How to Build a Successful SaaS Marketing Team Structure
Table of Contents
Whether you’ve just started your SaaS business or are taking it to the next level, hiring a quality marketing team is one of the key factors to success. Most of the time, you will find guides on ways to prepare or recognize a good marketing strategy, but little is being said about the team that executes that strategy and achieves planned goals for your business.
To have a successful business, the chosen marketing team must work together to improve the brand image and help achieve the marketing and sales team goals. Building such a team takes time, work, and skills, so prepare yourself so that not every SaaS marketing agency will provide you with a winning team.
Learning which SaaS organizational structures can bring your business the best results will save you many headaches, from understanding better SaaS marketing roles to defining better goals that lead to valuable customer experience and overall business success.
SaaS Marketing Organization
Although there is more than one way to build a marketing organization, not all marketing methods result in successful companies in this field. With so many possibilities, certain SaaS marketing organizations will fall under the pressure and be unable to reach your desired marketing efforts. Such marketing agencies face strong competition, new trends, changing customer demands, and dynamic environments at all times.
Due to this, it’s incredibly challenging to build a strong marketing team and improve the services targeting SaaS businesses. In this field, agencies must implement completely different arrangements than other industries, including communication methods and organizational structure. When discussing the SaaS marketing org chart, expect to find various marketing roles covering each area, from project managers to creative specialists and social media managers.
1. Account Management
Account managers are in charge of leading your account and managing all campaigns to achieve set objectives. They also have meetings with clients and provide reports on the completed campaigns or months. In most agencies, an account manager will work on various accounts, not only yours.
2. Business Development
For an agency to succeed and enhance the quality of all services it provides, a business development manager is necessary to work on strategic planning, sales management, and prospecting for new clients. A business development manager will be the first point of contact for most SaaS businesses when communicating with the SaaS marketing agency.
SaaS companies need technical support for their marketing strategies to work. Whether implementing the latest tools and platforms or creating custom software for a large campaign, technology plays an important role in marketing. Having technology experts allows a SaaS marketing organization to deliver better results to its clients.
The digital marketing team needs to possess much creativity. A creative SEO manager, growth marketers, demand generation team and inbound marketing specialists ensure clients that their campaigns will be successful and well optimized for their target market. Creative digital marketers are focused on finding the best way to reach a certain goal while relying on creativity and the communication style preferred by the ideal buyer persona.
Operations managers are vital in a marketing team because they oversee the marketing program, planning of campaigns, and activities related to the annual strategic planning. Also, marketing ops are responsible for measuring technology and performance and marketing analytics and reports.
6. HR, Social Media, Product Marketing
Many other roles can be found within a SaaS marketing org structure, such as hiring managers, social media specialists, onboarding specialists, product marketing team, etc. The agency’s number of roles and areas will greatly depend on the company’s size and profile. For instance, some agencies prefer staying specialized in a certain marketing field rather than expanding and covering everything from social media content and PR to PPC and CRO.
B2B SaaS Marketing Teams
In B2B SaaS, you will find some teams more and others not so often. Because of the specific niche, there is a certain demand for a few marketing teams to help grow SaaS businesses.
1. SaaS Marketing Management
Act as part of the leadership team to align marketing team efforts with sales, product, and customer success to increase qualified pipeline, decrease sales cycles, reduce churn and grow ARPU. Also, marketing management is in charge of identifying growth opportunities and moving them toward long-term and short-term initiatives with the right balance. They will focus on hiring and managing team members, agencies, and vendors towards OKRs and revenue goals through strategic staffing.
2. SaaS Product Marketing
Product managers conduct competitive analysis, get insights, and build insights into marketing strategy and tactical materials while working with the product manager to develop pricing strategies and structures. They will also translate features into prospect benefits and communicate product value to the market.
3. SaaS Content Marketing
Content marketers are responsible for understanding and delivering content to drive marketing/sales goals (i.e., web content for SEO, testimonial PDFs for lead-in/sales enablement, nurturing campaigns to move top-of-funnel leads down to sales). They also develop materials for the sales team to move people down the funnel, such as studies, ROI calculators, and battle cards.
Demand generation will manage and execute PPC, social media, remarketing, and ad spending. They will also summarize (and report on) data to show levers affecting sales conversion/pipeline and work with product marketing to own product landing page development.
