4 Critical Marketing Roles for the Modern Marketing Team

Let’s face it—it’s not easy to build a perfect marketing team.

A comprehensive marketing strategy includes a number of different tactics and initiatives—which means your team must include members with a wide variety of marketing skills.

If you work in marketing, you’re already aware of the most common essential roles—social media managers, content specialists, email marketing managers, etc. But, the marketing industry moves fast, and new trends and developments call for new job requirements—some of which your team might be lacking.

Today’s blog post looks at some emerging marketing roles that your business should consider if you want to keep up with your competition. Let’s get into it!

1. Customer Experience (CX) Expert

Today’s buyers demand a highly-personalized, positive customer experience—organizations who don’t comply end up losing business. B2B companies have taken notice and many have started to prioritize customer experience in recent years. Consider these statistics:

  • 23% of B2B CMOs see improving customer experience as a top three objective (source).
  • 86% of senior-level marketers say it’s critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey (source).
  • However, only 23% of B2B marketers claim to have a customer-centric organizational structure (source).

As brands strive to create a more customer-centric marketing strategy, they must build a team to reflect that goal. It’s not sufficient to simply hire customer service reps who answer questions and deal with problems. Modern marketing teams need dedicated specialists who oversee and manage the entire customer experience, from the initial contact to the point of purchase and beyond.

Tip: Success as a customer experience expert requires strong communication and analytical skills—but above all else, it requires a deep understanding of your target customers. For that reason, we recommend hiring a CX expert internally. That way, the person you select will already have extensive experience interacting with your customer base.

2. Data Analyst

The marketing world has undergone several changes in recent years, but the most important development is an obvious one—the rise of big data. Businesses have started to adopt data-driven strategies to inform their marketing initiatives. Recent statistics illustrate just how critical data has become to the modern marketing team:

  • 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hypercompetitive global economy (source).
  • 66% of marketing leaders have seen an increase in new customers as a result of data-driven initiatives (source).
  • 63% of marketers reported that their spending on data-driven marketing and advertising grew over the last year (source).

Of course, a single employee can’t handle the entire implementation of a data-driven marketing strategy. That requires the input and cooperation of the entire organization, from senior executives down to individual team members. But, a data-driven team does need members who specialize in data analysis and can contextualize data to fit their business’s objectives.

Data-driven marketing strategies yield several benefits for your marketing team, all of which a data analyst can help to facilitate.

Tip: An effective data analyst will have extensive skills in data visualization, statistics, and analysis—that much is obvious. But, it’s imperative that your data analyst is also a skilled communicator. Data analysts don’t just collect quantitative data—they must also collaborate with many other departments and teams to develop actionable strategies based on their findings.

3. SEO Strategist

By now, you’re most likely aware that search engine optimization is a key part of your digital marketing strategy. As online customers turn to search engines to find information and content before making a purchase, organic search has become an essential marketing channel:

  • 39% of total global traffic comes from search—35% coming from organic search and 4% from paid search (source).
  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (source).
  • 61% of marketers say that improving SEO is their top inbound marketing priority (source).

All digital marketers must be familiar with SEO best practices—including content writers, social media specialists, email marketers and more. But, without a dedicated SEO expert, your business will fail to develop a comprehensive and cohesive strategy to boost your organic search results.

SEO strategists handle a number of responsibilities—including tracking and developing campaigns, determining target keywords, and leveraging analytics platforms to assess website performance. And, this person must develop a unified SEO strategy and best practices for the entire marketing department to adhere to.

Tip: Because of Google’s frequent algorithms updates, SEO best practices constantly evolve. When hiring an SEO strategist, ask candidates how they stay on top of the latest SEO trends. A successful SEO expert needs to be able to adapt to changes and update their strategy to avoid falling behind on current trends.

4. Brand Manager

Modern marketers leverage many different channels to reach customers—which has made today’s marketing landscape more competitive than ever before. It’s increasingly important to develop a recognizable and trustworthy brand. Consider these statistics (sources):

  • It takes an average of 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand.
  • B2B brands that connect with buyers on an emotional level earn twice the impact over brands who sell business or functional value.
  • B2B decision makers consider the brand a central element of a supplier’s value proposition.

Unfortunately, many businesses fail to create a distinct brand vision or strategy. They simply rely on their combined marketing efforts to naturally build a strong brand. But, as branding becomes more important to B2B buyers, businesses must prioritize initiatives that contribute to brand building and awareness.

A brand manager is responsible for shaping your business’s image and reputation among your target audience. This role leverages a combination of customer feedback, market research, and competitive analysis to assess a business’s status within an industry. From there, a brand manager defines and implements a branding strategy across all marketing functions, from content creation to design to PR.

Tip: A successful brand manager must be a jack-of-all-trades, as they’re responsible for developing branding initiatives across all marketing channels. They must understand the roles and objectives of their entire team to ultimately align each person’s initiatives with the greater brand strategy. When hiring a brand manager, look for candidates who possess skills and experience across many different marketing roles.

Final Thoughts on Emerging Marketing Roles

Successful businesses always keep their ear to the ground and react quickly to new developments. That goes for specific campaigns and tactics—but it also applies to the personnel you add to your teams. Given the fast-paced digital world we live in, roles that were once considered obscure are suddenly essential to the growth of your business.

You may notice that all the roles we discussed above require extensive collaboration with other team members—and that’s no coincidence. A successful marketing team isn’t a group of independently talented employees, but rather a cohesive unit working towards shared goals. Be sure to consider how each new role fits into the overall marketing team structure.

Contact ZoomInfo today to see how our contact database can help scale your marketing efforts.