— Marketing

A new team for the modern age

By Darren Kirkland


What does your marketing department look like?

Most marketing teams around New Zealand don’t look too different to the way they did 50 years ago. While they operate with the comfort and efficiency that can be gained from years of working together, chances are their businesses are hurting for it.

The world is changing fast. The way organisations used to do marketing in the past doesn’t work the same anymore. If a business hasn’t invested in modernising its marketing team, it is almost guaranteed that a smaller startup will win their customers.

What does a modern marketing department look like?


The customer might not always be right, but they should always be first. Marketing departments, therefore, must be built around the customer. 

The old way

Staff are ring fenced into departments based on channels or roles. Increasingly, this results in having a ‘Facebook team’, a ‘Google Ads’ team, ‘traditional media’, ‘SEO’, etc. Account managers and/or team leaders then bring these channels together to form a wider strategy.

  • What’s wrong with this picture? It’s normal. Maybe it used to be modern to have specialists dedicated to single channels, but these channels are now prolific enough that there’s no real benefit to dividing a team in this fashion. And when every business is doing something, it no longer presents a competitive advantage.

A new approach

What if a business’s marketing department and customer lifecycle looked identical? In this scenario, rather than employing single-channel specialists, organisations divide their team members by customer journey point – from awareness through to conversion.

Each journey point has within it one or more specialists dedicated to achieving goals in that area, and who are qualified to use whatever channels and tools are relevant therein.

So instead of having a ‘Facebook person’, a business instead has a specialist in building customer awareness, who then has experience and qualifications in SEO, social media, Google Ads, and so on. Next in line could be a specialist in customer nurturing, who utilises a CRM platform such as Salesforce and has experience with EDMs, retargeting and Google’s Display Network.

How to switch to this new way of thinking


Any organisation with a thought-out customer journey map has already taken the first steps required to building a customer-first marketing department.

With a map in hand that covers every journey phase and every touch point a customer may have, the business can then consider:

  • What are the pain points, challenges and wants/needs of the customer at each stage of this journey?
  • What tools, channels and skills are required to advance a customer from one stage to the next?

From here it is a simple process of assigning staff with the relevant experience to support each customer stage using the answers to our questions above. Whether this means a business assigns a whole team to each customer funnel segment, or individual staff to more than one, is up to the business and its budget.

Paint points and challenges define the message for each segment. The tools and channels publish that message. At all times, no matter the marketing activity or staff member, the customer is always first.

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