How’s Your Online Marketing Department Staffed?
I’m often asked these days, “What’s the ideal organizational structure for the online marketing function?” Most of you struggle to determine what functions are significant and need full-time attention. While there’s no “right answer” that fits all organizations, here are some key online functions that need consideration.
1. Online merchandisers.
Similar to their offline counterparts, their function is to develop a deep understanding of the product line, regardless of such factors as seasonality or demographic. They maintain strong vendor relationships and keep abreast of new product introductions. They also work closely with the taxonomy researchers, item content and creative staffs to deliver timely page changes, online advertising and promotion.
The biggest difference from their offline counterparts is their ability to take advantage of the minute-by-minute merchandising environment. If the Northeast is having a snowstorm, it’s time for that snow shovel promotion!
2. Rich media and specialty content staff.
These are the folks writing the copy, working with the graphics and A/V staff to create such “wow” content as comparison shopping charts, sizing charts and rich media applications like video product demonstrations. This group can also maintain relationships with vendors since many rich media materials are now available directly from vendors via file transfer protocol, ready and waiting to enrich your Web site.
3. Search management staff.
These employees manage and maintain the effectiveness of keywords on all organic and paid search campaigns. They manage and report all site and Web search successes and failures to drive search effectiveness and return on investment.
4. SEO/best practice researchers.
This group researches and integrates the latest search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms and industry trends, making recommendations on how to add, change or structure all content to improve SEO.
5. Taxonomy research.
This department provides ongoing input involving the optimization of site keywords, site navigation and site structure as it affects SEO.