How to Choose the Right SaaS Marketing Department
As a potential client, you will naturally want to hire a SaaS marketing department that will bring you closer to your overall business objectives. This means you will need to pay attention to certain clues that show you whether the agency you are looking into is a good choice for your SaaS business. That said, not all SaaS companies will need the same. One company might seek more guidance and creativity in their ongoing campaigns, while another might need an agency with a more ‘hands-on’ approach.
Regardless of what your SaaS business needs, these are the factors to consider before hiring a marketing agency:
- Aspects of marketing: Do you only need help with your social media accounts or website content? Or, do you want to work with an agency that covers most roles in their SaaS marketing structure?
- Years of experience: Although many good new agencies can deliver great results, often, you won’t be willing to invest time and money into a young agency that is still trying to figure out its systems and services.
- Portfolio and testimonials: Knowing that other SaaS companies are satisfied with the agency’s services will assure you that your needs will be met because the agency knows your industry well.
- Interview: The best way to know whether the agency is right for you is if you ask important questions when you talk to them the first time, from hearing about their experience to suggestions and ideas to reach your marketing goals.
Besides making sure you found the agency with the right SaaS marketing department structure, you will need to decide who in your team will be in charge of communicating with the agency and providing it with all they need. Some SaaS companies have their in-house marketing specialist who seeks, communicates, and evaluates the marketing agency. In contrast, others will assign these responsibilities to someone like the business owner, operations manager, and administration manager.
Bridging the Gap between CEO-as-CMO to a Complete CEO
We at Algocentric Digital Consultancy often work with highly engaged CEOs in strategic marketing, although they may not oversee a tactical campaign plan. In many cases, CEOs should play a role in defining the company’s narrative and deciding the big bets to deliver on strategic success.
The head of product usually plays an important role in marketing the product. And most often, the demand generation and creative functions are filled by a collection of SEO/SEM/PPC/designer/developer agencies or freelancers.
This is why many SaaS businesses look like this at their early stages:
The CEO, head of product, and freelancers can be some of the roles initially. But freelancers and agencies don’t usually speak with each other or follow a unified strategy. The executive team cannot fulfil the entire marketing function due to their focus on other areas.
Many early-stage companies treat content marketing as an afterthought. People see it as a waste of time, and it can be difficult to do without deep industry expertise and discipline. But leaving content on the back burner is a mistake.
Steps to Working with a New SaaS Marketing Team
Even if this is not your first time hiring a marketing team, being clear about the process will help you and your team members prepare resources and work without disruptions on other projects.
- Reach out to a few SaaS marketing agencies you think would fit your marketing needs and ask them for case studies, customer testimonials, and data-driven marketing materials.
- Schedule a sales call with the agencies that have impressed you with their work and experience. Ask them to send their offer and pricing for you to study after the call.
- After the call, follow up with certain questions you might have (e.g., price, services, reporting) that may give you more clarity and assurance on the quality of the agency.
- Communicate the decision with your team and ask for their opinion as well. As they will work closely with the agency, they must approve your choice.
During Hiring Phase
- Choose a package or plan of activities that suit your requirements and budget.
- Define with the agency what is the scope of the agreed work.
- Ask about the way the agency reports their work and suggest ways you want to see the reporting on the completed activities.
- Define clearly with the agency how much of your time you and your team members need to invest each month.
- Be clear on the activities for the first month and ensure that the agency has provided all the information in the email.
- Allocate hours to the person managing all the communication with the agency and explain the reporting procedure.
- Make sure that the agency has everything they need to start working and clearly understands what you expect of them in the first month.
Hiring a Marketing Team or Building Your Own
If you’re determined to build your own marketing team instead of hiring another, there are various things you’ll need to take care of. You will first need to hire a marketing team leader to bring marketing roles to your company. This will facilitate the hiring process for you as a business owner because your marketing team leader will be in charge of finding the right marketing talent.
Besides leaving you with enough time to work on your more prioritized projects, you will be sure that the hired marketing team meets the requirements of your business. Your marketing leader will take on all the marketing responsibilities from you and other team members, create an overall marketing strategy to address your challenges and objectives, and create an action plan involving the information about the size of the marketing team and needed roles.
