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Necessary ideas to build an efficient digital marketing team

by Casey Schmidt  |  January 30, 2020

4 min. read
A multi-colored marketing word.

The world of marketing, especially digital marketing is changing. With this change comes the growing need to hire new people, seek out and teach new skills and restructure teams effectively. However, this is no easy task. Luckily, there are some clear, basic guidelines to follow in order to get you started down the right path. Follow this guide in order to reach your goals and achieve success with your digital marketing team.

Building a digital marketing team

Let us start by reminding everyone that no two teams are exactly alike. Similarly, building a digital marketing team is, first and foremost, going to depend on a lot of different factors that are exclusive to you and your current situation. Having said this, there’s still a general group of guidelines you can follow to have success creating a strong team.

One constant that holds true from team-to-team is the role of manager. Whatever the title given, consider first some type of leader or manager. Breaking this down further, the next step typically requires a decision between two different options. The first option is to find a marketing leader well-versed in all areas of marketing. The second option involves finding a marketing leader with more focused skills. Both have their advantages and this will again depend on what you’re looking for specifically.

A group of laptops on a desk being used by workers.
Digital teams extend their inclusion company-wide.

The first type of leader, one who has a wide variety of marketing skills, may in fact be the right choice for your team. They are better suited to go from project-to-project, team-to-team and insert strong advice and authority. The downside of this is that sometimes they are drawn a little thin and lack powerful expertise in specific areas, including, say, in managing people. This is where it might make sense to go with the more singular-focused manager, one who is dedicated to one area, such as managing people. With this type of leader you might find more success with certain projects.

The other role that remains one of the most basic foundations for building a digital marketing team is the strategist. Strategists provide a plan of attack for all future marketing projects, including details on who to aim your advertisements at (audience). Not only do strategists ensure projects are on the right track from the get go, they also keep future success intact by measuring different factors of performance during projects. The strategist is essentially the glue that holds the team together and makes certain everything goes according to plan.

A man pointing a board of notes.
Each team requires a competent strategist.

These two roles are the foundation of every digital marketing team. Fill out the rest of your team with specialists who focus on things like content, SEO, technical issues and more. Now it’s time to format the build of your team.

Structuring your team

There are different types of formats your company’s digital marketing team may follow, all have different benefits and disadvantages. In fact, the most popular models aren’t always the best. Once again, this generally depends on what type of marketing team you have and what you think will work best. That being said, it’s still wise that you settle on the model which gives the most advantages compared to its peers. In this case, some type of format which pulls ideas from each type of model is probably best.

Digital marketing letters on blocks.
Different team structures work better for specific teams.

A lot of digital marketing team structures separate digital and non-digital roles. Though popular, this format is unlikely to produce great success. It usually ends up excluding groups and ensuring a division between team members. Ultimately, a model that utilizes all departments and gives digital roles that utilize marketing technology to team members everywhere is the most effective. This takes some extra training but in the long term creates significant effects for the digital marketing team.

What types of skills your team should have?

There are plenty of different skills a digital marketing team should have but we’re going to focus on a select few that might go overlooked as marketing evolves. The first is a strong relationship with and understanding of data and analytics. Data is growing exponentially and the only way for digital marketing teams to truly thrive is to have members who are capable of understanding, analyzing, presenting and utilizing data for a lot of different things.

A blank sheet of paper surrounded by writing utencils.
Modern teams require a wide range of skills.

Another skill that sometimes goes overlooked is creativity. We sometimes get too caught up in the digital details of projects that we forget creativity’s importance. It gives marketing teams a chance to connect with a wider range of audiences and ultimately pull in attention from parties who otherwise aren’t interested in a company’s products or services.

We often run into obstacles when creating our digital marketing team, such as budget limitations, lack of specific skills, ever-changing landscapes/data and more. If we’re able to find the right people to build our team with, we will overcome these obstacles through efficiency and the right mindset.