What does it take to build a truly successful marketing team? Not just one that moves with the times, but one that’s always a step ahead.
It’s a question every brand should ponder from time to time — even if their marketing department is already full. Why is that?
Quite simply, the marketing landscape is changing and brands need to be ready. By 2026 — in the US alone — hiring for marketing jobs is expected to increase by 10%. And with most marketing channels getting more and more popular by the day, markets have quickly become oversaturated.
To cope with these coming changes, brands will need to place more importance than ever on the quality of their marketing team hires. Success in marketing will require hiring individuals with a combination of experience, creativity, and a willingness to try new things — as well as a talent for working well with others.
Stephanie Scheller, Founder of Grow Disrupt, is a big advocate of creativity in a marketing team:
"Creativity is key to building a marketing team in my mind! I tried to do it alone for so long but when I brought on team members and had the opportunity to exchange ideas and have fun with designing our marketing, it blew up! Of course, there is always a balance of having people who are solid with execution and can read and understand reports, but I find that creativity is the crux for building a solid marketing team. That and balancing skill sets."
Of course, with such intense competition to find and keep top talent, brands will need to figure out what it is they offer that sets them apart — and how each role will fit together to build an unrivaled team.
In this article, we’ll discuss exactly what you need to do to build a successful marketing team — with insights from marketing professionals worldwide and tips on how to get ahead.
6 Key Marketing Team Roles
What does an effective marketing team look like? Ideally, it should consist of individuals with diverse, yet complementary, skill sets.
Harrison Sharrett, a Digital Marketing and Content Manager at Offices.co, had the following insights about building a successful marketing team:
“My number one tip for building a successful marketing team would be to diversify and look to hire professionals outside the traditional marketing sphere. In my experience, I've found that effective marketing teams are often made up of a mix of analytical and creative-minded people, each capitalizing on their own strengths to prop up the team as a whole.
“This philosophy is particularly important in digital marketing, where rock-solid analytical processes are often finely balanced with great copywriting skills. I would suggest that marketing managers look to hire employees that display an aptitude and interest in both of these areas.
“I would also suggest that marketing managers look to build a reliable group of freelancers to complete time-consuming tasks in order to free up time for your in-house employees and increase overall productivity.”
By looking for hires with different, perhaps even non-traditional backgrounds, you can diversify your marketing team — leading to more creative, successful output.
But which roles, exactly, do you need to fill? The following six roles are those that make for a successful team in today’s marketing landscape.
1. Team Leader
This role can have many different titles — Chief Marketing Officer, Director of Online Marketing, Vice President of Marketing, and more.
However, the goal of this role remains the same: To bring together a varied group of individuals in order to combine their skills and align their work to, ultimately, meet company goals.
While the rest of the team will focus primarily on their individual tasks, a good team leader needs to have a clear vision and a comprehensive overview of everyone’s work in order to be successful.
Additionally, a team leader must be an experienced strategist and marketer — as they’ll be responsible for planning, creating, implementing, and monitoring the overall business marketing strategy. Some of the duties this role requires include (but are not limited to) market research, product marketing, pricing, advertising, marketing communications, and public relations.
A CMO is also responsible for:
Setting marketing goals and objectives
Contributing to the overall growth of the enterprise
Reviewing and managing the content marketing strategy
Determining KPIs for the marketing department
Tracking KPIs regularly and presenting reports
Monitoring the marketing budget regularly
Using reports to make data-driven decisions
In addition to all the duties listed above, perhaps a marketing team leader’s most important task is to set expectations for the marketing team. This means that they must be able to guide, lead, and coach others towards success.
Quincy Smith, Marketing VP and Manager at Mira, had the following to say as far hiring a marketing team leader is concerned:
“Hire someone with in-house experience for the position of team leader or manager. Agencies are ubiquitous and you will get a lot of applicants with agency-only experience. For internal teams, it will be easier if your manager has experience working in-house as most agency applicants won't.
“Having someone who knows how to oversee projects, juggle stakeholders, and manage budgets from an internal perspective will be invaluable.”
2. Data Analyst
Any marketing team worth its salt has a dedicated data analyst — someone who devotes their days to interpreting and translating numbers into real insights.
