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Structure your marketing department for success

Introduction

As a result of advances in technology and developments in AI, business structures are shifting. New teams and roles are created as quickly as they disappear. Under these conditions, the world of marketing is both as exciting and as uncertain as it’s ever been. 

Marketing departments have traditionally been siloed. Teams focused on specific tasks under a Head of Marketing or CMO, who then reported to the organisation’s CEO. With strategy set at the top and cascading down, data intelligence has been confined to each department, with minimal expertise and knowledge-sharing between them.

Today, things are different. Marketing departments regularly need to pivot and change to absorb the impact of new tech. And there’s clearly no shortage: with over 8000 pieces of MarTech available, the list is always expanding. Moore’s Law is also proving to be prophetic, with computing power continuing to double every two years and the costs to create it is reduced by half in the same amount of time. When you factor in that more professionals are choosing to trade in the Gig Economy than be employed by a single organisation, how do you decide on the best way forward for your internal marketing team?

To keep ahead of the digital curve, companies are rethinking the marketing department structure. Powerful automation software now makes it possible to house multiple tools and teams under one roof. This means businesses can bulldoze silos and align marketing, sales, and customer service under a single tool. With a streamlined system in place, revenue-focused teams can work together, no matter where they are on the globe. The result? Marketers will have time and energy to focus on what matters: the customer.

Digital technology is truly changing the game. At Huble Digital, we’re often tasked with steering that innovation into revolutionary, profitable new avenues. This guide will help you navigate this brave new marketing world by structuring a marketing department for success.

The impact of AI on marketing

A person’s capacity to operate in their assigned marketing team is finite, and their ability to understand data is informed by assumptions built up over years of industry experience.

AI, on the other hand, is able to process vast amounts of data — both historic and current — from multiple sources, without inherent bias, and in the blink of an eye. In doing so, Al can accurately forecast the most effective way to deliver content. This includes targeting the correct users, what to set the price at, as well as where to offer services and which customers may end up churning.

So how has AI affected marketing?

The huge influx of new marketing technology and tools can be attributed to Al and the industry’s need to scale in order to reduce costs and accommodate skills shortages. And with more information to process and measure, channels and tactics are having to quickly become data-driven.

To summarise, every marketing tactic, channel, or media has some piece of optimisable technology attached to it, driving the demand for professionals who are skilled in data analytics, reporting, tracking, configuration, and measurement.

How MarTech has changed the marketing landscape

Forrester Research projects US investment in marketing technology to increase by more than 27% by 2022, with $122 billion being spent on MarTech. This forecast aligns with Scott Brinker’s ever-expanding supergraphic charting MarTech’s growth, from its infancy at just 150 platforms in 2011, to more than 8000 in 2021. It simply cannot be argued: MarTech has changed the marketing game as we know it.

Exponential growth brings its fair share of risks, with marketers having to upskill to become MarTech-savvy. Often, your more experienced marketers, like your old-school advertisers — those who’ve been around since before the rise of digital — will not be adept at handling all of the new tools on the market. This should be taken into consideration when building your team — do you choose a few highly skilled people to manage your tech or a team of vertical experts?

By taking marketing operations in-house, a business can respond to opportunities with agility and incisiveness. Where before a press release would have to go through your PR agency first, nowadays there is software that facilitates the almost immediate delivery of your content.

While MarTech has made things far easier, consolidation is becoming increasingly necessary as more tools are introduced. Conferences have shifted to vendors showcasing bleeding-edge marketing tech, much of which is incredible and inspiring. Wowed by the prospects, marketers purchase a number of platforms that inevitably overlap with one another, causing MarTech bloat.

The way forward? The all-in-one marketing tool. Platforms like HubSpot can handle any aspect of your marketing strategy, from landing pages to social media to customer analytics, essentially unifying previously disparate avenues of marketing. Now, one tool can be used across multiple teams around the world, allowing for a single customer view and consistent reporting.

And with HubSpot constantly increasing its platform capabilities for sales and service, there is a rich opportunity to be found when you tear down the silos that have been holding your marketing back.

The importance of alignment across revenue departments

The alignment of revenue departments can make or break a business. The way forward: sync the marketing, sales, and customer service departments. Alignment can boost business performance, company revenue, and top-line growth.

So how do you nurture this alignment? Some tried-and-tested tips include: meeting regularly, having a content-creation process in place, brainstorming shared goals, coordinating content campaigns, sharing reports and analysis, and housing sales enablement resources in one easy-to-access location. 

This is also where your CRM platform has a vital role to play. By using one platform across multiple departments, a global company can automatically align teams across departments. You’ll get a single customer view and reap the benefits of using one platform — improved communication, consistent content, integration of systems, and increased productivity.

With the revenue departments in sync, your company will be well on its way to reaching its goals.

What is the ideal marketing department structure?

In the past, the marketing department structure was far from ideal. Separated by impermeable silos, teams had little to no contact with one another and mostly worked alone to perform a set of predetermined tasks. The marketing department typically looked something like this:

Branding Team

- Responsible for the approval of brand collateral before it heads off to market.

- Maintaining brand identity cohesion regarding look-and-feel and corporate stance.

Digital Team

- Focused on everything digital, from getting press releases online to building RSVP portals.

- Often the least siloed as other departments require their expertise to get tangible assets online.

