Best Digital marketing team structure in 2022
Digital marketing has become an integral part of corporate strategy in recent years.
However, the transition from traditional marketing to a digital strategy requires some precautions to be taken before starting the project.
If you want to develop your digital strategy and are looking for the best team structure to put in place, this guide (from the digital marketing resources) will give you some insight into the different roles of a digital marketing team.
Here’s why it’s crucial to define your goals before you start recruiting new team members.
Defining the structure according to the type and objectives of your company
It’s a term that comes up very frequently and affects all sectors of activity. Whether it’s for an entrepreneur, a small town shop or even a corporation, the digitalization of a company is a major issue that should not be overlooked.
Digital in general, and the activities that come from it, offer many opportunities for companies to gain visibility online.
However, the success of this transformation requires certain adaptations in the corporate culture, as well as a strong commitment from management and employees.
Changing established business routines and processes requires a plan and concrete actions defined in advance to ensure the success of the transformation.
The strategy will be based on several objectives specific to the company:
- Increase the visibility of the company and/or brand on the internet (brand awareness)
- Start selling products online (e-commerce)
- To generate contact with potential customers (lead generation)
Once the digital strategy has been established, it is important to define the different functions required in the “new” organization to cover the digital needs.
The main functions of digital marketing
In the digital marketing era, there are specific roles that have become standardized over time. There are mainly key management or specialist roles depending on the type of activity:
- The head of Digital Marketing: defines the strategy and supervises all digital marketing activities.
- The digital marketing manager: implements digital marketing campaigns in-house, with the help of an agency or freelancers.
- The SEO manager/specialist: is in charge of the evolution of organic traffic (search engine optimization). She/he ensures that the company’s website has the best visibility in search engines for defined keywords.
- The content marketing manager / Specialist: is in charge of the content strategy from a corporate point of view and ensures that all types of content are provided for all digital channels.
- The digital manager analyst: produces and presents concrete analyses on the performance of each channel. Through these reports, he/she also makes recommendations for improving the conversion rate and the strategy.
- The Social Media Manager: has the role of defining the digital strategy on social networks for the company.
- The Email Marketing manager / specialist: deals with email campaigns and is responsible for the different email automation processes (also called marketing automation).
- The Digital media planner: plans the advertising campaigns on each channel (paid search). He/she defines the budget allocated for each channel and ensures the proper execution of the campaign for online advertising.
Some more specific positions depending on the type of your organization
- The copywriter: writes all the texts, blog posts, but also the advertisements requested by the whole team
- The designer: produces the graphic elements, the different advertising formats and the illustrations for the publications on the social networks
- The community manager: interacts with the community on the various social networks and is responsible for producing reports on the general feeling towards the company.
- The web developer: implements changes to all website pages used in the digital marketing strategy.
The different models of structure and organization
Of course, there are several types of organizational chart for structuring a marketing team.
Generally, the size of the company is the main factor to take into account. For instance, you can start with a hierarchical structure with generalist positions and then develop the team with positions related to the different channels.
To evaluate the potential of the digitalization of a company, you can hire freelancers. They will be able to join the team very quickly and develop the online business in a short time.
Organization of the digital marketing team for a small company
In a small company, one person is responsible for marketing traditional and digital. Whether this is the CEO or the marketing director dedicated to the activity, prioritization of channels is key.
It is unlikely that one person can manage every activity across all digital marketing channels, such as social media, SEO or Google advertising.
If your business is structured in this way, you will need to use an agency or freelancers who can handle your campaigns on the dedicated channels.
For example, a marketing agency can take care of the Google Ads part of your business. A freelancer (SEO specialist) could take care of the SEO strategy.
Organization of the digital marketing team for a medium-sized company
For a medium-sized company, it will be more interesting to create in-house positions. Building a team for the medium and long term reduces the dependence on external entities.
Also, through an established organizational structure, you will be able to benefit from the skills of people with specific experience and knowledge of your company.
Obviously, there are opportunities to outsource some tasks. Freelancers or an agency can take care of Content creation (Copywriter), graphic elements (graphic designer) and website development (Web Developer).
Organization of the digital marketing team for a large company
For a large company, they can use several templates with different functional team structures.
The first thing to do is to evaluate (or have evaluated) the different aspects of the main activities as the roles and responsibilities.
If your business is based in several regions or even countries, you will first need to assess the advantages and disadvantages of a centralized or decentralized structure.
The structure based on the sales funnel
Also, in terms of approach and depending on your marketing plan, you can use a structure dedicated to the different parts of the sales funnel (Acquisition, Engagement, Conversion, Retention).
This is a structure that works very well from a performance point of view. Each team has a project manager who specialize in the channels used for each part of the sales funnel.
There are often specialists in advertising, SEO and brand awareness for the acquisition part.
Specialists in A/B testing and content for the Engagement and Conversion part. Finally, the retention team represent the specialists in email automation and social networks.
A centralised structure approach is much easier to implement when setting up a business. First and foremost, it limits the cost of the number of people and decisions on strategy can be taken more quickly. However, the lack of a local presence can limit the skills and the overall performance.
In contrast to a centralized structure, a decentralized model is usually already in place if the company has experienced a high degree of local autonomy.
Therefore, the local teams are very well organized, but the costs of employees are much higher compared to a centralized system. Many jobs are duplicated on a global scale, and strategic decisions require a lot of effort of alignment.
A hybrid model can be a very good solution, where a strict hierarchical structure would not be the best option. Central strategic management, with operatives activities represented by local teams.
Challenges and opportunities
In summary, there are several team models that are applicable depending on the size and activity of a company.
It is not necessarily the type of structure that is important, but rather the skills required in the marketing team.
Using a freelancer or even an agency is a very good initiative if you want to have access to immediately operational staff profiles.
I would be happy to discuss with you different opportunities and to evaluate your digital team structure and developing a digital marketing strategy.