As left-brain thinkers, data analysts are usually quite analytical and logical in their interpretation of information — playing an essential role on every marketing team. In terms of their main tasks, data analysts collect data, identify trends/patterns in datasets, and interpret the results into meaningful action points.
But why is this role incredibly important? Because other members of their team rely on their provided data analysis to make important decisions — like which marketing campaigns are performing well and which products consumers are responding to.
Data is a rich source of information and it’s absolutely imperative that you have a talented data analyst on your team who can identify strategies for improving overall marketing effectiveness.
3. Content Managers
Content Managers are the bread and butter of any good marketing team, as they’re responsible for creating eye-catching, high-quality content for various types of websites and media platforms.
They produce copy for ebooks, blog posts, emails, newsletters, social media posts, whitepapers, and more. Often, they also create scripts for videos and podcasts.
In the digital marketing world, the kind of content that you create is very important — it helps position your brand within its market and communicates your brand image.
Thus, any Content Manager hired should boast powerful, persuasive writing skills — as well as a deep understanding of grammar and syntax. They should help craft your company’s brand voice to create relevant, reliable, and informative content that sparks the interest of your target audience.
And because most marketing teams need to produce a high volume of quality content, you’ll likely need more than one Content Manager on your team. It’s always a good idea to look for content creators whose skills complement one another — that way, you can have one who’s great at writing ebooks and another that excels at email marketing strategy.
4. SEO Manager
An SEO Manager plays an important role in every marketing team — after all, nobody will be able to visit your beautifully designed website or read your engaging content if it can’t be easily found online.
According to Martech Zone, 39% of the total global traffic came from search — of which 35% was organic and 4% was paid. That’s a huge chunk of potential traffic you could miss out on if your website isn’t kept up to code with the latest SEO best practices.
Hiring an experienced SEO Manager is vital, as they’ll play an essential role in your marketing strategy’s success. The work of an SEO Manager is to push your content to increase visibility, optimize content for search engines, and provide content creators with the best strategies to boost organic traffic.
Ideally, an SEO Manager should have experience in website development, understand broader audience trends, and be an expert in developing links and conducting keyword research. They should keep their finger on the pulse of any new SEO updates or changes and be ready to enact those changes when necessary.
5. PR Manager
Although it’s the job of your SEO Manager to ensure your content is visible, it’s a PR Manager’s responsibility to take your content to the next level.
Remember, 47% of online users are opting to bypass or block online ads. This means that marketers need to consider other avenues if they want to be able to reach new audiences. That’s where a PR Manager comes in.
It’s a PR Manager’s job to get your website, products, or services mentioned in news articles, online blogs, or guest posts. Whether it’s setting up interviews for the CMO or serving as a spokesperson for your company, a PR Manager needs to be one step ahead of public sentiment at all times.
Additionally, they’ll need to work hand-in-hand with the SEO Manager to come up with a strategy to acquire backlinks from high-ranking sites. With the right approach, they’ll be able to bring new visitors to your site and boost its ranking.
6. Social Media Manager
It’s not easy to succeed in the world of social media — millions of brands are trying to make their mark every day. And though your Content Managers can create all sorts of online content, social media requires a different approach and a special skill set.
These days, sharing updates on social media platforms is not enough to acquire the online traction you need to succeed. Instead, you need to develop creative and relevant content that allows your brand to stand out from the crowd — establishing a trendy and informed online presence that consumers connect with.
A Social Media Manager should be able to handle content on various social media platforms — such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. In addition to writing meaningful and engaging captions, they must create attention-grabbing photo and video content that intrigues potential customers.
Additionally, a Social Media Manager should take responsibility for scheduling social media posts and maintaining your online presence. This also includes managing paid ads on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram — which require a good deal of knowledge about social media analytics.
A good Social Media Manager combines creativity and a forward-thinking approach with a real interest in data and analytics.
How Big Should A Successful Marketing Team Be?
Every marketer is faced with the question: How big should their team be?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when deciding how large your marketing team should be. Instead, you need to consider a number of factors when determining the right size.
Let’s discuss a few of the most important factors.
