A well-structured customer marketing team is a crucial part of achieving success and growth and our panel discussion, Building & Structuring Your Team for Success, at the Customer Marketing Summit provided key insight.

Our panelists included: Aunalisa Arellano, Head of Customer Marketing Manager at Filevine, Chad Mack, Director of Customer Marketing at Dell Technologies, and Elizabeth Raffa, Senior Customer Marketing Manager at HackerOne.

Together, they highlighted several factors that make a successful customer marketing team, focusing on structure, they also touched on the importance of cross-functional collaboration and providing growth opportunities for their team.

This insight can be split into two main themes:

  • Maximizing team performance and growth
  • Building a strong foundation for your team

Building a strong foundation for your team

Defining roles and responsibilities within a team is key to creating a working culture that promotes and encourages collaboration and growth.

Our panelists here share their insights on their own experiences building and nurturing their teams.

One key takeaway they shared is that setting the right expectations and goals is absolutely crucial. Elizabeth Raffa stresses the importance of keeping an eye on larger business goals and ensuring that the team's efforts align with these objectives.

A huge part of this, she highlights, is setting the right expectations, building up your team whilst keeping in mind what is realistic and achievable, and communicating this all back to leadership to ensure streamlining and transparency.

A key message Elizabeth integrates into this strategy to keep her and her team focused is thinking of herself as:

‘The advocate for the advocate, advocating for our customer advocates and making sure that we're looking at the big picture, instead of being reactionary to things as they come up.’

Chad Mack similarly emphasized the need to prioritize requests and parse through the noise to focus on what is most critical to achieving success. By creating a sub-structure with leadership levels he further narrowed the scope.

This structuring of his team also allowed for leadership opportunities and growth and cross-functional exposure. He expands on this by saying:

‘I shuffled the deck, and gave people opportunities to work on different product sets, expand their skills, and their subject matter expertise and different products in the tech space.’

Another important aspect of team structure is building trust with the organization and stakeholders. Aunalisa Arellano shared how she had to build trust with her organization and establish foundational elements to ensure success.

This trust also is key in structuring your team and providing opportunities for career advancement, fostering an environment for growth and development.

Aunalisa Arellano encourages her team to select projects that interest them and offers stretch opportunities. She told us: