Whether you've got a full team of dedicated marketing professionals on your payroll or you're the entrepreneur of a startup trying to market yourself, your end goal is the same: increase the visibility and reputation of your brand to attract more customers. Every business is unique, with a unique industry, competitive landscape, customer base, size, and revenue, so it's impossible to develop one marketing strategy that can work for any business. However, in order to be successful, there are certain roles that any marketing team will have to fill:
1. The Brainstormer. This is the "visionary" role that your marketing department will have to fulfill. The individual components of marketing, such as ad creation and distribution, won't mean anything unless they're created with a bigger, overarching plan in mind. The brainstormer's job is to think high-level and draft out the possible paths for campaign development, including what other members of the team will be responsible for which tasks, and which channels and strategies to use during the execution. This is a leadership role, and should only be trusted to your most experienced or most qualified candidate.
2. The Researcher. The researcher's job is straightforward: gather all the information necessary to create a marketing campaign that's truly effective. First, the researcher must study the core demographics of your business, identify the mediums and messages that are most effective in communicating with them. The researcher must also spend time monitoring and evaluating the direct competition, learning their tricks and deciding whether to mimic, transform, or supersede them with a different strategy. Ultimately, it's the researcher's job to provide the raw facts and data the rest of your team needs in order to be effective.
3. The Manager. The manager's role is one of the most important, yet also one of the most removed. Rather than specifically executing specific project tasks, the manager's job is to see that those project tasks are executed by the right parties, in the right order, and in the right timeframe. The manager is responsible for establishing a timeline for the campaign, including a breakdown of who is responsible for what and when. Should someone fail to meet a deadline or execute something incorrectly, it is the manager's role to notice and take immediate action to ensure the campaign does not fail.
4. The Designer. The designer is the creative role, and one of the most difficult to step into without previous training or experience. Though I'm calling this role "the designer," the truth is it applies to any form of creative development, including graphic design, writing, video production, or any other action that results in a finished ad or piece of content. The designer needs to work closely with both the researcher and the manager to ensure he/she has a solid idea of the campaign's direction, and is able to execute the idea on time.
5. The Reviewer. The reviewer is the person responsible for evaluating the designer's work. On a lower level, this means proofreading for simple errors and identifying any layout or formatting errors. But on a higher level, this means taking a look at the piece and how it fits in with the brand and the campaign. In order to be successful, your materials will have to fall in line with the brainstormer's overall vision, and it's the reviewer's job to make sure that it does.
6. The Distributor. Once an individual piece is finished, whether that's a guest blog post, a magazine advertisement, or a YouTube video, the distributor steps in and ensures the piece makes it to its final destination. In some cases, this is a simple matter of publishing online and syndicating through social media channels. In other cases, this means preserving an ongoing relationship with media companies and scheduling and overseeing ad publications. In effect, the distributor takes what the rest of the team has produced, and ensures that it is seen by the right audience at the right time.
7. The Analyst. One of the most important roles of your marketing team is that of the analyst. The analyst is responsible for gathering all the data for the campaign--including the costs and the overall effectiveness--and analyzing it to determine how successful the campaign was. For example, if the campaign resulted in a significant increase in web traffic but cost more money than it brought in, the analyst would determine that the campaign was not successful. The analyst will take the information back to the brainstormer, who will then use it to determine how to proceed in the future. Without this information, the entire team will be running blind, never knowing which strategies are effective and what adjustments need to be made.
How you choose to distribute or adopt these roles is up to you. Consider your resource pool, your budget, and your immediate goals; these should point you in the right direction. Whether you hire multiple people to cover each individual role, or just try to tackle them all yourself, if you have these roles covered sufficiently, you'll be on a great path forward.