Modern marketing is a team sport. Thanks to rapid improvements in technology, there is so much that can be done in terms of marketing that one person probably cannot be an effective marketer on their own. From data analytics to graphics and everything in between, there is a lot of work to be done.
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur trying to set up a marketing team, there are at least eight separate functions to consider. These do not necessarily need to be performed by the same person; however, they are distinct and must be carried out by someone at least. Here are the eight essential roles to fill:
1. Modern Marketing Team Leader/Editor
The team lead is the glue that holds the marketing team together. While you may choose to go for a specialist in one tactical area such as social media or a marketing generalist with administrative skills, the marketing team lead must be capable of communicating brand values to marketing team members, securing their buy-in, and ensuring consistency in all marketing verticals. Given that so much of modern marketing revolves around content too, the team lead ought to be a skilled editor.
2. Community Manager
If you’re using digital channels—as you should, content and community are two assets you probably cannot do without. The online community manager is responsible for the distribution of content and managing the interactions that happen in response to this content.
A community manager’s role might occasionally overlap with that of the social media content creator; however, the crucial distinction is that online community managers operate at the strategy level. The social media content creator operates at the tactical level.
From press releases to blog content, email marketing, and newsletters, writers are an integral part of any marketing team today. Content writers, in particular, create the content that drives conversations around your brand. Even though content traditionally encompasses other forms of communication, including images and video, content writing is the dominant form of content creation for now.
Content is one of the essential pieces of the marketing jigsaw today, as it helps marketers to implement inbound marketing strategies effectively. With inbound marketing, the goal is to draw prospects to your website by providing useful information or entertainment before making a sales pitch to them.
4. Content Curator
Content curators do similar work to content creators, and these functions are sometimes performed by the same person or by a dedicated content team. While content creation implies the creation of fresh marketing assets, content creation simply finds useful content created by others and shares these with proper attribution.
The day-to-day work of a content curator revolves around finding content to create and repurposing these. To understand what type of content to curate, the best curators start by constantly monitoring customer needs and behavior.
In the medium to larger companies, a Chief Content Officer might be appointed, responsible for creating the broad content strategy and acting as the liaison between marketing and the content team, ensuring that content serves the broader marketing vision.
Design matters. With shorter attention spans than ever before, modern consumers form their first impression of your product or service within seconds. Good design is the most immediate way to ensure that the first impression is the right one.
There are numerous tools available for even a beginner designer; however, hiring a specialist designer is more advisable as good design calls for the application of technical skills and design principles.
Data analysts are at the core of modern marketing. Data can potentially provide deep insights but only when analyzed and processed by someone who understands statistical analysis. Unfortunately, too many creative ignore data and prefer to make qualitative decisions, yet the benefits of a data-driven approach are extensive.
While there are various entry routes into a career as a marketing data analyst, the most suitable route is acquiring some knowledge of statistics. Learn more about the intersection between statistics and marketing here.
7. SEO Specialist
Search engine optimization is a powerful tool for any business. Statistically, 90% of all traffic for a search query ends up on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs), with the chunk of this traffic going to the first three results.
Achieving one of these top spots will create a massive opportunity for your business, and this is the SEO specialist’s domain.
An SEO specialist will analyze your website for SEO deficiencies, undertake keyword research to uncover ranking opportunities, and spy on the competition to see what works for them.
8. Social Media Content Creator
The social media content creator performs a similar role to the online community manager, but there are key differences. The social media content creator’s job will be to figure out the right social media channels to use, the right content to create, and an appropriate publishing schedule.
Getting Started with Building your Marketing Team
If yours is a sizeable enough company, you will probably have enough resources to hire a dedicated staff member to fill each of these roles. For smaller businesses, such a large team is generally unnecessary, and it may suffice to simply have two or three staff who serve more than one function. If you decide to go with a smaller team, a good idea would be to balance this team out with a mix of right brain and left-brain people – balancing logical approaches with the natural creativity expected of marketing teams.
You may also start by deciding which of these areas is more critical and which ones are less important to you. If you have a small team or perhaps even just one marketing staff, figuring out an appropriate area of focus can help to mitigate the lack of resources. However, if you do hire such a small team, remember that with fewer team members to double-check work and critique ideas, mistakes are almost certain to occur. This calls for you as the business owner to play an active oversight role in your marketing team.