1. Your Business Status
Are you trying to build a completely new brand? Are you in an established or a new industry? What kind of capital do you have available?
Questions like these will help you to establish the right size for your marketing team.
If your brand is new to the market or is part of a new industry, you may need to consider assembling a larger marketing team to get things rolling. This may mean that you hire more than one individual to fill certain roles — like two or three Content Managers and a few Data Analysts.
On the other hand, if your brand has been operating in your market for some time, you should consider a small or average-sized marketing team. Why? If your brand is already semi-well-known, the amount of work needed to take it to new levels won’t be as much as to build it from scratch.
When asked about building a successful marketing team, Kenny Soto — the Content Marketing Lead at Finch — explains:
“Building a successful marketing team (even if it just consists of 2-3 team members) begins with understanding what marketing skills you don't have. Marketing can be broken down into roughly three overarching practices: Demand Generation, Product Marketing, and Communications.
“Most marketers who find themselves in a managerial role have skills in 2/3 of these practices. So their first new hire should be someone who can fill up that 3rd slot.
“After the first hire, the next step as you scale the team is to figure out how each new role ties back to the underlying business goals for that year. If you need to ramp up your SEO efforts, yes you can hire an SEO specialist—just make sure they have some other tangential skills.
“All in all, with each new hire, consider the following questions:
1. What areas of marketing are you and the current team weakest at? 2. How will a new hire impact your overall business goals (not just the marketing ones)? 3. Is this new hire s a T-shaped marketer (a marketer who can dabble with multiple skills and also has a specialty)?”
2. Your Revenue & Profit Calculation
For some companies, the size of their marketing team is somewhat dependent on revenue and/or profitability.
For example, perhaps a pre-revenue company has a team of four marketers. Alternatively, maybe a company with a revenue of $300 million has a marketing team of thirteen. The size of your marketing team is dependent on your brand’s needs and goals — don’t just hire more people for the sake of growing your team. Make sure their role is really necessary.
Although there is no general rule of thumb when determining the marketing team size based on revenue and profit calculation, SiriusDecisions has suggested what marketing spend should ideally look like:
|Marketing as % of Revenue||Percentage|
The above table can help you to determine the amount of budget to allocate to your marketing team, which will in turn help determine the size of your marketing team. Many companies have failed by over- or underinvesting in their marketing team. Thus, it helps to use a calculation like the one above to help determine team size.
On choosing the right size of a marketing team, Janina Moza, the Chief Marketing Officer of Flipsnack, shares:
“Our marketing team consists of 17 people, now in 2021, but when I was assigned the role of marketing manager in 2018, we were only 6. Since then, the team has grown in many ways, not just in numbers. I would advise any marketing manager to not be afraid to hire experts or people who know more than them about certain areas of marketing.
“Other things I would recommend:
“Encourage the team to grow. It’s not enough to recommend webinars, courses, articles, and books. Challenge your teammates to take ownership of different tasks and projects, which will force them out of their comfort zone. After all — a great way to learn is by teaching someone else.
“In order to be successful, the team needs to know what their marketing goals are. They also need to know exactly how they can contribute to said goals in their day-to-day activities. They should know which KPIs are important, how they can measure success, and where they can find answers regarding the performance of a campaign or specific marketing activity."
How Do I Know When to Hire More People?
There are no hard and fast rules concerning the number of people your marketing team should include. However, as we previously discussed, the number that you start with should depend on factors like your business needs, available budget, and marketing strategy.
For example, if your brand is a young startup and you don’t yet have a full marketing team, your goal should be to hire enough team members to look after marketing’s core responsibilities. With that in mind, some roles are more vital than others during the very beginning — a bare-bones marketing team should include a Team Leader, Content Manager, and SEO Manager.
By hiring for these roles, you can ensure that the most important tasks are taken care of — someone to lead, someone to create content, and someone to ensure your website is in tip-top shape. Odds are, your Content Manager can help set up social media accounts and your SEO manager can do some lite PR work.
But, as you grow and more advanced skills are needed, you’ll need to add new members to lighten the load — like Data Analysts and Social Media Managers.
