Managing digital marketing

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Managing digital marketing will often need new skills, new staff, new technologies and new processes for marketing. It’s a big change! We look at digital marketing governance the – best way to structure teams and update processes in larger organisation. If you’re a team of one you can ignore this section! The bigger the organisation, the bigger the challenge!

Primer - Managing online marketing

Our resources on Smart Insights focus advice on managing different online marketing activities more effectively. This Primer links to other free primers covering all the key digital marketing activities. Members who are signed-in can check off the free and paid resources as they review them.

Managing digital marketing quick guide

Managing digital marketing success factors

One of the best ways to think of through the best way to manage digital marketing is still the McKinsey 7S framework.  I’ve used this in my book – here is a summary

Element of 7S model

Application to digital marketing team

Key issues from practice and literature


The significance of digital marketing in influencing and supporting organisations’ strategy

Gaining appropriate budgets and demonstrating / delivering value and ROI from budgets. Annual planning approach.

Techniques for using digital marketing to impact organisation strategy

Techniques for aligning digital strategy with organisational and marketing strategy


The modification of organizational structure to support digital marketing.

Integration of team with other management, marketing (corporate communications, brand marketing, direct marketing) and IT staff

Use of cross-functional teams and steering groups

Insourcing vs. outsourcing


The development of specific processes, procedures or information systems to support digital marketing

Campaign planning approach-integration

Managing/sharing customer information

Managing content quality

Unified reporting of digital marketing effectiveness

In-house vs. external best-of-breed vs. external integrated technology solutions


The breakdown of staff in terms of their background and characteristics such as IT vs. Marketing, use of contractors/consultants, age and sex.

Insourcing vs. outsourcing

Achieving senior management buy-in/involvement with digital marketing

Staff recruitment and retention. Virtual working

Staff development and training


Includes both the way in which key managers behave in achieving the organizations’ goals and the cultural style of the organization as a whole.

Relates to role of digital marketing team in influencing strategy –

it is it dynamic and influential or conservative and looking for a voice


Distinctive capabilities of key staff, but can be interpreted as specific skill-sets of team members.

Staff skills in specific areas: supplier selection, project management, Content management, specific e-marketing approaches (SEO,PPC, affiliate marketing, e-mail marketing, online advertising)

Superordinate goals

The guiding concepts of the digital marketing organisation which are also part of shared values and culture. The internal and external perception of these goals may vary

Improving the perception of the importance and effectiveness of the digital marketing team amongst senior managers and staff it works with (marketing generalists and IT)

Managing digital marketing definition

Managing digital marketing could be thought of as digital marketing strategy which we cover in other sections. But here we’re talking about the processes you use to manage your digital marketing activities and how you select the right resources.

The resources include internal staff, agency, tools and software. It’s also about getting these different teams to communicate and any restructuring necessary.

It’s called digital governance in some larger organisations.

The McKinsey 7Ss which date back to 1980 can be still used to think through the issues that need managing.

Related statistics

Managing digital marketing answers

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