The Anatomy of a Great B2B Marketing Team Structure

Creating a great B2B marketing team is essential to success, but what does that look like? 

More importantly, what structure will allow your team to achieve success faster? 

While there is no one answer to this question, as it largely depends on the size of your team and your specific goals, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure you have a winning team structure. 

Today, we'll look at the different types of team structures popular among B2B marketers and some of the pros and cons of each.

First, let's start with the basics.

What Does a Typical Marketing Team Look Like?

Even though the makeup of a marketing team will vary depending on the company, product, and industry, some common positions are typically found on most marketing teams.

The size of your team will also dictate how many of these positions you can have and how specialized each role can be.

For example, on a small team, you may have just one or two generalists who wear many hats, while in a larger group, you may have several specialists with a specific focus.

Here are some of the most common positions found on a marketing team:

  • Marketing Director: The marketing director is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of the marketing plan.
  • Marketing Manager: The marketing manager is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the marketing plan and often reports to the marketing director.
  • Brand Manager: The brand manager is responsible for developing and managing the brand identity.
  • Communications Manager: The communications manager is responsible for developing and executing the communications strategy, which includes PR, social media, and content marketing.
  • Graphic Designer: The graphic designer is responsible for creating visuals for all marketing materials, including websites, social media, and print collateral.
  • Website Manager: The website manager is responsible for developing and maintaining the company website.
  • Event Manager: The event manager is responsible for planning and executing events online and offline.
  • Analyst: The analyst is responsible for collecting and analyzing data to help inform marketing decisions.

Some companies also choose separate teams for specific marketing channels, such as paid search, SEO, and email marketing.

Some others merge product engineering with the marketing team to work more closely together on product development and go-to-market strategies.

Ultimately, the makeup of your team will depend on your unique needs and goals.

Common B2B Marketing Team Structures

Now that we've covered the basics let's look at some different ways you can structure your team.

1. The Product Marketing Team

The product marketing team is responsible for understanding the customer and market's needs, then developing and executing go-to-market strategies to reach those customers.

image explaining what product marketing is

Product marketing teams typically have three leading roles: product marketing managers, product managers, and go-to-market strategists.

The product marketing manager is responsible for developing and executing the product marketing strategy.

The product manager is responsible for understanding the needs of the customer and market and then developing products that meet those needs.

The go-to-market strategist is responsible for developing and executing the go-to-market strategy, which includes all of the marketing initiatives and activities needed to launch a product successfully.

In this structure, the product marketing team works closely with the product development team and the sales team to ensure that the products they are developing meet the market's needs and that the go-to-market strategies effectively reach the target customer cover these roles.

2. The Growth Marketing Team

The growth marketing team is responsible for driving growth through acquisition and retention initiatives.

Growth marketing teams have three prominent roles: growth hackers, product marketing, and demand generation.

Growth hackers are responsible for finding creative and data-driven ways to grow the user base. This could involve anything from developing new acquisition channels to optimizing conversion funnels.

image explaining what growth marketing is

Product marketing is responsible for positioning and messaging the product. They work closely with the growth team to ensure that the product is being marketed in the most effective way possible.

Demand generation is responsible for generating demand for the product through lead generation and nurturing initiatives.

The size of the growth marketing team will depend on the stage of the company. Early-stage startups typically have a minor squad of generalists who wear many hats. As the company grows, the team will likely expand and specialize.

3. The Brand Marketing Team

The brand marketing team is responsible for building and maintaining the company's brand.

Brand marketing teams have three leading roles: brand strategy, creative, and PR.

Brand strategists are responsible for developing and executing the brand strategy. This includes defining the target audience, crafting the brand identity, and creating messaging guidelines.

Creatives are responsible for bringing the brand to life through visuals. This could involve anything from designing website banners to developing marketing collateral.

PR is responsible for managing the company's reputation and building relationships with the media. This includes everything from writing press releases to arranging media interviews.

Besides, the brand marketing team might include other social media, events, and product marketing roles.

4. The Digital Marketing Team

The digital marketing team is responsible for executing marketing initiatives online, consisting of three leading roles: SEO, paid media, and email marketing.

SEO is responsible for optimizing the website and content for search engines. This includes everything from keyword research to link building.

