By Ash Wendt, President Cowen Partners Executive Search
A clear marketing organization structure is necessary for the smooth operation of your business. With the right marketing organization structure in place, your business will efficiently meet business goals and keep employees focused on their responsibilities. The problem with marketing organization structures is that there are a lot of options to choose from and deciding which one is best for your company takes careful consideration.
A marketing organization structure is a plan that strategically distributes marketing operations within a company while also laying out important procedures and campaign strategies. The marketing organization structure you choose:
The purpose of a marketing organization structure is to establish a clear understanding of the company leadership chain and lay out organizational objectives. With the objectives clearly laid out, employees know exactly what goals they’re striving for within the company.
There is no one-size fits all marketing organization structure approach. The structure that’s best for your business will depend strongly on the type of business you have as well as your business goals. Below are six common marketing organization structures for you to consider establishing at your company.
The product-based marketing organization structure works well for companies that offer a variety of products or services to customers. This structure assigns teams individual product lines.
The teams can all work autonomously from one another because each team is set up with employees who specialize in various marketing functions. This way, employees can focus on their own individual product line goals without needing to pull in people from other departments.
The customer stage structure focuses on the customer pipeline. The marketing teams are assigned different customer stages such as building brand awareness, customer conversion, and finally customer retention.
Each team develops specific language and marketing strategies to reach their customer demographics. While the team are assigned different stages of the customer’s journey, however, the various stages still have to work together to ensure seamless messaging and branding.
Another way to organize the marketing structure is by customer type. For example, you can structure the marketing teams based on industry, business size, or another type of customer segment. This can be helpful for organizations that interact with a variety of customer groups.
By dividing teams based on customer segments, the messaging and platforms you use can be more uniquely tailored to the interests and concerns of each customer group.
A functional marketing organization structure divvies up departments based on different types of marketing functions. An example of this structure would be to assign teams based by focus such as digital marketing, product marketing, content marketing, creative marketing, and any other type of marketing function your business requires.
In a functional structure, employees are grouped based on their skillsets and teams are able to work independently of each other. When utilizing this structure, however, it’s important for teams to maintain open lines of communication so that everyone can work together to achieve your marketing goals.
Large organizations that operate from several different countries typically do best with the geographical marketing organization structure. Breaking down marketing by territories and regions is beneficial for focusing on specific regional audiences and engaging with local markets.
In this way, marketing teams can create campaigns that resonate with their specific region instead of using language that is too vague in order to fit a broader audience.
A cultural marketing structure expects all employees to transfer the company culture through their work. In this regard, the business is selling more than just a product or service, they’re marketing a lifestyle and community.
Every employee is expected to market the business by upholding company values in whatever work they perform whether building a new product, interacting with people during an event, or posting on social media.
The marketing organization structure you choose depends heavily on the size of your company, the industry you’re in, and the way you wish to communicate with your audience. Ultimately, however, your teams — like demand generation teams, CMO-led teams, and others — will need to be aligned to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Consider collecting employee feedback on which type of marketing structure they believe would be best for the business. Since the marketing team is already familiar with your current structure, they may have a better understanding of what changes need to be made to send a more consistent marketing message.
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