Learn How to Thrive - and Survive - as a One (Wo)Man Marketing Department

An attentive audience listened with admiration as Edessa Polzin revealed her secrets for surviving and thriving as a one (wo)man marketing team. She addressed a multi-state virtual Craft Marketing audience during the January program.

In previous jobs, Edessa worked as a freelance copywriter. She’s also been an SEO manager, content manager, email marketer and more. Now she’s the Sales & Marketing Manager at Web Courseworks.

“Marketing in the software field is different because there’s no physical merchandise,” she said.

Edessa offered three top tips for keeping one’s sanity with multiple responsibilities in a small marketing department.

Tip 1: Establish Top Goals

You can’t do everything, Edessa confirms. Establish three to five top key performance indicators with input from the executive leadership and the sales department. “Focus on the most important goals for which you are responsible,” she said.

Tip 2: Keep Your Goals Specific

Marketing goals must be clear, well-defined and measurable.

Tip 3: Focus on One Channel at a Time

Edessa describes herself as a generalist, not a search engine optimization or Google Ads expert. She wants to avoid a multi-channel approach where a company dabbles in lots of social media channels but doesn’t do very well in any of them.

She says it’s best to get good at one channel before adding another one.

Edessa emphasized that her goal is to help the sales team win work. As a result, she focusses on trade shows and conferences attended by prospects.

Do Actions Relate to Goals?

Edessa develops her plan, budget and strategies based on her goals. “Every strategy, tactic and line item in your plan must bring you back to your KPIs,” she said.

Create standard operating procedures and look for ways to automate work to save time.

Edessa also knows the value of her time. She frequently gets requests, but she filters those inquiries. She asks, “How will this help achieve our goals?”

If she agrees to one initiative, Edessa knows that other requests may get less attention.

Collaborate with the Sales Team

“Communicate with your sales team,” Edessa urged. She meets at least once a week with the sales team and clarifies her immediate and future goals. She continually improves collateral to meet the sales team’s needs in the ever-changing Software as a Service (SaaS) market.

“I work for the sales team,” Edessa noted. “If I don’t give them what they need to sell, I would be out of the job. They’re my customer.”

Edessa also revealed other best practices to meet the expectations of the C-Suite and sales team:

  • Provide monthly executive reports
  • Meet one-on-one with sales representatives to get their feedback and brainstorm ideas to better implement marketing programs and materials
  • Seek recommendations and improvement ideas from the sales team

Celebrate Wins

Don’t be shy about celebrating victories, Edessa said. Check out sample successes to announce:

  • The firm’s keywords ranked #1 for three months in a row
  • A case study resulted in a potential lead
  • A marketing automation tool improved efficiency

Some consider marketing as a department that spends money. “It’s your job to educate people on the value of your department,” she emphasized.

Edessa encouraged marketing departments to promote how they improve a company’s bottom line through their efforts.

Get Strategic Help

As a one-person department, Edessa is the first to admit she can’t do it all. She recommends focusing on areas where you want to excel and then outsourcing other jobs, such as graphic design or search engine optimization.

She’s developed a team of helpers who include:

  • Freelancers
  • Part-time help
  • Local contacts
  • Software
  • Marketing Agency
  • Subject Matter Experts

Edessa also shared the tools she uses to stay organized and on top of tasks. She embraces timeboxing, a time management technique that allocates a fixed time period for tasks and activities.

She also uses the following programs:

  • Salesforce: records sales activities and ties them to marketing goals
  • Confluence: internal marketing
  • Canva: design
  • Active Campaign: marketing automation

Gain Respect

What’s the secret to succeeding as a one-person marketing team?  Edessa recommends that marketers teach others what they contribute to an organization.

“Educate and communicate,” she said.

Edessa follows advice from Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

See You Online for February’s AMA Madison Events

Thanks to Edessa for the presentation and to attendees and volunteers. Craft Marketing also appreciates Winbound, our January sponsor.

Don’t miss our Feb. 9 AMA Madison breakfast event: “Email Tips You Need to Know to Get Ahead in 2021.” Jay Schwedelson, Worldata, will present. Attendees will learn easy tips to follow to make your email marketing campaigns hit home and get you ahead of your competition.

Register here for the online event that starts at 8:30 a.m.

Craft Marketing invites you to its next virtual event at 4 p.m. on Feb. 23, 2021.  Greg Mischio, Winbound, will present: “Improve Your B2B Marketing by Creating a ‘Digital Twin’ of Your Sales Team.”

Register here.


Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry.


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