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What is the Ideal Web Development Team Structure?

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What is the Ideal Web Development Team Structure?


Do you need a web development team? To start with, most companies either outsource web development or have one person responsible for it.

However, as your company grows you may find that it becomes too much for one person and/or cheaper to do in-house. At this point, you need a web development team. Understanding the ideal structure for one is a challenge, similar to working out the ideal structure for your marketing team in general.

So, what does your web development team need? How do you structure it in a way that supports your overall marketing strategy and all stakeholders?

Roles Needed for a Web Development Team

First of all, you don’t necessarily need a full-time person for all of these roles. In some cases, somebody may wear multiple hats until the team is built out further. You also might bring some functions of web development in-house while continuing to outsource others.

But here are the roles you need to have covered.

Project Manager

Somebody has to be in charge. For web development, this is ideally somebody with both IT and project management experience. They don’t necessarily have to be a coder themselves. But they have to understand what is possible and what can be achieved.

They also need to decide when outsourcing is an ideal solution and when things can be done in-house. Consider looking at whoever has been liaising with an outsourced developer if you have one; that person has likely been building the required experience.

Project Architect

Professional web development companies also have a project architect. This is the person who oversees the entire project arc and ensures that everything is put together in the perfect way to support your business needs. This person typically involves himself in project requirements analysis to study what you need. They then coordinate with other team members to ensure that the development process supports it. More technically, they may work with the developers to make sure that the site you are building supports the right information architecture for your content.

Most businesses don’t have a separate project architect but roll this into project management. However, it’s important to understand that somebody has to have a solid idea of what the structure of the website is, what your needs are, etc.

Back-End Developers

Back-end developers work on the stuff that you and your customers never see. The back end is the nuts and bolts of the website. They handle a lot of the server-side stuff and will need to work within the technical specifications of your web server. You can sometimes avoid needing a back-end developer by using a content management system to run your website. In this case, the back end, and much of the front end, is handled for your plug and play.

If you don’t use a CMS or need to significantly alter one to meet your needs, though.

Front-End Developers

The other side is the front-end development, which is the site itself as the users see it. This means things like how web pages are served to clients, making sure that the site recognizes mobile devices, etc. It also includes integrating with social media. They handle everything client-side to make sure your site works across multiple devices and in all browsers.

On many smaller teams, the back end and front end are handled by the same person. This is also the largest chunk that tends to be outsourced. Software development and web coding are highly specialized skills. Unless you already have them in your IT department, it may not be worth trying to get somebody in-house.

UI/UX Designer

Do not neglect this piece! UX/UI designers work on how your website looks and feels. A good user experience designer makes your website care. Okay, a website can’t care, but…

UX design requires a mixture of graphic design, coding and, yes, marketing. It’s the UX designer that helps you make a website that will actually sell products. The developers make sure it stays up.

The UX designer makes it sing. Good UX design requires a solid understanding of your business and target audience. And a really good designer avoids the temptation to do what is fashionable right now.

Quality Assurance Engineer

The last IT is quality assurance. This is the person in charge of testing your website and making sure it works. They might rope in other employees to act as testers. A good QA engineer will test your website across multiple devices and multiple browsers to make sure that you are not losing customers just because they happen to not be using Chrome.

Content Director

Finally, there is the person responsible for putting content on your website. This might include getting your logo and giving it to the UX designer so they can put it in the layout. It also includes seeding your blog with those few initial articles, linking YouTube videos, etc.

Again, you don’t necessarily need a full-time person in each of these roles. If you outsource to a web designer, though, they probably will do that.

For the average company who refreshes their website maybe once a year, though, a full-time web development team is generally overkill.

So, how do you structure such a team to make it work and give yourself the best results? In many ways, it depends on your goal and your budget.

Structuring a Web Development Team on a Low Budget

If you are a small business looking at this you might be panicking. Stop! There are plenty of ways to reduce the size of your web development team.

One of them is outsourcing. Typically, you would outsource the web development part of the package and likely project architecture. You hire a vendor to design (and possibly maintain) the website for you.

Outsourcing leaves you only in need of a project manager to work with the vendor and a content director to get your content onto the site. You can integrate the latter role into your overall content management policy and even automate using a platform such as Welcome.

Another way to keep your team’s needs down is to use WordPress or another content management system. With these systems, you install a basic framework that sets up your site for you. You don’t need to do any code or hire a coder, although you may want to hire a consultant familiar with the system you are using to help with the initial setup.

Your low-budget team thus might only be a project manager to keep things running smoothly and a content director to put content onto the site, and that need can be further reduced.

The Effects of Outsourcing and the Use of CMS

Both outsourcing and using a CMS reduce your control over your own site. With outsourcing, you have to pay again if you need the website to be refreshed. Whether this is a good course of action depends in part on how often you need or want to do this.

