After reading a post about creating a marketing team, aimed at ad agencies and large firms, I asked friends how they would build a small business in-house marketing team — what positions they would fill? The article from INC. Tips and Tools for Building a Marketing Team is a good start. The piece discusses the need for a VP of Marketing, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, Marketing Analyst, and Business Development Manager. A hierarchy designed for planning and execution rather than creation, but what if your team needs to plan, execute, and create? And what if you’re a small business getting started? Is creating a small business in-house marketing team or would outsourcing your marketing needs be best for you?

What Do You Need?

To build a marketing team, you first must determine what marketing media you will want to create. For example, if your business is food service, you may want a staff photographer. If, however, new products are far and few between then outsourcing photography may be your best bet.

Create your marketing team around your product and service. Consider how you will go to market, where you will present your wares, and who your target audience is — then build a team to fit your needs. You may also want to consider the cost-effectiveness of in-house verse outsourced.

Who Do You Need?

Marketing Manager

Whether the title is VP, director, or manager, someone needs to oversee and direct the team. Management and communication skills, along with an understanding of the organizations’ culture and mission, as well as direct marketing knowledge, are critical to successfully managing an in-house marketing team.


How much content will you need to create? If your marketing initiative includes a blog, web copy, email campaigns, newsletters, and collateral materials, an in-house copywriter may be cost-effective with the added benefit of being more in tune with your mission and culture than an outsourced copywriter.

Graphic Designer

How much design work will be a part of your plan? If all you need is a logo and an occasional banner ad — outsource it. But if your needs include E-book typography, trade show displays, web pages, and brochures, an in-house designer might be a good investment.


How many photos do you need? How often do you share new work? For example, are there enough photo opportunities to make it cost effective to have a photographer on staff.

Web Developer

Businesses are beginning to understand that websites aren’t static — they’re fluid. Effective websites change, grow, and improve. They find ways to better serve their audience and incorporate new technology. If your site is more than a simple landing page, it may be wise to add a developer to the team.


Visual content is one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience for B2B or B2C corporations. Customer testimonials, how to videos, and behind the scene productions, all market products to prospects and customers; you may have more to share than you realize.

And …

Depending on your business and marketing strategy, you might want to consider adding other specialist to your team. For example, copy editor, events team, public relations, E-mail marketer, or a direct mail manager.

How Many Hats Can One Marketer Wear?

In 2010, I became the third member of a small business marketing team. It consisted of a photography/web developer/copywriter, a designer/copywriter/marketer, and me. For a small business, hiring generalists, people who enjoy learning and are willing to take on a challenge, can be a successful strategy.

Will Creating a Small Business In-house Marketing Team Work for You?

It depends on your organizations’ needs and marketing vision. What products and services will you market, who will you market them to, and through what media? Building an in-house team around these needs may be more desirable than outsourcing. The advantages of an in-house team include cultural buy-in and understanding, a unified mission, and the increased creativity of working as a team.

How Can I help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash