Marketing Team

What's the optimal structure for a marketing team to be in line with the 4 Point Play?

A sub-optimal marketing team structure based on marketing channels

In early-stage startups, marketing roles get designated as per channels because the sole focus is on lead generation. Hence roles get assigned, for example, as below:

  • a email marketing person who is a little tech savvy but dependent on content writer for drafting emails.

  • a content writer who ends up supporting all content needs - blog, sales collateral, website pages, emails, social media pages, etc.

  • a social media person who manages webinars and every other new channel.

  • an event management person, who also manages the administrative task.

As the business grows, if such a marketing team set up is not corrected - to match the corresponding business growth - creates a massive mess in all areas, not just effectiveness of each channel but other areas as well - a sub-optimal marketing stack, a messed up marketing database and so on. It also becomes challenging to measure an individual's performance and hence find areas which need improvement.

Instead it is optimal to organise skills based on the objectives the skill owners are expected to achieve. Anyways, each of the skill owners end up using same set of marketing channels.

Structure your marketing team based on outcomes

Each of the 4 buckets i.e. focus areas in the '4 Point Play' will be led by 4 sub-teams within the marketing function. All 4 sub-teams report to the Head of Marketing.

Companies with an ARR in the range of US $20 - US $50 hire CMOs.Tomasz Tunguz

Depending on the requirement / budget / size of the business, each sub-team could have multiple members or led by individual contributors. Thus even a small-size business can set up and scale up with an outcome based marketing team structure.

Additionally, the Head of Marketing and the marketing sub-teams -

  • provides leads and sales enablement to the Sales team.

  • collaborates with the Product Team

  • supports

    • the Account Management team

    • the Customer Success team

    • the Business Development team

Individual sub-units, their functions and KPIs

Refer to the index on the left-hand side in the 4 Point Play section, as well as the 'contents' navigator on the right-hand side as you go through the below description of teams.

Team 1. Infrastructure

Team 1A: Product Marketing

  • Gather competitive intelligence.

  • Analyze the customer base.

  • Develop a customer lifecycle journey.

  • Determine pricing.

  • Build the product's story - what problem it solves, for whom, how, why better?

  • Test the product internally - does it work the way target customer would expect it to be?


  • Prepare product focused content: blog articles, use cases, and website landing pages.

  • Prepare sales enablement material: battle cards, comparison with competing products.

  • Educate the sales team on the product, competition, objections, etc.

  • Later, work with sales to respond to RFPs.

Product marketers may not be experts in written communication. Hence, a content writer should be dedicated to work with a product marketer or let all the content prepared by product marketers be vetted by the central content production team (see below).


  • Prepare product launch plans - go-to-market plans (GTM).

  • Manage analyst relations [ this can also be managed by the 'Shaping Markets' team].

  • Engage with influencers, experts - similar to analyst relations.


Here are some relevant articles about product marketing:

Team 1B(i): Content Production

[Also refer to another section on 'content production' under The Foundations.]

Written communication is at the heart of all marketing activities.

If possible all the sub-teams should be self-sufficient in their content writing requirement. However that rarely happens - an email marketing person would be good at setting up and running drip marketing campaigns, but might be poor in terms of marketing communication.

Hence a central content production team is set up that is solely responsible for producing all forms of content required by any of the stakeholders and sub-teams.

The content production team should have:

  • Content writers who can produce product-specific as well as generic content around industry issues.

  • Analysts and researchers who can do primary and secondary research and produce thought leadership content in the form of white papers.

  • Hire for the talent of writing a good copy. Train them for different aspects of content - a sales copy, a PR release, a landing page, a website page, etc.

  • If required, hire a native language expert to format the written communication across the board such that the entire marketing communication reflects a global English language tone and style.

  • Translation services for non-English countries if the scope of work is very high and for a multi-lingual website(s).

Refer to the section on Content Marketing Channel, and Content Production for more related information.

Writing useful, fluff-free content in plain English is a high-end skill. Avoid hiring content writers who are hard-wired to write long-form, full-of-fluff content for SEO. Spot these in their work: repeating the same concept, lack of brevity, use of unrelated visuals. You got the gist!

Team 1B(ii): Creative

  • Well-designed websites, print collateral, digital marketing assets play a huge role to raise interest level to consume the content, and to enable a positive brand perception.

  • Include the website designers also under this team.

  • This team can police the brand guidelines across.

  • Obvious work output:

    • Design all digital assets (downloadable PDFs, PowerPoint decks) and print collateral (event booth backdrop, visiting cards, brochures, etc.)

    • Social media collaterals - images, GIFs.

    • Video production - recording, and editing.

    • Still photography.

    • Design website pages and landing pages using Unbounce or CMS such as Wordpress or Webflow.

Demand generation team would often need two things - a well-designed landing page and content on that page. Hence it is a good idea to dedicate a team member from the content product team and the creative team to prioritize such requests and deliver on these requests.

Team 1C: Technology

  • Set up the marketing automation, analytics, email marketing infrastructure and other pieces of the marketing technology stack.

