Figuring out what makes a successful marketing team is no easy venture—especially one that can keep up with the times.
But here at DigitalMarketer, we’re pretty sure we’ve cracked the code.
The marketing industry as we know it has changed drastically over the past few years, and in order to remain successful, the modern marketing team must be willing to adapt. This is why we spent 3 years of intensive study trying to figure out how to construct our team as efficiently as possible.
The Role of a Marketing Team
In order to build a successful marketing team, we have to have a reason to build one in the first place. So your team needs to have a greater purpose that it pushes toward. Regardless of their role, every team member needs to contribute to this common goal.
In the world of marketing, that purpose and goal is to drive prospects through each stage of the customer journey. But what does that look like?
Stages of the Customer Journey
The customer value journey starts with awareness. The very first job you have as a marketer (or your marketing team has) is to make sure your ideal customer knows that you exist. This is why it’s so important to encourage your marketing team to foster that awareness in potential clients.
Once the ideal customer knows that you exist, you have to create meaningful engagement. The customer should feel they are heard and that their specific needs are a priority to you.
After the customer has become engaged, they’ll move into the subscribe stage and then ideally, if your job is done well, onto the convert stage. This first critical point of marketing is where the transition from prospect to customer takes place—but of course, marketing doesn’t end there.
Once the sale has been made, your next responsibility is to excite the new customer and quickly move them through the processes to ascend them. Ascension might sound like an odd word choice, but it really just means the relationship will hopefully reach a point where your customers will feel comfortable referring you to their friends in business who are just like them.
Finally, these once “new” customers have become advocates for the your brand and are confident enough in your services to willingly promote you to even more potential clientele.
At DM, we believe the success of your marketing team can be measured by the pace at which they move through the entirety of this customer journey.
The Struggle of Building a Successful Team
Of course, no successful business is without its challenges. There are a few different problems that today’s modern marketers face.
First, as I mentioned before, the marketing industry is constantly changing. It took 3 years for us to hone our methods, and DigitalMarketer is one of the few companies that can take the time to do so.
It’s no secret that marketing is complicated. The breadth of knowledge today’s marketer is expected to be proficient with is overwhelming to say the least. Even the most skilled marketers can’t be expected to know everything, and if they do, some part of it has likely already changed.
Another major problem is that good marketers are not cheap—in fact, they are very expensive. The average entry-level salary for a digital marketer is $70K, and it could take anywhere from 6 to 8 months of training for them to have any profitable effect on your business. So, how do make it work when the industry seems to be in such a state of disarray?
The Solution: Full-Stack Marketers
Turns out, the successful modern marketing team is a full-stack model.
It all starts with your team shape.
The specialist model and the generalist model are independently inefficient. A team full of specialists in the same area will struggle to communicate with one another and will ultimately limit the company, just as a team of generalists who have no specializations will not be wildly successful in any area.
The 2 must together to form a hybrid—the generalizing specialist—in order to achieve maximum efficiency.
Hence, the ‘T’ shaped team. The T-shaped team means that every employee has a wide, yet shallow knowledge of everything.
8 Core Disciplines
With this narrow, yet deep knowledge, the modern digital marketer should be versed in 8 core disciplines:
- conversion funnels
- content marketing
- paid traffic
- email marketing
- social media
- search marketing
Each of these critical areas are equally valuable to today’s modern marketing team. They also help employees understand how their job fits into the overarching marketing plan as well as the roles of their other team members.
It’s imperative that every team member has a general understanding of the 8 disciplines, even if they don’t touch all of them in their day-to-day responsibilities. Once the team has achieved a broad understanding of the full stack, then individuals can hone in on certain areas.
At DigitalMarketer, we’ve taken each of the 8 disciplines and created a mastery courses and certifications around them to teach the modern marketer.
Acquisition vs Monetization
In addition, the modern marketing team has a separation of power into 2 vital areas that are equally incentivized. One person or section of the team should be focused solely on acquisition, bringing in those new customers by helping them through the first 4 stages of the customer value journey (aware, engage, subscribe, and convert).
The second area is monetization. Those dedicated to monetization will be responsible for making sure that the customer’s value is utilized to its highest potential. They will prioritize the last 4 stages of the customer value journey (excite, ascend, advocate, and promote).
These 2 areas of focus are both responsible for optimizing your customer’s journey.
3 Types of Marketing Teams
So when you look at making your own team, you need to decide the type of team that best fits your needs.
The modern marketing team can be classified into 3 different structures: In-House Marketing Team, Outsourced Marketing Team, or Hybrid Marketing Team. Each structure comes with its own set of pros and cons.
The In-House Marketing Team
In 2015, DigitalMarketer went all-in on the In-House Team model. Pros include complete focus on the company mission and a deep understanding of the brand and customer journey. Team members also have direct access to one another and are able to quickly implement changes.
However, if you’re building an in-house then you are investing in training and ongoing education, which can get costly.
The Outsourced Marketing Team
In a fully outsourced team, companies have the benefit of accessing experienced professionals without the cost of training them.
These outsourced teams or agencies are also working with other customers and have a better perspective of what’s working in the industry and what isn’t. This knowledge can be passed through your business to optimize your processes or save you time and money.
On the other side of that coin, working with an external agency means you don’t have all of their time and focus and your control is limited.
The Hybrid Marketing Team
Finally, there’s the Hybrid Marketing Team which is how DigitalMarketer currently operates. In a hybrid model, your company is able to access the benefits of both the in-house and outsourced teams and provide customers with a fully rounded service.
Structure of the Modern Marketing Team
The structure of the modern marketing team is focused on roles and responsibilities and not on job titles.
Starting with the top, the head of marketing is responsible for the overall marketing strategy. This includes the journey design, budget allocation, avatars/personas, and team management. The individual in your head of marketing role should be the ultimate generalist.
From the head of marketing, our structure breaks down into 3 separate branches: acquisition, monetization, and marketing ops.
There are 2 types of acquisition: organic and paid.
An organic acquisition team is responsible for content creation, search, social, and creative—while a paid acquisition team depends heavily on the content created by the organic branch.
Their responsibilities are focused on acquisition strategy, channel management, creative, analytics, and optimization.
Monetization also has 2 sub roles: promotion and retention.
A promotional team is responsible for promo creating, copywriting, email marketing, optimization, and optimization. On the retention side of things, individuals are focusing on campaign creation, copywriting, analytics, user research, product marketing. Remember, marketing doesn’t stop once the sale has been made.
When it comes to the last role under head of marketing, marketing ops, DigitalMarketer found this to be the most efficient area of focus for the dev team.
Members of the marketing ops team should be equipped with a holistic knowledge of the company ecosystem from customer journey to development, system integration, analytics, and (finally) optimization. This allows developers to know why they’re creating what they’re creating and how the product will function within the company as a whole.
With this modern marketing team, you will be able to stay successful and adaptable to the ever-changing marketing world. So get out there and find your marketers.