Marketing overall tends to be a highly specific endeavor which needs to be customized for the company doing the marketing, as well as for the ideal customers being sought. There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation when it comes to building a strong marketing team, but some basic tenets should be taken into consideration.
The two most common types of marketing are B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer). For the purposes of this article we will focus on marketing team structure for B2B companies.
B2B Marketing Teams
B2B marketing teams will typically sell to several main types of businesses: Producers, Resellers, Governments and Institutions. These target markets in turn will fall into categories by size. An SMB (small business) will typically employ 5-100 people. A mid-size business will typically employ 101-1,000 people. An Enterprise business will typically employ 1,000 or more people.
Each type of business requires its own type of marketing campaign, with customized marketing functions, for a high ROI. Your marketing team should be determined by your own company size, marketing budget, and your target market. Key marketing initiatives should be built around these considerations.
Doing the preliminary research for a B2B marketing campaign may fall on the shoulders of one person in a small company; a larger company with a bigger marketing budget could employ several different people just to figure out where to begin. In 2023, with everyone focusing on economizing marketing efforts, each marketing role tends to lean hard on maximum optimization no matter the team size.
Organizational structure for a B2B marketing team
Organizational structure for a B2B marketing team can be fluid. Org charts can be arbitrary but any marketing team should begin with someone acting as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). (Note that titles in B2B marketing are not immutable. There are dozens of titles that mean the same thing - the key is to look at what function a role plays, and what skill sets are required, rather than the title.) A CMO might also be referred to as Head of Marketing or Director of Marketing. This person is ultimately at the top of the B2B marketing team, and determines the high-level strategy. They will act as a master strategist to create a workflow for all the other marketing leaders in a well-defined overall marketing strategy.
Key levels of organization under the CMO will revolve around Product, Growth, Design and Content. In smaller companies, many of these roles may overlap and be handled by one person rather than a team of people.
The Product Marketing Team will focus efforts around clearly defining the product being marketed, who should use it and how to use it, and the value it has for the target audience. The Product Marketing Team will work very closely with developers and sales teams to ensure a successful product launch.
The Design Marketing Team will create visual assets that align a product’s function and company’s marketing message across platforms. Marketing Design Teams will consider where product placements are being made, and create graphics that work best to portray the product in its most appealing format. Graphic design is a key function for the design marketing team. The Design Team will also ensure visual messaging presents consistent brand awareness. A web designer is especially important for a Design Marketing Team, as they will create the landing page that acts as the face of your business online.
The Content Marketing Team is not just about writing well. Content marketing is not like journaling or writing a novel. Strong content creation relies heavily on data analytics from search engine optimization and social media marketing performance. A strong copywriter on the content team will not just write appealing material, but material that performs for lead generation across social media and search. B2B content marketing also includes copywriting for email-marketing campaigns.
The Growth Marketing Team will study the metrics for KPIs and work to increase engagement in already successful arenas, while finding new areas for product awareness and expansion. They will also work with product developers to continually build out product functions, then promote them to create new opportunities both within the existing customer base and for new users.
Given the economic concerns in 2023, many B2B companies are outsourcing freelancers for their marketing role hires. Whether a marketing team is composed of full-time in-house marketing employees or contractors, it is critical for all team members in a marketing department to understand their mission, metrics and action items. Stellar project management can pull together a small team on a budget for a successful outcome. Conversely, a hugely bloated marketing team in a Fortune 500 company with a million-dollar budget can accomplish very little if they have a poorly thought-out marketing strategy.
Marketers have an opportunity to become strong stewards of the brand. Along with investing into your brand, investing into your people actually synergistically goes hand-in-hand. Your team members are the nucleus of your brand in everything they say, do, build, and serve for your prospects & customers. View this conversation with Kevan Lee, SVP of Marketing at Oyster, as he shares his story, insights, and frameworks on building iconic brands that start with building phenomenal teams.