Building an excellent marketing team is just as important as creating an effective marketing strategy. You’ll struggle to execute even the best marketing plan without a great team. On the other hand, a well-curated SaaS marketing department will ensure your business never runs out of qualified leads.
This article will explore the various roles in a winning SaaS marketing department structure before providing some practical tips on how to structure your team for success. Ready? Let’s go.
Roles Within a SaaS Marketing Department
A SaaS marketing department comprises different roles. While each marketing role may be unique, it’s important to note that the marketing department is interdependent, just like a vehicle with many parts.
Let’s take a closer look into the six key roles within a SaaS marketing department:
1. Brand Marketing
Brand marketing involves developing and promoting the brand identity of your SaaS company. This includes creating and establishing your brand voice, visual identity (like logo design and brand colors), and messaging that resonates with your target audience.
Your SaaS brand marketing activities will typically include brand storytelling, events, and community building and management, among other similar activities.
The brand marketer’s primary concern is to enhance your brand positioning and outward appearance. They’ll work with others in your SaaS marketing team to ensure consistency in how your brand is represented to the outside world.
When choosing a brand marketer, work with someone who can identify your brand’s uniqueness and creatively point this out to a wider audience.
2. Growth Marketing
Growth marketing takes a more tactical and data-driven approach to marketing. It focuses on finding new and innovative ways to grow your user base and increase engagement with a product or service.
Unlike brand marketing, which aims to build awareness and establish identity, growth marketing gears towards maximizing the value of every user.
The role of a growth marketer is many-sided and requires a deep understanding of analytics, user behavior, and experimentation. Your growth marketer is responsible for identifying and testing different B2B SaaS marketing strategies to optimize conversion rates and drive user acquisition.
They’ll also work to improve engagement and retention through targeted messaging, personalized experiences, and data-based insights, targeting different marketing channels.
Other responsibilities of the growth marketer include:
- Implementing marketing automation and seeking ways to optimize your marketing process.
- Identifying new user acquisition channels.
- Defining target users and tweaking marketing campaigns to target desired users.
- Evaluating current methods and developing strategic ways to improve your customer satisfaction.
- Observing and improving your marketing funnel for better engagement.
When choosing a growth marketer, look for a creative person who understands digital marketing channels and how to optimize them for maximum impact. They should also be able to work collaboratively with other members of the marketing team, as well as product and engineering teams, to develop and implement growth initiatives.
3. Product Marketing
Product marketing (PM) is another key role in your SaaS marketing department structure. It bridges the gap between the creation of your product and the publicity efforts that follow.
The product marketer connects your product’s features and benefits to your target audience’s needs. Therefore, PMs must have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s pain points so that they can create and launch more effective SaaS marketing campaigns for your products.
Product marketers also need to follow market trends and gain mastery of the competitive landscape. Primarily, the job of your product marketer is to positively influence the adoption of your product by consumers in your target market— attract and retain users.
Other key responsibilities include:
- Crafting campaign messaging that showcases the value of your product and announcing new features.
- Sharing product-specific use cases and user stories to build trust and attract users.
- Creating and managing the go-to-market strategy for new product launches.
- Using various platforms like email marketing, social media, and offline channels to spread the word about your new product.
- Developing sales materials like FAQs, sales decks, help documents, and product demos.
- Working closely with the product team to ensure the product roadmap aligns with the target audience’s needs.
Ideally, SaaS product marketers should also be involved in the development process as this helps them understand the product better and equips them to market it effectively.
Typically, they’ll work with other teams like customer success, content marketing, and sales teams. They should also have a solid understanding of marketing analytics and be able to measure the impact of their marketing efforts.
4. Demand Generation
As the name implies, demand generation is the process of creating awareness for your product or service to generate demand for it. It capitalizes on showing prospects the problems that your brand can solve.
Your demand generation marketer is responsible for identifying ways to introduce your brand to a new group of buyers. Then, nurture them and eventually get a conversion, boosting your SaaS inbound marketing results.
Demand generation tasks can vary from creating awareness campaigns through social media marketing to thought leadership webinars, eBooks, white papers, etc., in your industry.