However, no matter how skilled or hard-working an individual may be, they won’t have enough hours in a day to do more than one job. So, when you have the budget, consider scaling up your marketing team — thus making it easier for team members who were taking care of more than one role.
Quincy Smith, the Marketing VP and Manager at MiraCare, explained:
“Don’t be afraid to outsource for specialties — in the beginning, you might not have enough work for a full-time paid ads, person, or email marketer. Instead of trying to hire a jack of all trades, consider a part-time contractor to fill in when you need them — you get to take advantage of their expertise without hiring them full time.”
If you’re lucky enough to have the financial capabilities, it’s advisable to hire more than one individual for labor-intensive roles like Content Managers or Data Analysts. This way, you can ensure adequate, high-quality content and analysis to grow your brand.
Finally, before hiring new members of your marketing team, take a deep dive into your available budget. Remember — adding in the salaries of new team members can have an effect on your customer acquisition.
Thus, you’ll need to strike a balance between hiring more members for your marketing team and managing important costs.
Why is Collaboration So Vital?
Now that we’ve discussed the size and individual roles of a successful marketing team, let’s move on to another important aspect: collaboration.
Marketing plays an integral role in overall brand success, but no team should work in isolation. You’ll gather many insights by collaborating with other teams, which will, in turn, help you to improve your marketing strategy.
Some of these insights include:
1. Increased Customer Knowledge
Since most marketing teams don’t deal directly with customers, their knowledge about what consumers need and want is somewhat limited. However, this knowledge can be increased by collaborating closely with the Customer Service team.
By regularly speaking to and sharing information with customer service representatives, marketing team members will learn about important areas, such as brand perception and brand associations.
While marketing teams may have some experience with customer service, they don’t engage in as many one-on-one customer interactions. Thus, this kind of collaboration will help direct content, communication, and messaging — as feedback from customers should play an integral role in future strategy.
2. Increased Product Knowledge
As the brains behind the products and services your brand offers, nobody knows the pros and cons like the Product team.
By collaborating with the Product team, Marketing can gather expert product knowledge — which will help them develop more engaging content, answer consumer queries more effectively, and come up with ideas to attract new audiences.
3. Increased Sales Knowledge
Another important team to collaborate with is Sales. As far as customers are concerned, Marketing and Sales are two peas in a pod.
While the marketing team drives leads, the sales team converts them. But if these two teams are not well aligned in terms of their processes and communication, it may cause a bottleneck in the funnel.
Therefore, by collaborating regularly with Sales, they’ll be able to maximize sales — converting more leads into customers and providing the best experience possible.
And in this day and age, more and more companies are working with a fully remote or hybrid remote setup — meaning collaboration has to be more intentional than ever before. Planning video chats to align and share information is going to be a major factor in remote teams’ success.
Erin Calugay, the Digital Marketing Team Manager at Tomedes Translation Services, has the following advice for marketing teams who work remotely:
“Tomedes is special as our company structure is based on a remote work model. We’re structured this way because we believe in the ‘follow-the-sun’ model — no matter where our clients are located, we will always have someone from their region to provide customer service.
“Because of this, my team and I work remotely, even before the pandemic. With this set up, we had to develop ways to ensure that our marketing team can reach our target. With a remote work set up, isolation and lack of unity can quickly occur — which can lead to lackluster communication.
“We came up with a clear set of weekly tasks to accomplish. After that, we made it a habit to constantly communicate with each other — regardless of how small the concern may be. We at Tomedes have a culture of transparent communication. We don’t sugarcoat a situation, but we remain respectful towards each other.”
Which KPIs Are Best for Measuring Marketing Team Success?
Imagine the following scenario: The Senior Leadership Team schedules an impromptu meeting for tomorrow and asks for a report on recent marketing activities and results.
What data will you show them? Which KPIs will you use? How can you show them your efforts have been successful?
While this may feel like a high-pressure situation, it doesn’t have to be — if you learn how to set the right goals and measure with the correct KPIs to prove how effective your marketing campaigns have been.
The following KPIs are ones that every marketer should be tracking:
1. Cost Per Lead
How much does it cost you to acquire each lead? How many leads does each of your marketing channels generate, and what is the value of those leads?
