marketing team collaborating with sticky notes

The Perfect Marketing Team: Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

Marketing leadership roles and responsibilities have changed dramatically in the last decade, and the mix of people you need on your marketing team is very different than it was in the past. There are new roles and skill sets, new technologies, new mindsets and biases. When CEOs complain about their marketing leadership team, I’ve found it’s not necessarily that the individuals on the team are incompetent. More often, it’s because the marketing team doesn’t have the right mix of skills required to achieve the CEO’s goals, which are often driven by revenue.

>>Related:  Marketing’s Shift from Brand to Revenue<<

At my previous company, we fumbled in the dark to build out the marketing team we needed to grow from $10 million to $40 million in revenue by making a lot of mistakes. We hired the wrong people and had to let them go after too much time had passed. When I talk to other marketing leadership teams, they have similar stories. In this post, I’ll share a team structure that has worked for me in the past, including roles and responsibilities, org chart, and lessons learned on what not to do. Of course, this certainly isn’t the only way to structure your marketing team, but I hope it will provide visibility into the capabilities you need, regardless of how they’re organized.

Sample B2B Marketing Org Chart

Here’s the org chart I’d use if I were starting a new marketing team today from scratch.

Marketing Organizational Chart
Marketing Organizational Chart

I’ve organized the team into three groups: 1) brand, 2) demand generation, and 3) product marketing. Each group is led by a Director, and the whole team is led by the CMO or VP of Marketing. This marketing team is comprised of the following 13 roles:

  1. VP of Marketing
  2. Director of Brand & Communications
  3. PR & Social Media Manager
  4. Customer Marketing Manager
  5. Marketing Events Manager
  6. Director of Demand Generation
  7. Marketing Campaigns Manager
  8. Digital Marketing Manager
  9. Marketing Operations Manager
  10. Content Marketing Manager
  11. Director of Product Marketing
  12. Product Marketing Manager
  13. Analyst Relations Manager

B2B Marketing Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

In this post, we’ll cover marketing leadership roles and responsibilities, namely the VP of Marketing and the group leaders. In the next three posts in this series, we’ll do a deep dive on each group to describe the various roles and responsibilities within them.

CMO/VP of Marketing

Your VP of Marketing is responsible for the company’s overall marketing strategy, including messaging, campaigns, and metrics. This person is also responsible for putting the team in place to execute on the marketing plan and is a member of the executive team. This is a key hire, so this person should have the right skills to fit your organization. Do you need to grow revenue? Then you need hire someone with a strong demand generation background. Are you having trouble telling your company story? Then you need to hire someone with a strong background in product marketing. Do you need to modernize your look & feel? Then look for someone more brand-oriented. Someone once told me that when you’re recruiting a VP of Marketing, you’re looking for a mix of three skills – brand, demand gen, and product marketing – but you only get to pick two. It’s *very* rare to find all three in one person, so you’ll need to decide what’s most important for your company in the current stage.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Create, communicate, and execute on the company’s marketing strategy
  • Support sales through comprehensive demand generation programs, which may or may not include management of the business development team
  • Craft the company’s story and manage consistent communications of the marketing message with press, analysts, and the market at large
  • Own the the company’s brand, including the look & feel of all branded assets and web properties, as well as any touchpoints along the buyer’s journey
  • Manage the marketing budget to ensure efficient spend across programs
  • Develop and assist programs with quantifiable objectives to measure results of ROI

Director of Brand & Communications

The Director of Brand & Communications is your brand champion. They’re creative, have a strong eye for design, focus on the big picture, and manage major projects with a lot of stakeholders. They’re also a bit of a stickler. That’s a good thing – because you want someone who will be a bit bullish to set brand standards and push the rest of the organization to maintain consistency across different assets and channels. This person also works closely with the VP of Marketing to formulate the marketing message, which will influence the corporate website, press relations, and other corporate communications within their domain.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Work with internal stakeholders to formulate the company story and craft messaging in response to new competitive positioning, product releases, etc.
  • Manage the corporate website to present the marketing message in a visually compelling way (note: usually in conjunction with an agency for development support)
  • Expand company awareness through the press, social media, and events
  • Own the consistency of all touchpoints along the buyer’s journey, with a particular focus on customer engagement and happiness

Director of Demand Generation

The Director of Demand Generation is where the rubber hits the road for sales. They’re energetic, analytical, ruthlessly efficient, detail-oriented, and have a way of creating great relationships with sales without being afraid to push back on dumb ideas. This person is a truth teller and relies on data to make decisions, but ultimately has a service orientation to support sales in achieving their goals. This person owns the plan, execution, and analysis of all marketing campaigns to generate leads and opportunities. They also work closely with sales to ensure leads are followed up with appropriately to achieve the best results.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Plan and execute demand generation campaigns across all channels, including email, paid search, display advertising, content syndication, social, etc.
  • Own the marketing prospect database and maintain efforts to improve the size and quality of contacts to support future marketing campaigns
  • Analyze campaign effectiveness to maximize marketing ROI to achieve sales goals within given marketing budget
  • Manage the marketing automation system and integration with the CRM to ensure the right information is captured to handoff leads to sales and attribute campaign success
  • Own the content calendar to support demand generation efforts across channels

Director of Product Marketing

The Director of Product Marketing is responsible for ensuring that the company’s products and services resonate with the target market. They’re highly intelligent, creative, strategic thinkers who can translate convoluted technical concepts into easy-to-understand frameworks. They’re the “thought leaders” of the organization, in that they’re generating the “thoughts” that the rest of the marketing team will distribute inside and outside the company. They interface directly with clients and report back to product management on key findings, monitor the competitive landscape and marketing trends, and are responsible for the ever-misunderstood sales enablement to support new messaging, product launches, and other marketing campaigns.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Plan product launches for all new products and releases and coordinate with product management, marketing, and sales to execute a successful launch
  • Conduct regular, in-depth competitive analysis to ensure the marketing and sales teams are aware of new developments so they can speak more credibly with prospects
  • Develop all sales tools, including value propositions, competitive positioning, launch scripts, customer proof points, ROI metrics and calculations
  • Develop thought leadership for use in bylines, corporate messaging, and other content

In our next post, we dive into the brand & communications group to describe the roles and responsibilities for driving brand awareness and managing consistent corporate comms. 


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