Digital marketing has forever transformed the way companies and organisations operate and communicate with their customers. With a digital-first mindset, traditional brick and mortar businesses to multinational corporations are seeking the best digital team structures with the aim to optimise marketing spend, improve marketing ROI and accomplish organisational goals.
How this is achieved and how the best team is structured varies. Depending on the complexity of your organisation and your needs, the ideal digital marketing team structure could be anywhere from small and simple to large and complex. Not all roles can or should be in-house, especially with the availability of freelancers, contractors and digital marketing agencies. What really matters, in the end, is the team’s ability to achieve KPIs and constantly optimise and innovate.
What Kind of People Make up an Ideal Digital Marketing Team?
The ideal digital marketing team should include members with a range of skills - both creative and technical - to get the most of each platform. The kind of people who should be part of the dream team is as important as the kind of roles that make up its structure.
1. The Marketing Mind
These are the marketing strategists, the thinkers with a combination of both analytical and creative skils to develop successful marketing plans and tactics. They are ultimately responsible for identifying opportunities, deciding on and overseeing your digital marketing efforts, and having a strong understanding of both your organisation and your customer personas.
2. The Writer
All your marketing planning and brilliant ideas will not make a bit of difference without talented writers creating content that can captivate, retain and connect with your various audiences. They have an exceptionally strong foundation in storytelling, love to stretch their content-development muscles and remove fiction through words. They can build ownable narratives that drive business performance, increase your brand authority, and nurture lasting emotional and intellectual bonds with your customers.
3. The Data Interpreter
They are data-driven professionals who will leverage the power of analytics, metrics and mathematical information to gain insights into your digital marketing performance, test the effectiveness of alternative approaches, and come up with solutions. They have the capability to interpret and present detailed and complex data in a usable, understandable and actionable way.
4. The Creative Aesthete
They are the creative mind with an artistic flair. They help your organisation communicate with your customers through striking visual elements, such as images, videos and animation. Their creative work enables your audience to understand and remember your messages more effectively, and allows your brand to cut through the digital noise and stand out.
5. The Technical Expert
They set their mind on achieving efficiency and results. They stay engaged in the realm of emerging technologies and keep your organisation up-to-date with changing trends in digital media. With their technical know-how and strong understanding of search optimization, conversion rates, PPC and email marketing, they can make use of all the necessary tools to help your organisation obtain your desired goals.
6. The Relationship Builder
They make your customers and prospects feel valued and want to belong. They listen to and interact with your audiences through all available marketing channels, and then turn customer feedback into new ideas and solutions to better your digital marketing efforts.
7. The Project Manager
They are taskmasters who keep the team on the right track, managing deadlines, resources, members and processes. They ensure a team of both creative and technical people can work together productively and efficiently. They can also bridge the gap between the digital marketing team and the rest of your organisation, managing all coming requests from other departments and making sure all different needs are fulfilled.
What Does the Ideal Digital Marketing Team Structure look like?
1. Digital Marketing Director
The Marketing Director brings an overall strategy and leadership to the team, overseeing the entire operation and ensuring the successful execution of the digital marketing strategy. Having oversight of the marketing budget and key results, the Digital Marketing Director can prioritise tasks, refine channel strategy and optimise the use of resources to generate maximum ROI and drive revenue growth.
2. Editorial Director
Editorial Directors develops the content marketing strategy and oversee all aspects of both textual and graphical content creation. They supervise the efforts and processes to captivate interests and convert to quality leads and eventual customers. Basically, the Editorial Director manages the digital presence of your organisation.
3. Content Manager
Content Managers establish a scalable growth-focused content strategy and supervise the content production for and by your organisation. They ensure customers get a cohesive experience supported by high-quality content. They identify opportunities to optimise, adopt best practices and foster appealing material that will uphold the brand voice, address the target audience, attract and retain traffic through all available digital marketing channels.
4. Content Specialist
The Content Specialist produces the assets outlined in the content strategy developed by the Content Manager, such as blog posts, website content, ad copy, video scripts, and many more.
Blogs have become one of the driving forces behind website traffic. With strong professional writing and SEO skills, the content specialist creates informative, engaging and effective copy that presents the right amount of added value to the target audience, which can generate further customer engagement, build awareness and ultimately drives sales.
5. Social Media Manager
This role has been increasingly important since social media now can be a high-stake customer service channel. Customers and prospects use social media to communicate directly with your organisation - providing feedback, issuing complaints and making enquiries. A social media manager has a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy to handle everything (both the good and the bad) and provide the best social customer service, which could be one of your best client retention assets.
6. Event Manager
A Digital Event Manager brings content creation and relationship building skills to organise and run online events, such as webinars, roundtable discussions and podcasts. They drive program participation and capture learnings to improve conversion rates across digital marketing channels. These events could help nurture prospects who are already in the funnel and provide great value to your existing customers.
7. Creative Manager
With an eye for detail and the capacity to innovate, the Creative Manager oversees the strategic parts of the creative efforts, as well as leads and directs the design and production of visual and audio materials. These materials could include your logo, posters, infographics, website layout, videos, and many more, that represent your brand and capture the attention of your target audience.
