Are you prepared if a key person left your marketing team tomorrow?

Whether they leave for another gig, have to take emergency leave, or are just enjoying the long holiday weekend, are you prepared to respond if a scheduled email goes awry or the website goes down or your SaaS product goes offline and you need a quick response to your customers?

Often the answer to that question is no, you’re not ready.

I faced a similar, although less dire challenge, recently as I spent a couple hours with an irrigation specialist looking for where the main water valve was located in my townhouse complex.

His first question to me when he arrived was where is the main shut off?

I didn’t know and no one else knew because the one person in the HOA who did, sold his place last year and with him went that institutional knowledge.

And that got me thinking about marketing teams, the long holiday, and how we all will survive when someone leaves.

Remember Marketo’s website going down a couple summers ago because they forgot to renew the domain? Yeah, you don’t want that happening to you.

My Four Tips To Future Proof Your Marketing Team

Here are my four tips to future proof your marketing team.

Share Common Passwords

First, make sure you have a common place for all the passwords and logins you’re using. Tons of tools that can do this securely, but you can also use a shared Google sheet or doc, too.

Document Your Processes

Second, document your frequent and infrequent processes. My friend and former colleague Rachel Rosin was awesome at this, and those SOPs were invaluable when she left for her current gig at Glassdoor.

Cross Qualify

Third, Cross qualify. In a distant, past life I was a submarine sailor. One of the things we did all the time was cross qualify and adopt an always be learning mindset. I’ve done the same thing in my marketing career, resulting in the triple threat content marketer that I am today: words, video, audio (plus strategy). Do the same thing for your marketing team.

Picture of author on USS Baltimore submarine. Submariners work at cross qualifying something that should be applied to marketing teams
That’s me with the boat hook on the USS Baltimore (SSN-704).

Your folks should all know the basics, such as how to post to the blog, update a landing page, schedule and test an email, or post to your social channels.

Look for opportunities to cross qualify your marketing team so that you have someone in place when your in-house videographer leaves or you want to quickly create a GIF for a social campaign.

Then create incentives for them to learn more and deeper dive into editing a video or podcast,  creating a social gif, creating an email nurture workflow, changing the spend on a paid campaign.

Share Access to Common Accounts and Platforms

Fourth, make sure the right folks have access to your common accounts, such as your social platforms, the website and your editorial calendars.

Along those lines, make sure you’re making the appropriate introductions to key partners and vendors.

This is also a good opportunity to source a freelance content marketer, like myself, who can quickly jump in to help you on any project should someone leave and you have approaching deadlines for a new product launch, seasonal campaign, or influential trade show.

Those are my four tips this weekend to make sure you future proof your marketing team. Let me know what I missed or that you would add in the comments. Cheers and be safe.