The most successful teams are those that are the most carefully assembled, with members complimenting each other’s strengths and covering their weaknesses. This season’s treble winning Barcelona Football team has been a premium example of this, with imported superstars such as the infamous Luis Suarez joining seasoned world-beaters like Xavi to form one of greatest teams of all time.
Marketing directors can learn a lot more from Barcelona than how to build a world class brand. The side’s approach of bringing in superstars with specific skills to compliment a core of loyal and multi-skilled professionals should serve as a template for building the modern digital team.
Important to any modern marketing team is a core of commercially-savvy and talented generalist marketers, who possess the skills and experiences to move with developments within the industry. A recent report produced by EMR and The Knowledge Engineers highlighted the shortage of marketers with a good blend of skills and commercial acumen, making these professionals particularly highly prized.
Furthermore, the sheer rate of change within digital means specific skillsets can become outdated quickly, with marketing curriculums struggling to keep up. Generalists in possession of a broad range of skills will be well placed to keep abreast of these developments. While analytics metrics may become outdated, top notch social skills will not.
That’s not to say that organisations should not look to specialists in some situations. Experts can bring a unique perspective to a team, and develop colleagues’ skillsets for the better - hiring manager’s just need to ensure that they are adding to a team rather than replacing one. They need to pull together, but Barcelona may not have been as successful without purchasing Neymar’s one of a kind flair.