Business & Brand

The marketing team: solve the hardest part of your accountability chart

by Charlene Gervais

Why do so many companies struggle to establish a marketing team? Because marketing is a broad discipline, not a single job. Here are the roles to consider.

Companies implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (aka EOS or Traction) because they want to drive their businesses forward. But even in these dynamic companies, the role and position of the marketing team is often an issue.

Why? We believe it partly stems from a common lack of understanding of what it takes to “do marketing,” combined with a fear that marketing (to many) feels “squishy.” But it’s also because marketing requires so many different skills and personality traits that it’s impossible to find it all in one defined role and one human being. It takes a marketing team.

So whether or not you’re running on EOS, we recommend shifting your view on marketing—from an individual role to a broad discipline that requires multiple skillsets.

The well-rounded B2B marketing team may include:

  1. The Strategist – an insightful, big-picture person who develops brand strategy and marketing plan in alignment with business goals. Analysis and tactical planning often live in strategy, or can be completely separate roles in larger companies. 
  2. The Manager – a highly organized and empathetic person who marshals resources to ensures the plan is executed effectively and efficiently. Requires great communication, project management skills and emotional intelligence.
  3. The Creator(s) – writing and design talent who bring the brand to life in a compelling way. May also curate/edit content contributors. Often a team within a team, as great writing and design skills are rarely found in the same person.
  4. The Technologist – combines production skills with technical ability to make, develop, run and analyze campaigns and materials. Stays on top of industry trends, but selects platforms based on business goals rather than chasing the latest shiny object.
  5. The Data Scientist – gathers quantitative research and uncovers insights, largely focused on customer attitudes and behaviors. (Many companies are even rebranding the CMO title as something like Chief Consumer Officer.) Focus on analytics and metrics often overlaps with Strategist and Technologist roles, not to mention UX and other areas.  

What about Sales?

Sales and Marketing functions get lumped together, often mistakenly so. (In our decades of agency life, our clients were frequently “Directors of Sales and Marketing” but clearly had significant expertise in one and were neophytes in the other; this created challenges in performance, process and even politics.) 

Yes, these two areas complement one another and should work closely together—but more often than not, Sales is a whole other discipline that should be a separate seat.

Key considerations for building the marketing team:

Some people may be perfect for some of these roles, but there’s no human who can do it ALL well. (This is one reason EOS companies hire us to complement their team and build Brand Traction.)

So if you’re looking to fill the marketing seat on your accountability chart, ask yourself: Is this a person, or a team? Is it an employee, or an outside consultant or agency? And what skills do your director need to have, vs what can be delegated to employees or partners?   

The sooner you break marketing down to more clearly defined roles, the sooner you can fill what is often the hardest seat in your Accountability Chart.

Business & Brand

by Charlene Gervais


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