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What is the Ideal Marketing Team Structure for a Startup?

Maria Shelaieva

Maria Shelaieva

Marketing Expert

12 min

Looking to build your own startup? Great! But do you have a solid plan in place? If not, you’ve come to the right place.

Many critical aspects demand your close attention when launching and managing a startup. While marketing and finances may initially come to mind, one of the most important is structuring an effective digital marketing team.

A skilled digital marketing team is indispensable for business success these days. 

Online marketing has exploded in popularity – the global digital marketing market is expected to reach $640.2 billion by 2027, with a growth rate of 10.3% annually. 

With so many digital marketing platforms available, building the right digital marketing team structure is crucial for your startup’s success. 

According to Failory:

  • Around 22% of businesses fail due to marketing issues.
  • 18% of businesses fail due to team problems.

The takeaway? Pay attention not only to structuring an efficient digital marketing organization but also to choosing the best people to fill those roles.

In this article, we’ll look at critical factors and considerations as you build your online advertising team structure.

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Key Factors to Review

Well, to build an effective digital advertising team, it is necessary for you to analyze your business model first. For example, if you are making an app, you need to study its market and the technologies required to build the app.

Based on this, you need to hire people that have relevant knowledge and experience in that technology. Besides, it is also necessary to make sure that you align your team as per your business aims.

Let us study these factors that govern the structure of the online marketing team.

Marketing Goals

If you want to hire the best marketing team for your startup, it is essential for you to align your project goals first.

If you want to hit the Bullseye, it is pretty obvious that you will have to aim well and stretch the arrow back enough.

The same is the case with advertising goals.

You need to be clear about the goals!

Depending on the type of firm, there can be various marketing goals, such as:

  • Boost digital presence
  • Generation of leads
  • Developing brand loyalty
  • Build brand awareness
  • Target new customers
  • Boost the profit margin
  • Enhance the authority of your firm
  • Promotion of new services and products of the firm
  • Retain existing customers

This set of goals require a specific set of advertising techniques.

Here are some examples to demonstrate:

  • If you want to market about new services of the firm, the team will differ based on the used tools.

For acquiring new customers, you need to develop a state of the art ad campaigns for your brand. You can use Facebook or Instagram to advertise.

Facebook and Instagram are some awesome marketing platforms that can be used to market any business.

It offers various tools for targeting, as well as retargeting the audience.

For instance, Instagram helped Transferwise and other fintech firms in extending their user base.

Transferwise witnessed 9000 new registration on its app via Instagram ads.

Trasnferwise used Instagram Stories to target people for ads.

  • If your goal is user awareness, you need to focus on the top of the mind awareness campaigns.

The tools required for this are also different.

For instance, Facebook helped Webull (a finance firm) boost brand awareness by 3% using Facebook video ads.

The tools used by the brand were Carousel, Photo ads, Video ads, Audience network, Core audiences, and Measurement. These are all the Facebook tools.

And it is necessary for you to design your digital marketing team structure in a way that you have people with experience in using these tools.

Marketing Channels

Now, when you are planning to build your digital marketing department structure.

It is necessary to check what channels you will need for advertising.

There are multiple ways of marketing your products and services like email, blogs, videos, SEO, and more.

When you have different channels to opt from, you will surely need different term members for each one of them.

Some of the best digital advertising channels used by top brands are:

  • Mobile ads
  • Programmatic ads
  • Online videos
  • Social media ads
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • TV commercials
  • Blogs and ebooks
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Chatbots

And countless more!

All of these channels can be harnessed to market your content by building your online marketing organization structure.

  • Social Media Ads

Social networks like Facebook play these ads in the feeds and stories.

These are one of the best ways to reach out to users as Facebook has over 2.45 billion monthly active users.

Moreover, there are various approaches that you can employ like you can run video ads, photo ads, carousel ads, collection ads, slideshow ads, instant experience, etc. to get maximum users.

Facebook ads helped brands of various industry sectors to boost their user base. For example, Facebook helped Lalamove (a delivery logistics firm) get a 12.3X boost in sales conversions.

  • SEO

Search Engine Optimization is an indispensable way of marketing about your business.

If you just focus on making your website authoritative by bringing it among the top Google results, it would be advantageous as compared to any other method.

As per stats, 70% of marketers say that SEO is better than PPC. Moreover, if you use long-tail keywords in SEO, it will jack up the click-through rate by 3% to 5%.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing includes firms sending business requests, advertisements, and even freebies to the customer.

As the number of email users is surging (will reach 4.3 billion by 2024), it has become necessary for firms to leverage this marketing means.

Moreover, around 87% of marketers use emails to spread awareness about their services.

For every $1 infused in email marketing, the average ROI is $42. So, it is worth a try.

This needs a planned structure for the digital marketing department.

Hence, while developing one, you need to make sure that you go for the team members that are experts.

