Online Marketing Executive at Priority Pass
30 May 2008 12:43pm
We are looking at starting an in-house client side online department, except rather than set it up like an online marketing dept, we would prefer to set it up more like an agency as we already have a strong marketing team. We manage a multitude of subsidiary businesses.
Does anyone have some good advice on what type of specialists are required at the start of a project like this, and how many?
Initially this would be a small team that will grow over time. It would be involved with web development and design, non-transactional, transactional, as well as e-commerce websites within retail and leisure.
My initial thoughts are:
A/c managers/directorsSEO/Usability specialistsPPC specialistAffiliate mkting specialistEmail/Analytics software specialistsWeb dev teamInteractive designers
This is really the beginning, so I just wanted some feedback before I started to scope it out!
Technical Project Manager (MBA, MBCS, CITP, CEng) at Naxtech.com
30 May 2008 16:29pm
A lot of those things can be combined I think. It all depends on the type of work that you want to be taking on, and how niche those areas are. If you would like to discuss in detail feed free to contact me on 07712 255 379.
Director at Watson Hall Ltd
02 June 2008 09:39am
Compliance and security specialists?
Digital engagement & Social Media expert at Bertie.fr
02 June 2008 17:07pm
This is how New Media is set up at Breast Cancer Care. We are a charity and New Media sits in our core service delivery team so this model may not be 100% applicable.
From my experience, the key is to have internal buy-in from the top of the organisation and to be empowered to drive...
STRATEGY & LEADERSHIPHead of New Media• Strategic planning• Internal consultancy• project groups• External representation• Team management
CONTENT & DEVELOPMENTNew Media Manager New Media Editors x2 Programmer • Information architecture • Usability and accessibility• Content planning• Image sourcing and editing • Content tailoring• Newsletter production• Podcast• Web editing• Web copywriting• Internal training• Knowledge sharing • Design and layout• Content Management System• Servers• Project management• System development• Online applications• Flash tools• Templates• Applications• Wed data delivery• Suppliers management
ONLINE COMMUNITYOnline Community ManagerAssistantSessional facilitators x5 – Live Chat hosts x2 • Discussion Forums• Live chat• UGC• Future web based services
E-MARKETINGE-Marketing volunteer• Traffic analysis and reporting• Search Engine Optimisation • Trend analysis • Keyword promotion • KPI monitoring• Campaign advisory service• Usability and accessibility• External community sites
CLINICAL INFORMATION & ADVICEClinical Nurse New Media • Clinical advice• Content production • Breast cancer news• Podcast
Liaising with other teams like IT for hosting and security...
Group Account Director at DTDigital
02 June 2008 17:08pm
As an agency digital director, I'd suggest you focus on in-house strategy, brand strategy and project management, rather than in-house design and production.
If you skill up on the initial creative, specification, documentation and project planning side of things, then you can out-source the commodity side of it: the design and build, and the real specialties: the specific marketing execution.
If your in-house team are experienced project managers and strategists, then you can cherry pick development from a range of suppliers, get competitive bids against a tight specification from suppliers, and look at out-sourcing and off-shoring for the build.
However, if you were a digital agency, you'd be looking at billing in the millions to justify a dedicated team on-staff with all the specialists you outlined. Trust me, people worth the title of 'SEO specialist', 'Analytics software specialist' and 'PPC specialist' don't come cheap, and the best seek agency work as there's usually greater reward, variety and opportunity.
If your expected return on investment isn't that high, then it's highly likely you'll need people on a project basis only, and that's when it makes sense to appoint an agency instead of hiring.
My advice would be to employ the ability to control the project in-house, and then draw in external resources for the specialities such as creative design, online direct marketing and advertising, media planning, media buying and design and build, where economies of scale can lead to more cost effective utilisation.
But being from an agency myself, I would say that, wouldn't I? ;-)
And naturally, if we can be of assistance, please feel free to get in touch via our website: www.bplmarketing.com
Good luck with it all,
Stephen FoxworthyBPL Marketing
Digital Project Manager at Freelance
04 June 2008 10:08am
Based on my experience working at and with a wide range of agencies, here are my thoughts. I hope they're useful!
