First ask yourself, what do you need in-house vs. outsourcing?
We’re all about keeping things lean here at CROSSNET but there are just some areas you need to bring in-house, rather than pinching pennies and outsourcing when it comes to building an effective marketing team. We’ve become extremely efficient by keeping our creative in-house and delegating our paid marketing to agencies and allowing in-house directors to oversee their work. Here is the current CROSSNET in-house structure.
- Director of Brand Marketing - This role wears many hats and we’ve luckily got an employee who can wear them well. Our Director of Brand acts as a creative director and project manager while ensuring communications within all departments are up to the brand's standards. She oversees the entire in house creative team, all freelances, email agency, and aspects of our paid social agency.
- Senior Designer - Does our more design-heavy work: such as billboards, sizzle reels, and retail packaging.
- Junior Designer - Handles our paid ads, organic social and assists in creating marketing collateral for sales, and our internal team.
- Freelance - Hired at a need basis for one-off creative tasks.
We've been using Structured Social headed up by the legends David Bozin & Chase Dimond for almost three years now. Honestly they are the only agency I haven't fired and have been nothing but amazing each and every week. Our creative director is in charge of reviewing the emails, ensuring brand tone & voice, and lining the sends up with our monthly campaigns.
We meet weekly with the team over at Advisory Marketing that specializes in performance & creative marketing for brands with mass distribution like CROSSNET. Our head director of brand and yours truly join weekly calls to review KPIS, ROAS targets, areas we are underperforming, and new creative assets needed. From those meetings we may need to turn around 3-5 new assets in time for our follow up call the next week.
This is my term of endearment I’ve coined for many of our first hires. People who, regardless of title and experience, are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work. Our creative team works so well because there aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. I know I'm not going to get a nasty email back from my senior designer when I ask him to resize a photo when our junior designer is busy. Our creative director sometimes writes our ad copy to keep costs low and ensure messaging is consistent. At the startup stage everybody you hire needs to know they aren't above grinding it out and doing the dirty work. Chemistry starts to get fucked up when you have people who feel like certain tasks are below their payscale. It's really important to simply hire people you trust to get something done. People who don’t need their hands held and individuals you know that are doing all they can to get things done behind the scenes.
I had no idea how much goes into this process until my creative director sat me down and yelled at me for Slacking her 10,000 requests with no timelines. Luckily, our creative director has created a seamless process that keeps our entire operation efficient and organized. Need a process? I’ve included ours in the steps below.
- To keep us running full speed we utilize Basecamp, Dropbox, and Slack. When a task is needed, an employee will create a brief on Basecamp and tag our creative director. Our creative director will then make sure the brief contains all necessary info and tag the appropriate designer.
- Once the designer has completed the task, the designer uploads the creative to Dropbox as a Version 1, and posts that link in Basecamp tagging the necessary parties & the approvers. The designer will then post the Basecamp link containing that creative into our creative-approvals Slack channel to give the approvers an extra nudge and ensure it’s seen in a timely fashion.
- The approvers will then provide feedback, post it in Basecamp, and tag the designers back in Slack letting them know the changes or status of the project. Once approved the designer posts the final Dropbox link in Basecamp and the creative director marks off the project as complete.
- Dropbox also makes sure all our creative is stored in a single place. We organize ours by the department and within each department, there are subfolders for different types of projects, products, photoshoots, etc. If your Dropbox is a mess, which I'm sure it is, start there and start cleaning up. You will create at such a better speed once this is fixed. Create a system that works for your company and ensure all pieces are named using a descriptive naming convention.
- Posting the finals in Basecamp also help keep us organized as well, if someone can’t find it in Dropbox, they can always refer back to the Basecamp project and see it in the comments. Seamless and effortless!
To read more from Chris, be sure to checkout CROSSED Commerce