How is your digital marketing department structured?


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stacked rocks

We’ve previously served up a stack of our top KPIs and charts by industry, and shared some top tips from experts in the field of analytics. Today we are happy to start a new series where we will discuss some of our most impactful multi-source metrics and charts by profile or role.

So, to kick off this series, we found ourselves dissecting the plethora of varying roles and profiles that we are witnessing in current (and ever-changing) digital marketing departments. We’d therefore like to pose the question:  what IS the ideal structure for a digital marketing department today?

After considering our own internal structure, that of some of the companies we have worked with over the years, and reading up on what the experts say, we seem to be seeing a relatively clear trend away from a product/brand based approach within digital, and a definite shift towards a more functional role-based design. Another observation worth mentioning and investigating further is the evidence of a pronounced move in the direction of flatter models of departmental structures, similar to that witnessed in many other areas and industries.

Therefore, instead of creating a dashboard per brand/product that includes lead generation, social media, paid advertising, SEO, content, email and PR indicators, there seems to be proof that digital marketers are veering very much towards designing a social media dashboard serving the whole brand portfolio, for example.

While some marketing departments choose to separate the functions along quite strict lines (especially in the case of larger organizations) such as SEO, content and social, others may elect to choose broader categories such as “paid”, “owned” and “earned” and structure teams around these. Others, including the team here at Sweetspot, have broken our efforts down into objective-based teams. Our model is based on “acquisition” and “brand” roles.

Example Digital Marketing Hierarchies

The key characteristic that sets effective structures apart is that teams are all focused on organizational objectives. No matter which model your company employs, you will likely see greater effectiveness when working to clearly outlined company goals, and setting micro-goals linked to these larger objectives for both individual indicators and specific time periods.

Another thing to note among seemingly successful digital marketing departments today, is their fluidity. These departments demonstrate impressive levels of transparency and openness in their progress reports and communications. They also convey a willingness to delegate, collaborate and share tasks. Individual employees are valued for their own expertise and this is recognized as they are asked mentor or transfer knowledge and tips to other teams to increase positive impact. For example; a content manager may be a fantastic copy writer whose skills can be valuable to both the social and paid advertising team in addition to their own. This team member’s expertise should be drawn upon whenever possible; they shouldn’t simply be labelled a content manager and relegated to work within an isolated team.

One other important thing to note, and which has been previously mentioned, is collaboration. Not only do successful Digital Marketing teams work together, but their dashboards do too. The metrics from one profile, may impact on the KPIs for another, and therefore, we often need to be able to see these contributing factors. What we don’t need is a 300-metric company-wide dashboard, though. By showing the most relevant KPIs/charts for each profile on their own dashboard, but also creating hierarchies of linked metrics from other dashboards, we can improve information accessibility without overwhelming dashboard consumers with useless vanity metrics.

So, in this series we will run through some top KPIs and charts/tables you might typically find in an optimized dashboard for digital marketing teams. In order to make these profiles relevant and cover a comprehensive range, we have decided to break up digital marketing roles according to the following functional teams:

  • Lead Generation
  • Email Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • eCommerce
  • Campaign Manager

Our organizational structure may follow the chart below:

examle Digital Marketing Department Hierarchy

So keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming posts on the profiles above. We look forward to sharing our top KPIs and charts with you!

Are there any important digital marketing profiles you think we’ve missed? We would love to hear your thoughts or about your own departmental structure.

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Megan Wilcock

VP of Business Development for Sweetspot. Responsible for strategic brand development, marketing and business development. BA/BComm graduate from the University of Melbourne. My passion lies in finding creative solutions and encouraging collaboration.

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A Digital Marketing Job Titles List for Growing Company Structures

[…] Sweetspot […]

Published on , 10:01 pm   

seo melbourne

Excellent blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew
of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about
here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feed-back
from other experienced individuals that share the
same interest. If you have any recommendations, please
let me know. Cheers!

Published on , 7:57 pm   

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