How to build a successful
e-commerce marketing team.

The decision to build an eCommerce marketing team is always filled with uncertainty. The concept of managing a department that handles everything related to online shopping can be daunting for any company today, especially when you’re not sure what direction your business should go in next or how much work needs to be done on different projects at once.

To start, let’s talk about the kinds of professionals you need and then look at how to build a successful marketing team for your e-commerce business.


In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • Marketing team roles & responsibilities
  • Skillset per role
  • Tips to shape the team


When it comes to the best e-commerce team structures, marketing is one of the key parts.

Peter Drucker famously said: ”A business has only two basic functions – marketing and innovation” and “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself”. Basically, marketing is half the job if you are managing an online store. 

The e-commerce market is still growing and marketeers can play a pivotal role in overcoming both inherent challenges, as well as circumstantial ones.

In short: Marketing helps make sure people know about what you’re selling even when there are other things competing for their attention.

Here’s how to build an E-commerce marketing team


The 4 key roles

E-Commerce teams are made up of specialists with different responsibilities, who work together to provide the best e-commerce experience for the customers. The following key positions are typically the core of a Marketing E-Commerce Team:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Storyteller
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Officer
  • Social Media Manager

While searching for the people for your team, it’s important to know what kinds of skills are necessary for each position. The team will show better results when you have players with the right skillset. Don’t forget about “soft skills”: knowing a particular software from A to Z is great, but if the communication skills are poor, it makes it difficult to work with a person. Below, you will find the role descriptions and the “minimum required” list of skills.

1. Marketing manager

Responsible for finding new ways to introduce products/services with a bang. They conduct marketing studies and develop strategies that will get your company noticed. They analyse various patterns in the industry, so you can stay one step ahead of the competition by utilising best practices from other successful businesses.

If you want to find a person who will bring the most value to the team, you should look for:

  1. Strategic thinking. This skill is one of the most important for the Marketing manager. It’s related to the ability to understand the audience and its buying behaviour. A person with developed strategic thinking can plan for the future, taking into account previous experience and understanding where the company is at the moment.
  2. Communication skills. Strong communications skills are a crucial part of ensuring a team works harmoniously toward a shared goal. A marketing manager should also have strong written and verbal communication skills. If you decide to ask them to write a press release or copy for marketing materials it will require effective communication.
  3. Data analysis. Knowing how to analyse and measure the data of marketing campaigns will help to understand if you are on the right track or should rethink the strategy. For any business, data is fundamental and the right analysis can take your business to success.
  4. Budgeting. Knowledge of finance helps monitor payments for promotions, ads, social media campaigns and other elements. It’s not necessary to be a professional bookkeeper, but it is important to have basic skills to understand the cost structure. 
  5. Technology skills. Along with an understanding of the principles of operation of various software, technology skills include managing social media campaigns across multiple channels, email campaigns, and online advertising. Staying up-to-date with trends in technology is crucial in the digital world.
  6. Creativity. A marketing manager needs creative skills to think up fresh ways to engage with both potential and existing customers. Moreover, they need to define different sales and distribution channels to boost the business and it requires some out-of-the-box thinking.


2. Storyteller

What is your business trying to achieve? Is it just about selling products, or are you hoping that with storytelling techniques people will be more inclined towards buying from you, rather than your competitors? If so, then copywriting isn’t enough – you need someone who can tell stories and make them believe!

The skills you should search for:

  1. Great grasp of grammar, spelling and punctuation. This is the most obvious one. It’s not only about knowing the difference between the UK and US spelling but also about the consistency of the text. Plus, clear error-free text is easier and faster to edit (if necessary), meaning, the final version of a text will be delivered in time.
  2. Creativity. Creativity is all about creating something nobody ever thought of. If the copywriter is involved in launching a marketing campaign, they need to come up with a great idea that will attract the attention of your audience and inspire them to take action, that’s why thinking differently is very beneficial.
  3. Basic Search Engine Optimisation skills. Copywriting is an art form that can be used to create great pieces of written work. However, when it comes time for publishing online there are many other factors at play which will determine the success of the content in attracting traffic and being found by people – this primarily resides with search engine optimisation (SEO). The Storyteller shouldn’t be an SEO pro, but it’s important to have some kind of understanding of how a search engine like Google, otherwise, their creation will be difficult to find on the Internet.
  4. Research skills. The Storyteller will be great in topics they are pros in, but they also should know how to gather the data for the articles they have less knowledge about. It’s crucial to know how and where to gather and analyse the information from different kinds of sources (web, printed reports, magazines, etc) in order to come up with an amazing piece of content.

3. SEO (Search Engine optimization) Officer

They make sure that the content on blogs and websites is optimised to generate more traffic through search engines like Google. This includes checking that information is fresh and relevant to what people are searching online at any given time. 

Important skills for the SEO Officer for making your content stand out:

  1. Writing skills. Strong writing skills are required for anyone in charge of an SEO campaign. In general, Search Engine Optimisation is a content-driven strategy, and SEO writing is an art form that only a few can master. SEO professionals should specialize in writing content for web pages and blogs, creating titles and headlines, writing metadata, and more.
  2. The ability to use common SEO tools. An SEO specialist will work with keywords, broken links, duplicate pages, backlinks, competitors, content, and other things. A professional will find a way to minimise the amount of time spent on a task versus the outcome. There are many tools that can help with it. By knowing how to use these SEO platforms, an SEO Officer is equipped to provide better results in the shortest period of time.
  3. Content marketing. Content and SEO are inseparable. Fact. To get results through SEO, it’s important to understand the role content plays in the overall SEO strategy and how to organise its efforts appropriately. Even if an SEO expert doesn’t write the content, they need to know what to look for and how to optimise the content strategy to improve your SEO.
  4. Prioritization. There are a lot of things SEO professionals have to pay attention to during the day. There are tasks coming in at the last moment: broken links to fix, keywords check, relevancy, etc. That’s why it’s important to find a person who can organise their work properly without missing deadlines. It is also crucial to understand that sometimes a good SEO Officer will “sacrifice” a harmless quick fix issue in order to deliver a bigger good quality project. 
  5. Basic coding. There are still debates about this one. While SEO experts won’t do the web designers’ work, it’s important that they understand the basic principles of website design and meta-tagging. An SEO professional works with page speed, rendering, lazy loading, server-side redirects, and basic HTML tags. To be able to “speak the same language” with website developers, it’s useful to know some coding basics (or at least how WordPress works).

4. Social Media Manager

Hired by companies to oversee their social media interactions. One of the skills of a Social Media Manager must be the ability to use data and trends in customer behaviour for optimum outcomes. They plan digital campaigns that build communities online.

A professional with the following skills will bring your Social Media to the next level:

  1. Copywriting. To drive engagement and clicks on social media, good writing skills are crucial. A Social Media Manager should know how to accurately write according to the brand voice to create engaging social posts and encourage people to react to them.
  2. Design. Both pictures and videos. If there’s a designer in the team, this part will be outsourced, but it’s always good to know that you have a professional in-house who has editing skills. If the topic is hot, sometimes you might not have time to assign a task to the designer, so you can trust a Social Media Manager to create and add visuals to the social media post.
  3. Creative mindset. Social media marketing is not just a tactical game. It means understanding the creative process that engages with your customer. A great social media manager will be able to organise, source, and reuse good existing content in a creative way, producing several posts from the same source material.
  4. Data analysis and reporting. A great Social Media Manager will use analytics and metrics to assess each post and campaign, making small adjustments and improvements as they go. A good understanding of analytics is also important since the social media manager will need to report to the team lead about how each channel is performing. 
  5. Continuous watchfulness. Social Media Managers swim in content on a daily basis. To stay informed about competition, latest trends, relevant topics and news, they should have a natural curiosity and “sharp eye”. It is possible to master this skill over time but it would be great if you can find a person with the background and knowledge of the industry and sector your company is in. This will help to ramp up things faster and show a more professional presence across social media.


Tips for building an efficient marketing team

To make sure you’re not sacrificing quality or cost, it is important to be consistent. Here are a few tips that will help guide your decisions in the right direction:

Build the hiring process 

You don’t want to dive into recruitment specifics alone – instead, make it a collaborative effort that will help you pick the best candidates by stages. This is where having an HR specialist who searches and pre-selects them makes sense as they are skilled at finding talent in this area.

Hire for long-term instead of short-term

Hiring for the future will be challenging if you don’t take some time to determine someone’s work ethic, flexibility and ability. You’ll also need an individual who is intrinsically motivated to keep learning. This will ensure that their skills will not become outdated in the future, as technology progresses. E-commerce is a fast-paced, volatile industry. It is influenced heavily by changes in legislation and technological advancements.


Think about communication

Processes and procedures are the backbones of any successful team. Without them, teams can’t get work done efficiently or effectively, which means you’ll need more than just good talent on your payroll.

We recommend planning an effective communication system so everyone has access to all relevant information at any time. This will help ensure that nobody is left in the dark about what’s happening within their respective departments, while also giving the employees peace of mind of knowing how things should be performed according to standardised guidelines.


Hire the people you want to spend time with every day

The key to a successful team is finding the right people, and ensuring they stay motivated.

A well-sized, geographically spread workforce can work together as one powerful unit if each member brings their A-game every day – even when you’re thousands of kilometres apart. When interviewing potential candidates make sure they answer all questions fully so there are no surprises down the line, while keeping it easy. At the end of the day, work has to bring joy.


Final thoughts about building the perfect e-commerce marketing team

In conclusion, hiring in this environment can be tricky. You want someone who has done tons of email marketing, but they must have also had experience coming up with the actual content themselves; avoid one-trick ponies! Opt instead for somebody with perhaps less depth on their resume (but great overall communications skills and market insight).

Hiring great talent is one of the most difficult growth challenges you’ll face as a company. Don’t make an okay choice; there are stellar professionals out there who would be worth your wait!


If you have made it this far through the blog…

Chances are that you are seriously looking to start building your eCommerce marketing team. That’s great we are here for it!

Phanum team

At Phanum, we grow eCommerce businesses with a team of expert freelancers in the fields of paid traffic, site optimization, content marketing, and software development. If you want to know more about structuring a flexible e-commerce marketing team with freelancers you can contact one of our eCommerce experts today!

Click this link to see how we grow eCommerce sites!