11 Building Blocks to a High Performance Inbound Marketing Team Pt. 3

Do you know that in Philadelphia, according to a 1760 law, it’s illegal to carry pretzels in your bag, suitcase or pocket?

Equally, even though it’s not illegal, but pointless to “carry” extra employees on your payroll. Yes, they are needed, but, being support people, they’re not needed on a full-time basis.

And this is what we discuss in this last (see Part 1 and Part 2), euphoniously euphoric episode of the vital building blocks of inbound marketing teams.

The word “support” may sound a bit degrading, so let’s look at it a tad more closely.

What I mean is that support people’s work is vital to the team’s success, but their work is not continuous throughout the project.

It’s like an SME’s company accountant. She is needed to keep the company’s books in order, but is not needed to look at the books on a full-time basis.

However, there are always exceptions and it all depends on the size of your team and the seize and frequency of your campaigns.

If you run a digital marketing agency and run campaigns for your clients, you need pretty much everyone on a full-time basis.

11. Front and Back-End Developers

Just a on a house-building project team, there are builders and interior decorators, similarly there is front-end developers, a.k.a. interior decorators and back-end developers, a.k.a. builders.

Expressed differently, front-end development or interior design is something that 95% (or more) of the house warm-up party guests admire. The other 5% (or less) admire the structure, that is, back-end development.

And now let’s assume that after your house is built, you will run a home-based from there.

How often will you need the builder or the interior designer? Would you hire them in your business on a full-time basis? Probably not.

However, whenever you have a problem with the house, you contact the appropriate professional for their expert advice.

Developers are pretty much the same. They are vital for the project’s success, but you don’t need them on a full-time basis.

Front-End Developers

Front end developers live in the world of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the languages of web pages, style sheets and executable scripts. They are responsible for most of the visible things on website and some of their automated behaviors.

They are the proverbial internal decorators. They do their work after the back-end developers have partially or fully finished their work.

Front end developers look after everything that faces the wide, wild wold.

Besides HTML, JavaScript and CSS, they often use Bootstrap, AngularJS, Backbone, Foundation and EmberJS too.

While HTML, JavaScript and CSS take care of the basic website, Bootstrap, AngularJS, Backbone, Foundation, and EmberJS provide mobile compatibility.

Front-end-developers closely collaborate with designers too, because the end product is their joint creation.

Front-end developers also have some user interface experience but they are not the same as UX specialists.

In collaboration with designers, front-end developers also work on wire frames, creating the overall shape of websites.

Back End Developers

Before front-end developers go to work, back-end developers have to build an infrastructure that accommodates the whole front-end.

The back-end includes the server that the website runs on, the database and various applications.

Using theatre lingo, this is the offstage area that the audience doesn’t see but the very area that supports the onstage area, in our case, the front-end developers.

As for back-end programming languages, some of the most widely used languages are Java, Python, PHP, Ruby and .Net. For application development, they usually use Oracle, SQL or MySQL.

These are the development tools. Developers also use tool to document their work, so as they come and go, their work wouldn’t collapse behind them.

Since the overall functions back-end developers develop depends on business objectives, the collaborate with all the major stakeholder to make sure whatever they develop is in alignment with the requirements.

Full Stack Developers

Despite the funny name, these people are not chimney stack builders. Oh, no. Well, some may have been once upon a time.

Full stack developers are those developers whose expertise has a certain overlap between front- and back-end development. The bigger the overlap, the bigger their stacks are.

The whole idea is that front-end developers have to know a bit of back-end stuff and vice versa.

I remember, when I worked at the cemetery in London, some of us were good at digging graves and some of us were good at burying. And some of us did both.

They are like doctors who perform both surgeries and autopsies. Mind you, they are as rare as hen’s teeth.

While good full-stack developers are very valuable, in most cases, marketing departments are better off with front-end or back-end specialists.

In my experience, a good part-time front-ender and good part-time back-ender working in close collaboration can achieve more than a great full-time full-stacker.

One of the main reasons managers like full-stack developers is that they think full-stackers can take on everything that has anything to do with programming, and using one full-stacker is a lot less expensive than using a separate front-ender and back-ender. Besides, if something goes wrong, it’s a lot easier to blame one person for it than two or more.

So, having been on the programming side (industrial control systems, robotics) as a computer engineer for 16 years, I believe using full-stackers is a sort of “if there is no horse, a donkey will suffice” solution.

