The best team structure to start a digital marketing agency

As the saying goes, you can’t build a house without a strong foundation. The same holds for digital agencies. It’s impossible to establish a successful agency without identifying the right team structure for you, which will grow with your business.

There are many types of agency structures. In my opinion and experience, the most effective is a structure with a focus on specific services. But building a powerful marketing team is not just about putting together a group of employees that have the skills to get the job done. Much depends on where your agency is now. You may just launch a business or work with clients steadily already, and the team structure will be significantly different in each case. This article will help you make the most of your limited resources and choose the best team structure to start a digital marketing agency.

Why is it essential to have a well-structured team?

To discover the importance of team structure, let’s talk about the essential things for every digital agency. When you set out to start this type of business, it’s crucial that you:

  • are an expert, or, even better, have a reputation in your area;
  • can deliver exceptional services;
  • handles your clients effectively (it’s not enough to do a high-quality service – more important is to deliver it to your client and make results that really meet expectations).

How can this be achieved? An essential part of any organization’s success is its team. The right people can produce excellent results for your company. So, the key is to have a team structure in which all the members:

  • know their roles and responsibilities well;
  • set clear and understandable goals;
  • understand how to reach these goals, or, better yet, have an SOP (a standard operating procedure).

How the team is organized directly impacts how the whole business operates. A set digital agency hierarchy and methodical approach to tasks can lead to higher quality output. That’s why a well-structured team helps to stay ahead of the competition.

The team roles in a digital marketing agency

One of the key areas of work is the delivery of services. To provide each service, you should hire:

  • team lead
  • senior specialist;
  • middle specialists;
  • junior specialist.

It’s effective to create several such teams in a department. It provides flexibility. In addition, managing up to 5 people is most effective. By the way, there is a fascinating thing in agencies: such teams are often called by the names of writers or artists.

But let’s take a closer look at the roles and responsibilities in the team. There are four main components to a successful digital marketing agency: production, sales, customer success, and administration. Here are the types of employees you need to hire and what each of them will do for your business.


Marketing is a wide field that encompasses many niche activities. For example, now in digital marketing, the most demanded services for different business areas are:

  • Email marketing;
  • SEO;
  • Content Marketing;
  • Facebook Ads;
  • Google Ads;
  • Conversion Rate Optimization

To start a digital marketing agency, you need at least one employee or freelancer for each area. When setting up a business, collaborating with multiple professionals can be too costly. To get started:

  1. Focus on one service.
  2. Test it. Determine how much time you’ll spend, what challenges there are, what things are crucially important for KPIs achievement.
  3. Write a couple of cases and get ready to present them. Cases work exceptionally well on trust websites.
  4. Form a team that includes at least four people (senior, 1-2 middle, 1-2 junior specialists) who can deliver the service. They need to understand their tasks. E.g., a senior specialist works on high-level SEO strategy, while a junior specialist creates a semantic core.

According to your agency needs, you may need some services occasionally, not always. In this case, it’s advisable to order the services of freelancers. And it’s a good idea to use networking. Thus, you’ll have many good specialists by your side.


A proper digital marketing company structure includes team members dedicated to selling services to customers. If you don’t formalize this aspect of business, you will leave the client as the primary decision-maker when choosing a digital marketing agency. The number of employees of this department depends on the workload, the overall volume of services, and the need for communication with clients. When starting, it’s enough to hire:

  • an Account Executive;
  • an SDR (Sales Development Representative).

Customer success

Customer relationships are critical to any successful digital marketing agency. So, another employee you have to hire is a CSM (Customer Success Manager). It’s a person who will work for clients’ satisfaction during the entire period in which you offer services.

Don’t forget that we help our clients, not just sell services. Every person who works with customers should be able to answer questions about products and pricing. Also, they should take a profile course to deliver the service on the primary level. You have to direct efforts toward improving customer retention and enhancing overall reputation among potential clients.


No matter if your business is small or large, you need to do paperwork. There are many critical administrative tasks related to contracts, paying salaries and taxes, hiring new employees, etc. As the owner, you should be engaged in the management. So the best decision is to hire specialists for these tasks. The most crucial areas are:

  • ​Finance;
  • Law;
  • HR.

You can hire employees to staff or use the services of freelancers or other agencies. In any case, you will need an accountant, lawyer, HR, and other people to take on these responsibilities.

3 tips on how to build an ideal team structure

You know what services your agency will offer and what specialists are needed. Let’s talk about the practical side. How to structure a digital marketing team? Here are some valuable tips.

  1. Start with the cooperation with freelancers. When you are a start-up, it could be too expensive to hire employees and pay them salaries. Freelance is flexible, and it’s possible to operate successfully on a low budget. For many entrepreneurs, this is a daunting prospect. They are unsure how to choose from the many freelancer opportunities out there and determine which ones they will truly benefit from. Set your very high if you want to be effective in running a business.
  2. Hire middle and junior specialists when starting. To get the best out of your agency, you need people with skills and abilities you can afford to pay. An ideal team should include specialists in each area of expertise (SEO, PPC, Email, and stuff). The specialist should know the business inside and how to approach problems and solutions that arise. The whole team benefits when they can work together effectively.
  3. Consult with senior freelance professionals. Consider engaging senior professionals from various digital marketing industries. It must be specialists who can offer expertise and perspectives on the challenges and benefits of working with you.
    It’s the best way to build the structure of a digital agency (proved by my experience). A well-rounded team can help you achieve your goals and scale your business.


In a nutshell, when it comes to digital agency organizational structure, there is no one size fits all. The type of services your agency offers and your resources will play a factor in the structure you choose. Forming a team involves much effort, but the long-term returns are going to be incredible.