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Marketing Team Structure: Building a Strong Team

Learn how to design an effective marketing team structure and unlock strategies for collaboration and efficiency.

An internal marketing team gives you greater oversight and control over your marketing campaigns. However, every business needs an effective marketing team structure that enables leadership to lead team members to reach their goals.

Working in marketing teams can be stressful at times. With so many tasks to complete, staff members rely on management to help them complete their workloads. Forming internal marketing teams with the right marketing team structure can be challenging for small businesses. But whether you use agile marketing or have a smaller team that must constantly adjust to change, the structure of your marketing department can affect its success.

So how should you structure your marketing department, and what roles do you need to fill? Keep reading to learn more about marketing team structures to maximize your marketing efforts.

What are the benefits of a well-structured marketing department?

A well-structured marketing department helps businesses succeed in many different ways. First and foremost, a clear team structure for marketing operations establishes a foundation for employee success, providing defined roles and clear leadership within the organization.

Secondly, a more defined structure enables everyone to know their roles, responsibilities, and tasks, making workers more efficient. What happens when you have a marketing department structure that suits your business? Let's take a look at a few benefits of an effective marketing team structure:

Improved communication

Defined roles within marketing departments improve communication and collaboration. Each team member knows who to report to and where to channel their queries or concerns, helping to speed up the decision-making process while reducing misunderstandings. In contrast, marketing departments without defined roles can often get confused about what tasks they should be working on. Team members might have multiple leaders or managers asking them to perform different tasks.

Increased productivity

A well-structured marketing team has a clear and logical structure that ensures everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, leading to less confusion and greater productivity. Your employees may wear many hats. For instance, digital marketers often have skills in search engine optimization (SEO) and digital ads.

While marketing calls for employees to continuously prioritize tasks, your employees should have clearly defined roles and duties, especially concerning specific projects.

When designing a new website, you might have one person designing and another writing with another working on a content marketing strategy. Each of these individuals should understand their duties and the tasks involved with particular projects.

More accountability

When team members understand their roles and responsibilities, holding them accountable for their tasks is easier. Clearing up the confusion by assigning employees different tasks leaves little room for error. If an employee fails to accomplish their portion of a project, you can hold them accountable because they know their responsibilities.

Scalability

Well-structured marketing teams can more easily accommodate growth. If you increase your marketing efforts, you'll be able to perform more duties because everyone has clearly defined roles. Then, as the company expands, you can add more team members to different roles or create new roles and sub-departments without disrupting the existing workflow.

Employee satisfaction and retention

Having a well-defined marketing team structure allows employees to understand their roles within the team and how they contribute to the overall goals. Understanding where they fit within the team and larger organization can lead to increased job satisfaction while reducing frustration.

Factors to consider when structuring your marketing department

Every business is different. Small businesses may only have a few staff members responsible for marketing, while others have large teams for everything from social media marketing to search engine marketing. An effective marketing team structure should bridge the gap between these teams, allowing them to collaborate while supporting overarching business goals and focusing on their own tasks.

Factors to consider when structuring marketing departments include the following:

Company size

How large your company is will significantly impact the structure of your marketing team. Small companies may only need a few marketers or even a single marketing person. In contrast, larger companies require much larger departments with more specialized roles like social media manager, digital marketing manager, content creator, and so forth.

Industry

Your business's industry can also play a role in the structure of your marketing department. Different industries may require different approaches and strategies, which means having different roles.

For instance, a company in the fashion industry might need a team with strong social media and influencer marketing skills. In contrast, a B2B company might need a marketing team structure designed for lead generation.

Goals

Different goals require different skill sets within your marketing team. For instance, if your goal is to rank on Google, you'll need a team centered around search engine optimization. Meanwhile, if you want to maintain your current market position, you'll require a more focused marketing team specializing in customer retention.

Budget

Your marketing budget will also majorly affect your marketing team structure because you only have so much money to pay employees. If you have little to spend on marketing and the team itself, you may have a smaller team that consists of individuals with many different skill sets, so they can wear many different hats.

Company culture

A company with a formal, hierarchical structure might have a very structured and rigid department with clear lines of authority. They have managers, supervisors, associates, and so forth. On the other hand, a company with a more relaxed and collaborative culture might have a flat and flexible structure. Instead of having managers, they might have project leaders that change occasionally.

Target audience

Your target market — the customers you're marketing to — can also affect your social media structure. For instance, if you want to attract millennials or Gen Z, you might need a team with strong digital and social media marketing skills.

What is the typical structure of a marketing team?

There is no single best marketing team structure. Instead, how you develop your team will largely depend on the factors discussed above. Given the distinct nature of each company, it's often necessary for certain marketing tasks to be handled by the same person.

In larger companies, you might see more managers. While in smaller companies, you might have a single digital marketer that works alongside third-party service providers. In any case, you should know the basic marketing department structure to model yours after.

Chief marketing officer (CMO)

The Chief Marketing Officer is an executive responsible for developing, managing, and implementing the company's overall marketing strategy. They manage the entire marketing department but may be less involved in the day-to-day marketing tasks because they focus on the bigger picture by leading and managing the marketing team and collaborating with other executives to align the company's goals.

These individuals are the key decision-makers for the marketing department and often determine the brand image, target market, and budget for various projects while tracking metrics and adjusting strategies.

Search engine optimization

If you decide to have an SEO analyst within your organization, they'll report to the CMO. These individuals are responsible for conducting keyword research to identify high-ranking words and phrases and implementing strategies to improve your website's ranking in search engine results.

These tasks are very data-driven, so SEO teams will monitor website traffic and user engagement while collaborating with content and social media teams to ensure SEO-friendly, optimized content.

Content marketing

Content marketers are responsible for creating engaging content that attracts website visitors and converts them into paying customers. They'll often work side by side with SEO teams to create optimized content that ranks in search results. In addition, they'll create a marketing calendar that aligns with the business goals and produce engaging content for various platforms like blogs, white papers, email newsletters, videos, webinars, and so forth.

They'll also track and analyze content performance while ensuring all content aligns with the brand's voice, style, and tone. Your content marketing team may consist of writers, strategists, graphic designers, and video editors. However, small businesses may be able to find team members who can perform several tasks.

Social media marketing

Depending on the size of your company, your social media team may be a part of your content marketing team. Small businesses may only have one social media manager who writes and designs posts for various channels. In contrast, larger companies may have a larger social media team consisting of analysts, community managers, graphic designers, writers, and social media marketing managers, all working on the same strategies.

Social media marketing responsibilities include creating and implementing a strategy to increase visibility and user engagement online. Your team must develop regular content geared toward certain platforms and respond to comments, questions, and direct messages.

If you invest in paid social media marketing, your team will also be responsible for developing ad campaigns.

Product marketing

Product marketers manage your campaigns and marketing for specific products rather than the business as a whole. Brand specialists and product marketing coordinators are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for specific product lines while collaborating with the product development team to understand the product.

Your product marketing team will wear many hats, often creating messaging platforms and positioning documents while providing the sales team with the necessary tools and collateral to help them sell. They also often conduct market research to understand competitors, market trends, and customer needs.

Build a successful marketing team that meets your company's needs

Not all marketing departments look the same. Some have more flexible structures that require team members to perform various duties and tasks based on their skillets. Other marketing departments are structured more rigidly, with established leadership and management at the helm.

After structuring your marketing department, you'll need your team to collaborate and work together to increase product awareness and sales. Mailchimp's all-in-one marketing suite of tools is designed to help marketing teams succeed. As a robust CRM, Mailchimp helps you make more effective marketing campaigns and measure their results. Sign up today.

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