Understanding marketing team roles and who to hire first can be challenging for a small business. Full-time employees add to monthly overheads and require a significant amount of responsibility.
There is no right or wrong way to build a marketing department. Several factors will influence your decision, including affordability/cash flow, industry, product, and the resources your company has on hand.
Modern marketing departments comprise of internal and external team members, often scattered across the world. These teams often share passwords for social media, marketing apps, and other tools.
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This article looks at five marketing roles for your small business and recommendations for building a marketing team based on your business needs or direction.
An experienced marketing director is an invaluable hire for any company. They provide broad, high-level direction and strategy that you won't get from low-level marketing professionals and specialists.
If marketing is not one of your strengths, a marketing director might be an excellent first hire for the department because they can take ownership of that side of the business—leaving you to focus where you're able to add the most value.
A marketing director is particularly valuable for an agency because they can assess and evaluate your clients' needs and implement an effective strategy—and find ways to maximize your margins.
Marketing Director Responsibilities
- Planning, communicating and implementing a marketing plan and strategy
- Manage hiring full-time and freelance marketing positions
- Meet with clients (for a marketing agency)
- Directing and coordinating marketing efforts
- Coordinate market and competitor research
- Connect with other departments to ensure marketing aligns with the organization's goals
- Identify new customers and revenue opportunities
- Manage marketing budgets and financial projections
- Develop and manage advertising campaigns
- Act as a marketing project manager
Qualities of a Marketing Director
Since you're entrusting a marketing director to run an entire department, you want someone with excellent business and entrepreneurial acumen. They also need a proven track record of successfully running teams with excellent communication skills.
You should also look for a trustworthy individual with strong organizational skills and the ability to manage budgets.
Data science is an integral part of modern marketing campaigns. The demand for data scientists has grown globally over the last decade as companies seek to refine customer personas, behavior, patterns, trends, and other human insights marketing teams can leverage.
Data isn't limited to understanding customers. Organizations use data to analyze any patterns or behaviors, which can be a powerful tool for market and competitor analysis.
Data science can also provide insights into new products and services or revenue opportunities.
Data Scientist Responsibilities
- Implement methods to acquire data
- Process, clean, and analyze data
- Create algorithms and models to analyze data—machine learning, statistical modeling, and artificial intelligence
- Store, research, and share data in line with data privacy laws
- Generate reports for stakeholders
Qualities of a Data Scientist
A data scientist must have the technical skills and educational background to collect, analyze, and interpret data. They should also be highly competent in the programming languages required to apply data science techniques.
Data scientists also need excellent communication and presentation skills to explain their findings to stakeholders with strategies to capitalize on the results.
Visual content is a vital component of any marketing campaign, including social media, blogs, ads, branding, web design, product design, and more. Some graphic designers are also competent with video content creation, which could provide significant value and reduce the need for additional staff or contractors.
Graphic Designer Responsibilities
- Creating and sourcing marketing content materials—graphics, photos, icons, logos
- Creative direction to align with branding and campaign objectives—colors, typography, visual layouts, images, video
- Creating color palettes
- Liaising with other teams to prioritize work
- Complete visual content to a high standard while meeting project deadlines
Qualities of a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer must have a portfolio demonstrating their ability to create content for marketing, advertising, and branding campaigns. They must be excellent communicators capable of taking direction and following project briefs.
Content managers play an essential function in maintaining messaging and brand consistency across the organization. A content manager might also fulfill a PR role with content partnerships or pitching company/product profiles to prominent publications and media outlets.
Content Manager Responsibilities
- Developing and maintaining the brand/campaign's voice through all published content
- Strategizing a long term content calendar to align with campaign/brand strategies
- Commissioning articles, videos, graphics, and other content from team members and freelancers
- Checking all content meets brand/campaign requirements before publishing
- Partnership outreach and networking for PR opportunities
- Analyzing content reach and reporting progress to stakeholders
- Liaising with teams (social media, writers, designers, etc.) to prioritize and schedule content creation
- Overseeing content and keyword research
Qualities of a Content Manager
Content managers must be excellent communicators to provide meaningful feedback to writers, designers, and other content creators. They must also have good planning and organizational skills, capable of managing teams to meet deadlines.
Charisma and strong networking skills are essential for a content manager's public relations responsibilities.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial inbound marketing strategy. Many SEO strategists are also highly competent copywriters and researchers capable of producing quality content—which is probably the type of individual you want in a small business.
SEO strategists will work with any content, websites, landing pages, and products the organization wants to rank in search results. An SEO strategist must have a keen eye for identifying search intent, what people are looking for, and how content can solve users' problems.
SEO Strategist Responsibilities
- Keyword research
- Researching Google Analytics and Google Search Console data
- Researching titles and H tags to structure content
- Identifying the best places for CTAs
- Ensuring web content is optimized for search engines, Google Maps, voice search, Alexa rankings, etc.
- Recommending backlinking opportunities to content manager
- Analyzing top ranking competitors for content optimization opportunities
- Researching local search—where applicable
- Liaising with writers and designers to optimize content for user engagement and search engines
- Competent with popular content management systems—WordPress, Joomla, Ghost, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.
- Fundamental coding knowledge can help identify and fix technical SEO issues
- Staying up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices and search engine updates
Qualities of an SEO Strategist
An SEO strategist must be a creative thinker capable of identifying unique keyword and ranking opportunities. SEO strategists also require good technical expertise to analyze data, read code, work with CMSs, and understand search engines.
What do all of these five roles have in common? They all need software and tools to complete their daily tasks. Many of these team members share tools, which means sharing credentials with coworkers.
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Hiring Freelancers vs. Full-Time Employees
When to hire freelancers vs. full-time employees is a common question small business owners must consider.
When it comes to marketing, wait until you can afford to employ high-level marketing professionals like a marketing director, marketing project manager, or content manager as your first hire.
These people can help shape your company's future and manage the hiring of freelancers to fulfill tasks as needed. They can also help plan your future hiring strategy to build your marketing department.
If you hire a specialist or low-level marketing professional first, you'll have to manage them and any freelancers you contract.
A data scientist is worth considering early on because they work with sensitive and valuable information. If you do hire a freelance data scientist, make sure you comply with data privacy laws.
Securing Marketing Assets With TeamPassword
Small businesses are as vulnerable to attack as any large organization. With malicious software like ransomware so freely available, low-level criminals will target small businesses for as little as a few thousand dollars.
Protecting your company's passwords is the first step to mitigating cybersecurity vulnerabilities. TeamPassword is a password management solution for small businesses and startups to share passwords safely among teams.
Companies can set up secure password access for employees, freelancers, and clients to prevent teams from sharing credentials via email, messaging apps, or spreadsheets.
Instead of entering a username and password, teams use TeamPassword's browser extensions (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) or mobile app (iOS & Android) to log in.
You can create groups and only share access with those who need it. When an employee leaves the team, remove them with a single click.
When you need to create or reset a password, you can use TeamPassword's built-in password generator to create strong, unique credentials for every account—mitigating password attacks from weak or reused passwords!
Each team member can also set up two-factor authentication with Google Authenticator (iOS & Android) to add an extra layer of security to their TeamPassword account.
Get Started for Free
Don't let your small business be the next data-breach statistic! Try TeamPassword for free for 14 days to test our password manager with your team and company's digital assets.