How to Build a High-Performance Marketing Team Structure

by Jul 22, 2020

Your Most Important Asset

What constitutes a high-performance marketing team? When you have the right mix of people, skills, motivation, and leadership, organized in the right way, amazing things are possible. So, to ensure strategy success, you need to invest time in creating the marketing team structure that makes sense for your company and your campaigns.

The Right Mix

Let’s consider a company (Company X) with revenue of $10 million in sales. Company X has a staff of 15-25 people (of which 5 are salespeople, and 3 are marketing people). The marketing department  has a leader, a marketing specialist and an event planner/social media specialist.

The table below shows a breakdown of this three-person marketing team and their responsibilities. The responsibilities are fairly evenly divided, balancing requirements with bandwidth. A company in its formative years will not need nor be able to support a large marketing staff  or a large number of marketing initiatives, so  Company X can either choose to outsource their initiatives or save them for the future. It’s reasonable to assume that marketing initiatives and effort will expand to meet the organization’s expectations for growth.

Marketing by Function

Marketing LeaderMarketing SpecialistEvent Planner
Innovation and creativityInnovation and creativityInnovation and creativity
Marketing leadership and strategyMarketing automation strategy and contentMarketing automation execution
Project managementProject managementProject management
Final approval of marketing materials and contentContent creation, including advertisingTradeshow and conference planning and execution
Department budgetGraphicsSocial media monitoring
CRM marketing interfaceCRM marketingAd planning/media purchases
KPI reporting to managementKPI trackingBlog posting
Press releasesBlog creationTwitter posting
Sales department interfaceProduct launch materialsOther social platforms
Sales trainingTraining materialsWebsite admin
Product management contactCompetition monitoringe-comm marketing
Brand compliance and qualityGoogle AnalyticsGoogle advertising placement
External vendor managementKeywordsProduct launch schedule
ISO contact for marketingVideo and podcast productionVideo and podcast planning

The table above illustrates the scope of marketing responsibilities. These responsibilities have increased in recent years with the addition of marketing automation, social media, and CRM.

Organize for Performance

The organization of the marketing department will impact its performance. While there are several ways to organize marketing departments, most fall under the categories of: function, product/service, or geography or vertical market.

Another option is to divide the team by geographic territory (as shown below).  Which is the right one for your organization? The answer: Choose the one that is the most efficient and provides the best results. The model shown below works with companies that want the closest ties between sales and marketing by aligning to specific sales territories.

Marketing by Territory

Marketing LeaderMarketing Specialist WestMarketing Specialist East
All marketing functions listed in the table aboveAll marketing functions listed in the table above for the Western territoryAll marketing functions listed in the table above for the Eastern territory

Build Skill Sets and Capabilities

So where can you find people with the capacity and skill sets to deal with the responsibilities listed above? The reality is that you have to find people who fit the general requirements, and then motivate them to learn the rest. Marketing is an absorbing, creative, and rewarding profession that is constantly changing. Look for curious and motivated people — and then, give them the resources to learn and even lead as marketing technology and practices evolve.

While a lot of supply chains have moved to outsourcing, marketing is largely staffed internally, and people take pride in their work. You can’t create creativity or motivate disinterested people, but you can encourage creativity and motivate people who want to learn. That’s how you create a high-performance marketing team — by selecting people with potential, and then leading by example and with integrity.

Marketing and Company Culture

Company culture is a double-edged sword. For the company, culture is the persona of the company promulgated by management. It defines the behavior of the business and its employees. To the employee, the company culture reflects the values and behaviors of the company and its employees. For prospective employees, it’s the magnet that attracts talent. For new employees, there can be discourse if the perceived culture is not the reality. Marketing is a collaborative discipline, requiring good communications skills and teamwork. The task of management is to define and create a culture that supports the teamwork and communication skills needed for effective marketing orgs.

Support Working Remotely

Digital marketing lends itself to remote workspaces. The work product is portable and easily transmittable through the wires in the wall. A considerable amount of marketing is project-based, where many people contribute their part to a larger campaign or effort. Projects are typically judged on quality and not quantity. Support your remote employees or teams with clear guidelines and tools, and you will build a geographically dispersed team as effective as any other.

Final Thoughts: Marketing Enablement

By now we’ve all become familiar with sales enablement. But what about marketing enablement?  Leaders create high-performing marketing organizations when they provide their marketing teams with the structure, tools, direction, and motivation to market most effectively.

This occurs at two interfaces within an organization: between the marketing leader and corporate leadership, and between the marketing leader and their team. If support is consistent in both directions, marketing will thrive. The key, as in so many areas, is good leadership.

If your winning marketing team needs to amplify their efforts with digital marketing strategies and execution, contact us for a 30-minute consultation.

<a href="" target="_self">Gerry Broski</a>

Gerry Broski

Born in Cleveland Ohio, Gerry has a long and colorful career working in marketing, sales and product management for tech-driven companies. He’s worked with teams and managed projects and people to successfully develop new products, penetrate new markets and generate positive results. Creative, inquisitive, and an avid reader, Gerry is now focused on using his skills and experience to help others navigate the wild world of digital marketing as a member of the FounderTraction Team.

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