Marketing Career Coach & Fractional CMO


Archetypes are ‘typical examples’ of something. When you look across your marketing team, you can see trends or groupings of certain behaviors that may expedite or stunt the growth of your business. These are five examples of team members where you have the most opportunity.

Having built several marketing teams over my career, I realized very early that managing teams successfully is about how well you manage individual team members, and the various skills and perspectives they possess.

Per the popular TEAM acronym…Together Everyone Achieves More. The win for you, the manager or team member, is to find ways to get these marketing types to work in a complementary fashion so the whole becomes stronger than the parts.

Finding that level of harmony across various personalities and specialties is challenging. Below are some thoughts on how to help each archetype contribute their unique skill to the betterment of the collective team.

Don’t see your archetype? Leave a comment with one that you align with or have on your team.


1. The Checklist Marketer: Tactics. Tactics. Tactics.

Favorite saying: “Great idea. Add it to my list and I’ll get to it.”

Checklists are one of many ways marketers stay organized and productive. Checklists as a guide to keeping us on task are great. Checklists as the default gospel for driving every decision and action of a marketer are not.

Void of any aligned strategy, this marketer is consumed with a task list of tactics. Their primary objective is to execute quantity.

The checklist marketer does bring a passion for their craft, a diligence and ability to execute and a level of organization that has upside.

This marketer is always busy. Too busy to realize that their list is not prioritized. Too busy to realize that their list of tactics do not have any goals or KPIs. Remember, they’re busy being focused on getting through the checklist.

Their daily morning sweep of all the popular blogs, podcasts, snaps and ‘scopes will generate at least two to three new tactics for them to implement. Check. Added to the list.

But those new ideas just bumped your more important, quantified tactics that align with your strategy.

What to do?

Balance the list of quantity with quality. Reevaluate the list of tactics against your overall marketing and business strategies. Make sure to include metrics, or expected outcomes, with each tactic. Review weekly.


2. The Shiny Object Marketer: Ready. Fire. Aim.

Favorite saying: “I heard about it on a podcast.”

Everyone is guilty of this. We’re influenced by what we read and research. There is no harm in testing new channels..even the ones that have no immediate applicable value to your business or audience. However, if done repeatedly, then you’ve just wasted a lot of time (research, execution) and money.

Since these marketers yearn to test the latest, newest channel or network, it comes at the expense of starting with asking ‘why’. Making sure that the effort that is about to be expended ties back to your business objectives and audience. Snap is a great platform. Just because others are using (including people around the office), is it the best platform to reach your business’ audience?

A dangerous combination is when a Shiny Object marketer and Checklist marketer are on the same team. There appears to be a ton of things getting done…but are they the right things?

What to do?

These team members just need some structure. Documenting and consistently sharing your personas, objectives and goals could serve as a good guidance. Since there is a passion for the newest and latest things, you could also channel this into content like blog posts or other thought pieces for your company.


3. The Spreadsheet Marketer: Every. Dollar. Must. Drive. ROI.

Favorite saying: “What is the ROI for it?”

Being focused on ROI (Return On Investment) is not a bad thing. But if it is the ONLY thing, then there are missed opportunities. These team members can be obsessed with letting data drive EVERY decision. They often are void of making gut decisions. They will also be the ones to suggest you avoid ‘analysis paralysis’, but will usually be the ones guilty of being driven by it.

Success in marketing is a balanced equation of building your brand, driving engagement, providing value and building relationships. This includes driving awareness, interest, conversion, activation and retention. The spreadsheet marketer can be too focused on the activities that drive the conversion through retention.

If your business has a few hundred/thousand dollars to invest in your marketing, then spreadsheet marketer will want to invest in those direct-to-conversion placements that have shown the ROI. Almost to the point of ignoring a possible branding or content campaign that can fuel warmer pools of traffic that would be retargeted or converted to leads.

What to do?

Define specific metrics for channels and tactics that are not immediate ROI producers. Capturing indicators of conversions like prospect traffic and shares could be a start. Consider attribution reports in Google analytics to see how upper funnel type channels are actually assisting in driving conversions in other channels.


4. The Rogue Marketer: Marketing team. Party of one.

Favorite saying: “Of course it’s working…I’ve been running a test for two weeks already.”

This team member may agree with your overall marketing plan and strategy, but will most likely be silently devising their own objectives, strategies and tactics. And, will embrace tactics that are more risk tolerant and driven by gut feel. They will play nice with others and be bought into the overall vision and strategy. The most dangerous rogue marketer is one whose ideas and plans actually deliver success. This fuels their focus to “keep on keeping on.”

They are a student of all marketing disciplines. They don’t seek the praise. They operate effectively under the radar. They’ve quietly become certified in HubSpot, Google Analytics and any other certification.

What to do?

Embrace them. They will have the next idea that significantly drives your business. Request an update weekly on their key projects along with what’s working against your objectives, what they’ve learned and what they’re going to execute next. You’ll get about 80%. Which is ok if things are working.


5. The Unicorn Marketer: Generalist & specialist.

Favorite saying: “What would the customer think about it?”

These are your most valuable team members. They have a thirst for knowledge in all things marketing. They are considered ‘full stack’ marketers. They understand that the customer comes first. Always. They understand the art, science, technology and creative sides to the equation that drives successful marketing campaigns. A Unicorn paired with a Rogue marketer can make some very successful things happen.

Somehow they can do everything..or learn it in about a week. Not only do they have a strong IQ, but also a strong EQ (Emotional Intelligence). They are driven by their passion to make your customer happy. They are self aware, knowing when to sell an idea and when to back down. And, they conduct themselves as a true team player. After all, they want to learn everyone else’s role and how things tick.

What to do?

Find or develop more of them. In time, your Unicorn marketer will be able to help with the training and development of other team members. They rarely will say ’no’ to taking on a project. Just make sure that they are not too overwhelmed in their pursuit of increasing their breadth or depth across the marketing spectrum.

Every marketer shares elements of these archetypes. If any of these marketer types is currently on your team, then you and they have a tremendous opportunity.

You don’t win with just the best talent, but with the team that works best together. Align the strengths of each and you will have a team that finds ways to complement the overarching objectives and goals. And you will start to see improvements in business results, culture and team development.


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