The Optimal Marketing Department Structure


Share on LinkedIn

If you are like most marketing organizations, you are deep into 2015 planning. In that planning, you want to evaluate the marketing department structure. If you read my prior posts, you learned how important segmentation is before planning. Then I gave you the 6 steps to include in your planning process.

After planning, begin defining your engagement process (Demand Gen & Lead Management process). Christina Dieckmeyer did a nice job outlining it here. Once you have reached this point, you can truly start your marketing organization structure.

In SBI’s annual research report, this step is called “Org”. It’s the optimal marketing structure and necessary headcount to execute the marketing strategy. Org is about getting the right people in the right roles to execute the processes. This step illustrates how to deploy the resources you secured in the planning phase. These resources must execute the processes defined in the Engagement process.

What’s the problem with past marketing structures? Past structures are often a legacy structure that made sense in the 1990’s, but doesn’t today. The old structures evolve over time and end up with tactical silos of responsibility. The past structures are often organized by tactical execution modes. An example of a tactical mode structure is; Marcom, Events, Digital, Social, etc. This tactical structure misses the greater context of the customer.

When restructuring make sure the changes are made in one effort rather than multiple changes. The new marketing structure can be disruptive. Creating the wrong structure on bad decisions can cause costly setbacks. Plan the change using the SBI framework below and make the changes in a single effort.

Answer these questions to get your key to the optimal marketing department structure:

  • Which organizational model will best accomplish our marketing objectives?

Options include:

  • Tiered or segmented alignment
  • Activity based
  • Geo aligned
  • Vertical
  • Product
  • Buyer role
  • Hybrid
  • How do we incorporate contemporary models required in B2B marketing today?
  • What roles need to be filled? What are the responsibilities for each?
  • What headcount is needed by role?
  • How should each role spend their time?
  • How do we assess talent to ensure we have ‘A’ players in each role?
  • For capabilities we don’t have today, how do we determine if we should buy, build or outsource?
  • How do we accurately benchmark compensation for each role?
  • How do we determine what we want to pay relative to the benchmarks?
  • How should we transition from the structure we have today to the structure we need going forward?

Now that you have an understanding of Org, download the research report here. There are examples of what “good” looks like. Use it to gain insight into Best Practices as they were collected during SBI’s research.

Key Takeaway:

CMO’s are under a lot of pressure to generate results and contribute to revenue. Today’s marketing organizations must be streamlined and agile to execute the marketing strategy. Use the framework here to plan and build your optimal marketing department structure.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

John Koehler
John Koehler serves as Director of Demand Generation at SBI. He specializes in top of the funnel activities. John has extensive expertise in Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Web Analytics, Search Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing, Social Media, Social Selling, Buying Process Maps and A/B Testing.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here