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How to Build a Digital Marketing team to Scale Your Startup Rapidly

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: August 14, 2018

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How to create a Digital Transformation for Your Bootstrapped Startup?

Digital Disruption for Your startup: Yay or Nay?

Digital Marketing team
You have a startup, and you’ve just received your Series A funding. Your big day has finally arrived, and you want to celebrate! But wait, what will you do with that new capital?

If you’re just starting out or you need to overhaul your existing marketing strategy, make sure to familiarize yourself with these 7 important marketing metrics
Are you going to use it to start marketing and advertising initiatives to increase your customer headcount? Or are you going to use it to streamline business processes?

Congratulations, you can now do both! Digital marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
This reduced cost makes it possible for your startup to do an extensive digital marketing campaign at a fraction of traditional marketing spend.

For example, Pinterest captured a user base of 70 million along with 500 thousand business accounts in less than three years at a minimal cost.
It was the fastest website in the US to hit 10 million monthly new visitors in the country and one of the largest social media platforms around, second only to Facebook. Today, Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann accepts that the reason for their growth is low-cost marketing and not engineering.
According to Forbes magazine, 52% of Fortune 500 companies went bankrupt, were acquired or were simply dropped off the Forbes list due to digital disruption since the start of this century. The ability of your startup to use digital initiatives to achieve business objectives is essential to its survival in today’s day and age.

What is a Digital team?

Digital transformation is in high demand and short supply. Your digital team should be an integral part of your business, not just a support function to IT or an outsourced function out of touch with other activities of the business,i.e., your startup should be ‘digital by default.

For example, HR staff will need to join your digital team while it works in the jobs section of a website. This extended team will together make decisions about the ideal strategy for HR content.
Empowerment of the digital team by top management is the key success factor when it comes to digital marketing impact.

For example, the fashion giant, Burberry was an early adopter to the digital world, beginning with the hiring of a digitally savvy CEO, Angela Ahrendts. She was the mastermind who put digital at the core of their overall strategy and rolled out a series of initiatives designed to drive the business forward.
One major initiative was the launch of its own social media website, Art of the Trench. The site features customers wearing its signature trench coats. Users had the option to comment, like and share posts in this digital democracy.
Although designed to be a stand-alone platform, Burberry’s Facebook fan base grew by over a million, the largest fan count in the luxury segment.
Its impact was such that it has now been adopted across a number of social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

What is the Role of Digital Marketing Team in Your Business?

Your digital marketing team responsibilities include developing a digital strategy, testing it on the target audience through various channels such as websites, mobile and social media and last but not the least, implementation of this strategy to keep the audience engaged.
Drafting of content, messages, building a social media schedule – the digital team needs to work in tandem with marketing, IT, and product teams to create a consistent message across all channels.

How to Build a Digital Marketing Team from Scratch?

Building a marketing team from scratch can be a daunting task, especially for a startup. You have to make sure that each moment and each penny spent by you on the digital marketing spend amounts to big benefits for your business.
For this, you should follow a systematic approach to create an integrated digital marketing initiative.
There is no fixed digital marketing team structure as such, but certain guidelines can be followed so that your startup gets the rocket fuel to boost its customers.

Step 1: Be SMART

Before identifying the appropriate digital marketing tactics, your startup should have a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound objective for the digital marketing team.
For example, for your startup, creating 200 new leads in a month can be the objective; or increasing site visits by 75% in the next quarter can be an objective.

Step 2: Channelize

A digital marketing team must be given a few channels on which they are to create measurable impacts.
You should choose these channels after careful deliberation on their relevance, the presence of your target customers as well as for the achievement of your business goals.
For example, if you want to increase your revenue, you can use email marketing, to reach a young audience, you can use a Facebook page, and if you want to create a customer service platform, Twitter could be the option for you.
Once you’ve chosen the most relevant channels, it’s time to select the digital team you need to manage them.

Step 3: Look out or Look within?

