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Executives that organize the most productive & profitable marketing departments focus on data & consumer insights. Due to the rapidly changing pace of technology platforms, an effective structure should always allow for flexibility & growth. Leaders today organize teams around disciplines & skills. But some are tossing aside conventional arrangements, making new paths for more fluid workflows. From the increase of online shopping networks to ad campaigns created for an audience of one, consumer marketing has changed more in the past ten years than it did in the previous 30 years. Despite that level of change & disruption, if one had put a few typical marketers from the 1980s into a time machine & sent them into the marketing departments of today, they would probably feel right at home. There might be a new IT department & a few other changes, but the job titles, structures, approach to performance management even the vocabulary would be remarkably familiar. The truth is, while the propagation of new channels & technologies has dramatically altered the atmosphere in which dealers function, the way they organize & approach their tasks has stayed more or less the same. Furthermost marketing functions still develop & roll out large & infrequent campaigns, rely on agencies to make the same old media purchases, & are organized by geography or product. As a result, few marketing organizations are able to take full advantage of new digital & advanced analytics tools that would enable them to be more agile, engaging, & effective.
Capturing that benefit requires a new way of working. Many Companies have accepted agile procedures such as cross-functional collaboration, & collocated teams. The top-performing marketers were more likely than their peers to be part of a networked organization which met more frequently with other parts of the business to create & deliver customer experience journeys. Extensive experience working with dozens of companies to improve their organizational models has shown that marketing organizations need to change in three ways. Firstly, the one requires shifting their organizational model away from boxes & lines to a fluid ecosystem of internal & external partners. Second, they must scale agile ways of working. & third, they need to build out a set of supporting capabilities that can deliver great customer experiences.
What it looks like – Marketing Ecosystem, Br & Tribes & New Ventures.
How work gets done – Applying agile ways of working at scale i.e. agile operating model Innovation & product development stable backbone
Build your marketing capabilities – Advanced analytics / big data, Content publishing
What is the ideal structure for a marketing department? Sadly, no clear-cut answer exists. But the savvy leaders are asking:
“What values & goals drive our brand strategy?”
“What capabilities do we see driving marketing success?”
“What structures & ways of working support them?”
The structure is going to follow strategy – rather than the other way around. Marketing is now more holistic than ever. For brands to be effective with consumers, they are engaging in a total transfer of their internal culture. While many large companies say good ideas can come from anywhere, typically ideation arrives from brand managers & top execs that steer the dominant media channels. The high-performance marketing leaders of today don’t align their department activities with company strategy. Big data allows companies to guide strategy with consumer insights & build structures around channels that directly cater to consumer needs. What buyers are doing is obvious – but why they’re doing it will inform tactics & departmental optimization. Consider framing processes around consumer’s basic drives – such as desires.
A multi-touch buyer’s journey is going to require inputs across all marketing departments – but which channels see the most use is a matter of how your brand engages its target audience. A powerful & clear brand purpose will align an organization & enable the most consistent messaging throughout touch points.
Top brands are building themselves in the image of big data information. This enables them to deliver the three important manifestations of their brand to consumers with ease:
Functional benefits – why a customer buys the brand (Starbucks coffee gives me a boost).
Emotional benefits – how it satisfies the customer’s emotional need (coffee can be a social activity).
Societal benefits – what use it provides in context of the larger group (I like to drink fair trade coffee, it’s better for the growers)
The groups that bring such services whether internal or external need to function as an interconnected ecosystem. An early decision is figuring out what to handle internally & what to outsource to an external partner. Main competencies such as strategy are finest handled by the brand, while implementation functions & experimenting with new media or channels can be handled by external partners. As the brand has a stronger sense of the value of the new capabilities, many activities will shift to internal teams. The real complexity comes in orchestrating all the teams. Instead, they need to be partners collaborating with brands & each other to create campaigns & assets. Brand executives require to set clearly aligned targets & establish clear deliverables & metrics. Some companies are already creating incentives that reward teams for their ability to work together, not just for their individual contributions. Marketers are investing in tools that coordinate internal teams & external agencies, creating greater transparency in tracking progress & requires the role of the traditional brand manager to shift from leader to orchestrator. Brand executives require understanding enough of each specialist’s area to work with all of them effectively. Most of all, they need to be adept at working within a networked organization in which they sit in the middle of a web of internal teams, agencies, customers, & suppliers. For effective result, brand managers require to communicate clear accountability to each partner, develop a rapid reaction governance structure, & create flexible guidelines so that partners can make decisions on the front lines quickly.
Build brand societies – Brands have long been managed by global teams that design global campaigns & local teams that execute those campaigns as well as manage local ones. Which shall consequences in frustration in both directions, Local teams think global doesn’t understand their market, & global think that local isn’t using collective assets? To combat this issue, we have seen marketers start to build brand tribes informal, globally dispersed networks of marketers, who collectively identify & share their best assets.
Instead of top-down direction, the tribes have community managers who foster global collaboration, post insights, promote assets for particular markets, & discourage off-brand execution. They put in place internal social platforms such as Slack to make it easy for people to share & find relevant content. This gives local managers access to assets that have been recommended by peers & approved by global managers & also provides recognition for those responsible for successful campaigns. Once adopted & embedded into the culture, brand tribes also become a way to reinforce brand standards.
The global heads still decide on the major global campaigns & set the guidelines for local campaigns, but the local managers have more freedom to innovate & to share those inventions with other brand managers on the community’s social platform. Marketing assets can be voted up or down by peers so that the most popular & successful campaigns rise to the most prominent positions on the platform. Assets are also encouraged by the community executives, making the platform a source of proven, high-quality assets for use anyplace. To encourage participation, a compensation system rewards brand managers for sharing & participating in the community. Recognition by peers & executives has also become an effective participation incentive.
Cultivate new undertakings – Companies are under continuous pressure to find new sources of growth, both inside & outside the core business. Recent research has shown, in fact, that companies that are able to create new products or services while maintaining a baseline of other capabilities are the fastest growers. For many companies, however, developing potentially disruptive businesses & business models that threaten the core business is understandably a challenge. Change takes time, & many people are invested in established products & ways of working.
One way to create a dedicated new-ventures unit inside the organization to develop new products & business models. This group not only gets the resources they need to prove themselves but are also autonomous from slow & inefficient processes that often weigh down larger companies. The other way out is to partner with start-ups or incubators, which can provide corporations access to a larger pool of emerging innovations & technologies.
In today’s marketing environment talent is everywhere. As you think about the next steps for your organization; make sure you have your core functions covered, ensure that you have a technical strategist, pay attention to the arrangement of skills & technology, leverage agency & freelance support to address gaps, support short-term projects & to augment the skills you have in-house, define the right organizational topology & processes for your company to ensure productivity, visibility & coordination & finally, make networks with IT.