Building a Marketing Team Structure for the Modern B2B Buyer

Explore strategies to build a versatile B2B marketing team, adapt to modern buyer habits, leverage MarTech, and find top talent in this insightful guide

Picture of Natalie Simm Natalie Simm

Published: 29 Apr 2024

15 minutes read

Building a Marketing Team Structure for the Modern B2B Buyer

It’s no secret that B2B marketing is changing, and marketing teams need to be set up to handle an ever-shifting landscape.

In recent years, businesses have become more interested in the experience that a product or service will offer them. With a new generation of workers bringing different buying habits to the table, is your marketing team set up to handle the new B2B buyer?


Understanding the modern B2B buyer

As mentioned at the start of this blog, there’s a new generation of workers in town, and they’re disrupting everything. But how?

We’ll explore how this new wave of buyers are changing buyer behaviours and what you need to consider to ensure your marketing team can handle it.


New buying habits - what do they mean for your business?

65% of the new workforce are Gen-Z and millennials, who have grown up and adapted through a pandemic and are now embracing all the changes that come with new marketing shifts, including getting information from different digital sources and AI.

Traditional buying habits, such as going into a shop or calling someone for information are almost obsolete.

According to Sana, two-thirds of B2B buyers are spending more online now than pre-pandemic. On average, they have increased their online spending by 45%. The percentage of online purchases has increased from 51% to 67%.

The B2C buying habits of convenience and having everything at the click of a button have infiltrated the B2B world, and if you’re not active online, you’re not in front of your audience.

Having grown up with social media, TikTok, search engines and reviews readily available, this is how most B2B buyers now get their information.

They’re not interested in speaking directly to sales or physically going somewhere else to get information.

They want information, as much of it as possible, and they want it now.


Why do B2B buying habits influence your marketing team structure?

Things are changing, and fast. Your team needs to be set up to adapt to these changes to take advantage of opportune moments in the market via different marketing channels.

Having the right team in place to respond to these is vital, so regardless of your business size, you should consider where your buyers are online and make sure you have the skill set to optimise performance in those areas.

You’ll need to consider exactly what skills you need, and how they can be applied to your strategy. 

Implement quick win strategies and create quality leads while you figure out what your marketing team structure looks like.

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What should you consider when creating a marketing team structure?

Before we get into the intricacies of what the new B2B buyer means for your marketing team, we need to talk about some key considerations when it comes to building a team to deliver top-notch B2B marketing.


Desirable skills for your team

Your team needs to have diverse skill sets to create rich, engaging content for both digital and offline channels, including go to market messaging, events and PR (Public Relations) to effectively drive leads, delight and retain customers.

Key traits include general digital marketing skills, content creation and repurposing (in all its forms, we’re not just talking about good ol’ blogs here), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media management, email marketing… you get the picture!

Whether you’re creating a new team or restructuring your current set-up, it’s a big ask to expect someone to be able to do all of this, so you’ll need to think about which way you’d like to structure your team, whether that’s by specialism, function or product.

According to Marketing Week’s annual Career & Salary report, 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in 2023 in response to poor market conditions.  


The size of your business

Your marketing team structure will depend on the size of your overall business. For example, a medium-sized enterprise would be more suited to organising a marketing team by specialism, whereas an enterprise business with more employees would benefit more from a structure driven by product.

Here are some examples of what other factors you should consider depending on your business’ size:

  • Small Businesses: Small businesses typically have limited resources and might have a compact marketing team, often just a few individuals or even a single person. These teams focus on core marketing activities essential to the business's immediate needs.
  • Medium-sized Businesses: As businesses grow, their marketing needs become more complex. Medium-sized businesses might expand their marketing teams to include specialists in areas like digital marketing, content creation, and market research. The team size could vary significantly based on the industry, market presence, and growth targets.
  • Large Corporations: Large corporations often have comprehensive marketing departments. These teams are not just larger in size but also more segmented, with specialists focusing on different aspects of marketing such as branding, digital strategies, global marketing, public relations, and product-specific marketing. They might also have separate teams for different products or regions.


Other influencing factors

It's important to note that industry type, market competition, business model, and growth stage also significantly influence the size and structure of a marketing team. For instance, a tech startup in a rapid growth phase might invest heavily in digital marketing and thus have a larger team proportionally compared to a stable, medium-sized manufacturing company.


Efficiency and Automation:

Advancements in technology and marketing automation tools can also influence team size. Businesses leveraging sophisticated marketing automation and analytics might achieve higher efficiency with a smaller team. This is where investments in tools such as HubSpot and ChatGPT can really elevate your business.

Later on, we’ll be talking about the best technology and tools you can use to get the most out of your team.


Collaboration and communication

If your business offers hybrid and flexible working, you should consider how your team can work effectively together. If this isn’t factored into the equation, everyone will end up working in silos, causing project delays, and mismatched assets. Going down this path reduces profitability and results from your team, so you need to get this right.


What are the core functions of a B2B marketing team?