These kinds of questions will help you to determine the efficacy of your marketing campaigns when it comes to generating new leads. It’s a great way to analyze the effectiveness of online advertising channels, such as Google Ads, paid social, and Display ads.
By knowing how much it costs to acquire a new lead, you can plan for future growth that’s ambitious yet realistic.
2. Cost Per Acquisition
Like the previous KPI, this one has to do with how much spend is required to attain a certain goal. However, cost per acquisition is usually higher than cost per lead, as it is based on the cost of acquiring a new customer — not just a potential lead.
Knowing this value is extremely important, as it provides a more realistic view of how much your marketing team can spend on acquiring new customers without going over budget.
At the end of the day, leads don’t bring in revenue — customers do.
3. The Ratio of Site Traffic to Leads
While increasing traffic to your website is always a good thing, it’s also important that you measure the ratio of site traffic to leads. After all, if most users are bouncing from your site without becoming leads, you may need to make changes.
However, there’s no one measurement that works perfectly here — there are actually a few metrics to consider when measuring your site traffic to lead ratio. Examples include:
Unique Site Visits: An increased number of unique visits to your site will be a clear indication that your marketing campaigns have been effective in creating brand awareness. After all, a unique visitor is a new visitor — meaning you’re getting your brand in front of new eyes.
Conversion Per Visit: You should also consider measuring the number of users who make purchases after visiting your site. This metric will indicate whether your marketing efforts are working to convert consumers into real customers.
Pro Tip: Drill down to a more granular level by looking at individual campaigns. This way, you’ll determine which campaigns are the most effective and which ones you should improve or cut.
Why Do You Need to Document the Processes of Employee Turnover?
Most people don’t want to spend time thinking about employee turnover, but it’s an unfortunate reality for every organization — especially for marketing teams given the high demand for talent and job stress.
According to Gallup’s 2015 Workforce Panel Study, 51% of workers are actively looking for a new job at any particular time. Thus, a strong marketing team should always be ready to adapt to changes that may occur due to updates in employee structure.
If you’re a marketing team leader, you should ask yourself the following question:
If a member leaves my team, will the remaining team members fill the gap they leave behind quickly and efficiently?
If the answer is no, you need to put necessary measures into place to ensure a smooth flow of operations. In this case, detailed documentation is the easiest way to manage such transitions.
Documentation acts as a transfer of knowledge from one employee to the next — explaining what they did and why. Having detailed documentation on hand will save time and keep things running smoothly, despite any extenuating circumstances.
Detailed documentation will also make it easier for your marketing team to onboard new members and reduce the potential for errors. Thus, making the transition smoother and less prone to mistakes.
Why Is Data-Driven Marketing Important?
Finally, we’ll discuss the importance of data-driven marketing to overall marketing team success.
Based on consumer insights, data-driven marketing combines psychological and sociological theory with data to create marketing campaigns and techniques that are based on facts, not gut feeling.
By collecting data about consumers, marketing teams can know more about what’s expected from them and segment their target audience based on such insights. But where can you acquire such important data? Thankfully, brand tracking software like Latana exists — which provides access to the data you need to make smarter marketing decisions.
Brand tracking software provides access to world-class, scalable insights that brands can use to segment their target audiences and create customized marketing content for each. After all, 74% of consumers report feeling annoyed when they see irrelevant ads from brands — meaning your team should work hard to create customized content for different audiences.
At the end of the day, data-driven marketing makes it possible for marketing teams to offer personalized experiences to consumers. This, in turn, improves the customer experience — with McKinsey reporting that personalized customer experiences can increase ROI by 5 to 8 times.
A good marketing strategy alone is not enough for a brand to succeed in this competitive world. That strategy needs to be executed by the right mix of people — those that are equipped to turn strategy into reality.
For a marketing team to be successful, it must consist of individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. After all, the best ideas often come from unexpected places. And most importantly, a successful marketing team takes a data-driven approach — using a tool like Latana to inform smarter marketing strategies.
From content to SEO to PR to social media, a successful marketing team will include a wide range of roles — and, ideally, should be lead by someone with strong leadership skills who can bring the team together and facilitate smooth-running operations.