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B2B Digital Marketing Org Structures to Compare Your Team To

Digital marketing is undoubtedly here to stay, but the form and function of digital marketing teams varies widely across B2B industries

Digital marketing is now a mature discipline at the vast majority of the world’s companies. Gone are the days when senior marketing teams are either talking about where they should place a digital marketing team or the need to invest big funds in one.

Much like other mature disciplines across the corporate functional world, digital marketing budgets are already pretty big, and the team is now sufficiently established that moving and restructuring it would only be likely if the entire function or firm was undergoing major surgery. The introduction of a chief digital officer, for example, may mean wholesale change.

But, even if all companies now agree they need a digital marketing team, there is little in common in terms of how they’re structured. A recent CEB survey of 10 organizations provides a snapshot of the variety. The full report is available for members, and a representative sample of three structures is outlined below.

Summary of the Findings

  • Organizations chose the structures for their digital marketing teams based on the marketing goals they were working towards.

    For example, one company structured its digital marketing group as a center of expertise that provides guidance to business unit and market-level digital marketing teams. By contrast, another company opted not to create a standalone digital marketing group and, instead, concentrated its whole marketing approach on the digital channel to take advantage of the growing online audience.

  • Digital marketing executives’ responsibilities vary widely, at the profiled organizations, from technical website and analytics operations to the end-to-end execution of digital campaigns.

  • Most profiled heads of digital marketing have at least four direct reports who are largely responsible for managing the corporate website, social media, digital analytics, and lead conversion.

  • According to the interviewed executives, digital marketing teams that want to create a cohesive digital customer experience will benefit from organizational structures that create direct relationships with relevant stakeholders (e.g., Marketing, Sales, or Customer Service).

    In addition, digital marketing structures that provide for some autonomy may encourage teams to experiment with new strategies.

Three Companies in Detail

  1. Company E | Banking (Hybrid)

    Revenue: > $20 B

    Employees: > 60,000

    The digital marketing team sits in a B2B business unit, one of four main business units. The interviewed executive is the marketing director (see chart 1).


    Company E digital marketing org chart

    Chart 1: Digital marketing org chart for one of Company E’s four business units  The four senior marketing managers who report to the CMO function as field marketers. The interviewed executive is outlined in black  Source: CEB analysis


    1. Who leads the digital marketing team, and what are his or her responsibilities? The senior marketing manager of digital marketing strategy leads the digital marketing team and reports to the marketing director (the interviewed executive).

      The senior marketing manager of digital marketing manages the business unit’s website, email marketing program, and social media operations.

    2. Who reports to the head of the digital marketing team, and what are their responsibilities? Managers for the digital marketing team’s three areas report to the senior marketing manager of digital marketing. The three areas are:

      • Web and digital analytics: Manage the business unit’s website, website user experience, web strategy, and digital analytics strategy and tools.

      • Email marketing: Manage the business unit’s email marketing program.

      • Social media: Manage all social media channels for the business unit.

    3. What are the benefits of your digital marketing organizational structure? According to the interviewed executive, the digital marketing team can think long-term, which allows it to build new marketing capabilities because it is insulated from the distractions of day-to-day field marketing efforts.

  2. Company F | Telecommunications (B2B)

    Revenue: $1-5 B

    Employees: < 7,500

    The digital marketing team is embedded directly in the marketing group. The interviewed executive is the general manager of marketing (see chart 2).


    Company F digital marketing org chart

    Chart 2: Digital marketing org chart for one of Company F’s business units  In addition to marketing, the executive director of products and marketing owns product development, business planning, and communications for the business unit. The three senior marketing managers who report to the general manager of marketing function as product and/or portfolio managers. The interviewed executive is outlined in black  Source: CEB analysis


    1. Who leads the digital marketing team, and what are his or her responsibilities? The digital enablement manager leads the business unit’s digital marketing effort and reports to the marketing communications manager.

      The digital enablement manager has the following main responsibilities:

      • Ensure Marketing has a strategic understanding of how to use digital channels to execute campaigns and marketing programs.

      • Create digital content, such as case studies, L&D, and branding videos; blog posts; and social media posts.

      • Define the digital customer journey and strategize what content to promote at each stage.

    2. Who reports to the head of the digital marketing team, and what are their responsibilities? The digital enablement manager does not have any direct reports, but the group manager of the technology and operations team has a dotted-line reporting relationship to the digital enablement manager.

      The technology and operations team manages the business unit’s marketing platforms and technologies and collaborates with the digital enablement manager in selecting and deploying marketing technologies.

    3. What are the benefits of your digital marketing organizational structure? A dedicated digital marketing resource holds the marketing group accountable for digital marketing goals better than a shared model would.According to the interviewed executive, when structuring his relatively small marketing group, there was a temptation to fully blend the digital and overall marketing organizational structure, key performance indicators, and initiatives, because everyone would need to take on multiple roles.

      But it’s easier to hold responsible a dedicated digital marketing resource – even if just one or two people – for achieving the organization’s digital marketing objectives than the marketing group as a whole. Also, the members of the marketing group know who they should speak to when their marketing activities require a digital marketing component.

  3. Company G | Electronics (B2B)

    Revenue: $1-5 B

    Employees: 7,500–20,000

    The corporate marketing organization focuses almost exclusively on the digital channel, but does not have a distinct digital team (see chart 3).


    Company F digital marketing org chart

    Chart 3: Digital marketing org chart for Company G  The interviewed executive’s team is outlined in black  Source: CEB analysis


    1. Who leads the digital marketing team, and what are his or her responsibilities? The same executive — the director of corporate marketing and customer experience — leads digital and non-digital marketing strategy and initiatives. Company G’s marketing organization focuses almost exclusively on the digital channel and does not have a separate digital marketing team.

      The director of corporate marketing and customer experience is responsible for all marketing objectives, including go-to-market, brand, and content strategies; lead generation and conversion; and external communications.

    2. Who reports to the head of the digital marketing team, and what are their responsibilities? The heads of the marketing organizations’ six teams report to the head of the marketing organization, which focuses almost exclusively on the digital channel.

      The responsibilities of the teams are:

      • Brand Management: Define Company G’s brand strategy and create content for distribution by other marketing teams.

      • Website: Design and develop the front end of Company G’s website and create content for the website.

      • Advertising and Direct Marketing: Conduct online advertising and email marketing.

      • Social and Communication: Manage social media channels, public relations, the engineering organization’s intranet, and trade show marketing (Company G’s main non-digital marketing program).

      • Data and Lead Management: Maintain a lead database and nurture leads in cooperation with other marketing teams and the sales organization.

      • Analytics Center of Excellence: Support all other teams with marketing analytics-related thought leadership, training, tools, and best practices.

    3. What are the benefits of your digital marketing organizational structure? According to the interviewed executive, Marketing’s organizational structure concentrates subject-matter expertise in individual teams and creates synergies and efficiencies that reduce costs.

      Each team manages its related strategy, channels, processes, and tools on behalf of other marketing teams, who can then focus on their respective responsibilities.

 

More On…

  • The State of Martech in 2017

    Use these resources to learn whether your team is making the most of all the marketing technology available to B2B firms today.

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