1) New business pipeline
You need to make sure you have a strong sales pipeline that's looking for new clients and generating potential projects. In my experience, a strong pipeline is created by good Account Managers, so that would be one recruitment priority. Make sure that they have 'real world' digital experience, as it's easy to come seriously unstuck pitching for digital projects if you don't know the potential pitfalls.
2) Project management
I agree completely with Stephen that good project management is vital to any digital group. Digital projects are very different to print projects and you'll need someone who understands how to manage them well so you're delivering on time and on budget.
3) Design and technical
These are the two key foundations of good digital work. You'll need someone to make your products look fantastic and someone who makes them work brilliantly.
If you're starting from scratch, I'd advise hiring the most experienced designer and developer you can afford - you're effectively recruiting your Creative Director and CTO.
Again, I agree with Stephen that you don't have to recruit all the skills you've listed - you can buy them on the open market. I'd start with a small core team and a range of freelancers and partners to assist with specific needs. You can then bring skills in-house as your needs develop.
Finally, I recommend that you have a really clear strategy about what you want to achieve and what sort of work you want to do. There's a huge variety of work out there from technically-led web engineering to creatively-led Flash 'experiences'. Different types of work require different skill sets and this will drive your recruitment at a basic level.
I've barely scratched the surface of this subject, but hopefully you'll find the above useful. I do consulting work with agencies on this kind of thing, so feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss this further.
Director of ecommerce at Mezzo Marketing
06 June 2008 19:00pm
I have managed both large blue chip digital teams and currently a small B2B focused digital team. The thing that is crucial is the account management function. Without a thorough understanding of your clients' (especially as they are internal) business they will always want to go around you and use 'better' external agencies.
In my opinion, the way to get this right is to co-locate your teams in the business area.
The other people you have got in your list of specialists is probably spot on. You can always outsource operational web work, like development, creative execution, even analytics, but you can never outsource the knowledge of your business
Hope that helps
Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer, Author and Speaker at SmartInsights.com
09 June 2008 13:27pm
The main roles you have defined seem a good fit - as part of the update to the E-consultancy Managing an E-commerce team report, I have interviewed managers across a range of organisations to determine the types of digital roles used - and common practice fits your prooposal well.
A good range of practical suggestions in the other posts. I would agree that some activities (search, affiliates) are best outsourced since it will be difficult to attract the level of expertise you need. Many of the managers I interviewed suggested this. I would have a single SEM role and then outsource specific SEO & PPC activities to an agency.
For affiliate marketing, i would make that a broader partnerships/online PR role and they would be involved in full scope of engaging customers in conversations offsite, e.g. social networking, reputation management.
I do think you need an internal analytics experts(s) rather than outsourcing that though, since the insights they can generate and their reports on evaluation of existing activities (diagnostics of existing processes are a big part of our new report) will be crucial to deliver better results to your internal customers.
Having sufficiently experienced a/c managers who can advise brands on digital strategy (rather than just the individual media channels) will also be important.
HTH, Dave Chaffeywww.davechaffey.com
16 June 2008 16:57pm
Thanks everyone for some great advice. This has been an extremely useful starting point.
Managing Director at Bletchley Group
01 August 2008 13:52pm
I've just completed this on behalf of Bacardi in London. The task was to close down an interactive function in Washhington DC and create a new team in London so I have direct experience of what you are trying to achieve.
I think the answer depends on what you want to achieve. Yes you can have in-house developers but is that where your division will add value.
My company Bletchley Group, www.bletchleygroup.com works with senior marketers and business leaders to implement digital changes in their business.
Please feel free email me
Econsultancy’s Selling Online: a How-to Guide for Small Businesses has been produced specifically with smaller business in mind. This 100+ page document, written by e-commerce consultant Trevor Ginn, contains information about best-practice implementation and management of an online retail website. It is a must-read for any small business serious about establishing itself in the e-commerce environment.
Free market research on digital marketing
Daily Pulse: award winning newsletter
It takes 30 seconds to register