I did a session on “How to Build a Global Content Marketing Team” at Content Marketing World two years ago. Karen attended that session. Subsequently, she and I had a conversation on how she should structure her team. She has a small team which supports several geographies. And she didn’t have approved headcounts to support the different local teams on the ground. She asked me what to do. I told her that her team members need to have two roles. For example, a writer’s job is to write content, but that person should also be responsible for several countries or one geography region. So, all her writers are assigned specific regions or countries, in addition to their regular jobs. These writers are also the local teams’ main point of contact for content-related requests or questions. So far, the dual roles have worked well in the past 2 years.
However, she has noticed that each writer has different strengths. For example, one writer is very good at blog writing, the other one is super-efficient on webpage and product copy. So, she is considering shuffling writers’ responsibilities based on their strengths. She is also thinking about having the local teams go to different writers based on their specialties. With these changes in mind, Karen decided to reach out and ask my opinion.
Well, I told her that I totally understand why she is doing this and where she is coming from. The biggest drawback of that option she shared with me is that the local teams will need to go to different writers for different needs. It’s no longer one point of contact. Based on my experience working with the local teams, they prefer to go to one or fewer people at HQ, if all possible, for their needs. If they need to go to one writer for blog writing, and another person for the landing page, the HQ team is not making the local teams’ jobs easy. So, when I explained that, Karen nodded and agreed with me.
Well, it’s not all a lost cause. I did tell her to draw out the new organizational structure, present the idea to the local teams, explain to them what she has in mind and solicit their feedback and input. They know that Karen is the final decision maker, anyway, but it’s important to bring them into the process. It shows respect and a sense of collaboration.
She told me that she will follow up with her local teams to get their feedback. I told her to keep me posted about the final decision. It was wonderful to talk to Karen again.
Marketing resource and headcount are always finite. Organization structure, roles, and responsibilities of team members will shift as the business strategy and focus change. There is never a right or one-size-fits-all organizational structure. You do the best you can base on your needs at that time.
I shared How to Build a Global Marketing Team presentation on my website under courses. If you are interested, please check it out.
Oh, one more quick note: the best time to evaluate the overall organizational structure is during the annual planning. Your objectives and strategies from your annual plan will provide guidance on how a team should be structured for the upcoming year.
If you want to brainstorm about your content marketing org. structure, please reach out anytime.
Again, send me your marketing questions or thoughts via Twitter @pamdidner
Be well. Keep Hustling. Until next time.