As an agency (Grant Spark), we have experience structuring and hiring our own marketing team. So we know what we’re talking about here.
And we’re sharing our process, along with any tips and tricks, to help you put together the best structured team.
Here is our comprehensive guide to structuring a high-performing marketing team.
Table of Contents
- Why Team Structure Matters in Marketing
- Marketing Team Sizes
- Types of Marketing Team Structures
- Core Components of Marketing Team
- Specialized Marketing Roles
- Modern Additions to the Marketing Team
- How to Build a Marketing Team – Step-by-Step Guide
- Step 1. Define Your Marketing Goals and Strategy & Assess Current Resources
- Step 2. Identify Key Roles and Functions
- Step 3. Allocate Budget
- Step 4. Write Job Descriptions
- Step 5. Recruit Candidates
- Step 6. Onboard and Train Your Team
- Step 7. Structure Your Team and Provide Tools & Resources
- Step 8. Set Performance Metrics
- Step 9. Promote Creativity and Innovation
- Step 10. Continuous Learning, Feedback, and Improvement
- Common Challenges When Building a Marketing Team
- Marketing Team Structure Breakdowns by Type
- Summary and Key Takeaways
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Team Structure Matters in Marketing
Deciding on your team structure is step one to building a successful one. Team structure in marketing ensures specialization, collaboration, and efficiency.
Specialized roles allow for expertise in different marketing functions, while clear responsibilities foster accountability. Effective collaboration among team members leads to cohesive strategies that promote creativity and inspire innovation.
A structured team optimizes resource allocation, ensuring that budgets and manpower are used effectively. It also enables adaptability to evolving marketing trends and customer preferences.
Ultimately, a well-structured marketing team enhances productivity, aligns efforts with customer needs, and supports scalability as a company grows.
Marketing Team Sizes
Marketing team sizes vary greatly depending on the type of marketing team and the size of the business.
If we’re going by general averages, here are the basic size structures for marketing teams working for different sizes of businesses.
- Startup- 1 or 2 people.
- Small businesses- 1 to 3 people depending on specialty.
- Medium businesses- 5 to 10 people depending on specialty.
- Enterprise businesses- 20 plus people.
Types of Marketing Team Structures
There are a few different ways that you can divvy up responsibilities within your marketing team.
Let’s go over the three most common types of marketing team structures.
Structure by Discipline
The most common strategy in building a marketing team is the structure-by-discipline model.
Building a marketing team structured by discipline means each team member specializes in a particular area or skill set within the broader field of marketing.
Here’s what that looks like:
- Specialization: Team members are assigned to specific marketing disciplines like market research, content creation, graphic design, SEO, PPC advertising, social media management, email marketing, analytics, etc.
- Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Distinct roles and responsibilities are defined for each team member based on their discipline. This clarity ensures everyone knows their focus and areas of expertise.
- Collaboration: Collaboration is encouraged between team members from different disciplines to create cohesive marketing campaigns.
- Leadership: Designated team leaders/managers for each discipline are responsible for overseeing strategy and execution within their area.
- Flexibility: Adjusting the team structure as marketing needs evolve or new disciplines become relevant to business.
By building a marketing team using structure by discipline, you leverage the strengths of individual team members, leading to more efficient and effective marketing strategies and campaigns.
Structure by Function
A marketing team structured by function is organized based on the specific functions or tasks that need to be performed within the marketing department.
In this type of structure, team members are grouped according to their primary responsibilities or roles, regardless of what they are working on.
Here's what a marketing team structured by function typically looks like:
- Content Creation Team: This team is responsible for creating written, visual, or multimedia content, including blog posts, videos, graphics, and other materials to engage the target audience.
- Digital Marketing Team: This group focuses on digital channels like social media, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and SEO to drive online visibility, traffic, and conversions.
- Product Marketing Team: Product marketers work closely with the product development team to ensure that products or services meet customer needs and are marketed in an effective way.
- Brand and Creative Team: This team is in charge of maintaining and enhancing the brand identity, design, and creative elements used in marketing materials. They ensure brand consistency.
- Analytics and Data Team: Analysts gather and interpret data related to marketing campaigns, customer behavior, and market trends to inform marketing decisions and optimize strategies.
- Market Research Team: This team conducts market research to gather information about consumer preferences, market trends, and competitors.
- Event and PR Team: This team manages events, trade shows, and public relations efforts to promote the company.
- Sales Enablement Team: Sales enablement professionals create tools, resources, and training programs to support the sales team.
- Marketing Operations Team: This team handles the logistical and administrative aspects of marketing, including budget management, project coordination, and marketing technology stack management.
- Customer Support and Engagement Team: Sometimes, a portion of the marketing team may focus on post-purchase customer support, engagement, and retention.
