9 Roles Every Successful Marketing Team Has
Taking your business to the next level means making tough choices and asking yourself what functions you can perform (or not perform) internally. For a primer on how to plan your team to scale. Check out our previous post, “How to Get Your Team Ready for Scaling.” Once you have your overview clearly mapped out, you’ll need to figure out, who to have on your marketing team and/or what areas of expertise to cover.
A small company with fewer than 50 employees may find it unrealistic to have nine different people fill their marketing team positions. Being nimble is certainly a strength for a small business, but it’s worth mentioning that lack of structure can be an impediment to success. A small company’s team structure might consist of fewer players, and in some cases, only one person. Whichever way the company integrates its team, though, the essentials for success remain the same.
Each one of the following nine positions needs not all be separate individuals. It’s okay to have an overlap of duties, as long as the structure is clear. Just consider that certain skill sets (and personality types) are more compatible with certain positions than others.
1. Marketing Manager
The marketing manager is effectively the coach of the marketing team. This is an essential role that, depending on the size of your team and expertise, an owner could take on or otherwise, hire for. This person is responsible for managing budgets and communicating the value of the marketing team’s efforts to management.
- Team performance
- Setting and tracking weekly marketing quotas and KPIs based on team performance
- Communicating the success of the marketing team to management
- Building relationships with external partners (like agencies)
- Managing the budget
2. SEO/SEM Specialist
Let’s face it: Google is still king when it comes to potential customers searching your business’s offerings, and no matter what business you’re in, SEO is going to be a big part of your marketing game plan. As online customers turn to search engines to find information and content before making a purchase, organic search has become an essential marketing channel. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. A SEO specialist can not only help you rank your website better, but also help you discover new opportunities. The SEO/SEM specialist will provide recommendations and guidance for content strategies to increase organic traffic to your site.
SEO strategists handle a number of responsibilities, including:
- Tracking and developing campaigns
- Determining target keywords and analyzing data based on how users are discovering what you offer
- Understanding your audience and communicating these audience trends
- Promoting content
- Finding new opportunities within search engine results pages
- Auditing changes made by development for possible SEO downside, and analyzing analytics and reports. (If your ranking on Google goes down, you need to tweak your SEO to get you back on track. By looking at conversion rates of keywords, you can identify why you are going down.)
3. Content/Community Manager
If Google is king, then content is the queen, prince/princess, and probably court jester of your marketing portfolio. Having an exceptional writer on your staff is a must if you plan to have a website, publish a blog, participate in social media, offer long-form content, do PR, or advertise– in other words, if you plan to do any marketing.
Once you have a strong writer in place, you can look at hiring freelancers to supplement and help you scale the quantity of content. Content is a valuable company asset, and this position is the voice of your business by promoting your content to relevant and targeted audiences. They create new content and find ways to repurpose content for different media and advertising campaigns.
The skills needed to grow and develop your online communications are:
- Ability to identify the audience(s) you want to target
- Genuine delight in engaging people in conversations
- Finesse in asking questions to learn more about a customer’s needs/identify their greatest interest
- Solid grasp of company brand identity
- Professional communication skills
- Ability to deliver quick, thoughtful responses
- Ability to recognize leads in conversations and set up meetings
4. Paid Search Role
The paid search role, or pay-per-click (PPC) specialist, is often outsourced to agencies, but more and more companies are taking this role in-house. This person is your ROI time-traveler. While some content and SEO campaigns can take months to drive revenue, paid search and other advertising channels can often create a much-shorter timeline to ROI.
When hiring a PPC specialist, look for individuals with a strong financial background who understand return on ad spend and how businesses operate on a cash basis. Here’s a sample checklist that a PPC team uses on a daily basis:
- Asks consultant if the client is making money or getting quality leads each week
- Reviews spending and makes sure it’s on budget
- Checks for conversions and optimizes keywords and landing page
- Reviews Quality Scores
- Adds new keywords and adds negative keywords while pausing losing ads
- Checks ad copy performance, and adjusts and writes new ad copy
- Makes bid adjustments
- Analyzes landing page results from radical split tests
- Launches a new campaign or test
- Writes weekly PPC update
5. Social Media Manager
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat are great places to introduce new audiences to your business and make sales, so you need a social media manager to curate your brand’s social channels. Posting content is important, but you also need your social media manager to monitor and respond to comments since so many consumers also use social media for customer service.
Social media isn’t just a place where people share silly GIFs and photos of their kids. It’s a place where your brand can promote your own content (and some curated content) to engage with your audience on a personal level. It’s also a high-stakes customer service channel. If people aren’t happy with your social customer service, it could drive away some of your existing customers and won’t help you bring in new ones.
