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Where should marketing activities take place within a business structure? A simple answer might be: in the marketing team. In practice, this is not always the case.
Listen to Kelly Jo Horton, a sales and marketing expert. “When considering the structure of your marketing organization, you need to consider the talent, budget, and maturity of your sales and marketing power,” Horton told MarTech. “These functions can be performed in different organizations and the organizational structure determines the degree of efficiency and job satisfaction.”
Three organizational structures
The three most important organizational structures in the marketing department are:
Digital Center of Excellence;
Marketing activities focusing on business systems; His
Marketing activities are focused on revenue.
Horton has worked on all three configurations.
“The marketing activities are aimed at all organizations and divisions of the business, so it is difficult to understand where the functions should go,”.
The digital competency center is mainly used by large international companies with established marketing departments and long-term agency relationships. It is a proven model for centralizing resources and working closely with local or international regional marketing organizations. The successful implementation of the Digital Center of Excellence usually requires a large budget with many internal resources, such as staff, consultants, training, and planning. “This model holds all of its assets in one group,” Horton said. “You also have colleagues working on strategy.”
In an industry-oriented structure, marketing activities are subsystems, or perhaps together with IT. Overall, it centralized administrative responsibility for the entire contract management and governance platform. “If you want to put a marketing professional in IT or [business systems], that person has to have a lot of marketing experience,” Horton said. “Otherwise, you just got a technical resource that only takes ticket orders and does not ask if it’s the best way to do something or if it’s the best practice.”
The third and final division structure for marketing activities is an income-based model that can be applied to enterprises with a small or large budget. The marketing team, also known as a growth base or general marketing model, is usually an individual or a small team. In this role, retailers work closely with sales.
“This model requires a centralized marketing pile,” Horton said due to the limited number of employees working on this model. This limited workforce can also lead to the integration of the marketing team into the sales department. ‘It’s good to be in the same sales organization. It is beneficial to be part of these sections as marketers are more likely to get involved in these discussions. The advantage is that you have a sales relationship, but the disadvantage is that if you are a sole proprietorship, no colleague will work with you.
In addition to stricter integration with sales departments, the limited team often implemented in this model can also make the marketing team part of the IT department, which adds a different dynamic to the marketing function. Marketers in this organizational structure need to be versatile and ready for greater interaction with IT and sales.
To review best practices for any marketing organization model, you need to fully implement the strategies and tactics behind each model. The marketing team must ensure that all team members are trained to implement a new model based on the expectations of their work.
“Regardless of the organizational structure, there is a need for strong alignment between organizations,” said Horton. “Your marketing job is to be the glue and develop those relationships, no matter what organization you are in.”
What are the most common structures for marketing organizations?
There are many ways to put together a marketing team. For example, you can create a functional structure that groups marketers by discipline. You can also create a departmental structure that aligns your marketing efforts with specific product divisions, customer segments, or geographic locations to best meet customer needs.
Here are some questions to consider when considering the best way to organize your marketing team:
What goals do you achieve?
What are the main characteristics of your marketing team?
How does your marketing team support the organization in general?
Are there multiple products or product lines? Will this change in the future?
Is your team spread across multiple locations?
Who are your target customers? How do your needs differ?
The most commonly used structures for marketing organizations are listed below. Each is optimized to meet a specific business need, such as customer conversion or product specialization. Each company is, of course, unique. It is important to build a structure that best suits the needs of your organization.
One of the most common ways to structure a marketing team is on the spot. Employees are organized according to their specific skills and the roles they hold. Each role is usually managed independently, with functional proposals reported directly to a marketing director or marketing director. The following example shows four main marketing functions: digital marketing, product marketing, content marketing, and creative marketing, as well as key functions in each subgroup.
the structure can be easily adjusted as the team grows. People with similar abilities are grouped, which promotes specialization. Using this structure makes the same work consistent. Teams are able to work independently and perform functional work quickly, without the intervention of other teams. With this approach, it’s important to ensure that functional teams work together to support overall marketing goals. The possible disadvantage is that silos can arise and marketing activities are not coordinated with each other.
Some companies gather their marketing teams around stages in the customer journey, such as acquisition, conversion, and retention. Each team has specific criteria for the funnel phase and reports to the CMO on overall progress. Some teams, such as creative design, can still be centralized, but they support individual stages.