No, I don’t mean to degrade full-stackers. All I’m saying is that based on what I’ve seen in industry is that engaging dedicated front-enders and back-enders is a financially better solution.

Just remember Bill Gates’ words…

“A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator, but a great software code writer is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer.”

But as a guy with quite a bit of programming (only Assembler and C++) behind me, I can confidently say that a programmer who tries to program in many different languages is never going to become a 10,000-times better programmer.

12. IT Technician And Webmaster

Most of the IT-related roles that we’ve discussed so far are software focused.

But in order to have all that software stuff, you need a reliable hardware, which makes it necessary to have an IT technician on board who can handle all aspects of hardware your operation requires.

As for software, the IT technician also takes care of operating systems and all application software.

He makes sure all the software is properly updated, licensed and hosting, domain registration and SaaS software subscriptions are in order.

He keeps full documentation of the IT system, login names, passwords and all relevant bits and bobs.

In my experience, he should also me the Admin person for all systems, both hardware and software.

Some people say that good webmasters are also web designers. I’m not sure.

Some may have some development and programming experience, but the role of the webmaster and the web designer are as far from each other as the North Pole and the South Pole. The only thing they have in common is that both are called Pole.

The webmaster is a predominantly left-brained position requiring an analytical “scientific” mind.

By contrast, the web designer is a right-brained position requiring a creative “artistic” mind.

The reason why I say this is because much of the scientific part of web design can be put on a check list, so the artist who creates the website doesn’t have to know why something is in a specific way.

While the “art” of colors is based on the “science” of colors, the web designer doesn’t have to understand the physics part of colours in order to do great art.

Similarly, just because you understand the science, you may not be able to create the art.

13. Quality Assurance (QA) Person

I’ve already mentioned in the previous two parts that it’s a good id=idea that some of your marketing team has domain expertise and industrial experience in the target market’s industry.

For the QA person this is pretty much mandatory.

This person evaluates your all your marketing content (what you send out) and process (how you send it out) before it hits the market.

She is the proverbial target market, and, in an accelerated fashion, she receives all the content that will later go to the market. Basically, she is a Guinea pig for a simulated marketing campaign.

And she evaluates everything from the recipient’s perspective. This is why the domain knowledge and industrial experience are so vital for her.

Ideally, she should be the last person within the company who inspects outgoing marketing communication.

But the sad reality is that, after giving her blessings and green light, some higher-ups start pulling ranks on her and start messing with some elements.

The CEO’s mother-in-law finds some mistakes. Don’t ask me how she has access to it.

Or the CFO’s first-year law student daughter kicks up a fuss about the legalities of something.

Look, if you have a quality assurance person, then trust her, and start the campaign after she gave her go-ahead.

You can also read Kay Smith’s article entitled Benefits of Quality Assurance in Your Inbound Marketing.


We’ve finished our journey in the ins and outs of building an inbound marketing team.

In following articles, we go deeper into recruitment and onboarding techniques to make sure you get the most qualified (vs. most impressively certified) people.

But before we bid farewell until we meet at the next article, I’d like to recommend two assessments both for your current people and, definitely, your future recruits.

One is the Strengthsfinder program, developed by American psychologist, Dr. Donald Clifton, often regarded as the “father of Strengths-Based Psychology” and the “grandfather of Positive Psychology”.

Unlike other programs in this area or the basic tenets of public education, Dr. Clifton’s program focused on improving people’s already strong strengths from excellent to amazing and not wasting time on their weaknesses taking them from awful to tolerable.

The other is Kathy Kolbe’s Kolbe A test.

Unlike other personality assessment programs, the Kolbe index indicates people’s likely behavior and the kind of action they take under certain circumstances. Here is a sample of the test results. Sadly, many companies are full of detail-obsessed executives and detail-ignorant implementers, while it should be the other way ‘round.

Just by looking at all the roles, it’s easy to conclude that inbound marketing is not a penny item to implement. It’s not indeed. It’s like real estate in a way. Before you see your first rent check from your first rental property, you have to build or buy that property, put it into rent-worthy condition and find a good tenant. You invest quite a bit of money and quite some time goes by before you start collecting money.

But that’s the way the cookies crumble, so before you start, read about the 10 Signs Your Company Should Be Investing In Inbound Marketing.