The advantage of structuring a marketing team by function is that it allows for deep expertise in each area, efficient workflows, and a clear delineation of responsibilities.
Structure by Product
A marketing team structured by product is organized around the specific products or product lines a company offers. In this type of structure, each product or product category has its own dedicated marketing team that’s responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies tailored to that specific product.
Here's how a marketing team structured by product typically works:
- Product Managers: Each product or product line has its own product manager who is responsible for the overall strategy, development, and success of their specific products.
- Product Marketers: Product marketers work closely with the product managers to create marketing plans specific to their products.
- Marketing Specialists: Each product team may include specialists in different marketing functions like digital marketing, content creation, social media, and advertising.
- Creative and Design Teams: Designers, copywriters, and other creative professionals in the marketing department create product-specific marketing materials, such as graphics, content, and ads.
- Analytics and Data Teams: Analytics professionals may be present in each product team to track performance metrics and provide insights specific to the product's marketing efforts.
Structuring a marketing team by product allows for a deep focus on individual product lines, tailoring marketing efforts to the unique characteristics and target audiences of each product.
Core Components of Marketing Team
No matter which structure you utilize, there are some key components to include:
Leadership is the top priority in team building in marketing.
In a marketing team, leadership involves guiding, inspiring, and empowering the rest of the team to achieve common marketing goals. Effective marketing leaders demonstrate several key traits, including:
- Vision and Strategy: Leaders set a clear vision for the team, aligning marketing efforts with broader business objectives.
- Communication: They foster open communication to ensure team members understand their specific roles and the overall strategy.
- Adaptability: Leaders must adapt to ever-changing trends and technologies, leveraging them to create new solutions.
- Collaboration: They promote collaboration among team members, fostering creativity and synergy.
- Accountability: Leaders hold team members accountable for their work and results.
Leadership in marketing drives collective efforts, maximizes ROI, and maintains a competitive edge for the company by effectively engaging the target audience.
Strategy & Planning
Strategy and planning in marketing provide an organized approach to achieving marketing success.
These essential plans involve developing a deliberate roadmap for achieving marketing objectives. This process includes:
- Defining goals
- Identifying target audiences
- Researching market trends
- Outlining tactics to reach and engage customers effectively
Being strategic with your marketing and having a plan in place helps align marketing efforts with business goals, maximizes resource allocation, minimizes risks, maintains brand consistency, and allows for data-driven decision-making.
It also fosters adaptability to evolving market dynamics and facilitates long-term growth by building lasting customer relationships.
Creative and Content Creation Team
Responsible for the creation and execution of marketing efforts, the creative and content creation team is responsible for making the final marketing product.
This team is made up of creative marketers who often include roles like:
- Content marketing manager
- Social media specialist
- Graphic designer
- SEO marketer
- PPC marketer
- Outreach specialists
- Content creators and editors
Analytics and Data Insights Team
The analytics and data insights team on a marketing team handles the numbers part of the equation.
They are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to acquire insights on marketing campaigns.
They use different tools and techniques to measure the performance of marketing campaigns, customer behavior, and market trends.
This team does things like establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), conducting A/B testing, and creating data-driven reports. By segmenting audiences, forecasting trends, and optimizing strategies, they help maximize marketing ROI.
Their work guides decision-making, shapes the company’s marketing strategies, and ensures campaigns are effective.
Specialized Marketing Roles
Here are a few specialized marketing roles in a high-performing marketing team.
An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) manager is responsible for optimizing a website's visibility in search engine results.
They conduct keyword research, analyze competitors, and develop strategies to improve organic search rankings. This role involves on-page optimization, ensuring website content, structure, and HTML elements are search-engine-friendly.
SEO managers also work on off-page tactics like link-building and outreach to related sites to feature guest posts. They will monitor website performance using analytics tools, track keyword rankings, and provide insights to boost and improve SEO efforts and drive organic traffic.
Social Media Manager
If you’ve ever seen an Instagram post or TikTok by a large company, you’ve seen a social media manager’s work.
A social media manager oversees an organization's social media presence and strategy. They create, and schedule marketing content for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. This also involves engaging with followers, responding to comments, and curating a positive online community.
Social media managers use analytics tools to track performance, analyze trends, and adjust strategies for maximum engagement and reach. They may also manage paid advertising campaigns, influencer partnerships, and social media crisis management.
Event & Experiential Coordinators
Who doesn’t love a party? Event and experiential coordinators plan and create events for the purpose of marketing a product or service.
This includes immersive experiences for prospective customers. An event coordinator will come up with an idea for an experience or event to drive engagement and interest in a product or service. They must then find a venue, hire event staff, and procure supplies for the event.
Public Relations & Communications
If the public doesn’t like your company, you aren’t going to get any business.
