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What Is the Typical Organizational Structure of a Marketing Department?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2014
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Although the exact form will vary depending on the specific company, the organizational structure of a marketing department tends to be similar in many ways. As with other business departments, there are hierarchical structures as will as task coordination. In smaller firms, an individual in a marketing department may have a broader task allocation, or number of duties he or she is responsible for, than in larger companies. Most marketing departments are divided into areas such as creative, client services, information technology (IT), list services and production. Managers of each function may report to a vice president of marketing or other top position that oversees the entire department.

Not all marketing departments have a production function. What are known as full-service marketing shops produce their own materials and these will have an off-site or on-site printing facility. Typically, a manager at the facility oversees the staff there and is responsible for hiring, training, development, review and firing. Even if the production branch of the marketing department is located and managed off-site, the manager must still ensure that organizational aims are being met. To keep off-site as well as on-site functions running effectively with the rest of the company, the organizational structure of a marketing department typically includes regular meetings.

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List services is included in marketing departments that research their own mail and email recipients. This branch of the department works closely with the IT department to create efficient lists and customer databases. Typically, the list and IT managers employ task coordination to reach company goals. By coordinating the efforts of these two branches of a marketing department, completing important time-saving tasks such as preventing duplicate names on a list, or "de-duping," can usually be done efficiently.

The client services aspect of a marketing department usually handles acquiring new customers as well as working to maintain the established ones. The manager usually oversees account executives who communicate with certain customers on a regular basis to make sales of advertising space, creative web, print or broadcast copy or promotional activities. While other branches of the organizational structure of a marketing department typically attend staff meetings, client services also regularly try to meet with the firm's customers in person at least occasionally.

The creative team of a marketing department creates materials to promote client products or services. The manager of this area is usually a creative director. Typically, an art director and senior copywriter each report to this person. The art director will manage a team of designers or graphic artists while the copywriter will oversee junior copywriters. The creative part of the organizational structure of a marketing department may not work in the same area of the company, but will still require project coordination to achieve project goals.

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