Mark Dirks

Sports or Business – It’s Still All About Teamwork

Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

I’ve been a sports freak nearly all my life – as a player, coach and fan.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that success is dependent on three main things:  hard work, skill level and most of all, teamwork.  We’ve all heard the sayings “There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM” and “You win as a team and you lose as a team.”  Yes, there are “stars” (highly skilled players) on every team, but all the members of the team have to contribute to be successful.  Watch a pass play unfold during a football game from above  (where you can’t see their numbers or faces) as the receivers run their routes, the linemen execute their blocks, the backfield blocks or  slips out into the flat and the quarterback reads the defense to hopefully make the best choice for his team to advance.  Or watch a baseball game from high above (again, the names and faces don’t matter) as a ball is hit to the gap and you will see EVERY player take action with players backing up each other, lining up for a relay and communicating during the play.  To me, it’s a work of art that requires commitment from every team member.

In the business world, it’s no different.  Success is dependent on the same 3 things and I was so thrilled to see it “live” during a meeting this past Friday.  I know.  I know.  “Thrilled” during a meeting?  What?  If I was Jim Gaffigan (the comedian), I would now mutter under my breath, “This guy’s sick”.  Anyway, our Web Marketing Team has grown quickly over the last few years and as a result, we’ve carefully brought in some tremendous marketing and technology talent to take great care of Beacon’s clients, many of which are extremely high profile with high expectations.  When we started the web marketing business unit here at Beacon over 10 years ago, it was primarily search engine optimization (organic) with a single specialist assigned to our clients.  Once we got to a point where we had enough SEO clients to justify adding more staff, I quickly realized that the overall knowledge base of the team grew exponentially because they could bounce ideas off each other, discuss techniques and essentially, provide significantly more value to our client base.

Like in any competitive arena, players have a choice:  They can play for themselves or they can play for the team.  But guess what, our clients’ success and Beacon’s success requires teamwork.  I’ve seen way too many “one-person shops” that just can’t compete and their clients truly have “all their eggs in one basket” (I hate clichés, but this works here!).  Can a one-man shop seriously stay current and provide expertise in all the critical areas – SEO, PPC, social media marketing (SMM), Google Analytics, eMail, Shopping Engines, Google Website Optimizer, and many other areas?  It’s essentially evolving into a model that is very similar to an IT Development Team – requiring varying areas of expertise. Beacon’s clients get a team of experts – a team that works hard and shares information to win the marketing battles that occur on the internet.

This leads me back to this “thrilling meeting”…

So I’m sitting at the end of our board room table and the entire web marketing team is in attendance.  Every Friday morning, we come together to discuss 2-3 of our clients in depth from a marketing, technical and business standpoint.  Collectively, we look at their website.  We look at their pay-per-click ads.  We look at their key phrases and SEO results.  We dig deep into Google Analytics and review Google Website Optimizer testing results.  We talk about what’s working and what isn’t.  We brainstorm for new ideas.  We share alternative approaches, new techniques and the latest industry information.  Well, at last Friday’s meeting it dawned on me that it’s like a surgical team (or, for the sports theme, maybe it’s more like a “chalk talk”).  This group is totally focused as a TEAM, not as individuals, for the sole purpose of providing the best results for our clients.  It was truly amazing to see this group of bona fide experts working together to make a good thing even better – much like watching that pass play or handling that ball hit to the gap.  I’m looking forward to next Friday’s meeting!