To recap, several factors dictate how you should structure your marketing team, including:

  • How your business operates
  • Company size
  • Budget
  • Type of product/service you’re offering
  • Where your customer is present in their day-to-day

For example, if you’re a Communications SaaS company, your marketing is reactive to sales, you’re an SME with a relatively small budget, and you need leads fast for a new product, you might want to consider the following tactics:

If your current setup doesn’t have the skills to execute these tactics, it might be time to shake things up.


The main marketing team functions you should think about

Marketing is vast. From print to PR, blogs to social media, there are countless ways to engage an audience, but using the wrong strategies will waste your budget, and ultimately reduce your future marketing budget.

Here are some of the key marketing team functions you should consider:


Demand generation

This covers a few areas, including building awareness for a product or service across social media or other, traditional marketing strategies such as in-person events, magazine adverts and billboards.

Here are a few roles you should look at hiring for demand generation:

  • Demand Generation Manager to oversee the strategy and execution of the overall strategy.
  • Content Marketers to create engaging digital content and PR pieces.
  • Graphic Designer to create print and digital collateral to use across your whole marketing campaign.
  • Event Coordinator to manage the planning and execution of events like trade shows, workshops, and special events e.g. a company-wide festival, that serve as platforms for content delivery and customer success.
  • Public Relations Officer to handle media outreach, press release distribution, and content creation to boost brand image and communicate with target audiences through traditional channels.


Content marketing

Content marketing is more than just blogs, content marketing is marketing. Through carefully thought-out, strategic campaigns, you can provide useful information and content that helps customers (and prospects) solve their issues and become more informed buyers.

Here are a few roles you should look at hiring for content marketing:

  • Content Marketing Manager to oversee the production of content strategy and manage the publishing schedule.
  • Content Marketers to write blogs, social copy, sales collateral and web content.
  • Graphic Designer to create print and digital collateral to use across your whole marketing campaign.
  • Videographer to create engaging videos for audience creation, brand authority and overall engagement online.

A diverse set of skills within a marketing team not only supports the effective execution of content marketing strategies, but also enhances the team's ability to engage with a variety of audiences and adapt to dynamic market conditions.

Content marketing comes in loads of different formats, and utilising a mix of them will help you create a multi-channel marketing strategy. Here are a few formats you could use:

  • Videos (interviews, animations, talking heads, tours, demos etc.)
  • Email marketing
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers (comprehensive research pieces)
  • Interactive tools like calculators, quizzes, games,
  • Product spec sheets
  • Brochures
  • Case studies

(There’s so much more we could list here, but we have other important stuff to discuss, so let’s move on).


Digital marketing

Digital marketing is inclusive of many tactics (including all of the above) but refers to all online activity via your website and digital marketing channels including email, social media, video, content creation, SEO and website. A digital marketing specialist can help tie all the channels into one strategy.

  • SEO Specialist to identify online opportunities to improve topic authority and organic rankings.
  • Social Media Manager to be the online voice of the brand and manage audience relationships.
  • Digital marketing executive as a hands-on generalist to implement the day-to-day strategy such as content upload, email sends, monitoring the performance of individual channels and keeping an overall eye on activity.
  • Content Relationship Management (CRM) Specialist. Someone who can manage data in your CRM, segment effectively for targeting and focus on getting the best data and insights from your existing database.
  • User Experience/Developer Specialists to ensure your online and print presence provide the best experience for potential and existing customers.
  • Graphic Designer to create print and digital collateral to use across your multi-channel marketing campaigns.


Account-based Marketing (ABM)

For account-based marketing, you’ll likely need a lot of content, curated specifically for certain companies you’d like to target. This is a personal marketing approach and is quite time-intensive.

  • Account Managers that work closely with specific accounts to understand their needs and ensure the strategy aligns with their business objectives.
  • Digital Marketing Specialists to manage online campaigns that are customised for key accounts, focusing on SEO, PPC, and social media targeted strategies.
  • Sales Representatives are key when it comes to ABM. They can offer feedback from customers, to help align messaging in the marketing strategy, provide feedback and help with direct communication to targeted accounts.


Marketing operations

For marketing to run smoothly, you’ll need someone who can look after the processes, direct a team and be responsible for being the bridge between departments (like marketing, product development etc.). You need a central person to oversee the day-to-day running and hold your team accountable.

As well as the above suggested roles, it’s important you have people to oversee the running of each of these departments. Without someone to steer the ship, a company's marketing efforts are like a boat without a captain—drifting aimlessly and vulnerable to the changing markets.

  • Project Managers to keep everyone on track and ensure agreed delivery dates are met.
  • Campaign Managers to identify the main pains and challenges of the business and to put a strategy in place that targets these and meets the business lead gen goals.
  • Website Managers are important for managing the overall growth of your website. It is the digital front door to your business and needs to be aligned with your brand, marketing strategy and target audience.
  • CRM Managers to coordinate a roadmap for success and business growth, ensuring the processes and tech involved can handle it.
  • Customer Success Managers. While not a specific marketing role, this role could sit between sales and marketing to ensure the customer's experience and journey post-sale meets the expectations set during the marketing and sales processes.


Analytics and growth insights

Analytics and data are integral to understanding how much budget your team needs, if it’s performing well, and attributing spend on marketing strategies to revenue generated. This could effectively be rolled into the digital marketing role, but you will need someone who can interpret and understand data.