PR Team

- Liaising with the press and media, profiling executives, and ensuring brand products and services are top-of-mind.

- Mediation between business and shareholders.

Advertising Team

- Responsible for traditional above-the-line content such as radio, TV, and print adverts, or any other type of physical collateral.

Events Team

- Comprehensive knowledge of venues, entertainers, and caterers.

- Organising customer, employee, and stakeholder events such as conferences and team-building exercises.

- Working in partnership with events, PR, and branding agencies.

 

In the digital era, marketing departments are designed along more rounded, holistic principles. The ideal marketing department might look something like this:

Digital Marketing Manager

More hands-on than a Marketing Director, a Digital Marketing Manager ensures a brand or business remains top-of-mind through the promotion of brand-related collateral. The ability to maintain good working relationships with agencies is considered vital, as is a working understanding of the latest tools on the market as they can be integrated for efficiency and success.

Developers

Previously, you’d only find this role in the IT department. But due to the sheer amount of marketing and customer experience work requiring the skills of both front-end and back-end developers, these specialists now occupy full-time roles in marketing teams.

MarTech Experts

Digital marketing is in a constant state of flux, so it’s important to have an expert that keeps up with current trends while having an eye on the future. A MarTech Expert will have extensive knowledge of the various MarTech tools in your setup, and be able to maximise the potential of each. With marketing technology ever-expanding, it’s vital for an internal marketing team to include a specialist who can manage and optimise a company’s stock, as well as implement new tools.

Marketing Director / Head of Marketing / CMO

From idea through to evaluation, development and implementation, a Marketing Director is tasked with steering strategy, employees, and service providers in the right direction. This includes growing and nurturing the team and ensuring each and every step in the marketing strategy is effective.

T-Shaped Marketers

With a broad, deep understanding of how all the marketing pieces fit and work together, a T-Shaped Marketer focuses on the goals and objectives of a marketing strategy to ensure all aspects are complementing and elevating one another.

Data Scientists / Business Analysts

With a deep understanding of data and AI, a data scientist will connect your MarTech infrastructure for closed-loop reporting. These analytics feed the AI with the necessary insights to hone your marketing strategies.

Content Producers

Necessitated by the sheer quantity of content needed, Content Producers are increasingly brought in-house. From copy and video to interactive and experiential — an internal creative team allows a business to jump on opportunities as and when they arise.

Hiring a marketing agency as a strategy for success

As mentioned, the marketing departments of yore were grouped by function along with the agencies that supplied or supported them. Unfortunately, this meant that marketers were often the glorified Project Managers for their network of suppliers.

Today, there is less need for agencies because the majority of a brand’s marketing efforts are handled internally through the use of fast, more cost-effective technology. So where does that leave traditional agencies?

While the plethora of intuitive tools is seemingly endless, it’s impossible for one marketing team to have all the answers. This is where an agency or a gig economy professional can step in to offer support in the areas that machines fail. Their skills are often used for creative or technological support, with the latter being MarTech management and extrapolation of data insights and analytics to support an organisation’s strategy.

Should an A-player in your organisation be out-of-action, an agency can quickly supply someone with the necessary experience to fill the position in the short term.

More and more – and due in no small part to the rise of hyper-fast connectivity — companies are using the Gig Economy to augment core marketing teams with agile, elastic global units on a project-by-project basis.

Companies, in short, are going global. With employees scattered around the world, how do businesses ensure that freelancers are aligned under the right teams? Enter the marketing agency. The strategic use of this external resource nurtures alignment among international teams, facilitates planning on a global scale, and produces quick turnaround times. A marketing agency will help structure the ideal marketing department for your business and set the stage for success.

Agencies need to become technology experts, able to work on both small, on-demand projects and long-term support retainers with clients. They also need a firm grasp of analytics. A marketing strategist should be tech-savvy enough to analyse and make recommendations based on the data a client’s MarTech stack provides.

When it comes to recruitment, gone are the days of long interview processes. Thanks to Al and algorithm technology, finding a permanent employee is no longer a shot in the dark, but an informed decision based on accurate, measured insights.

Choosing the right marketing automation tools

Some automation tools are better than others. You’ll want something with an intuitive user interface, capabilities that fit your company’s needs, customer support, learning resources, and assistance with setting up. 

One final pointer: make sure your marketing automation tool can go global. With the rise of the Gig Economy and employees spread across continents, there is an increasing need for software that accommodates global teams. Content partitioning in marketing tools, for instance, allows companies to better manage and disseminate information.

By streamlining systems and improving internal communication, the right automation tool will help you align your marketing team and reach your business goals. An integrated marketing ecosystem can boost productivity, reduce the likelihood of error, and accelerate operating tasks.

Meet your marketing goals with HubSpot Marketing Hub

Companies are going global, but your marketing tools and data don’t have to be scattered the world over. With HubSpot Marketing Hub, everything is under one roof. The streamlined system saves time and boosts productivity. 

Key features of the hub include: content partitioning, blog visibility, SEO, ad tracking, social media management, video, and live chat. This means better, more astute marketing activities. You’ll be in a position to make informed decisions, create the right content for your customers, and focus on the conversations that matter the most.

HubSpot Marketing Hub gives you the context you need to provide a tailored experience, attracting and retaining the right customers at scale.

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