What Roles Are Needed in Today’s Digital Marketing Department?

Digital Marketing Roles

For some of my clients, I manage all of the talent necessary for their digital marketing efforts. For others, they have a small staff and we augment the skills necessary. For others, they have an incredibly robust team internally and are just needing overall guidance and an external perspective to help them stay innovative and identify gaps.

When I first launched my company, many leaders in the industry advised me to specialize and pursue a specific role; however, the gap I saw in most companies was that they rarely had a balanced team and it generated gaps in their strategies that went unseen. That didn’t mean they were failing by any means, it just meant that they weren’t reaching their full potential with the assets they had.

In my opinion, I believe every business should have an external partner in its digital marketing efforts. While I’m, of course, biased… there are a number of reasons:

  • Tool Licensing – I have access to enterprise toolsets that I’m able to offset the cost of across clients. This can actually save a company quite a bit of money.
  • Focus – As an external resource, I have the distinct advantage of not having to concern myself with company operations, meetings, politics, or even (most of the time) budget restrictions. I’m typically hired to fix a problem and then pursue that relentlessly – with a company paying for the value I provide rather than a salary that may or may not be productive.
  • Turnover – Virtually every company has turnover, so I’m able to cover gaps in skillsets when my clients have staff that’s turning over. And virtually every organization has turnover!
  • Niche Expertise – Most companies can’t hire a resource for every role necessary, but I’ve developed that network of skillsets over the years with proven leaders. That means that I can bring in the necessary roles as needed, optimizing the budget and bringing in true champions that will increase the chances of success.
  • Broad Expertise – By working across industries and staying on top of industry trends, I bring innovative solutions to my clients. If we test a strategy or platform at one company and it works well, I bring it to all of my clients and implement it with a lot less difficulties than if the client did it on their own.

This infographic from Spiralytics, How to Structure Your Digital Marketing Team, details the 13 roles necessary for a modern digital marketing team to succeed.

Digital Marketing Department Roles:

  1. Digital Marketing Manager or Project Manager – to oversee projects and ensure the team is operating effectively.
  2. Creative Director or Graphic Designer – to maintain the visual consistency of a brand’s communication through digital channels.
  3. Developers – integration and interactive elements are a must for every organization nowadays, so having a team prepared to build a solid back-end with a great user experience on the front-end is essential.
  4. Digital Marketing Analyst – it’s essential that every digital marketing team has a planned means of measuring its impact as well as effective reporting that will help leadership and the team recognize the results.
  5. Digital Marketing Strategist – every initiative should be helping to drive key performance indicators and overall goals of the organization. A strategist fits these pieces together and ensures that all channels, mediums, and media are fully leveraged.
  6. SEO Manager or Specialist – search engines continue to lead all channels with a user’s intent to research a purchase decision. Organic search platforms provide a plethora of information that digital marketing teams can use as well as a perfect inbound channel for driving leads. Having someone driving these cost-effective strategies is a must for every organization.
  7. Search Advertising Specialist – while organic search requires momentum and authority to lead in search engine result pages, advertising can fill the gap to drive leads. It’s not without expense and expertise, though. Buying ads can be a terrible and expensive mistake if you don’t have the expertise.
  8. Display Advertising Specialist – there are other sites that own the audience you’re trying to reach, so advertising on those sites to drive awareness, engagement, and conversions is a solid strategy. However, the number of ad platforms, targeting capabilities, ad types, and testing variables is nothing short of a science. Getting someone to grow the impact of your display advertising is a must.
  9. Social Media Manager or Specialist – social media continues to be a resource for engagement with your prospective buyers as well as a great channel for developing your personal or professional brand’s authority. Having someone research, monitor, and grow your community through advocacy, support, and information is a solid strategy for any modern brand.
  10. User Experience or User Interface Designer – Before your front-end developer can code an experience, it needs to be developed and tested fully to reduce frustration and improve customer satisfaction. Having someone that understands human computer interface design is a necessary investment when developing those experiences.
  11. Writer – Whitepapers, use cases, articles, blog posts, and even social media updates require talented writers that can fully reflect the tone, personality, and information that you’re attempting to disseminate. Having a writer on staff may be a luxury for many… but it’s essential if you want the investment in your content to actually have impact.
  12. Email Marketer – From deliverability, to subject line, to content design… email is a unique communication medium that requires talent and expertise to get results. Our inboxes are packed nowadays, so getting subscribers to open and click is a challenge.
  13. Content Marketing Specialist or Strategist – What are the topics that your prospects and customers are seeking? What does the library of content that you’re producing look like? A content marketing strategist helps prioritize and identify the topics that are going to resonate… as well as ensuring you’re staying a head of your competition.

Here’s the Full Infographic:

digital marketing team roles

What do you think?

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