The Big Shake-up: Rethinking your Marketing Organization’s Future
Social media and digital media have shaken up the marketing world with new ideas and activities, such as customer-controlled promotion, user-generated content, big data and automated marketing.
But it’s a reality not all marketers have come to terms with. Traditional independent marketing agencies have failed because they haven’t made changes fast enough in management, service and pricing structures. The doors of some marketing organizations have closed with a loud bang the rest of us are finally beginning to hear.
The question remains: How exactly should we be changing to manage this big marketing shake-up?
From marketing funnel to consumer decision journey
The most fundamental change taking place in the world of marketing is a shift in focus from product to product user.
The result is a need for more data, a deeper understanding of buyer personas and buyer behavior, more complex customer relationships and a splintering of the buying process. To address those needs, marketing organizations are setting up marketing processes with dynamic lead nurturing at the core.
In other words, we are beginning to look at each action of a potential buyer in isolation and basing our responses and appeals on those isolated actions, with less emphasis on a path to purchase and more emphasis on building trust and loyalty over time.
Suddenly, we are more interested in what’s going on with our customers and how to engage with them than we are with how to push our product. The structure of our marketing activities now turns on the “consumer decision journey” which is much more individual to each consumer and more organic in nature than the traditional linear marketing funnel.
A customer can seek information about, analyze and re-analyze your brand and others—and make a buying decision—at many points along the way between awareness of need and purchase.
McKinsey and Company, in a presentation to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, narrowed the marketing shift down to this reality: “Brands enter and exit consideration throughout the journey, so marketers must focus on battlegrounds where brand decisions are won or lost.”
Building a new marketing ecosystem
The structure of your marketing organization needs to change to reflect this shift from linear to organic customer interaction.
One of the applications of this idea, according to McKinsey, is that customer engagement is no longer split among marketing functions (marketing, communications, sales, operations, HR, corporate affairs). It is now centered on roles and decision rights distributed throughout the organization (design, build, operate and renew customer relationships).
The organic nature of buyer interaction within the new marketing business model is likely to result in the following changes within your marketing organization, among other things turning it into an ecosystem, rather than a process:
- More frequent, more fundamental collaboration among customer engagement stakeholders both within and outside of the marketing department in your organization.
- Greater use of data and analytics to identify profitable touchpoints toward which you will deep dive directly, rather than addressing them solely within a linear lead acquisition and lead nurturing process.
- Greater focus on marketing as a part of business strategy, with projection of marketing initiatives and marketing performance further into the future.
- Examination of talent gaps, performance management and new career paths.
- Redrawing of mission, vision and values.
- Rearranging of organizational structure and resourcing.
Is a new vision of your marketing organization beginning to emerge in your mind? Perhaps it’s time to implement real changes to support that new vision—and begin to build a marketing ecosystem that includes opening doors and modernizing your department.
Want to learn more about how you can take your organization’s marketing technology to the next level? If you have any questions or thoughts around this topic, let’s connect.
Are you interested in writing a guest blog for our site? Contact us.