How to Build (& Grow) a High Performing Digital Team – Part One

The How-To Guide Every Digital Leader Should Read

Part One – The critical digital skills required within most organisation to ensure they remain current


As organisations fully embrace digitization, the need for businesses to invest in strong digital talent has never been more critical to it’s ongoing wellbeing. We’re seeing a huge shift in operating models where businesses are moving away from using agencies and suppliers, and instead spending more money growing their internal capability.No alt text provided for this image

In today’s age, standing still means moving backward.

Businesses who are not continually looking to invest and grow their digital talent, risk getting left behind by their competition (becoming the next Kodak, rather than the next TikTok). As a leader within your own business, you may well be thinking about where and how to grow the digital capability in your team.

But where do you even start?

“Digital” as a buzzword is pretty broad, and can cover everything from a data analyst to a social media manager (and beyond). If you’re running or managing a team, hopefully this guide will help you.

Having worked with dozens of high performing organisations and digital teams within the Middle East, I’ve taken my learnings and created a guide which will outline:

  • The critical digital skills required within most organisation to ensure they remain current
  • An overview of how to identify and recruit the required digital talents – and how to ensure they’re the right fit for you and will add real value to your team.

    Let’s Dive In

Critical digital skills

When it comes to the digital skills and expertise your organisation or team needs, it’s not a case of a “one size fits all” approach. It obviously all depends on your unique business needs, your strategic objectives, specific industries you work in etc. Typically however, many organisations would require digital expertise that fits within the following skillsets:

  • Planning and StrategyNo alt text provided for this image
  • Digital Business Management
  • App and Product Creation
  • Taking Apps and Products to Market
  • eCommerce
  • Creative (Design and Copywriting)
  • Media Buying
  • Social Media Management and Content Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid and Organic Search
  • UX and Conversion Optimization
  • Analytics and Reporting

These are generally considered to be the core skills that would make up a high performing digital team within an organisation. Again, how these skillsets fit within a team would vary from one business to the next. In my experience however, I’ve found that they generally fall within the following 3 key areas or functions:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Content
  3. Optimisation


The Acquisition function would be responsible for the acquisition of customers / clients / sales. This would include the planning and strategy of the marketing you do, as well as the overall content that your businessNo alt text provided for this image releases through your channels.

Besides the managing of paid and organic search, email, and media, they would also be responsible for monitoring data and analytics, and ensuring you have the right key performance indicators in place. This should be seen a crucial skillset with your team, so you’re able to know which channels are delivering on your business objectives (and which aren’t).

Having strong data and analytics expertise within your team can save a business a lot of money in the long run. Depending on your specific industry or business model, the question of lead generation is also critical. Besides working on nurturing and growing relationships with existing customers and clients, organisations still require a constant flow of new leads and customers coming through.


Working closely with the Acquisition function within teams, are the “content creators” – designers, copywriters etc. – responsible for any content released by your organisation through its various channels and touchpoints. These could include marketing materials, blog posts, videos, graphics and designs, social media content, white papers etc.

The Content function would generally be responsible for both external (customers / clients) and internal (i.e. content used to enable your sales team or any other internal departments).

Their responsibilities generally include:

  • The type of content to develop
  • Themes and topics
  • When and where to present that content (channels / touchpoints etc.)


Tying it all together – a sort of overlay over Acquisition and Content – would be the Optimisation function. As the name suggests, their role is primarily to ensure that everything your team does is optimised to ensure you get the best results – the most bang for your buck. They work across your other functions, looking where to improve results through analysing data and analytics, conducting split testing, improving email marketing strategies, improving on user journeys and making usability recommendations etc.

To read part two – An overview of how to identify and recruit the required digital talents – and how to ensure they’re the right fit for you and will add real value to your team – click here

Carolyn Ross – Recruitment Director – Inspire Selection –

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