How to Organize Your Marketing Organization

March 31, 2022

Contributor: Jordan Turner

Spur action to quickly run a more effective and efficient marketing organization.

In short:

  • Marketing teams must be strategic partners driving the company’s growth objectives in the post-COVID-19 world.
  • Yet, increased enterprise costs, tight marketing budgets and continued repercussions of the Great Resignation are just a few of the concerns facing CMOs as they examine their marketing organizations.
  • To combat these challenges, rethink your org structure, key responsibilities, talent skill sets and headcount, and goals to ensure your marketing organization’s success.

While the severe turmoil at the height of the pandemic has faded, marketing has continued to face significant disruption. Increasing enterprise costs, squeezed marketing budgets and the continued repercussions of the Great Resignation are just a few of the concerns facing CMOs as they examine their marketing organizations. Marketing leaders will need to account for these new realities in their long-term plans for the shape of the marketing function.

Download now: Rethink the Future of Your Marketing Organization

4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Marketing Organization

No. 1: Weigh the pros and cons of centralization 

Centralization is not a new concept in marketing. However, the pace of centralization has quickened due to a host of operational excellence issues — such as prioritization, workflows and collaboration. Centralization often promises greater control and economies of scale, but it’s important to remember that each structure brings both benefits and drawbacks. First, place your organizational decisions in a strategic context: make trade-offs based on restructuring objectives, capability gaps and cultural realities.

No. 2: Identify value-added responsibilities for the marketing organization to own

Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy and marketing-led innovation is increasing, while sole responsibilities for resource management, creative development, content tagging and martech management is decreasing. In the years ahead, identify the responsibilities that marketing can afford to cede and those you must fight to ensure that marketing plays an active role in future-forward enterprise value creation.

No. 3: Acquire skill sets to support evolving customer journeys

As customer journeys become more complex, you must recruit and develop new skill sets to support these journeys. All while maintaining a culture of creativity and collaboration in new hybrid work environments. With increased talent competition, and in the face of the Great Resignation, the talent challenge is amplified. Regardless, teams are growing and are significantly larger as the years progress. So, what does this mean for team size? A median of 6.3 direct reports and a median team size of 115.

Marketing Skills to Develop

Download now: Sample Marketing Org Chart

No. 4: Grow the business influence of your marketing organization 

It’s not just about building a more modern marketing organization but ultimately aligning marketing to overall business goals, growth and innovation. It’s critical to increase executive-level influence to include the CEO, CFO, CIO or CDO, so marketing doesn’t have to work so hard to prove its value to the business. If you’re running a tight organization that delivers on business outcomes time and time again, marketing’s value isn’t in question because it is demonstrated on a day-in and day-out basis.


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