  • Once the marketing tech stack is established, this area may not justify a full-time head-count. Hence encourage them to report to:

  • the Demand Generation team to:

    • Execute on-page technical SEO.

    • Carry out CRO experiments.

    • Execute engineering or product or marketing growth hacks.

Refer to the Marketing Technology Stack page to find out the ways to produce thought leadership content.

Team 1D: MIS

Management 😁 'Marketing information systems' (MIS) team member - the Excel data hero - would be the one who would keep a tab on all the data in one place in spreadsheets or using a software or building a dashboard in-house. The idea is to continually track all of marketing data in one place - web analytics, campaign performance, CRM lead data numbers, marketing expenses (apps, software, events, influencer payments, industry association memberships, brochures, physical display material, etc.)

Team 2: Demand Generation

Typically, two terminologies are used to refer to the marketing team engaged in the act of generating demand:

  1. If the firm sells largely to enterprise-level customers, then it is referred as a Demand Generation Team.

  2. Irrespective of the customer market it sells to (consumers, small businesses, mid-market or enterprise), if the firm is driving stickiness and virality, then it is referred to as Growth Marketing Team or Performance Marketing Team.

2A. Demand Generation

  • Generate demand (SQLs):

    • Manage paid channels - Google Ads, and social media paid ads.

    • Outbound email marketing campaigns on prospects data to generate leads.

    • Lead 'Account Based Marketing' to engage targeted prospects.

    • Run integrated marketing campaigns.

  • Nurture leads and opportunities:

    • Execute email nurture campaign to warm up:

      • leads acquired via outbound email campaigns which have not signed up for a demo / product after say a '21 day sales focused drip campaign'.

      • leads acquired via website forms for gated content downloads or blog subscriptions.

  • Optimize the website for search engines (SEO):

    • On-page - technical optimization on the website.

    • Off-page - primarily content distribution (content marketing) and link building.

  • Keep the marketing database updated and clean:

    • every firm has some or other legacy messed-up data issue.

    • junk leads keep coming - even manually added by team members.

See marketing-channels/seo for more details.

2B. Growth Marketing / Performance Marketing Team

[ business stage: stickiness, virality ].

This is a multi-disciplinary team - apart from marketing channel experts - it needs product management, engineering, and coder and web-developers. For a business focused on achieving stickiness and virality, growth team could be perhaps the only team under this bucket.

Ensure that a dedicated coder / web-developer / tech hacker / a multi-tech-skilled person reports to Demand Generation manager. Growth experiments don't work when such a resource is "borrowed" from engineering. That just doesn't work.

Team 3: Branding and Awareness

  • PR and main-stream media relations.

  • Participation in trade events.

  • Non-digital advertisements in print, outdoor (applicable for global brands).

  • Reputation management.

Team 4: Customer Equity

  • Support 'Customer Success' team to drive product adoption.

    • Work with content production and creative team to provide product collateral.

    • Set up and execute email drip campaigns to engage users at the customer's firm.

  • Engage customers with

    • Branded Customer Events

    • Customer Forums

    • Customer Advisory Councils

    • Media interviews or speaking arrangements for customers at trade events.

    • Engagement activities targeted at relevant stakeholder at the customer's firm.

  • Generate marketing collaterals:

    • Produce customer case studies / written or video testimonials:

      • Gain customers' commitment to participate

      • Manage end-to-end production of case studies including video shoots and working with the content production team to get the final output.

    • Take ownership of such content to be put up on the website and to be used by sales team.

Team 5: Shaping Markets

  • Maintain analyst relations [overlaps with the product marketing function 🤔 ].

  • Build, nurture relations with members of the ecosystem - industry associations, consulting companies, sourcing advisors, product experts, and industry influencers.

  • Nominate and win industry awards.

  • Participate in industry benchmark surveys.

  • Creating and nurturing online communities to engage target customer profiles.

  • Organic social media marketing.

The 3 Musketeers of Marketing: 😎

In this structure a firm can look at hiring marketing experts in 3 key areas, and make them responsible for achieving key objectives as outlined in the '4 Point Play'.

  1. Product Marketing Manager responsible for:

  2. Demand Generation Manager responsible for:

    1. demand generation / acquisition marketing*

  3. Brand Marketing Manager responsible for:

    1. customer equity. | sometimes this is also referred to as lifecycle marketing.

Hire a 'Product Marketing Manager' first. That way a firm gains a solid understanding of their customers and the product-market fit. This sets the foundation for demand generation / performance marketing and brand marketing.

As the firm starts getting traction, hire a 'Demand Generation Manager'. This will ensure rapid growth via channels which offer tighter control on measurement,

Then hire a 'Brand Marketing Manager'. This will help the firm experiment with speaking to a larger and new set of prospects via channels which are difficult to measure such as print, PR and outdoor.

All the three sub-functions can then report into the 'Head of Marketing'.

Firms marketing to enterprise clients use the term Demand Generation, while firms marketing to mid-market or retail customer use the term Performance Marketing or Quantitative Marketing or Acquisition Marketing. In essence, these teams are responsible for generating MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads).

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