A list of factors to consider before start building a digital marketing department structure

Essential Marketing Team Roles

If AI machines would not have scared us in the Terminator movie, then today, we might all be slaves to them. The literal meaning of the statement is that advertising is not a one-person job like an AI machine.

It is pretty obvious that one person can not do the writing, PPC, SEO, email, etc. together. Hence, it is necessary to have multiple people in the structure of your digital marketing department.

You can use one person also for handling the entire advertising process, but the speed of growth will be at risk. Moreover, it will be hectic for one person to manage all the processes simultaneously, provided you are using multiple channels for marketing.

So, you need to hire multiple people for your online marketing team structure, each one dedicated to handling one advertising method.

Essential Roles

Here are some of the necessary roles or experts that need to be in your digital marketing department structure:

1. Marketer Lead

Starting from the head of the hierarchy, a marketer lead is a person that oversees the entire marketing process.

Generally, the marketing manager and marketing director come under this category of people.

A marketing lead works in collaboration with the account managers and sales engineers to market products in a different way than the competitors.

Other than this, the marketer lead has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Plan social media posting, along with keeping track of the success of the account.
  • Manage communication with partner programs.
  • Track ongoing sales measurement and alignment.
  • Formulate lead management roadmap along with new product kickoffs.
  • Manage funds and finances involved in the marketing process.

2. Growth Hacker

When it comes to building the digital marketing organization structure, the position of a growth hacker is irreplaceable.

A growth hacker is an individual that undertakes cost-effective marketing strategies to get and retain customers.

A growth marketer or hacker specifically designs strategies for:

  • Content marketing is a low-cost way to spread the word. It can be done via guest blogs, ebooks, giveaways, influencer marketing, podcasting, and many other mediums.
  • Product marketing is also important to make your products look more appealing. For example, a growth hacker can gamify your process to better engage the users and thus boost sales.
  • Advertising is the last step that a growth hacker undertakes for the growth of the company. The process of PPC and social advertising is planned and executed by the growth hacker.

Do hire a growth hacker for an effective online marketing team structure.

3. SEO/PPC Manager

SEO is the best cost-effective way to get sales and revenue. Hence, it is necessary to have an SEO/PPC specialist in the digital marketing team structure.

The core responsibilities of an SEO or PPC manager is:

  • Derive SEO as well as PPC marketing strategies and implement them.
  • Keep track of the performance of all the strategies.
  • Monitor the ranking of website pages based on relevant keywords.
  • Verify if the website is fully optimized for enhanced user experience.
  • Manage cost involved in PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaigns.

4. SMM Manager

SMM is an essential way of marketing in the current time. The market of SMM marketing is expected to hit the $15.6 billion mark by 2025. Hence, you need an SMM manager in your digital marketing department structure.

An SMM manager is expected to handle the ad campaigns on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and others.

Their core job is to design ad campaigns on social networks that include:

  • Video ads
  • Photo ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Story ads
  • Snap ads
  • Instant experience

For seamless planning and execution of these ad campaigns, it is necessary to add an SMM Manager to your digital marketing organization structure.

5. Email Marketing Manager

As the ROI of email marketing is relatively high, it is essential to hire an email marketing manager.

The basic responsibilities of an email marketing manager are to design engaging business proposal emails and schedule them on a timely basis.

Convey about the products and services of the firm via emails.

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6. ASO Specialist

Other than these known specialists like SEO, PPC, email advertising, the structure of the digital marketing team also needs an ASO Specialist.

An ASO specialist is an app store optimization specialist that makes sure that your app is easy to find on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Responsibilities of the ASO specialist include:

  • Keyword and market research
  • Enhance visibility and conversion rate of the app.
  • Monitor key performance indicators of the campaign like organic installs, top charts, revenue for installs, etc.

Do include an ASO Specialist in the team structure of online marketing for faster growth.

The list of core team members of a digital marketing organization structure

Additional Roles

Other than the crucial roles that are necessary for your team, there are some additional roles that can assist you in attaining your business goals faster. Here are some of those additional roles:

1. Project Manager

Other than a marketing lead in the structure of a digital marketing team, it is best if you have a project manager in the team.

A project manager will help in maintaining communication with clients while also managing digital marketing specialists.

Other than this, the project manager undertakes:

  • Manages and assures the quality of work.
  • Identifying risks and managing them.
  • Human resource management
  • Defining and managing the scope of the project.
  • Communicating with stakeholders and clients.

2. Creative Writer

In order to get clients as well as customers for your startup at a low cost, it is necessary to hire a creative writer or an AI blogger writer. People spend around 50% of their time online looking for content.

A creative writer will produce highly engaging content for your website than AI writer. This will be helpful in attracting clients via using no extra money but just organic SEO.

Other than this, a creative writer can also develop ad samples for you.

