Creating A Content Marketing Team Org Chart, In Minutes


We’re feeling guilty!  We’ve been spending so much time @Organimi the last few weeks on the Organimi  V4 launch…..Can you say inwardly focused?

Do you feel like your marketing organization and marketing efforts are unappreciated?  overly complex? disorganized?  Having trouble keeping track of all the moving pieces, staff, service providers and contributors?

Organimi has a solution for you.

Today’s blog is about org charts for marketing organizations, and covers related organizational design considerations, drawing from a few recent posts that caught our eye.

We’re talking about marketers being a little more inwardly focused…in a good way.


A couple of weeks ago, we came across an article from Ann Handley, founder of,  called “A Simple Content Marketing Org Chart” she guest published awhile ago on the Hootsuite blog.

(For those of you who haven’t heard,  Hootsuite is a phenomenally successful social media marketing platform company with millions of users worldwide using its tools to organize and co-ordinate their online marketing activities – one of several awesome Vancouver start-ups taking the stage these days.  MarketingProfs — marketing professionals and marketing professors — brings experienced executives from publishing, technology, academia and (of course) marketing disciplines together as a marketing consulting resource for companies).

Ann sets the stage in her own words:

I’m allergic to complexity, at least when it comes to content. So when I tried to find a simple org chart to help organizations visualize their own content team, I couldn’t find anything quite simple enough. So because I didn’t major in PowerPoint, I drew one with a Sharpie instead.

The result? Awesome!

A few things she emphasizes in her comments:

  • Simplicity beats complexity
  • Transparency beats confusion
  • Change is Good.  Traditional tools (PowerPoint, Sharpies, “rocks and sticks”) don’t  do the job.
  • Flexibility is Best.  Roles based organizational architectures are flexible and adaptable

Need some great guidance on creating a marketing organization chart for your content marketing team?  We couldn’t agree more.


In a few minutes with Organimi we were able to replicate Ann’s chart.

Anyone who is interested now has a simple content marketing org chart template you can use, build on and run with.  You can create your own free version at Organimi so give it a try if you want.

Yes! Take me to Organimi V4 

And because Organimi is an online cloud based org chart

  • you can include everyone on the team – full time, part-time, consultants, agency staffers, the designer you found on 99designs, your favorite pet or inspirational role model…you name them, and you can include them on your team; AND…..
  • you can share your Organimi org charts with everyone you want to.

Get everybody on the team connected, communicating, and collaborating – and knowing where they fit in.   In minutes. Share the result.

Need some other organizational design thoughts for your marketing organization or marketing org chart templates?  You can find some online here or here or here.

Tear Down Your Marketing Org Charts

Ah…if creating high performance, high impact content marketing teams was as simple as creating a new org chart, our lives would all be so much easier.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple.

Which leads to The Ultimate Marketing Machine, another article discussing the changing world of marketing organizations and needs for new org charts  from Unilever’s head of marketing and Marketing2020 Advisory Council chair Keith Weed, and his colleagues at global marketing strategy consultancy MB Vermeer.

In their Marketing2020 report, Weed and his colleagues highlight the fact that marketing organizations roles and activities have changed “beyond recognition” due to market forces and technology innovation, but that structurally most marketing organizations adhere to decades old hierarchies which prevent effective adjustment to this changed environment.

Their assessment:

“Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day.  Yet in most companies the organizational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago. Hidebound hierarchies from another era are still commonplace.”

Does this sound like your marketing organization?  If so, is it time to tear it down and look at other solutions?

Tear downs are all the rage these days so this message likely resonates elsewhere in the organization as much as it does in marketing.  The question becomes – what’s next?  And, equally importantly, how can you be sure the “what’s next” will be an improvement?  Not all tear downs are created equally.

After commenting that “many chief marketing officers are tearing up their org charts”, for example, Weed notes that a simple blueprint for what a marketing organization should look like today does not exist.

