How To Get Lethal with Your SaaS Marketing Team Structure
It’s no secret that marketing is the lifeblood of any software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. The problem is, as every marketer knows, it is difficult to get your team structure right.
According to a study, only 29% of companies are satisfied with their marketing team structures.
So, how do you go about creating a marketing team that can help your SaaS company thrive? Simple. You need the right mix of skills, experience and personalities to create a marketing machine that can crush the competition.
In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can structure your SaaS marketing team and how to make the most of it.
But before that, let’s go back to marketing lesson 101 and discuss a few basic information.
What Makes SaaS Marketing Team Unique?
The unique selling proposition of a SaaS company is that its product is delivered over the internet. This means that the marketing team for a SaaS company needs to understand marketing and technology, and the internet.
Another unique feature of SaaS marketing is constantly generating new leads. Unlike traditional software companies, which sell to a small number of large enterprises, a SaaS company needs to generate new leads in order to survive constantly. This means that the marketing team needs to be good at lead generation as well as marketing.
The 2 Types of Marketing Team Structure
Traditionally, most marketing teams are structured in one of two ways:
1. The Specialist Model
In this model, each team member has a specific area of expertise, such as SEO, paid search, email marketing, etc.
This can be an effective way to organize your team, as it allows each member to focus on their own area of specialization and develop deep expertise.
- Each team member can focus on a specific area of marketing and become an expert in that area. A product marketer, for example, can focus on developing marketing collateral, creating a product website, and writing case studies.
- The team is well-organized and each member knows their role.
- The team is not well-rounded and may not be good at all areas of marketing.
- The team may be too specialized and not able to adapt to changes in the market.
The Specialist Model is common in traditional software companies, where the market is more stable and there is less need for specialization.
2. The Generalist Model
In this model, team members are responsible for a range of marketing activities, such as creating content, managing social media, etc. This can be an effective way to organize your team if you have a limited budget and need someone to wear many hats.
- The team is well-rounded and good at all areas of marketing.
- They can adapt to changes in the market easily.
- The team may be too generalist and not able to focus on specific areas of marketing.
- They may not be good at all areas of marketing.
The Generalist Model is common in SaaS companies, where the market is more dynamic and changes rapidly.
Which Model is Right for You?
The right model for your marketing team will depend on your company’s size, budget and goals.
If you’re a small company with limited resources, the Specialist Model may be the best option, as it allows you to focus your resources on a limited number of activities.
However, as your company grows, you may need to adopt the Generalist Model to have a well-rounded team and good at all areas of marketing.
If you’re a large company with a large budget, the Generalist Model may be the best option, as it allows you to spread your resources across a wide range of activities. Nonetheless, you may still need to have a few specialists on your team who can focus on specific areas of marketing, such as SEO or paid search.
How to Structure Your Marketing Team
Now that we’ve discussed the two most common marketing team structures let’s explore how to structure your marketing team (the modern way).
There are three basic ways to structure your SaaS marketing team:
1. By Function
In this model, team members are organized by function, such as content marketing, social media marketing, demand generation, etc. This is particularly effective if you have a lot of team members, as it allows each member to specialize in a particular function.
2. By Channel
In this model, team members are organized by channel, such as website, blog, social media, etc. This can be effective if you want each team member to be responsible for a particular channel.
3. By Role
In this model, team members are organized by role, such as CEO, CMO, VP of Marketing, etc. This is the most common way to structure a marketing team as it allows each team member to specialize in a particular area.
How to Choose the Right Structure for Your Team
Still, the right structure for your SaaS marketing team will depend on your company’s size, budget and goals.
If you’re a small company with limited resources, the Functional Structure may be the best option, as it allows you to focus your resources on a limited number of activities.
Unfortunately, as your company grows, you may need to adopt the Role Structure to have a well-rounded team and good at all areas of marketing.
If you’re a large company with a large budget, the Role Structure may be the best option, as it allows you to spread your resources across a wide range of activities. It is particularly effective if you want each team member to be responsible for a particular area of marketing.
The Channel Structure is a good option for SaaS companies looking to target a specific channel, such as social media or a website. Choose this structure if you want each team member to be responsible for a particular channel.
Now that we’ve discussed the three basic structures for SaaS marketing teams, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each.
1. Functional Structure
The Functional Structure is an effective way to organize your team, as it allows each member to focus on their own area of specialization.
✓ Each team member can focus on their own area of specialization.
✓ Team members can develop deep expertise in their area of specialization.
