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Who Are The Essential Members of a Marketing Team?

Inbound Marketing | | 14 minute read


Marketing your small business is an essential skill for growth. Increased exposure to potential, properly targeted clients should mean a boost in your client base and revenue. 

Expanding your small business to include a marketing team means you’ve recognized your biggest asset to growth. But what’s the best path to follow when building a marketing team from scratch? What role do you fill first to establish a solid marketing foundation? And how do you grow the team?  

Here at PIC, we’ve worked with businesses of all calibers and know what it takes to set you up for continuous marketing success. The following is our advice for a successful path forward to growth.  

The Perfect Marketing Team Structure for Small Businesses 

In most start-up businesses, marketing—along with many other business disciplines—rests on the owner’s shoulders or is outsourced to a single freelance person or agency. Continued success will likely lead to the need to hire internal marketing staff.  


Marketing Leadership

The individuals in marketing leadership positions support the owner, the sales department, and the customer’s experience. They must think of the company goals as a whole in order to be effective in their role. Branching out to include executive level leadership over your marketing strategy is essential to building a strong foundation that is able to scale up as your business grows. 


VP of Marketing

Your Vice President of Marketing manages the managers. They have a full understanding of every aspect of your company’s marketing efforts from maintaining the budget, staying abreast of your company’s products and services, and executing new campaigns that support the company’s goals. Your VP of marketing ensures campaigns are launched on time and takes informed action to meet the goals of the company. The person in this leadership role also collaborates with the sales department to ensure the promises made of the company’s products are true and consistent from advertisement to delivery.  


Marketing Manager

Marketing Managers answer to the VP of Marketing or, if no VP is in place, directly to the business owner.. Charged with delegating tasks to the appropriate team members, managers move the development of the actual marketing effort through each needed step before launching a campaign and going live. This position receives strategies and directives from the VP of Marketing. With these directives, they advise team members within their respective roles and provide leadership and guidance when needed. Managers typically work across multiple products and/or projects, scoping, planning, and managing work for different teams. 

Multiple marketing managers might be needed to manage teams working on different products or services within the company. People considered for the role of Marketing Manager should be great communicators, garner respect amongst their teams and supervisors, and should be a reliable source of guidance and information. 


Key Marketing Team Roles

A one-person marketing team can easily burn out, having to analyze market data, develop the strategy, build the content, and launch the campaign. As a company grows, delegation of such tasks is important to keep your hardworking and effective marketing leadership from exhaustion. 


SEM Specialist and Web Developer

Search Engine Marketing is a constant study and interpretation of trending keywords and searches across the internet and the implementation of this data into marketing efforts. This skill takes a keen eye and a cultural awareness of where the market is heading and what target clients are looking for when they type in their browser. Individuals with this skill, coupled with website development, consider user needs, legal requirements, business goals, usability, and accessibility of your company’s largest marketing tool.  

A web developer with a fluid understanding of SEM can mean the difference between no one seeing your website and being the first result of a search, along with the content and organization to drive sales. They stay on top of the customer experience within the website and constantly look for best practices to adopt, making your web presence relevant in the market.  

The team member assigned as the Web Developer and SEM Specialist will also track and analyze website traffic to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. With this information, they collaborate with the content marketing team to suggest key words to include and boost search engine optimization.  

Finally, the developer manages all third-party IT contracts needed to keep your site running smoothly. 


Web Designer

A web designer has strong digital marketing skills and manages the placement of content. They work closely with the web developer and content teams to deliver brand consistency across multiple platforms. The designer should conduct constant surveys of placement, overall language, and effectiveness of the campaigns.  

Web designers should be able to articulate how content fits into the design process and understand how it drives a customer’s journey from impressions to payment. Designers can also conduct user research and analytics in partnership with web developers to form insights on content strategy.  


