Some companies that are just beginning to shape their marketing function may be confused about the best way to organize their staffing model. Below are some considerations and tips based on my experience in the corporate world as well as in my role as an independent marketing consultant.
There are often several job functions and roles to consider as it relates to marketing communications and support to drive the sales process in B2B companies. For example:
1. The company’s brand and marketing strategy
- What do we want to be known for; what is our message; what do we do better than anyone else; who is our target market and what do we know about them; what are our revenue goals and what role will marketing play in driving them?
2. Campaigns and programs to generate leads and sales conversations
- Who do we want our message to reach and how will we get it to them; what do we need to do to drive quality inbound leads; what support does the sales team need to get their foot in the door (or to keep it there)?
3. Campaigns and programs to nurture prospects through the sales process
- Once leads come into the funnel, how can we keep them engaged and support the sales team in furthering the conversation?
4. Strategies and programs to build loyalty among existing clients
- Where is the low-hanging-fruit for growth among existing clients; how can we scale to deepen those relationships?
5. Infrastructure, technology and content to support the above functions
- How do we implement an inbound lead strategy; how do we automate communications and build a steady inventory of content; how do we monitor/measure funnel activity and results?
Each of the above areas often requires completely different skill sets to build strategies and manage the work that needs to get done. This is where company leaders often struggle—many try to hire a couple of people to do it all (particularly if they view marketing as an expense vs. an investment and/or don’t understand what the work really involves). Say it with me now: “Marketing is an important investment and can be difficult work”.
Taking into account various marketing functions such as those mentioned, one organizational model is to:
- Hire a Marketing Leader to drive both a Corporate Marketing function and a Field Marketing and Sales Support function. A Field Marketing Manager could drive tasks in support of the Sales team’s outreach plan, while leveraging the strategies, policies, guidelines, templates, content and infrastructure driven by the Corporate Marketing Team.
- Hire vendors and creative agencies to support both functions, e.g. with web design, content production, campaign development, media buys, SEM and marketing operations infrastructure.
This Infographic shows a sample organization chart that takes common scope-of-work (for B2B companies) into account.
This is just one concept but you get the idea—there’s more to marketing than just a website and press coverage, and in B2B there are special considerations due to a potentially longer and more complicated sales cycle. In order for a B2B marketing function to be effective at driving business, many areas must be worked on simultaneously (against a well-defined strategy) to drive meaningful results.
It is challenging work and requires analysis to determine the best execution model for ROI. That said, marketing can drive growth if you do it right—so think it through and consider a thoughtful organization model that effectively supports your strategy and objectives.
This article originally appeared on Lydia’s Marketing Blog
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