After analyzing your budget and operational costs, you must choose whether it will be possible for you to hire an external agency or build a digital marketing team from scratch.
This decision depends purely on your business needs and target customers. Interestingly, in the US, it is a more popular option to outsource, whereas, in the UK, it is in-house. Ultimately, it is your decision that should ideally fall in line with your business objectives.
Confused? whether to Outsource or build a digital marketing in house?
Suppose you decide to recruit an entirely new team; it is then crucial for you to look for the digital marketing knowledge of the potential recruits such as Google Analytics and Ad Spend.
If you decide to look in-house, assess the digital marketing knowledge of your current team and employ training for the development of more competencies.
Most organizations require creative quotient for content creation and designing and analytical quotient in order to generate SEO’s, optimization, etc. The digital marketing team roles must be in tandem with the skill-sets and training of your employees.

Step 4: Team Play

It is essential that your digital marketing team is not a separate vertical that functions in silos; you must make it work with the core marketing team members so that there is consistency between the marketing communications of your startup.
Encourage everyone on the team, be it designers, developers or content creators, to take care of all deliverables to the execution stage. If your team has designers throwing Photoshop files for developers to execute, you may need to build in more collaboration and cooperation.
You can use Design thinking as a tool for incorporating this practice, wherein a holistic approach can be used to consider issues, as a means to help resolve these issues.
Your digital team roles and responsibilities should not be limited to their own tasks alone; instead the objective of your marketing team members should be aligned with their objectives.

Step 5: Schedule & Allocate

Create a digital marketing calendar that outlines the activities planned and the allocation of each planned activity to the appropriate person. Follow the plan and monitor your analytics consistently to ensure that you are on the right path to achieve your business objectives.
Additionally, your marketing team positions must be arranged in the correct flat pattern so that there is no information asymmetry between various members.
Important People, You Need for a Dream Digital Marketing Team
The digital marketing organization chart will vary from one organization to the other. However, certain digital marketing roles and responsibilities are indispensable to your business:

Content Manager

You must hire a content manager who can drive the content marketing strategy and continuously monitor and challenge the quality of the output. He/She will also be responsible for maintaining the consistency of content across all communication channels.

Technology Manager

A technologist will be responsible for maintenance of the 24-hour service demanded by customers along with the overall management of marketing technology to support the digital marketing team.

Optimization manager

This person will be responsible for adapting to new search algorithms, testing, SEO generation and overall Upgradation of technologies to bring digital optimization into content creation and maintenance.

Growth Hacker

A growth hacker will be responsible for combining unorthodox marketing strategies to jet propel your social media presence and rapidly build a customer base to accelerate your revenue.

Digital Head: The entire digital domain is huge. With the advent of search tools, content, internal & external applications, websites, apps, etc., there is a need for a person who can strategize and build an entire digital framework for your startup to maintain integrated customer experience.


The Content Marketing Institute puts it perfectly, “With traditional marketing, you tell people you are a rockstar. With digital marketing, you show them that you’re a rockstar.”

  • Your startup can build an actionable plan to revitalize its digital marketing strategy. Firstly, a customer-centric approach is vital to digital transformation. For example, IKEA has led state of the art digital marketing initiatives to engage customers, wherein the website itself speaks the customer’s language.
  • Secondly, establishing relationships is essential in the digital marketing world, be it, with influencers, social media agents or with content creators. Though you’re working in isolation, you’ve actually been in contact with some people via emails, Facebook interactions, etc. It is imperative to maintain these relationships and nurture them over the long term to build a sustainable digital interaction.
  • Lastly, keep learning. From industry standards to new trends in the digital marketing world, you must be on your toes to keep up with upcoming trends and consumer sentiment. This will ultimately aid you in achieving your ultimate goal, i.e., expanding customer reach.

So, are you ready to take a fresh approach towards your digital marketing strategy?

About the Author

amol ghemud
Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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5 responses to “How to Build a Digital Marketing team to Scale Your Startup Rapidly”

  1. good stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

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