Here’s how demand generation varies from brand marketing and product management. Brand marketing is about building the overall brand, product marketing is about promoting a specific product or service—and demand generation is focused on building awareness, generating demand, and capturing that demand.
You can read our insightful guide on SaaS demand generation for more details.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing involves creating and distributing content to inform, educate, and nurture your audience. It achieves this through relevant, valuable, and consistent content such as blogs, ebooks, videos, etc.
The content is distributed across multiple channels like social networks and email campaigns. These materials help customers learn more about your product, services, and industry trends.
It also gets quite technical with search engine optimization (SEO) as content marketing aims to improve your online visibility and drive traffic to your website— where they eventually perform the desired action.
Content marketing brings the work of your entire marketing department together. For example, content created by product marketers can be used by content marketers to create engaging blog posts or social media updates.
Demand-generation marketers can use the content in their lead-nurturing campaigns to convert prospects into customers. And brand marketers can use content to create a consistent brand voice and messaging across all marketing channels.
The content marketer is responsible for developing an effective content marketing strategy for SaaS businesses, monitoring performance, and making necessary improvements.
6. PR Specialist
Public relations specialists are there to create and maintain a positive reputation and public image for your SaaS company. They build and maintain relationships with media platforms and personnel like journalists, influencers, or bloggers.
PR specialists are also helpful when you want to enhance a specific message or information (like a new product launch or company update) about your brand. So, media pitches, press releases, and media events are their forté.
Notable responsibilities of your PR specialist include:
- Pitch stories about your company to media outlets or respond to inquiries from journalists.
- Develop and implement PR strategies.
- Write and distribute press releases on relevant platforms.
- Monitor brand mentions and reputation across online channels.
PR specialists are also responsible for crisis management and damage control in the event of negative media coverage.
When hiring a PR specialist, go for someone with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as they will regularly interact with media outlets and influencers. You also want to work with a persuasive person since their job involves building a positive image for your brand.
How To Structure Your SaaS Marketing Department
Typically, SaaS companies will have access to different resources at different stages of their growth. This means that the structure of your marketing department will depend on the size of your organization and your overall marketing goals, among other factors.
We’ll take a closer look at this in the next few sections.
Marketing Department Structure of a SaaS Startup
If you run a small startup, your SaaS marketing department structure should be lean and focused on driving growth with limited resources.
Your startup marketing team should typically include a generalist marketer who can wear multiple hats and handle different tasks. That includes social media management, content creation, demand generation, and analytics. This will be your head of marketing or chief marketing officer (CMO), responsible for developing your SaaS marketing strategies and ensuring synergy between other teams.
Additionally, you may need to hire a growth marketer to drive user acquisition and a product marketer to ensure the product messaging resonates with your target audience.
At this point, a content marketer is vital because you’re still trying to penetrate the market and want to start early with your SEO efforts. The content marketer will liaise with an in-house or freelance copywriter to create high-quality content.
Of course, your branding should also be sorted at an early stage. So you need a brand marketer who will work hand in hand with your graphic designer and content marketer to establish a unique brand identity for your SaaS company.
Here’s a visual representation of this structure:
It’s important to avoid overstaffing your marketing team with too many specialists or senior-level marketers, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Instead, focus on hiring versatile and adaptable individuals who can work collaboratively to achieve the company’s growth goals.
Marketing Department Structure of a Medium-Sized SaaS
Your company should have a solid foundation at this stage, so you’re looking to scale your marketing efforts. An ideal marketing department structure for a medium-sized SaaS company would include the CMO overseeing the entire marketing department and providing strategic direction.
You’ll need a SaaS product marketing team comprising a marketing specialist or an affiliate manager and your product marketing manager.
Your content marketing team also expands at this point to include a research assistant, editor, and copywriter—headed by your content marketing manager. You can also hire a digital marketer to support your growth marketing manager in optimizing your overall growth and conversion tactics.
At this size, it’ll be more cost-effective to merge your brand marketing and PR efforts, so you can have a PR specialist working with your brand marketing manager. Additionally, a demand generation manager can come on board since there’ll also be a focus on expanding your client base and getting new leads.