- Limited interaction between team members.
- Can lead to silos and lack of cooperation.
2. Channel Structure
The Channel Structure is an effective way to organize your team, as it allows team members to gain a broad understanding of all aspects of marketing.
✓ Allows team members to gain a broad understanding of all aspects of marketing.
✓ Encourages teamwork and cooperation.
- May lead to overlap and duplication of effort.
3. Role Structure
The Role Structure is an effective way to organize your team, as it allows team members to specialize in a particular area of marketing.
✓ Allows team members to specialize in a particular area of marketing.
✓ Encourages teamwork and cooperation.
- May lead to overlap and duplication of effort.
How to Hire Members of Your SaaS Marketing Team
If you’re in charge of hiring for a SaaS company and are new to marketing, we recommend following these guidelines:
1.) Hire one person with experience who can be the go-to contact for everything. This person can be your Product Marketing Manager or VP of Marketing.
2.) Hire two junior employees who want to learn from their mentor and help out on small projects while they watch them grow into more responsibility over time. They can be your SEO Manager, Content Marketing Manager and Social Media Manager.
3.) One senior employee helps manage large campaigns and works closely with other teams like engineering or sales so they can keep up with what’s going on in those areas. They can be your Demand Generation Manager.
4.) One employee is in charge of budgeting and analytics, to help track how marketing is impacting the business. They can be your Marketing Operations Manager.
The type of team structure you choose for your SaaS company will greatly impact the type of employees you hire.
If you choose the Functional Structure, you’ll want to hire employees with a lot of experience in a particular marketing area.
If you choose the Channel Structure, you’ll want to hire employees with a broad understanding of all aspects of marketing.
If you choose the Role Structure, you’ll want to hire employees with experience in a particular area of marketing.
By following the guidelines above, you’ll be able to put together an effective and efficient SaaS marketing team.
The Structure of a Typical SaaS Marketing Team
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to structure your SaaS marketing team. However, most SaaS marketing teams tend to have the following structure:
1. A senior marketing executive who oversees the entire marketing operation.
2. A team of content creators in charge of developing and publishing content.
3. A social media team that engages with customers on social media.
4. A demand generation team that generates leads.
5. A marketing operations team that oversees the budget and analytics.
6. A sales enablement team that provides sales with marketing materials and training.
7. A customer success team that helps customers get the most out of their subscription.
8. A marketing communications team that creates and distributes marketing materials.
9. A web development team that builds and maintains the company website.
10. A search engine optimization (SEO) team that optimizes the company website for search engines.
11. A paid search team that creates and manages paid search campaigns.
12. An email marketing team that creates and sends email newsletters.
13. A lead generation team that works with partners and affiliates to generate leads.
14. A marketing research team that gathers and analyzes data about customers and prospects.
15. A business development team that helps the company expand its customer base.
16. A marketing automation team that uses marketing automation software to manage campaigns and track results.
17. A sales operations team that supports the sales team by tracking leads and providing sales data.
18. A technical support team that provides customer support for the company’s products.
19. A marketing management team that oversees the marketing function and reports to senior management.
20. A product marketing team that creates and promotes products to customers and prospects.
The list goes on according to the specific needs of your company. But as you can see, there is a lot of overlap between different teams, and most SaaS companies have a good mix of experienced and less experienced employees.
Necessary Skills for a SaaS Marketing Team
No matter what structure you choose, there are certain skills that every member of your SaaS marketing team should possess as follows:
- Social media marketing
- Google analytics
- Marketing research
- Lead generation
- Customer success
- Marketing communications
- Website development
- Paid search
- Email marketing
- Sales operations
- Technical support
- Digital marketing
- Product marketing
- Growth marketing
- Customer marketing
As your SaaS company grows, you may find that you need to add new skills to your B2B SaaS marketing team. But by starting with a core group of experienced employees, you’ll be off to a good start.
Building a successful SaaS marketing team is not easy. But by following the guidelines above, you’ll be able to put together an efficient SaaS marketing team for your company. Building and organizing a marketing team structure are key ingredients to bringing your SaaS company to success.
But it’s not only the structure of your team that you should pay attention to. The people you get in your team must have the necessary skills that will help you get real and satisfactory results.
By understanding the different components that make up a typical SaaS marketing team and what skills are needed to be successful, you’re on your way to putting together a team that can take your company to a whole new level.
Don’t forget to check our SaaS marketing blog for more content and expert tips about marketing your SaaS company to the world.