A customer-centric social manager can be one of your best customer retention assets. The duties include:
- Creating a social media strategy
- Proposing budgets for your social media activities
- Managing social media campaigns and change
- Creating and uploading posts, images, and videos
- Monitoring, analyzing, and evaluating your social media campaigns and strategies
- Monitoring trends in social media
6. Website Designer/Webmaster
An entrepreneurial business doesn’t necessarily need someone with the traditional “webmaster” title but rather, someone who is a master of website design and/or development. Whenever possible, I’m a believer in managing your website in-house as much as possible, instead of outsourcing to an agency. It’s just too important as the primary face of your company to put this role in the hands of outsiders. Having your own website designer/webmaster also means having control over timing — not having to wait in line for an agency to get around to your updates, news, and revisions.
If you can find someone who is a hybrid of a designer and a developer, you’ve struck gold. Otherwise, figure out which side of the coin you value more and target the best talent you can find in that area. Nearly all of your potential customers will visit your website — most begin their journey at that point. Your company’s website should be an absolute priority investment, so make sure a skilled person to create and manage it is one of your first hires.
An exceptional developer is the secret weapon for marketing success. The quality of your website’s digital experience has a direct impact on your bottom line. Ideally, with a quality developer, you can go from ideation to execution on any digital campaign in months, not years; sometimes even weeks or days.
True conversion rate optimization from your website goes beyond simply changing button colors and instead involves analyzing the entire layout of a page and onboarding process. Some tools that can help inform decisions and empower website designers include Hotjar, Optimizely, Google Optimize, and Unbounce. (See Part 3 for a comprehensive list of tools.)
Website-related tasks that affect your bottom line include:
- Designing split tests for landing pages
- Creating interactive content
- Fixing site speed issues and finding bugs that hurt conversion rates
- Adding quality creative material (content, images) to blog posts
- Reviewing user recordings and improving functionality
- Rethinking form processes and improving with better design or creative
Never underestimate the power of good design. Many businesses gloss over this fact and resort to do-it-yourself Photoshop disasters.
The marketing world has undergone several changes in recent years, but the most important development is an obvious one: the rise of Big Data. Businesses have started to adopt data-driven strategies to inform their marketing initiatives. Recent statistics illustrate just how critical data has become to the modern marketing team:
- 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hyper-competitive global economy.
- 66% of marketing leaders have seen an increase in new customers as a result of data-driven initiatives.
- 63% of marketers reported that their spending on data-driven marketing and advertising grew over the last year.
Of course, a single employee can’t handle the entire implementation of a data-driven marketing strategy. That requires the input and cooperation of the entire organization, from senior executives down to individual team members. But a data-driven team does need members who specialize in data analysis and can contextualize data to fit their business’s objectives.
Data-driven marketing strategies yield several benefits for your marketing team, all of which a data analyst can help facilitate.
8. Brand Manager
Modern marketers leverage many different channels to reach customers, which has made today’s marketing landscape more competitive than ever before. It’s increasingly important to develop a recognizable and trustworthy brand. Consider these statistics:
It takes an average of five to seven impressions before someone will remember your brand.
Business-to-business (B2B) brands that connect with buyers on an emotional level earn twice the impact than brands that sell business or functional value.
B2B decision-makers consider the brand a central element of a supplier’s value proposition.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to create a distinct brand vision or strategy. They simply rely on their combined marketing efforts to naturally build a strong brand. But as branding becomes more important to B2B buyers, businesses must prioritize initiatives that contribute to brand-building and awareness.
A brand manager is responsible for shaping the image and reputation of your business among your target audience. This role leverages a combination of customer feedback, market research, and competitive analysis to assess the status of a business in an industry. From there, a brand manager defines and implements a branding strategy throughout all marketing functions, from content creation to design to PR.
9. Outside Expert/Architect
An expert architect sees the big picture. They listen to and interpret company business goals and thoughtfully educate and guide the players through the process. They glean the most potential out of a marketing plan and interpret company aspirations.
Architects are trained problem-solvers. The value of an expert architect lies in their pragmatic ability to balance design, construction, and cost. With an expert architect in place, your marketing efforts become more fluid, and you achieve desired results more quickly.
The expert architect position in your winning modern marketing team can be thought of as someone who ensures marketing compliance: an overseer of a less-formal audit component to make sure your time, effort, and budget are spent wisely.
With these 9 roles or areas of expertise, you will be able to handle most marketing needs, projects, or challenges that come your way. Remember that it may even be preferable to cover multiple roles with one team member, just be sure they are both suited for it and not spread too thin. After all, you want you have the space to scale so that your team can grow with your business.
Become a Successful Scaleur
Scaling is a strategy that can only be mastered by a scaleur who is a dedicated learner and considers real-time business priorities. I hope the article above has helped! Marketing Scaleurs is a scaling company that helps entrepreneurs scale their marketing efforts. We’re experts in growth marketing, product development, and more, creating custom growth plans for startups, entrepreneurs and scaleurs in order to help them gain traffic, generate leads and increase their revenue.
If you want traffic, leads and sales, get in touch and you’ll start getting results in no time!