A recent article on CMO.com suggested that to be successful in the digital age, marketing departments need to organize by functional expertise rather than by “brand, project, or platform.”
We reached out to both marketers and a consulting firm for their thoughts.
Christine Cutten, Principal and Customer Transformation Leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP, provided CMO.com the following organizational outline:
• Marketing Insights & Analytics: Center of Excellence providing market, customer, product, and channel insights across marketing and sales to drive analytically based decision making.
• Brand Advocacy: Function responsible for branding, brand architecture, and stewardship.
• Customer Experience & Marketing Innovation: Function responsible for identifying customer segments, customer experience strategies, and customer-focused marketing innovation to advocate for “customer-first” marketing.
• Marketing Strategy & Planning: Function responsible for setting marketing strategy, annual marketing plan and budgets, and high-level campaign calendar based on prioritization.
• Marketing Services
--Marketing Operations: Marketing execution arm providing cross-functional program management, agency management, marketing tools management, process excellence, print and fulfillment, and reporting.
--In-House Creative Agency: Full-service internal agency providing concept development, design, and creative execution across mediums; responsible for both media planning/buying and outsourcing as necessary.
--Digital COE: Center of Excellence responsible for design, development, and execution of digital campaigns and creation of digital assets based on digital strategy.
Michael Collins, SVP of Marketing, JW Player, told CMO.com:
When building the marketing team for JW Player, we organized it by functional expertise to ensure that we are driving innovation and creativity in how we bring our solutions to market and develop engaging content. By adopting a functional versus a product or vertical formation, it enables us to combine a mix of the right marketing functional expertise with product subject matter experts to deliver a unique, sales-generating, and brand-building result.
Each functional leader owns both their marketing discipline and several key cross-company marketing initiatives. Collaboration with our internal colleagues and external customers and partners is key to our JW Player marketing success, and the functional marketing approach ensures faster time to market and deeper partnership with our key constituencies.
Rob Heiser, President/CEO, Segmint, told CMO.com:
Marketing departments should be structured so they are directly integrated with all lines of business. At Segmint, our marketing department is organized so the team is focused on meeting specific goals that benefit the business overall, such as market penetration, instead of being siloed by product line or a certain technology. This structure is a good fit for Segmint because, as a small company, all employees are focused on moving the company forward rather than specific department results, which creates a cohesive team focused on a larger goal instead of smaller groups with individual agendas.
Leah Anathan, CMO, PrestaShop, told CMO.com:
The marketing team and I have been asked to support rapid growth in almost all areas of PrestaShop’s business. We’re less than two months into 2015, and we’ve already launched a new product and opened offices in three countries. This is really the life of a startup! The key to success is organizing the team to support our top business priorities while still maintaining agility. We have teams focused on all of the traditional marketing activities that you would expect to see, like communications, product marketing, user success, content marketing, Web marketing, and so on. At the same time, we have what I would call a rapid response team who can work across all of these functions so we can respond to events that are happening very quickly. You have to balance that competing requirement to execute with quality, and move fast.
Jen Gray, VP Marketing and Creative Services, HelloWorld, told CMO.com:
In this day and age of webrooming and showrooming, when customers are moving seamlessly from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce sites to apps, and getting their brand communications through various channels, such as text messages, emails, and push notifications, it's important that a brand's marketing department be organized for the optimal consumer experience. The brand can't seem disjointed to the consumer–even if a brand views these entities as separate, often as their own P&Ls. Consumers don't care about your internal workings and view the company as one brand. It doesn't matter where I want to buy from you; make it easy, frictionless, and, most of all, know who I am.
I have a perfect example. Recently I received a 30% off coupon via email to redeem online or in-store. Perfect timing–I needed to buy a gift for my son. I immediately logged onto the site, purchased my gift, and received my 30% off just in time for the holidays. My package arrived in the mail, but, shoot, they made a mistake and sent me the wrong item, even though my receipt showed the correct order. We were pushing up to the holiday hour, so I ran to the local mall to exchange my gift. They were amicable and swapped it out, but credited my card with the discounted price I originally paid and made me pay full price for the exchanged item because it would “screw up their system–their online store and brick-and-mortar stores are different entities.” As a customer who was marketed to, took advantage of the offer, dealt with a customer service problem, and expected to have it resolved quickly, I was disappointed by the disjointed experience, not to mention feeling like they were fair weather friends with my discount.
So the moral of the story is, no matter how your brand is organized today, understanding that it could take a lot logistically to have an official reorg, make sure you are creating the optimal experience for your audience. Don't let corporate structure get in the way of your ultimate goal–talk to each other!