Some roles that could be considered for this area of marketing include:

  • Growth Marketer to focus on maximising the potential of your current contact and customer database. Implementing strategies such as intent-based marketing, ensuring marketing attribution and understanding what customers want and need to increase average order value (AOV) and general uptake of products/solutions.
  • Data Analyst. This role is particularly crucial if you have a large business. They can analyse data on a large scale and understand customer and prospect trends to help better inform business and marketing decisions.
  • Content Marketers to create content, including blogs, social copy, sales messaging and updating web page content.


Everyone needs to work together

Across all functions, your team will need to work together. You can create a hierarchy to de-escalate problems and improve feedback loops to refine your team’s efficiency. Communication makes way for great collaboration, and ultimately, better results.

Working across departments in-house is important, especially when it comes to sales and marketing alignment.

Creating an experience that is joined up from start to finish for prospects and customers is crucial to great marketing results. Consistency is key, and the feedback you can receive from the sales team, such as reasons a lead didn’t progress, common objections they face or typical questions can all help marketing shape this experience via targeted content and strategies.

Working with suppliers and external vendors is equally as important, and should be something you consider when it comes to creating your marketing team. You could hire the help of a marketing agency to:

  • Identify your target market’s pain points and challenges
  • Advise you on marketing strategy to help you meet, monthly, quarterly and yearly business goals
  • Take some of the burden - agencies can advise but also create some content for you, giving you more time to focus on results and growing your team.
  • Implement quick, lead-gen tactics to make you feel
  • Save money. An agency can cover multiple skills for the yearly cost of one in-house marketer


If saving money and getting leads quickly sounds good to you, book a meeting with one of our marketing experts for more info on how we can work together to get you the best results with the help of an agency.

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Working with a Growth Marketing Agency

Equally, you can hire a marketing agency to work with your team, instead of hiring one instead of a team. Working with agencies isn’t always easy, but there are some of the key roles you should think about hiring if you’re considering working with an agency to make the process smooth:

  • Project Manager to be the point of contact for the agency and liaise internally with key people to keep projects moving.
  • Campaign Manager to confirm details of strategies advised by the agency and be the commercial eyes and ears for the campaign.
  • Digital Marketing Specialists to work closely with the campaign manager to execute the strategies agreed between the agency and your team.


Collaboration with sales and customer success

Arguably the most important element of this whole process, is how your marketing team is set up and if it works alongside the sales, product and customer success teams. The process from visitor to customer needs to be mapped out to ensure the best possible experience for the prospective customer.

Whether you’re restructuring or building a marketing team from scratch, it’s really important to also look at your sales process, from start to finish. You should all agree on a few fundamentals to make sure your leads flow, are qualified and have the best chance of converting.

To ensure alignment between sales and marketing, you should agree on:

  • Sales to Marketing SLAs and what this process looks like. Without this in place, leads could be missed and you will lose sight of revenue attributed to marketing and less sales overall.
  • What a good lead looks like i.e. who are they? What’s their job? What’s the ideal fit for your business?
  • What makes a lead qualified? Is it their available budget, when they’ve reached a certain lead score, or when they show some kind of intent?
  • What happens during the sales process? Do you offer demos, trials etc? What communication will the lead receive, and from whom?

Set up a workshop with all the key stakeholders from the relevant teams to cover the above and you can have this mapped out in a day. Then all you need to do is build the automation and qualifying criteria, and hand it over to the marketing strategy to do the hard work for you!

The overall aim of marketing and sales collaboration is to have the marketing strategy work continually and create a seamless transition of leads between the teams.

The idea is to gain leads from all areas of the marketing funnel, and sales only speak to them when they reach the bottom of the funnel and are pretty much qualified.

If you get your content strategy right, supported by lead gen channels such as PPC, email marketing and social media you should end up with a steady flow of good, qualified leads coming in without much effort.


Finding the right talent for your team

Now you’ve got all the info on the marketing core functions, skills and tools you need, how do you find the people with the know-how to get started?

There’s no question about it, marketing is competitive. It’s at the top of everyone’s agenda in an age where people are looking for information and lots of it. There are generally always a lot of jobs in the marketing space, and people tend to move quickly.

You should consider how your business can stand out from the crowd when attracting top talent and what you can do to retain it.


Are you ready to build your marketing team?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what you need to consider when building a marketing team for the modern B2B buyer, hopefully, you feel ready to build (or restructure) your marketing team.

Hiring for the core functions that your audience will resonate best with is crucial, and you can generate some amazing results with a refined marketing team and have the expertise and help on hand from an agency.

Being able to free up some financial resources and time will help you stay focused on the overall strategy you’re trying to deliver, as well as alignment between your sales, product and marketing teams.

Once you’ve established this, you’ll have the foundation for a successful and resourceful marketing team that will drive leads while you sleep (we’re not joking!).

Ready to get started?

Axon Garside has all the gear and all the ideas to help you get the most out of your CRM, your marketing, and ultimately, your team.

Speak to us today for intelligent insights and know-how to drive results for your business.

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