Strategy Trumps Structure

Instead of focusing on structure and reorganizing initiatives, Weed sugests that marketers need to instead ask, “What values and goals guide our brand strategy, what capabilities drive marketing excellence, and what structures and ways of working will support them?”  This framework drives a more rational process of ground up organizational design.

So whether you are organizing, or reorganizing, your marketing team, structure must follow strategy—not the other way around.

Their commentary is backed up by extensive research contained in Marketing2020 and conducted by EffectiveBrands (now Millward Brown Vermeer)—in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, the World Federation of Advertisers, Spencer Stuart, Forbes, MetrixLab, and Adobe.  Described as “the most comprehensive marketing leadership study ever undertaken”  it includes  in-depth qualitative interviews with more than 350 CEOs, CMOs, and agency heads, over a dozen CMO roundtables in cities worldwide, and extensive online surveys of 10,000-plus marketers from 92 countries touching on such areas as marketers’ data analytics capabilities, brand strategy, cross-functional and global interactions, and employee training.

Their key insights? Successful marketing organizations have definite clearly differentiated characteristics from their more poorly performing counterparts.  Overperformers tend to:

  • Analyze and use their customer data and advanced analytics more effectively
  • Create “purpose based” positioning to enhance sales
  • See the marketing organization as strategic and connected to the business’s growth plans
  • Ensure employees are aligned with brand positioning and purpose
  • Align marketing key performance indicators directly with the overall business success KPIs
  • Build needed capabilities by investing in team capabilities training & development

Think.  Do.  Feel.  Best Practises For Organizing Marketing Teams

In their article, the authors divide marketers into categories – those who primarily think (the analytics and optimization crew), do (the execution teams), or feel (customer interaction and engagement).  They offer in depth analysis and suggestions for revamping the marketing organization.  Some excerpts are shared below:

Purposeful Positioning; Organizing Through Vision For Growth

“Top brands excel at delivering all three manifestations of brand purpose—functional , emotional and societal benefits.  In addition to engaging customers and inspiring employees, a powerful and clear brand purpose improves alignment throughout the organization and ensures consistent messaging across touchpoints…..To deliver a seamless experience…all employees in the company, from store clerks and phone center reps to IT specialists and the marketing team itself, must share a common vision.”

They Connect Marketing to the Business Strategy.

“Despite cultural and geographic obstacles, our high-performing marketers…excel at linking their departments to general management and other functions. They create a tight relationship with the CEO, making certain that marketing goals support company goals; bridge organizational silos by integrating marketing and other disciplines; and ensure that global, regional, and local marketing teams work interdependently….And when marketing demonstrates that it is fighting for the same business objectives as its peers, trust and communication strengthen across all functions and, as we shall see, enable the collaboration required for high performance.”

They inspire by engaging all levels of their organization with the brand purpose.

“Inspiring all employees through a respected brand purpose ensures that all employees will be motivated by the same mission. This enhances collaboration and, as more and more employees come into contact with customers, also helps ensure consistent customer experiences. The payoff is that everyone in the company becomes a de facto member of the marketing team…The key to inspiring the organization is to do internally what marketing does best externally: create irresistible messages and programs that get everyone on board”.

They focus their people on a few key priorities.

“Misalignment  increases the farther teams are from an organization’s center of power. With marketing activities ever more dispersed across global companies, that risk must be carefully managed….By a wide margin, respondents in overperforming companies agreed with the statements “Local marketing understands the global strategy” and “Global marketing understands the local marketing reality.” Winning companies were more likely to measure brands’ success against key performance indicators such as revenue growth and profit and to tie incentives at the local level directly to those KPIs.”

They organize agile, cross-functional teams.

“Our research consistently shows that organizational structure, roles, and processes are among the toughest leadership challenges—and that the need for clarity about them is consistently underestimated or even ignored…Our experience does suggest a set of operational and design principles that any organization can apply.  Today marketing organizations must leverage global scale but also be nimble, able to plan and execute in a matter of weeks or a few months—and, increasingly, instantaneously.

