Industry Insights

Who Needs A Digital Marketing Team?

Working as a consultant I get to see many different organizations and structures.  There are many similarities, and some differences.  In Marketing Organizations, many companies have teams dedicated to Brands and other teams dedicated to Marketing Capabilities such as Digital Marketing, Media, CRM, or eCommerce.  One of the key reasons companies will take this structure is that they want to put an emphasis on this Marketing Capability and fear that it may not be a focus to the Brand Team is it is not broken out separately.

One group that I often see in a Marketing Structure is a Digital Marketing team.  5 years ago, when Digital Marketing was in its infancy, this made a lot of sense.  Marketers may have understood this new function, so the best and quickest way to prioritize it and drive it into the organization may have been to develop a group dedicated to Digital Marketing.  Today this may not be the case anymore.  Digital Marketing runs throughout the brand.  It touches all parts of the marketing mix.  As a result, some companies are relooking at their organization and are including Digital Marketing in the responsibilities of the Brand Marketing Teams.

Below are some examples of different marketing areas affected by Digital Marketing:

Media Buying: Once predominantly TV with a little Radio and Print, Media today focuses on Digital Media (i.e. On-Line and Mobile) which can show actual ROIs and can drive Personalized Marketing.

TV Commercial:  TV Advertising today can bridge into Digital pretty easily.  Cable networks allow the viewer to click on the remote to get “More Information.”  This will often bring users to a Brand Site.  Viewers can also “Shazam” some ads to get more information.

Packaging: Marketers are using packaging to interact digitally with users.  Some brands have apps that animate on your phone when viewed through the app on your phone.  Brands also allow you to scan a code to get more information.

Loyalty Marketing:  Once marketers communicated to consumers in CRM programs thru “snail mail.”  Members of loyalty programs may get coupons or brochures in the mail.  Today members get app notifications on their phone and have coupons and information stored on their phone.

These are just a few examples, but it’s really hard today to think of a marketing program that does not have a digital component.

In this digital world, do organizations really need a Digital Marketing team?

Some clearly do in order to catch up to the competition.  Others find that Digital Marketing is a part of the Brand Marketing Team’s responsibility.  Those companies will often create an innovation team to drive innovation of every sort (including new digital opportunities) into the organization.

Is your organization set up correctly for its strategic initiatives? Does your Marketing Plan include Digital in all (relevant) areas?  If not, reach out to me!


The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

LINK via LinkedIn at

OR follow me on twitter at


Learn more

Leverage proven solutions to build life-long relationships with consumers. Check out IBM Solutions at


More stories

Build your own wonder

Wonder-ing out of the uncanny valley The “uncanny valley” is a phrase used to describe machines or systems that at the same time appear close to human, but elect a sense of revulsion rather than wonder.  Creepy is another word that gets used.  It is an old idea (first used by a Japanese roboticist working […]

Continue reading

More wonders

In my last post (“A time of wonders“) I finished on the idea that “machines like HAL or Her are referred to as super-intelligent or as strong artificial intelligence…and that most experts agree that we are probably 60 years away from being able to create systems like that, but there are many wonders available to […]

Continue reading

A time of wonders

Wonders indeed.  Last year a man’s life was saved in Missouri when his Tesla car drove him to hospital on autopilot. It seems that every day we read headlines like that one: you could call it a time of wonders, and all of them seem to be the result of artificial intelligence or AI. It […]

Continue reading