Social Media Specialist

Social Media Specialist is a skilled position and includes many of the following responsibilities: 

  • Develop social media strategy through research, platform familiarity, industry benchmarks, messaging, and target market identification 
  • Generate, edit, publish, and share daily content using original text, images, video, or HTML with appealing calls to action 
  • Establish company pages on each platform to increase the visibility of the company’s social content 
  • Moderate all customer content and feedback in line with the policies for each platform 
  • Create editorial calendars and publishing schedules 
  • Continuously analyze and act on data metrics, insights, trends, and best practices 
  • Work closely with other departments to manage brand and language consistency, to include campaign coordination  
  • Engage with influencers, sponsors, and others to ensure goals are met 
  • Create social media ad campaigns, track progress, conduct regular A/B testing, and implement changes 
  • Provide monthly reports on social media marketing to managers/ VP of Marketing 

Content Specialist

It is rare for even a small business to have just one person creating all the marketing content, which can include researching and writing news releases, blog posts, whitepapers, magazine stories, newsletters, articles, and writing speeches or talking points.  

Content specialists are essentially communications professionals who demonstrate strong research, writing, and marketing skills. They work closely to interpret the message of the company and translate the message into clear and compelling language for readers. They often have strong research and interviewing skills and work collaboratively with SEM specialists, web designers, and marketing managers. The best content specialists are experienced team-players who readily seek input about and reviews of their work.  

The delivery of your content can tell a customer much about your business without ever becoming a client. Errors in content or using language inappropriate for the target audience can make a big impact on converting customers. 

Who to Hire. Who to Outsource. 

Transitioning to a full-time marketing staff has endless benefits. You are guaranteed to have someone dedicated to your brand, your customers, and your success. When building from the ground up, PIC suggests you start with a Marketing Manager. 

Who to Hire. Who to Outsource.

First Hire: Marketing Manager 

Coordinates with business owner/leadership and sales to establish marketing objectives and then develops a marketing plan to meet the goals. This role would manage all outsourced talent, such as freelance contractors. 

Additionally, as your business grows, the marketing manager will handle the content creation or collaborate with the business owner and in-house experts in writing copy for promotional material. 

With this first hire, SEM/SEO, website development and design, and social media roles are typically outsourced. 

Second Hire: Designer 

Your designer will manage your business’s website, the marketing and sales collateral, and develop and implement logos. Ideally, if your website is hosted by a  Content Management System and marketing automation system like HubSpot, the Designer can assist the Marketing Manager with lead nurture workflow and campaign management.  

If you continue to outsource social media management and SEO, the responsibility to manage these contractors may be delegated to the designer.  

Third Hire: Content Writer 

Depending on growth rate and ability of in-house staff to produce the content, the third hire may be a Content Writer. In this case, the Marketing Manager would continue to lead the team and marketing effort. The content writer and designer work together to produce content and materials in support of the business’s inbound marketing strategy and may be able to manage a basic social media effort. Other tasks (SEO/SEM, Video) continue to be outsourced to a qualified marketing agency or freelancers. 

Fourth Hire: Marketing Operations Manager 

If a Marketing Operations Manager is the fourth hire, they serve as the marketing project manager, implementing the VP of Marketing's vision and strategy. The Operations Manager coordinates the efforts of the other marketing team members, making sure tasks are done correctly, on time, and within the budget. Other tasks (SEO/SEM, Social, Video) continue to be outsourced to a qualified marketing agency, potentially in perpetuity or until the business grows to the point that hiring in-house experts for these disciplines makes sense. 


VP of Marketing- As your small business begins to grow with your star team of marketing efforts, your most knowledgeable marketing manager could step into the position of VP of Marketing. Creating this leadership role within your small business ensures that someone who is intimately familiar with your industry and company goals is available to you at all times.  

SEM Specialist and Web Developers- You may outsource to freelance web developers with very little risk and even keep them on a continuous basis for a monthly fee for continued collaboration with your hired marketing staff for SEM purposes. Further, freelance developers have existing IT licenses they can extend to your company at a discounted fee, saving your t business the cost of full licenses.  

If you have multiple websites that continuously evolve and require constant technical changes to the user experience, then hiring a full time SEM/ Web developer might be more cost effective and convenient for your company. 

Social Media Manager- As long as there is clear communication of the company’s branding and goals, outsourcing social media management to an agency or a freelance contractor can quickly pay for itself.  

Who is on Your Marketing Team? 

Do you have the right people on your team?
No two businesses are alike.
Let PIC share our decades of expertise in building marketing teams by
scheduling a free consultation today.  




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Blaine Clapper

Blaine is based in State College, PA and joined PIC in 2022 as a partner and Director of Marketing. Blaine has more than 30 years of marketing and sales experience and consults on marketing strategy and planning and content development.

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