Tips for Choosing the Right B2B SaaS Marketing Team Leader
As we already said, your marketing team leader will be crucial for your marketing success, which often affects the entire business. This decision will have great consequences for your SaaS company, and it’s up to you whether these consequences will be positive or negative.
However, regardless of the objectives and challenges that might be unique for each business, there are a few tips that might help you be sure in the decision you are taking.
- They should have at least 15 years of experience working in a SaaS environment.
- They should have experience in leading a team of 8 or more and provide you with results of their management quality.
- They should have in-depth knowledge of all relevant marketing metrics like CAC, LTV, LTV: CAC ratio, churn rates, MQLs to SQLs conversion rates, and additional performance metrics around paid media, SEO, paid social, inbound marketing or ABM that should all clearly ladder up to revenue.
- They should have experience in both paid and organic marketing as they will be overseeing the entire department.
- They possess industry knowledge and understand your unique SaaS business’s key challenges and goals that stem from the operational business model.
Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring a B2B SaaS Marketing Team Leader
Most B2B SaaS business owners like yourself are hiring a marketing executive for the first time, and naturally, mistakes will occur. That said, you know how important it is to avoid making mistakes in this niche because it can get very expensive and time-consuming. To ensure you’ve made the right call, we’ve gathered the list of the most common mistakes most B2B SaaS business owners make when hiring their marketing team leader.
- Don’t hire marketers with B2C experience over those experienced in marketing B2B brands because they will not be able to sell your products in a way your clients require.
- Hiring someone who doesn’t have proof of their work or can put together a rough outline might imply that they’ve never been responsible for a project which doesn’t make them a good leader.
- Even if someone has years of experience, their personality type matters a lot as they need to fit your company culture.
- Your marketing leader should naturally hire, mentor, and motivate your marketing hires that you need to onboard after the initial hiring phase.
- Instead of testing the best candidates for the role by asking general questions, ask them for specific solutions to a current issue your business is facing to see if their opinion is valuable to you. It is a common practice today by many B2B SaaS companies to ask them to design some high-level solutions to showcase their understanding of the business problem before you give them a job offer.
Instead of rushing into hiring the first B2B enterprise SaaS marketing organization you find, take your time and do your research well. Please take a look at the current SaaS marketing org structure of your company before you look to hire an agency to substitute for missing hires, marketing areas the SaaS agency can cover, quality of their services, feedback from previous clients, case studies, and thought leadership as well as SaaS certifications.
It’s much wiser to spend more time making the right decision instead of hiring the wrong agency and starting the process all over again. There are certain marketing functions B2B SaaS businesses cannot achieve success without, but knowing all other factors that impact your results will help you do it right from the first try.
Whether you need a product manager to guide you to the successful launch of your latest product or a content marketing manager who will captivate potential customers with engaging articles, understanding what you need will help the agency provide more value to your business.
These are the areas a SaaS digital marketing agency can help you with:
- Designing a holistic marketing strategy with a tactical roadmap for each quarter of the year
- Growing your online presence using the right MarTech, AdTech and providing strategic consulting
- Supporting the development of your brand identity,
- Designing a product-led growth marketing strategy and executing it using their in-hour expertise
- Crafting a product roadmap if they’re the dev team behind your SaaS,
- Web design, website development and site maintenance,
- Implement your tagging systems and deploy various AdTech or MarTech systems like HubSpot or Active Campaign.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and AI-Powered content marketing,
- AI-Powered Email marketing using platforms like HubSpot or ActiveCampaign,
- SaaS Marketing automation,
- Paid search using Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Yahoo! or Baidu along with Paid Social (Facebook Ads, TikTok, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Twitter)
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO),
- Growth hacking your B2B SaaS using product-led growth and other automated marketing tools,
- Social media marketing to support the growth and development of a social community,
- Content marketing services for SaaS,
- B2B SaaS Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing
Finding the best SaaS marketing team for your company is a process rather than a simple decision. If you are building a new product or service and need to find a marketing partner, we recommend consulting with us before making any decisions. We can help you understand which marketing services will bring you closer to your business goals and help your sales team reach their targets quicker.
After all, not every SaaS business needs to be aware of the choices it needs to make to get to where they need to be. All you need is a trusting partner who will use their industry knowledge and experience to help beat your competition. Please drop us a comment below or send us a message.