Paid media is responsible for running paid advertising campaigns. This could involve anything from Google Ads to Facebook Ads.

Email marketing is responsible for executing email marketing campaigns. This includes everything from building email lists to designing email templates.

Of course, the digital marketing team might include other roles such as content marketing and social media. However, other groups, such as brand or growth marketing.

5. The Performance Marketing Team

The performance marketing team is responsible for driving ROI through marketing initiatives.

Performance marketing teams typically have three primary roles: analytics, attribution, and optimization.

Analytics is responsible for tracking and measuring the performance of marketing campaigns. This includes everything from setting up tracking codes to building dashboards.

Attribution is responsible for attributing conversions to the correct marketing channels. This includes everything from setting up attribution models to conducting experiments.

Optimization is responsible for optimizing campaigns for conversions. This could involve anything from A/B testing to multivariate testing.

Moreover, a performance marketing team should also have a dedicated data scientist. The data scientist's job is to help the team make sense of all the data they are collecting.

A performance marketing team must understand the company's marketing objectives to be successful. They also need to be able to work closely with other groups, such as the product team and the engineering team.

6. The Cross-Functional Team

As the name suggests, a cross-functional team is a team that consists of members from different departments. This team aims to improve communication and collaboration between departments to achieve a particular objective.

For instance, you might form a cross-functional team to work on a new product launch. This team would consist of marketing, sales, and product department members. 

image explaining difference between functional & cross-functional teams.

Or, you might form a cross-functional team to work on a new website redesign. This team would consist of design, development, and content department members.

Cross-functional teams can effectively achieve objectives that require input from multiple departments. However, they can also be very challenging to manage. This is because you need to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is no duplication of effort.

7. The Marketing Operations Team

The marketing operations team is responsible for the day-to-day running of the marketing department. This includes everything from managing budgets to coordinating campaigns.

Marketing operations teams typically have three prominent roles: project management, traffic management, and asset management.

Project management is responsible for managing marketing projects. This includes everything from creating project plans to assigning tasks to team members.

Traffic management is responsible for coordinating the traffic of marketing assets. This includes everything from setting up workflows to QAing assets.

Asset management is responsible for managing marketing assets. This includes everything from storing assets to versioning control.

How to Choose the Right Team Structure for your Company

At this point, you might be wondering which team structure is suitable for your company.

There are a few factors you should take into consideration when making this decision:

1. The Size of Your Company

This is the most obvious factor. The team structure you choose should be based on the size of your company.

For instance, a flat structure might be the best option if you have a small team. This is because it will allow you to be more agile and make decisions quickly.

On the other hand, a hierarchical structure might be the best option if you have a large team. This will allow you to scale more efficiently and maintain control over the group.

2. The Nature of Your Business

The team structure you choose should also be based on the nature of your business. If your business is more product-centric, you'll need a team focused on creating and driving demand for those products.

If you're in a service-based business, on the other hand, your team will need to be more focused on lead generation and conversion.

And if you're in a business-to-business (B2B) company, your team will need to be able to support both revenue generation and customers.

3. The Stage of Your Company

The team structure you choose should also be based on the stage of your company.

If you're a startup, you'll need a team focused on quickly getting the product to market.

If you're a growth-stage company, you'll need a team focused on scale.

And if you're a mature company, you'll need a team focused on optimization.

4. The Culture of Your Company

Last, you should consider your company's culture when choosing a team structure.

Think about the way that decisions are usually made in your organization. Is there much hierarchy, or is it more flat and democratic? Do people tend to work independently or in close collaboration? Is there a lot of competition or camaraderie among employees?

All of these factors can play a role in determining what type of team structure will work best for your company. 

For example, a matrix structure may not be the best fit if you have a hierarchical organization. Likewise, if your employees are used to working independently, a team structure that relies on close collaboration may not be realistic.

The best way to determine what team structure will work for your company is to experiment with different types and see what works best. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to team structure, so finding what works best for your company and your employees is essential.

Conclusion

Choosing the right team structure for your B2B marketing team is essential for ensuring that your team is effective and efficient. 

There are several factors to consider when choosing a team structure, including the size of your team, the type of work they will be doing, and your company's culture. Considering all these factors, you can choose a team structure to help your team succeed.

Hopefully, this article has given you some food for thought on how to structure your B2B marketing team.

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