How to Choose a Marketing Organization Structure
Today’s modern marketing teams need to be fluid and have regular interactions with the other parts of the organization, including sales, product, technology, and HR.
Get this: In a McKinsey survey, 83% of global CEOs said they are counting on marketing to be a major driver of growth.
So, if you want your marketing team to be modern, forward-thinking, dynamic and agile (who doesn’t?), you need to shift away from the traditional hierarchies that keep marketers in silos.
And since every company is unique, there’s no one right way to organize a marketing team. It is why you need to choose a marketing team structure that works well within the framework of your company’s culture.
Types of Marketing Organizational Structures
To rethink your marketing department, first, let’s look at some of the popular marketing organization structures so you can get a sense of your options:
This is probably the most common type. At the top is the VP of Marketing or the Chief Marketing Officer overseeing different marketing functions, including digital marketing, product marketing, corporate communications, etc. Each of those divisions will have a lead and team members who perform specific tasks. There is a tendency for this structure to create silos, which can result in losing a cohesive brand voice.
This structure is based on customer segments. Large enterprise companies might have different groups based on industry or target audience. For example, there might be a B2B group and a B2C group.
3. Geographical divisions
For companies with a large footprint, structuring teams based on locations like districts or regions might be necessary.
Companies that offer a few key product lines may choose to have dedicated marketing teams for each one. It’s important not to fall into the trap of forgetting about the customer.
Some organizations divide the marketing teams based on the stage of the customer funnel they are working on such as acquisition, engagement, conversion, and retention.
In most cases, marketing teams end up going with some combination of the above org structures.
How to decide which modern marketing organization structure is right for you
The first step is to look at all your marketing functions. Some things to think about:
- How much content is being created in-house versus outsourced? Who’s involved in that content creation and distribution?
- Is there a separate social media team?
- What about email newsletter campaigns?
- Are marketing managers responsible for analyzing their team performance, or are there analytics people who specialize in that?
- Who’s doing the SEO keyword research?
- Who’s coming up with a content strategy and specific content ideas? Who’s managing the workflow and the editorial calendar?
- Is anyone measuring performance or conducting up A/B testing?
In a small company, just a few people might be doing many of the tasks above. But as companies scale and become larger organizations, more specialized roles will be added as you go.
Once you think through your functional team members, list out their responsibilities, and decide who’s accountable for various marketing activities, your marketing organization structure will start to come together.
Your marketing team should aim for the following attributes:
Instead of promoting products, marketing teams start by listening to customers and responding to their pain points and needs.
It’s important to break free of silos. Everyone should have access to and be collaborating on the same systems.
3. Focused on growth
The CMO should be treated as an equal partner in the C-suite so that the marketing function can become an integral part of the company’s growth strategy.
Marketing leaders can connect with IT leaders like the CIO and CTO, so data and business intelligence can be shared and understood.
What a marketing team and marketing department can look like
Though the same job titles might look totally different from one business to another, these are some of the most common positions that you’ll find within the typical marketing team structure:
1. CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
Sometimes called VP of Marketing, this is the executive-level head of the marketing department.
2. Content manager
The content manager oversees all of the content creation and optimization efforts.
3. Head of digital
Some marketing teams have a person that focuses on the whole digital experience, including the company website, social, apps, and other channels.
4. Marketing technologist
One of the newer titles to emerge, this person works heavily with the IT department to leverage data to help drive marketing decisions.
5. SEO specialist
Someone who fully understands the inner workings of search engine optimization and can help create a content strategy to drive traffic.
6. Marketing operations manager
This person helps manage the marketing budget and keep workflow and productivity working at maximum efficiency.
7. Community manager
This position is all about engaging and connecting with customers on social media, review sites, and other platforms.
8. Demand generation manager
The main duties of this role are generating leads, converting leads to sales, and improving customer retention using different techniques.
9. Growth marketer
This team member is responsible for optimizing and improving all parts of the customer experience.
10. Marketing research director
This role is analytical. It involves around getting a deep understanding of the market landscape.
Choosing the right marketing organization structure can help you strategically align your team to perform well and get results.
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