As a medium-sized SaaS company, you want to avoid hiring generalists. Focus on hiring specialists for each marketing function. Here’s a great example from Workable’s team.
Workable has specialized roles like demand generation manager, product marketing associate, and content marketing strategist. A specialized marketing team like this allows for a more in-depth analysis of your marketing efforts and targeted campaigns, leading to better results.
Marketing Department Structure of an Enterprise SaaS
The SaaS marketing department structure of an enterprise company is more complex than that of a small or medium-sized company. The exact structure highly depends on your company’s goals, target audience, and software marketing budget.
In general, an enterprise SaaS company will have multiple specialized teams, each with its own focus and responsibilities. These teams may include demand generation, product marketing, content marketing, public relations, and growth marketing.
Each team may have specific managers, coordinators, and specialists, with a director overseeing the entire marketing department. So, you can have something like this:
When building an enterprise SaaS marketing team, hire individuals with specialized skills and experience in their respective areas. A strong leader who can manage and coordinate the different teams is also crucial.
Avoid hiring individuals who lack experience in the specific marketing area the company needs, as this can lead to inefficiencies and poor results.
Who Should You Hire First?
There has always been a debate on who should be the first hire in a marketing team. While some marketers believe a product marketer should be the first hire, others recommend a demand marketer.
For example, Gary Calega, the CEO of RevelOne, recommends that the director of Growth should come in first— as this will help you lay the foundation for a more structured approach to targeting specific clients.
On the other hand, Rohit Srivastav of Thoda Magic recommends either a product marketer or a Demand Gen Marketer:
The idea is that a demand generation marketer will help you have a more specific outreach if you’ve built a better product than your competitors. And a product marketer is recommended if you have a unique product, as they’ll help reveal its uniqueness to your target audience.
In all of this, most SaaS brands would typically hire a generalist ( i.e., a jack of all trades), according to marketing expert Arialle Jackson. Hiring a generalist will go a long way if your company can only afford to make one hire.
However, they may not always be easy to find. So, in this case, you’d want to go for someone who meets the most pressing need for your marketing efforts. This will often depend on your primary marketing objective.
How To Hire For Your Marketing Leadership Roles
Having the right people to fill marketing leadership roles is crucial to the success of your SaaS marketing department. These people are responsible for developing and executing strategies that will drive growth, increase revenue, and build your brand awareness. Not to mention they need to oversee your marketing teams.
One effective and strategic way to get the best hires is to look for candidates who have worked for similar or competing companies in the past. You want candidates with a track record of success in marketing leadership roles. This can be done by searching for candidates on LinkedIn and looking at their past work experience. Or, look at the marketing leaders in the SaaS companies you admire.
Note that since you’re the one reaching out, you’d want to do this with more stealth. So, don’t be aggressive with your outreach by going all out at once. Instead, capitalize on networking and try to have a good conversation with your ideal candidates before mentioning your opening.
LinkedIn is not the only place to go. Consider networking forums like Entrepreneur’s Organization that allow you to meet experts and high-quality professionals.
Additionally, you can reach out to your network of colleagues or industry contacts for recommendations.
SaaS Marketing Team Structure FAQs
The structure of your SaaS marketing department will often depend on your organization’s size and marketing objective. Startups will typically have a streamlined structure with key roles in a small team.
Medium-size companies will opt for a more specialized team with few leadership roles and supporting team members. For enterprise SaaS brands, you’ll find multiple specialized teams with managers, coordinators, specialists, and a CMO to oversee the entire department.
The roles in SaaS marketing include brand marketing, growth marketing, product marketing, demand generation, content marketing, and PR specialist roles.
A successful SaaS marketing team requires a balance of different roles and skills. The structure of your marketing department should be tailored to the size and needs of the SaaS company.
Also, hiring for marketing leadership roles should be quite intentional. You can look out for potential candidates with a good track record and reach out to them. Capitalize on high-quality networking too.
With the right team in place, your SaaS company can effectively promote its product, drive user acquisition and engagement, and ultimately achieve its growth objectives.
Nico is the founder of Crunch Marketing, a SaaS marketing agency. He works with enterprise SaaS clients like Writer, Right Inbox, and Surfer SEO, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.