Complex matrixed organizational structures—like those captured in traditional, rigid “Christmas tree” org charts—are giving way to networked organizations characterized by flexible roles, fluid responsibilities, and more-relaxed sign-off processes designed for speed. The new structures allow leaders to tap talent as needed from across the organization and assemble teams for specific, often short-term, marketing initiatives. The teams may form, execute, and disband in a matter of weeks or months, depending on the task.

They build the internal capabilities needed for success – agility, flexibility, speed to decision, time to market –  by investing in their people.

“As companies expand internationally, they inevitably reorganize to better balance the benefits of global scale with the need for local relevance. …As a result, the vast majority of [global] brands are led much more centrally today than they were a few years ago. Companies are removing middle, often regional, layers and creating specialized “centers of excellence” that guide strategy and share best practices while drawing on needed resources wherever, and at whatever level, they exist in the organization. As companies pursue this approach, roles and processes need to be adapted….

As we have shown, the most effective marketers lead by connecting, inspiring, focusing, and organizing for agility. But none of those activities can be fully accomplished, or sustained, without the continual building of capabilities. Our research shows pronounced differences in training between high- and low-performing companies, in terms of both quantity and quality.

At a minimum the marketing staff needs expertise in traditional marketing and communications functions—market research, competitive intelligence, media planning, and so forth. …The best marketing organizations… have invested in dedicated internal marketing academies to create a single marketing language and way of doing marketing.”

Orchestrating Change: Marketing Team As Flash Mob

Weed notes that marketing organizations traditionally have been populated by generalists, but particularly with the rise of social and digital marketing, a profusion of new specialist roles—such as digital privacy analysts and native-content editors—are emerging.

They describe an almost infinite variety of new and emerging titles and roles that link to the fast moving changes in the marketing landscape, demonstrated most recently by the announcements this week that Google, Twitter and others are moving more agressively into the online advertising and e-commerce space, creating entirely new channels, marketing opportunities and competitors for many consumer facing companies – all at the same time.

The result is that in today’s business environment, marketing teams often need to be comprised of managers from a variety of marketing and nonmarketing functions, may have different durations, and draw from talent pools of thinkers, doers and feelers as well as key resources from other parts of the organization to successfully execute marketing projects.

Weed chooses the analogy of the conductor

“A broad array of skills and organizational tiers and functions are represented within each category. CMOs and other marketing executives such as chief experience officers and global brand managers increasingly operate as the orchestrators, assembling cross-functional teams from these three classes of talent to tackle initiatives. Orchestrators brief the teams, ensure that they have the capabilities and resources they need, and oversee performance tracking. To populate a team, the orchestrator and team leader draw from marketing and other functions as well as from outside agencies and consulting firms, balancing the mix of think, do, and feel capabilities in accordance with the team’s mission. (See the interactive exhibit “The Orchestrator Model.”)

Or maybe, if you prefer a little more jump and spontaneity, the better analogy for you to think about is organizing your team – inside and outside the company – as the marketing “flash mob“…showing up and making spectacular things appear to surprise and delight everyone inside or outside the company.


Orchestrator or flash mob planner?  Which better describes you?

Whichever way you decide to organize it and operate it, you can be sure you will be able to connect everyone on the team with Organimi.

Now you can get your Organimi on….pick your conductor…and start building the teams around them to drive your marketing activities to a more successful, higher performance outcome.  So go ahead, and do some design experiments, today.

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Don’t Forget About The Organimi 7% Solution

We have lots to come in the weeks ahead on topics like employee engagement, virtual teams & remote team management, and organizational design.

In the meantime, though, for those interested, we are running an awesome – one of a kind really – program for Organimi, creating a pool of 7% of the company’s current equity value for our early adopting customers to share in.  You can read more about it here.

As always, thanks for reading

The Organimi Team