How to Structure Your Marketing Department in an Emerging Brand
By Kristen Pechacek, MassageLuXe
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to how to build your how to build your marketing team from the ground up as an emerging franchise. While every franchise is different, creating a thoughtful plan that will help your organization think long-term and hire the right team members to meet your company’s current and future needs is essential. The painstaking balance of building a team in-house while continually outsourcing specialized areas of marketing is not unique to franchise business; what is unique is the way that each franchise chooses to address this challenge.
Staffing in the Early Stage: 1-20 Units
The key at this stage is to have a lone marketer who knows a little bit about every area of marketing. This utility player should be experienced in marketing and should know how to analyze data, create content, leverage the right digital tactics, be creative, and excel in communication. At this stage, it is likely that you are outsourcing some marketing functions to an agency. If this is the case, the lone marketer will manage the agency, which is not always an easy task. From managing multiple projects, to building trust, to communicating strategy; this person needs to leverage strong communication skills and provide clear direction. Find someone who is driven by numbers, can set goals, and strives for life-long learning. This role is a delicate balance of strategy and getting work done. Find someone who can easily transition from big ideas to tactical implementation.
Growing Your Team: 20+ units
It is time to add another person to your marketing team, so where do you start? Most franchisors opt for digital marketing expertise. This person should have knowledge of content creation, social media management, digital advertising, website/SEO and graphic design. This person ends up taking on more of the day-to-day work, which frees up the lone marketer’s time to focus on strategy and marketing project management.
Marketing a National Brand
Congrats! You have made it to the big leagues. National brands have marketing challenges and demands that make the skill set of your team even more important. At this point, you want to start to specialize your team as it leads to efficiency. With experts in-house and at the helm, you can be confident that the needs of your brand and your franchisees are being met. While you’ll likely keep agency partnerships intact, having specialists on your in-house team can ensure alignment with the agency. Some roles you may need at this stage include:
- Marketing CMO
- Marketing VP
- Graphic Designer
- Digital Marketing Director
- Social Media Specialist
- Consumer Insights / Analyst
As your marketing team expands, think about the potential of the people who currently exist within your structure, as there may be an opportunity for role expansion.
Structuring your marketing team is admittedly difficult as you navigate when to grow the team and what roles you need coverage in. Know that it is okay to shift your structure and your outsourcing strategy as you grow to find an optimal organizational framework for your brand.
Kristen Pechacek is the chief growth officer for MassageLuXe International, LLC, a franchisor member of the International Franchise Association (IFA).