An organisational structure for marketing and digital

An organisational structure for marketing and digital
Digital and marketing organisation structure

Carte blanche for organisational structure is a rare treat for executives. Often they inherit a team structure or have to shape a team within an existing organisation structure. But what would happen if we had to build a marketing and digital team without any legacy? How would the team be structured? What roles would be created?

This post is a response to Ashley Friedlein’s recent post: With a blank sheet, what organisational structure would you choose for marketing and digital? Highly recommend you read this too (after my post of course)!

My route to developing a structure is based on Peter R Scholte’s work in the Leader’s Handbook. The starting point – as shown in the diagram below – is to define the purpose or vision. This statment is an altruistic statement of what the organisation will do for others.


Once a purpose is set, the process for delivering that purpose can be created. The process then proceeds to shape the tasks that need to be carried out. From the tasks come capabilities which can then be translated into roles. Each role then becomes part of the organisation structure.

A structure for marketing and digital

Let me begin with the purpose for marketing and digital:

“Marketing and digital’s purpose is to create easy-to-use, memorable, engaging, and personalised customer experiences across web, mobile app, call centre and stores. Best endeavours will be made to help prospective customers discover our business and engage with it”

From this purpose a process can be designed. I’d shape this as:

  1. Design the customer experience
    • Customer research
    • UX design
    • Creative design
    • Prototyping
  2. Create the customer experience
    • Web development
    • Mobile app development
    • Content production
    • Quality control
    • Project management
  3. Measure and optimise the customer experience
    • Data analysis
    • Reporting
    • Testing
  4. Find customers
    • Search engine marketing
    • Social media marketing
    • Direct mail
    • Affiliates
    • Call centre
    • Sales force and account team
    • TV advertising
    • Other paid media
  5. Engage customers
    • Email marketing
    • Account team
    • Social media
    • Call centre
    • Mailings

There are supporting processes alongside this:

  • Team management
  • Financial control

The process above, highlights both the tasks and capabilities required in order to fulfil the process. From this I can draw out a simple set of roles:

Digital and marketing organisation structure
Digital and marketing organisation structure

This is my take on the structure, a single director of marketing and digital (potentially a Chief Customer/Marketing Officer) who either sits on or reports to the board. Below them is a set of operational heads who are responsible for the customer experience, acquisition of customers, and customer engagement.

Further Reading

First of you need to read Ashley’s original post: With a blank sheet, what organisational structure would you choose for marketing and digital?

I also recommend that you pick up a copy of Peter Scholtes’ book The Leader’s Handbook.

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David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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