A PR or communications manager is responsible for creating a positive image of the company to the public. They gauge the general opinion of the public on the organization and organize any press releases or communications that will improve the company’s relationship to the public.
Product marketing focuses on bringing a product or service to market successfully. It involves everything from understanding customer needs to conducting market research and defining the product's value proposition.
Product marketers develop positioning and messaging to ensure product launches are well-executed.
They analyze market trends, competition, and customer feedback to refine and improve product marketing strategies. This plays an important role in bridging the gap between product development and customer acquisition, helping to maximize a product's success by aligning it with customer desires as well as market demands.
Modern Additions to the Marketing Team
Marketing is an ever-changing landscape and some new positions have arisen in just the past few years as digital marketing resources have evolved.
Here are two new marketing positions that may be a part of your high-performing marketing team.
Influencer Partnership Coordinator
Using influencer marketing is an effective way to get your product or service to reach your target audience on a personal level.
Influencer partnership coordinators handle relationships with influencers, including things like outreach, negotiating contracts, and tracking influencer marketing campaign performance. They also handle regular communication with the influencers.
Chatbot and AI Strategist
As far as chatbots and AI have come, they still need a lot of babysitting.
An AI strategist optimizes AI and chatbot usage to formulate a strategic roadmap for chatbot deployment. They identify areas for automation, personalization, and improved customer interactions.
This role involves choosing and implementing the right AI technologies, designing engaging chatbot conversations, and ensuring data privacy compliance. An AI strategist will continuously analyze performance data, refine chatbot interactions, and leverage AI solutions to reach marketing goals.
How to Build a Marketing Team – Step-by-Step Guide
So how exactly do you build a marketing team?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you structure a high-performing marketing team that maximizes ROI.
Step 1. Define Your Marketing Goals and Strategy & Assess Current Resources
The first step is to know what you have and what you need.
Now is the time to determine your marketing objectives, like brand awareness, lead generation, or sales growth. You should then develop a marketing strategy outlining how you plan to achieve these goals.
Take the time to evaluate your existing team members and their skill sets. Determine if any current employees can transition into the roles you've identified.
Step 2. Identify Key Roles and Functions
Identify the specific roles and functions required for your marketing efforts. Consider including previously mentioned team members like content creators, digital marketers, designers, data analysts, and more.
Step 3. Allocate Budget
Determine the budget available for hiring new team members. Evaluate additional resources or tools required and assign financial resources to different aspects of your marketing strategy.
Now is the time to decide how much to invest in different channels, campaigns, or initiatives to achieve specific objectives. Allocating the budget requires careful consideration of ROI expectations, competitive analysis, and available funds.
Step 4. Write Job Descriptions
Create detailed job descriptions for each role, outlining responsibilities, qualifications, and required skills. A well-written description can help attract qualified candidates by providing a clear understanding of the job's scope and requirements. They should be accurate, concise, and align with your organization's goals.
An example of a job description for a social media manager would look like this:
Job Title: Social Media Manager
- Develop and execute a social media strategy aligned with company objectives.
- Create and manage content on various platforms.
- Monitor trends and analyze performance.
- Cultivate the online community and manage paid campaigns.
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams.
- Stay updated with industry trends.
- Maintain editorial calendars.
- Bachelor's degree in Marketing or related field.
- Proven Social Media Manager experience.
- Proficiency in social media tools.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Analytical and creative mindset.
- Competitive salary.
- Health and retirement benefits.
- Professional development opportunities.
- Collaborative work environment.
Step 5. Recruit Candidates
Advertise the job openings on relevant job boards, your company website, and social media platforms. Review resumes, conduct interviews, and assess candidates based on their skills and cultural fit.
You may even want to create or outsource your own recruitment marketing team.
Step 6. Onboard and Train Your Team
Once hired, provide thorough onboarding and training to new team members to familiarize them with your company culture, goals, and tools.
Effective onboarding fosters a sense of belonging, and comprehensive training equips team members with the skills and knowledge needed for success.
This phase is crucial for team cohesion, productivity, and long-term retention. It should be well-organized, providing new hires with access to resources, mentorship, and ongoing learning opportunities.
Step 7. Structure Your Team and Provide Tools & Resources
Organize the team by structuring roles and defining reporting lines. Choose one of the previously mentioned structures to make this step easier.
Be sure to encourage collaboration and clear communication channels among team members.
You will also need to equip your team with the tools necessary for the job, including software, hardware, and access to data and analytics platforms.
Step 8. Set Performance Metrics
Set performance metrics by identifying specific, measurable criteria to evaluate the success of tasks, projects, or members within a team.
These metrics align with organizational goals and objectives, helping to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
Performance metrics can include quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs) like:
- conversion rates
- revenue growth
- customer satisfaction scores
- other benchmarks.
Establishing clear metrics ensures accountability, allows for accurate measurements of the success of strategies, and provides valuable insights for continuous optimization and reaching goals.
Step 9. Promote Creativity and Innovation
Once you have your team together, you’ll want to promote creativity and innovation. This involves fostering a work environment where team members are encouraged to come up with new ideas, take calculated risks, and think outside the box.
Continuously recognize and celebrate diverse perspectives, allow for experimentation, and offer plenty of opportunities for brainstorming and collaboration.
By nurturing creativity and innovation, organizations can drive the development of unique solutions, stay competitive, and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
Step 10. Continuous Learning, Feedback, and Improvement
Continuous learning, feedback, and improvement involve an ongoing commitment to enhancing skills. You must stay updated with industry trends and seek input from peers and superiors.
This culture encourages a growth mindset, where team members actively seek opportunities for self-improvement and professional development.
Regular feedback mechanisms help identify areas for enhancement and ensure that processes and strategies evolve to meet changing needs and challenges.
Common Challenges When Building a Marketing Team
Building a marketing team from the ground up comes with unique challenges that can make or break your company’s marketing efforts.
Here are five common challenges and potential solutions:
Problem 1: Finding the Right Talent
Identifying skilled marketing professionals who align with your vision and fit in with your company culture can be difficult.
Invest in a strong recruitment process, including thorough interviews, skills assessments, and reference checks. You can also consider outsourcing or partnering with specialized recruitment agencies like Toptal [review].
Problem 2: Budget Constraints
Limited budgets can restrict your ability to hire top-tier talent or invest in necessary tools and resources.
Prioritize which roles are most critical to your immediate goals and consider outsourcing or freelancers for specialized tasks to save money. Allocate budget strategically based on ROI potential.
Problem 3: Competitive Hiring Landscape
In competitive job markets, attracting and retaining top talent can be difficult.
Offer competitive salaries and benefits, emphasize career growth opportunities, and promote your company's unique culture and mission to stand out and make your company more attractive to quality candidates.
Problem 4: Role Clarity and Overlap
Without clear role definitions, overlapping responsibilities can lead to confusion and inefficiencies.
Develop detailed job descriptions and clearly define roles and responsibilities. Foster open communication to ensure team members understand their contributions.
Problem 5: Adapting to Rapid Industry Changes
The marketing landscape evolves quickly and frequently, making it challenging to keep your employees’ skills and strategies up-to-date.
Encourage continuous learning through training, workshops, and industry certifications. Be proactive by regularly reviewing and adjusting strategies to align with emerging trends.
By addressing common challenges with strategized solutions, you can build a more effective and resilient marketing team capable of meeting your business objectives.
Marketing Team Structure Breakdowns by Type
Need a more specific hiring guide? We’ve got you covered!
Check out these team structure breakdowns:
- Account-Based Marketing
- Advertising Agency
- B2B SaaS
- Brand Management
- Content Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Digital Marketing Agency
- eCommerce Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Field Marketing
- Graphic Design
- Growth Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Integrated Marketing
- Lifecycle Marketing
- Market Research
- Marketing Agency
- Marketing Analytics
- Marketing and Business Development
- Marketing Automation
- Marketing Communications
- Marketing Operations
- Nonprofit Marketing
- Performance Marketing
- Product Marketing
- Public Relations
- Recruitment Marketing
- SaaS Marketing
- Sales and Marketing
- SEO Agency
- Social Media Marketing
Summary and Key Takeaways
A marketing team can make or break the success of your business, so it’s important to carefully consider the structure of your marketing team.
There are three basic structures:
These marketing structures can focus on different areas of expertise, comprised of specialists like:
- Social media managers
- Event and experience coordinators
- Product marketing specialists
No matter which structure you choose, you will need competent leadership, a solid strategy in place, and elements like content creation and analysis.
The key to creating a successful marketing team is to consider your goals, recruit, hire, and train talented marketing professionals, encourage creativity and innovation, create and monitor KPIs, and have a growth mindset when it comes to learning. Accepting feedback and pivoting as necessary is the key to having a successful marketing team in today’s digital landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people are typically on a marketing team?
Though size can vary widely, marketing teams are usually comprised of 1-3 people for startups and small businesses, 5-10 people for medium-sized businesses, and 10 to upwards of 100 people for large businesses and enterprises.
Are there any marketing team structures to avoid?
There are no marketing team structures to avoid as a blanket statement, but it’s important to consider your needs when choosing the right marketing team structure.
How often should the marketing team structure be reviewed?
A marketing team structure should be reviewed whenever your marketing needs shift as your business grows.
What is the most common organizational structure for a marketing team?
The most common organizational structure of a marketing team is by function.