8. Media Editor
Videos and audio podcasts are great means to engage your audience. Media Editors are in charge of creating this content to support the content marketing strategy, leverage digital communication channels, and drive more traffic to your website.
9. Front-end Developer
Having the right website is one of the most important assets for your digital marketing efforts. The Front-end Developer maintains your website and implements new strategies to increase conversion. They are experts at designing calls to action, building landing pages, creating forms and pop-ups, and implementing structured data in support of the best possible site experience.
10. Graphic Designer
Digital marketing channels are highly visual mediums, and the graphic design that your customers and prospects see can give a lasting impression of your brand. Skilled Graphic Designers follow the instructions of the Creative Manager and bring a professional aesthetic to your brand assets, ads, infographics and website content. Having a dedicated Designer in your digital marketing team makes it easier to connect the visual appearance and growth goals of your projects and your entire organisation.
11. Acquisitions Director
Acquisition Directors manage all digital marketing efforts to convert leads and close sales. They lead the team to run direct attempts to target prospects, such as paid ads and email marketing campaigns, while ensuring the technical aspects of the digital marketing strategy are optimised, such as SEO and CRO.
12. Analytics Manager
Analytics Managers leverage the power of data and metrics to assess the performance of all elements of the marketing team and to suggest solutions, processes and approaches that can improve issues, increase ROI and boost efficiency. This role includes managing the tech stack, finding ways to optimise the use of software and marketing automation tools, and supporting campaign planning with actionable insights in order to generate the best possible outcomes.
13. Conversion Rate Optimisation Specialist
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) specialists are experts at analysing and interpreting user behaviour, identifying user experience issues, and finding solutions based on those observations. They ensure your website is optimised to achieve significant user engagement and convert traffic to quality leads.
14. Data Analyst
Data Analysts give meaning to the cold, hard data provided by analytics tools. Are users viewing some videos more and others on your website? Are they staying longer on one page than others? Are they interacting with a bookmarked or linked reference page but bouncing off without visiting a secondary page? These analysts look for deeper answers from the data and identify opportunities for improvement in your account configurations.
15. A/B Testing Specialist
The Testing Specialist takes the data-driven analysis and conclusions provided by the CRO Specialists and Data Analysts to build specialised tests, with the aim to find the most ideal version for changes. When something is not working, they will propose a number of solutions and test them all out in order to decide which one works best.
16. Lead Generation Manager
The Lead or Demand Generation Manager focuses on acquiring leads, especially from paid media channels. This role involves developing a strategy for the way your organisation uses search ads, PPC, paid social ads and display ads and overseeing the execution of these digital marketing campaigns. The Lead Generation Manager needs to proactively identify opportunities to optimise paid media in order to obtain leads and generate more customers.
17. Email Specialist
Email is one of the most important digital marketing channels. Email specialists manage and implement the marketing automation workflow and email marketing campaigns, including database management, robust engagement and lead-strong strategies, and smart audience segmentation. They are dedicated to cutting through the fierce competition to reach audiences, and know-how to generate open rates and engagement with the email content.
18. Paid Ads Specialist
These are experts in using the diverse paid ads across platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to target very specific audiences and drive their attention to the content designed for them. Paid Aid Specialists know where to aim and how to nail paid digital marketing campaigns, helping to shorten the long journey of closing customers and drive growth and success for your organisation on digital platforms.
19. Pay-per-click Specialist
A search engine is a powerful digital marketing tool. The PCC Specialist manages pay-per-click advertising campaigns and utilises tools such as Outbrain and Adwords to obtain the attention of the audience and drive traffic. This role also involves defining, measuring, and evaluating paid media KPIs, as well as constantly updating, testing and optimising.
20. SEO Specialist
Organic traffic can have incredible ROI and is critical to your digital success. The SEO Specialist understands what users are searching for and know-how to ensure your website is optimised for organic search and optimum rankings for target keywords. They execute both on-page and off-page SEO, monitor and analyse traffic reports and conversion rates, identify best practices and new opportunities, and recommend actionable strategies to improve SEO rankings.
How Do I Hire This Ideal Marketing Team?
Before hiring for the marketing team, it is recommended that you clearly establish your company or organisation goals, needs and expectations, as well as the specific roles you are looking for. Once you have that, you can begin your search.
You should look for professionals who are passionate, motivated, and creative. Technical skills and experience are also crucial, but they can always be taught. What you can not teach is the willingness and devotion to work. Your ideal digital marketing team should be a team of dedicated specialists who wish to contribute to the growth of your organisation.
Another key factor is good communication right at the very beginning. You should have a strong understanding of the candidates’ expectations for the roles and be clear about what you can actually offer. Establishing clear goals, responsibilities and benefits will ensure that you can find the best possible matches for your team.
But I Don’t Have The Budget to Hire A Huge Team
What About Small Marketing Department Structure?
