More and more of my clients are asking me for advise and direction on how they should be expanding their marketing team correctly.
With the many marketing disciplines that now exist in this heavily digital world we live in, it's very easy to get overwhelmed and wonder if you’re missing a trick. Gone are the days of a traditional marketing team consisting of a marketing manager plus an exec or two. Even the most moderate-sized SME’s are building marketing teams up to 10 strong and growing! The truth is, if you’re not keeping up with modern-day trends, you could find your outdated structure holding your business back and therefore having a detrimental effect on future success. If your business is going to thrive, both today and in the future, it’s imperative your organisation chart is built to scale.
So, how can you make sure your company is built for the future of marketing?
· There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all team structure.
· Different models may work better for different businesses and industries.
· The size of your company plays a huge part, too.
If you’ve spent a lot of time looking for examples to follow, odds are you’ve felt overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon to hear advice suggesting you need a dozen roles for one team, and multiple teams spread across your entire marketing department.
That might make sense for a blue-chip organisation with plenty of resources. But, for the majority of companies, that just isn’t realistic.
SME business marketing structure – I have listed what I think are key areas needing coverage for any business, particularly an SME's
In a small to medium business, odds are you’re recruiting one or two people to tackle marketing. If you’re fortunate, you may have three or four.
When available talent and resource is this light, how do you prioritise what these people should be doing? Content Creation is key and your team will need to be able to create website content, write blog posts, and engaging copy for social media and email. Graphic Design is obviously important however as long as someone has a working knowledge of Photoshop or another similar design suite this should be sufficient to start with.A technical understanding of SEO is imperative for any business plus the ability to use a content management system will be useful, too. Social Media can easily take up a lot of time for a novice so someone will need to manage this. Project Management will likely be looked after by the most experience staff member. You’ll need someone to keep everything on track.
As time goes by and success is achieved, this team will naturally grow. I’ve compared some of my key SME clients to create a list of roles and responsibilities:
Digital Marketing Manager – Manager of the team, strategy/campaigns, reports into higher management. This role needs someone who has proven success in strategy and is a good leader of people.
Digital Marketing Executive(s) – Good all round digital skills, preferably educated in marketing (CIM), 1-2 years previous experience, can assist manager with strategy and weekly/monthly plans, liaise with sales team on any new campaigns, decent writing ability for email/social media if needed.
SEO & PPC Executive – Most in-demand skills I’m finding at the moment. For an SME one of the biggest challenges is brand awareness and ‘getting your name out there’. So many of my clients are quite frankly offering a better product and service than their bigger, more established competitors but people just don’t know about them. Companies are seriously realising the value of strong individuals in these disciplines and the salary is starting to creep up.
Content Writer – Worth their weight in gold as not all of us are blessed with the storying telling, imaginative, creative minds these guys have. They are the ones that are going to be capturing your customers' attention once they land, so it’s important they are passionate about the product as that will show.
Graphic Designer – Need I say more? They make everyone’s efforts look good and let's face it, if it looks good from first glance, we’ll keep reading. It probably goes without saying but it’s important they stay on top of new features and trends. Keep them educated and growing in their role. From experience these guys love what they do so will no doubt already be spending a lot of personal time watching YouTube videos and ‘how-to guides’ to keep on top of the latest functions.
Social Media Executive – There are some scary statistics out there about how much time we are all spending on social media and so much business is being had via different platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are just a few and a lot of time can be wasted by someone who doesn’t know how to utilise their capabilities.
It’s worth mentioning that although these are digitally biased, it's important you have someone - like the chief in command, with strong traditional/print experience because this is still key to any marketing efforts.
As mentioned, as growth is achieved this list will expand and you’ll find yourself starting to look at E-commerce, PR/Comms, Affiliate, Acquisition, Partnership, Channel, Product, Insight/Analyst, Brand and more!
However, this short blog was written to offer a little insight into how a typical small/medium team will start to look. I love to talk about this stuff and am always open to feedback/debates, good or bad. If you’d like a chat about your current team or even if you have a few questions on a specific role, please do get in touch.