With a CMS, your user experience is limited, or rather the amount you can change it is. Many experienced web users can immediately tell when they are on a WordPress site. This reduces the uniqueness of your site dramatically.

But if you have a low budget this might be your best option.

Web Development Team Structure on a Higher Budget

Of course, you might be reading this article because you are hitting problems with full outsourcing or your WordPress site and have reached the point where you need to increase your team.

The best way to cover all the team roles with a reasonable number of people is:

  1. Project manager and project architect. If the person in charge of the project also understands how they want the site to be, these roles can easily be combined into one. If you need a specialist requirement analyst, they can often be brought on as a consultant for one-time or occasional needs.
  2. Web developer. This person handles the back-end and front-end coding of the site, with the potential to outsource website refreshes when they happen (at a lower rate because you’re doing your own maintenance). Web developers need to know CSS, php, multiple programming languages, etc. so they can produce a technically solid site that will not go down.
  3. UX designer. UX design is highly specialized, but you may have somebody on your content creation team willing to learn the skillset involved. Otherwise, it’s best to outsource this to a specialist.
  4. Content director. This role can typically be done by somebody from your existing content management team, as it is mostly editorial, especially if you use Welcome to control publishing content. However, they also need to understand search engine optimization and how web content works. Choose somebody with experience in text-based content and SEO.

You need to get your team together at the very start of the development process unless you are transferring an existing website that has been designed by a vendor. In any case, a significant refresh of your user interface is recommended at intervals to take advantage of advanced technology.

Should You Use a More Hierarchical or More Flat Structure?

As already mentioned, somebody has to be in charge. However, beyond that, your team should operate in a mostly flat way. Nobody is more important than anyone else, although some might have more work to do at particular times.

It’s vital to make sure that everything in your web development project supports the needs of your business, and that means involving the content director and other people from marketing from the start. Resist the temptation to let your programmers “play,” as you can end up with a very pretty site that does none of the things you need.

One way to reduce the size of your web development team is to have your existing content manager take on the content director role. This can easily be achieved if you use a marketing software platform that automatically posts to your site as well as to social media. Welcome does this and more. Check it out today and sign up for a free account here.



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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub

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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub


Enterprise customer data platform ActionIQ has announced the launch of a new product, CX Hub. The company has also rebranded as AIQ. The CX Hub is designed as a set of modules offering self-service access to customer data, allowing users to build audiences and orchestrate experiences at scale.

After eight years of growth as a CDP serving B2C, media and other sectors, the changes represent a “new approach to our product and brand,” said CEO and co-founder Tasso Argyros in a release. The modular framework will ingest data from any source, integrate with any activation channel, and also allow components to be used with a third-party CDP.

The modules. CX Hub is comprised of four solutions:

  • Customer data platform.
  • Audience center.
  • Journey management.
  • Real-time CX.

The Hub is also designed to be accessible to business users with a friendly UI and extensive automation capabilities.


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Why we care. This is a significant development in the CDP space — a space that has been transforming rapidly, with many of the early established CDPs being acquired and ingested by more extensive suites such as digital experience platforms.

ActionIQ, one of the leading B2C CDPs, is now describing itself as “the leading CX solution.” It seems to be future-proofing itself by extending its capabilities across orchestration and execution channels, not by acquiring or building those solutions, but by seeking to provide modular integration between its (or a third-party’s) customer data management tool and orchestration and execution channels.

Sometimes we wonder how many independent, traditional CDPs will be left standing a year from now.

Read next: Deep changes in the CDP space


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update


Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll

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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll


Earlier this year, revenue orchestration platform LeanData released a report suggesting that lead management remains a “heavily manual” process. Based on a survey of more than 1,700 sales, marketing and operations professionals, the results showed that, despite all the talk of digital transformation, the number two challenge for revenue teams was too many manual processes and not enough automation (the number one challenge was insufficient pipeline).

LeanData, which partnered with Sales Hacker, Outreach and Heinz Marketing in conducting the survey, is interested in that result, of course, because lead management is precisely the process they offer to automate. We were struck by the contrast with Scott Brinker’s recent statement that we are arriving at a post-digital-transformation era: “(C)ompanies are no longer planning to become ‘digital.’ They are digital.”

And then we got the results of our 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey. Among the surprising nuggets to be mined from our findings was that 77% of respondents identify spreadsheets as the tool they spend most time (10 or more hours a week) working with. That doesn’t mean that spreadsheets are a marketer’s most important tool, but it does suggest that manual processes remain a key part of daily life for marketing managers and staff.

We wanted to extend the opportunity to all our readers — B2B, B2C, agencies — to give us a reality check on spreadsheet use. MarTech is marketing, we like to say, and certainly today’s marketing is fundamentally data-driven and digital. But is it too soon to say that marketers are working in a digital and largely automated environment?

Download the 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey here


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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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