As SEO is directly linked to content, it is necessary for you to include a creative writer in your digital marketing team structure. You might also consider hiring a transcriber if your marketing efforts include a podcast or any other audio content.

As a startup, if you don’t have a good budget to hire a creative writer, then you can start writing content on your own. And, to make it more creative and engaging, you can use an online paraphraser tool. It will replace bland words with engaging ones, which will improve its creativeness.

3. UX/UI Designer

The first thing that impresses the user when he or she uses your app or website is UI/UX.

Statistics suggest that around 40% of the users will not engage with a website that has a shabby look.

Hence, you need to create a highly engaging website or app. Add brilliant animations in the website themes along with user experience elements.

For example, when a user adds an item to their cart on an eCommerce website, add a small vibration feature as an indication. It will enhance the user experience.

4. Layout Developers

This aspect is somehow related to the user interface of the app or website. And it is necessary to have someone specifically for this in your digital marketing department structure.

The entire front end design of the website is done by the layout developers. It includes all the on-page elements of the website or app like:

  • Placement of content
  • Buttons
  • Images
  • Navigation
  • Internal linking
  • Videos
  • Menu bars
  • Designs
  • Themes

A layout developer will surely be a great addition to your online marketing team structure.

5. Graphics Designer

To engage your user with content, it is necessary to embed classy graphics in your content. And for that, you are gonna need a hell of a graphics designer in your online marketing team structure.

The list of additional team members of a online marketing team structure

3 Main Team Structure Options

When you are building the structure of your startup’s digital marketing department, there is no one choice for the structure.

But it will entirely depend on how many people are there in your firm and how many you are planning to hire.

Some of the digital marketing team structures that you can implement in your startup are as follows:

Team StructureDescription
Centralized TeamThis type of team structure has a dedicated team for digital marketing concentrated in the digital department. This team only takes care of digital marketing. All the marketers refer to this team for digital marketing specifically.

The rest of the marketing, like the field, PR, and print media, is undertaken by non-digital advertising teams.

Pros: Ability to tackle changing digital landscape.

Efficient exchange of ideas.

Cons: Tough to include traditional approaches

Inconsistent customer experience.

Distributed TeamThe distributed digital marketing department structure has advertising analysts distributed throughout the company. Each department or team has dedicated analysts that take care of the marketing.

Pros: Makes the oversight easy for the senior department.

Dedicated teams for each department speed up the process for each department.

Cons: Communication between different departments becomes tough.

Hub and Spoke TeamThe hub and spoke digital marketing organization structure is a mix. The mix of both distributed and centralized systems.

This is fit for organizations that have a high budget and better infrastructure.

Pros: Highly efficient and faster results.

Cons: Expensive for startups.

Marketing Team Costs

Now, as you have studied the various roles required to build a digital marketing team structure along with the type of structures, now, it is time to analyze the cost of building this structure.

You can either build an in-house team or outsource an advertising team.

The minimum number of people that you need in your team are lead manager, SEO or PPC manager, SMM, and an email marketing manager.

A creative curator and a copywriter specialist will be great additions if you can make.

In-House Team

The team that you hire to work on your office location is known as the in-house team. There are endless benefits of having an in-house team. You get excellent quality work, quick communication, fewer errors in work, and many more. Besides, the only drawback of this team is that it is pretty expensive to hire.

The overall cost of having a professional digital marketing team amounts to a whopping $500k – $1000k per year.

Though, the online marketing team structure will have individuals like a:

  • Campaign Manager,
  • Marketing Strategist,
  • and a Project Manager.

Other than them, you can also have a:

  • Marketing Analyst,
  • Ad Manager,
  • Ad Analyst,
  • Designer,
  • and others.

On the other hand, if you build a minimal team for your startup, the total cost of hiring will not exceed $300k.

Your digital marketing team structure will have a lead manager, SEO or PPC manager, SMM, and email marketing manager.

You can also get creative curators and copywriter specialists.

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Outsource Marketing Team

Outsourcing your advertising work to an external agency is a really smart choice. It promises premium quality work at an affordable cost.

On an overall basis, it is best if you outsource your digital marketing work to an external agency like SpdLoad.

  • The price of outsourcing digital marketing in India varies from $48k to $96k per year.
  • In Ukraine, it will amount from $86k to over $100k per year. Yet, the Ukrainian team makes much more sense in terms of reliability, communication, and experience working with the US and European markets.
The comparison of costs of digital marketing team structure in different countries

Ready to Build Your Startup’s Team?

Structuring an effective digital marketing team is crucial, but it can also be complex for startups with limited resources. The team roles, responsibilities, and workflows need to align for success.

SpdLoad provides product discovery and app development services for early-stage startups looking to scale efficiently.

This approach sets you up for agility, productivity, and winning customer experiences.

Let’s talk today to discuss your goals, questions, and next best steps.

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