April 30, 2021

How to Set Up Your Digital Marketing Team for Success

Three women sitting at a table with an open laptop in front of each of them. One woman holds a pen above a sheet of paper.

Georgian recently held an event on go-to-market models as part of our CoLab Connect Series. Our first speaker, Ruth Zive of Ada, laid out a blueprint for a successful digital marketing organization. Here’s what we learned from her presentation on building intrinsically interoperable teams to take a product to market successfully.

An integrated team-led approach is key to a highly effective marketing strategy. You can think of four different units, with each team being deeply interlinked. The four teams cover:

  1. Product Marketing
  2. Brand
  3. Demand Generation
  4. Business Development

Product Marketing

The first remit of product marketing is to conduct market analysis that is then used in campaign coordination and management. Product marketing is on the front-lines of the business. This team understands the product portion in the wider competitive landscape. This gives other team members the intelligence to know how to position the product and pick out the key features and functions within the space. Because of this knowledge, this is the team that interfaces with industry analysts and thought leaders.

Customer interaction is key for this team. By connecting with customers, the product marketing team can understand what the customer needs and pain points, and then translate these into market and product opportunities.

All the intelligence collected by the product marketing team is then shared with the product team and developers to influence the product roadmap.

The second remit of the product marketing team is to take the product to market. This is where tight integration with the brand team comes in. Variables such as product pricing and packaging, along with market positioning and messaging are shared with the team dealing with the company and product brand.


The intelligence gathered by the product marketing team is used by the brand team to create public-facing assets. This team is responsible for ensuring that the messaging and the graphical representation of the product fit with the brand of the organization.

Assets including white papers, case studies, videos, blog posts, web content and so on are standardized across the company to provide a consistent brand look and feel. Brand identity aesthetics, design elements and tone of voice are synthesized to ensure consistency in brand delivery.

Demand Generation

The demand gen team drives the customer pipeline. All the work of the product marketing and brand teams is pushed out and amplified by demand generation via mediums such as social media, emails, pay-per-click (PPC) and any other appropriate way of reaching potential customers. Demand generation is responsible for surfacing interest in the company’s offerings and optimizing against the various marketing distribution channels. Optimization covers three areas:

  1. The volume of leads that come through each channel,
  2. The conversion of leads to pipeline,
  3. The cost per lead.

The ideal outcome is the channel that delivers against all three; in other words, delivers:

 high volume/high conversion rate/low cost

However, this is tough and getting two out of three is a reasonable goal.

The best channel will depend on the type of business and your target customers.

As well as optimizing channels, the coordination of campaigns is important. Campaigns are time-boxed, multi-touch, multi-asset, multichannel, theme-based marketing initiatives that target a specific segment of the market.

The ultimate output of the demand generation team is qualified marketing leads that are then passed to business development.

Business Development

The business development team is primarily tasked with setting qualified sales meetings. Business development can sometimes sit in the sales org, but there’s a lot of benefit to BDRs also working within marketing. This can help sales and marketing to align more closely, providing a clear line of sight of leads, deeper down into the sales funnel, so marketing feels a greater sense of investment and accountability when passing over leads.

Being an Effective Pipeline Architect

Effective delivery of pipeline at scale requires historical data to be able to accurately predict coverage levels. If your data isn’t good enough to make accurate predictions, err on the side of caution and over-deliver on coverage levels. Four to five times your revenue target is often a good benchmark; aim for as much as seven times if in doubt. If you focus on your ideal customer profile to get highly qualified leads, and standardize the sales process, your pipeline should become more predictable. 

  1. Begin with the revenue target for the year, this is used to inform the pipeline needed to cover that revenue target.
  2. This then provides the data needed to convert through the funnel.
  3. From there, determine how many Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are needed to deliver that amount of pipeline? This may be in the form of BDR meetings, demos or free trial requests.
  4. Evaluate how many marketing qualified leads are needed to deliver those BDR meetings or demos or free trials?
  5. This data provides the details to deliver Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  6. Based on the available marketing budget, plan to distribute across the optimized demand channels.

The goal is to measure:

  • What can be optimized
  • Where opportunities exist
  • Which opportunities to focus on
  • And, importantly, what isn’t working

Top Five Takeaways for SaaS Start-ups

Websites: Design a high-performance website; worry less about what your website looks like in the beginning and worry a lot more about how it’s performing for you.

Channels: Open a lot of demand channels. You won’t know intuitively what’s going to work and what won’t work; experiment with at least three to four channels.

Content: Build a content library. Create at least four or five flagship assets that you can use to push out into the public domain. These allow your company to position itself as a domain expert.

Position: Refine your value proposition. You have seconds when somebody lands on your website to make a first impression. Test what messages differentiate your company from the competition. What messages resonate and speak to the pain that your target prospect is experiencing?

Market intelligence: Learn about the market. If you do not have the budget to hire product marketing resources, investigate what the competitive landscape looks like, and decide on what problems you solve for customers. Answering these questions will provide a sense of the market opportunity, where you fit, and how you can grow.

If you would like to learn more about Georgian CoLab, take a look here or email conor@georgian.io.

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