With a small marketing department structure, there is no need for you to hire an entire team to fill in these roles. This structure allows your team members to wear several hats in order to combine different roles into one. Your Editorial Director may be digging into content strategy and production work, blog writing and several other areas, delegating when possible. You may also have a marketing manager who works directly with the CEO who holds most of the marketing strategy. Your team, then, can consist of general marketing employees focusing on non-specialised functions and supplement with contractors and digital marketing agencies.
There are a number of benefits to partially outsourcing your digital marketing efforts:
1. Beat the competition
Your top competitors out there are have already been investing in digital marketing successfully to grow their business. Creating an in-house digital marketing team from scratch might cost you a lot of time and resources, which can make you lose pace with the competition. Instead, working with a credible digital marketing agency can immediately provide you with all the resources you need, save your training and development costs, giving your organisation an immediate edge over your top competitors.
Digital marketing agencies have various packages at different rates available for small, medium to large businesses. The accumulated fee of individual services is always higher than packages offered by digital marketing agencies.
Agencies have various departments consisting of different roles, such as content writers, illustrators, strategists, designers, data analysts and many more, which ensures the equal distribution of work among the team members to finish assigned tasks within a set deadline. This balanced structure can help deliver good outcomes within limited timeframes.
A team in-house is likely to consist of digital marketers with experience in different industries. When such a group works together, there might be conflicts of ideas and opinions. Strategies and plans that worked well in their previous jobs, might not be the best ones for your digital marketing needs.
Meanwhile, the teams that work in digital marketing agencies run multiple campaigns simultaneously for clients in various sectors. With diverse experience and high synergy, these teams are in a better position to create a digital marketing strategy that works and implement it for your business.
5. Creativity and Innovation
Members of an agency are professionals with proven experience and expertise in the digital marketing field, who constantly brainstorm ideas and solutions to innovate their digital services, enhance the results that they deliver, and improve your company’s image in the market. This means that by working with an agency, you can expect to often receive fresh ideas, creative and new plans that your company can greatly benefit from.
6. Target audience
The target audience in marketing refers to the consumer segments for whom the message or product is designed for. An agency goes through phases of thorough discovery and research to analyse your potential target audience. This is to have a strong understanding of their behaviours and attitudes, provide with demographics, psychographics and consumer data, and report media and channel preferences for each proposed segment, ensuring the greatest impact and the best possible results.
7. The use of the latest technology, better insights & reports
A digital marketing agency keeps itself abreast of the latest trends, latest technology and industry updates. They have a proven track record in working with clients across various industries with different visions and goals and are experts at customising the digital strategy and planning to meet your business and organisation needs.
Good agencies have access to special tools and software to deliver fast and accurate research and analysis, faster implementation, less repetitive activities, faster achievement of business goals and optimum ROI. They will provide you with a rigorous setup of analytic tracking and monitoring in order to assess your data and help you make smarter data-driven decisions. In addition, they have strict quality management systems and effective risk mitigation plans in place to be prepared for any issues that might come up during the project.
8. Maintenance and Development
The responsibility and work of a digital marketing agency do not stop after the completion of the project, such as the creation of a website or a digital strategy. They can deliver ongoing support and further maintenance of the website and its respective content. They ensure to maintain the stability and innovation of the content created.
9. More time and energy for core business
Outsourcing digital marketing to an external agency will save you time, energy and resources to concentrate more on your core business management and development. We are in the era of outsourcing. Many businesses and organisations are choosing to outsource non-core activities to third parties, such as shipping, purchasing, fabrication of sub-assemblies, transportation, and, of course, digital marketing. While experts are engaged in implementing digital marketing efforts to promote your business, you have more time to focus on other key areas of your business.
10. The success of your business and agency goes hand-in-hand
Digital marketing agencies will go to great lengths to bring your business into prominence since the success of your business adds to the success of the agency itself. The reputation of an agency depends on the quality of work they deliver and the amount of success the client is able to achieve through their services, which your business can greatly benefit from.
How to Manage Marketing Team Operations Efficiently?
The operations involved in delivering the best outcomes for your digital marketing efforts require not only a dream team but also, good teamwork and effective management.
1. Communication Is Key
Good communication is crucial for everyone in the team to learn from each other and collaborate more effectively. Questions need to be asked and answered, ideas exchanged and discussed, instructions issued, and concerns voiced. It is more than just passing the information to your team. Good communication can inspire and encourage your members to be more creative, more active and more committed to achieving the desired goals.
2. Clear and Concise Goals, Roles, and Tasks
It is very important for your digital marketing team to be well-organised in order to avoid chaos. Team members need to clearly understands their roles, tasks and responsibilities, the established workflows and processes, and the desired and realistic goals and objectives. When everyone has the same vision and work in synergy, the possibility of success for your team will be much higher.
3. Be Respectful
Respect is the foundation of productivity. A respectful environment reduces workplace stress, issues and conflicts, improves teamwork and promotes a positive culture. When everyone in the team feels welcomed and valued, they are likely to be more satisfied and motivated to perform better.
4. Corporate Empathy Matters
We are all complex human beings and it is crucial for everyone in the team to understand that there is a person behind the role. Empathic workplaces tend to enjoy less stress, greater morale, stronger collaboration, higher productivity and deeper bonds within the team.