Question:How large should a marketing department be?

Answer:First of all, there are no empirical studies we are aware of that answer this question. From our experience consulting with both large and small companies it seems that the optimal size of a marketing group depends on a) the skill set of the marketing people (are they good at analysis or just tactical people) - analysis is very important to a company and tends to be overlooked b) what the competitors are doing in terms of marketing - if they have a strong marketing orientation, then you need to have a larger group because that requires a keen customer focus.

If you are being asked this question by people in your company, you are probably running into the typical sense that marketing is sales, and that you already have a sales force so marketing is not important. In that case you need to demonstrate that sales people sell, and marketing people are the best at analyzing the market.

That is the attitude of many people in senior leadership positions in technology-based companies (at least, based on our experience). Marketing people were thought of as graphic arts types and collateral people...but these are the tactics of marketing and are easily outsourced.

You might look at our article on getting respect in marketing if you're being asked to justify the size of your marketing department (or budget).