrounds in a marketing team structure, and how does it contribute to the team's success?
Diversity in skills and backgrounds is not just a checkbox to be ticked off; it has become an essential ingredient for building successful marketing teams. Embracing diversity brings numerous benefits that can positively impact the team's output and overall success.
- Cross-Learning: Having team members with diverse skill sets opens up opportunities for cross-learning. When individuals with different expertise collaborate, they can share knowledge, insights, and techniques, leading to a broader understanding of marketing strategies and tactics. This cross-learning nurtures a culture of continuous growth, strengthens the team's collective knowledge, and enhances their ability to create effective marketing campaigns. This also keeps their growth curve dynamic.
- Diverse Perspectives: In a rapidly evolving marketing landscape, having diverse perspectives is crucial. When team members come from varied backgrounds, they bring unique experiences, ideas, and problem-solving approaches. This diversity of thought fosters creativity and innovation, enabling the team to tackle challenges from multiple angles and find new and impactful solutions. It helps break away from conventional thinking patterns and encourages fresh ideas that can drive better results.
- Global Expansion: In today's interconnected world, marketing is not limited to local markets. Having team members from different cultural backgrounds provides valuable insights into diverse markets and consumer behaviors. This understanding helps tailor marketing campaigns to resonate with specific audiences in different regions, leading to more effective and successful global expansion strategies.
- Enhanced Decision-Making: When diverse voices are heard and considered, it reduces the risk of biases and groupthink, leading to more informed and well-rounded decisions. The team can leverage the collective wisdom of its members to make strategic choices that align with market trends, customer preferences, and business goals.
While working at Xiaomi, I had to often work with my Chinese counterparts. This gave me the opportunity to understand how their market functions differently than ours . It also gave me a perspective on how they approach different projects, how they function as a team and how they work on their marketing plans. And while it was exciting, it also was a refreshing change to see diverse teams work and learn together.
The importance of diversity in skills and backgrounds within a marketing team cannot be overstated.
By embracing diversity, organizations can build dynamic and high-performing marketing teams that are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of today's ever-changing marketplace and drive meaningful results.
2. How have independent professionals impacted the way businesses build and structure their marketing teams?
Recently, we have seen the gig economy rise in different sectors of the market for all the right reasons. Over the past decade, the gig economy has grown significantly, with a 33% increase in the number of gig workers in the United States alone between 2010 and 2020, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More and more professionals are moving to this model which gives them the opportunity to work on multiple projects, with different people and in diverse industries.
We are slowly seeing this shift in India as well. More and more organizations are willing to hire a consultant. So what are the impact areas businesses (especially start-ups) are witnessing by adopting this model?
- Getting access to very senior talent and experience while building the brand: Having a seasoned professional on board while building out the brand would be one of the wisest decisions that a startup founder can take. This is a crucial step when it comes to building a brand from the very beginning and having someone who can bring in a marketing perspective from scratch. Many founders tend to look at marketing at the end missing the fact that a senior marketing perspective is essential and brings in crucial insights while chalking out the business plans
- Access to Specialized Skills: Independent professionals often possess niche or specialized skills that may not be available within the company's internal team. By hiring independent experts, businesses can tap into a vast talent pool and gain access to specialized skills, such as social media marketing and so on. These professionals bring deep knowledge and experience in their respective fields, enhancing the overall capabilities of the marketing team.
- Innovative perspectives: Bringing in a consultant or freelancer provides an external and fresh perspective. Over time, internal teams may develop certain biases or tend to stick with tried-and-tested approaches. Independent professionals, working across different projects and industries, can offer innovative ideas and challenge the status quo. Their diverse experiences and cross-industry learnings can inject new life into marketing strategies and help the brand stand out in a crowded market.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring independent professionals can be a cost-effective approach for businesses. Instead of maintaining full-time employees with associated overhead costs, companies can engage independent professionals on a project basis, paying for their services as needed. This flexibility allows businesses to allocate their marketing budget efficiently, optimizing costs while ensuring access to the required expertise.
The gig economy has introduced new opportunities for businesses to access senior talent, specialized skills, fresh perspectives, and cost-effective solutions through independent professionals. Today, we have access to platforms like Wizly which enables companies to meet diverse talents across borders, compare them and then take an informed decision.
3. What is different when I consult?
- Collaborative Approach: As a consultant, you work closely with the founders and their team in a collaborative manner. Rather than operating as an external entity, you become an integral part of the team, working towards shared goals. This close collaboration allows for a deeper understanding of the brand's vision, business numbers, and plans, enabling you to align marketing strategies effectively.
- Time and Availability: Contrary to the misconception that consultants may not give as much time, my work ethics prioritize being actively present and involved. I aim to break the stereotype by dedicating ample time and attention to the brands I consult for.
- Personalized Guidance: I bring a wealth of experience from both agency and brand backgrounds. This unique perspective allows me to identify and bridge the gaps in a brand's marketing efforts effectively. I work on finding insights tailored to the specific needs of the brand, leveraging my expertise to create strategies that align with their vision and drive results
- Mentorship: In addition to strategic guidance, I also provide mentorship to the brand and its teams. By sharing your knowledge, skills, and industry insights, one can empower the brand's employees to develop their own marketing capabilities. This mentorship approach fosters a learning culture within the organization and makes working with them smooth. So I am not just talking to one person but working with the team together.
Overall, as a consultant, my aim is to work closely with brands, dispel the notion of limited availability, and bridge the gap between agency and brand perspectives.
The above article was written by Vineeta Wagh, an expert on Wizly. You can connect with her directly here.