[CMO Challenge] Fragmented Marketing Teams

Jerry, a marketing professional, used the time machine and travelled from 1990 to 2017. He landed in the middle of daily marketing stand-up meeting of his organization. Jerry was stumped – In what language were these marketers speaking?
Demand side programming, CTR, CPI, p-commerce, AI, chatbots, SoLoMo strategy, attribution models, localisation, hyper-personalisation… and Jerry felt faint.
The marketing landscape has completely changed, so much so that a yesteryear practitioner would be lost in the game today. Let us take a look at what changed?

  • Customer behaviour: With the age of the smartphone, customers want to be instantly gratified, in-the-micro-moment, across channels, 24/7
  • Technology: An explosion of technology has helped marketers to cater to a seemingly endless wish-list of their customers and target audiences. AI, Cloud, IoT, Mobile tech and app-economy, data analytics and predictive modelling to name a few present new opportunities and challenges to all stakeholders
  • Business Models: New age business models – enabled by technology and driven by consumer behaviour have laid waste to the 325 Fortune 500 organisations from 1990 to 2017 list. Example: provides loans online in under 7 minutes, Lemonade has shown us how insurance will change.

The smart CMO is running to keep pace with a constantly changing market. His singular aim is to keep an increasingly fickle consumer happy, 24/7. The CMO created a new age structure to solve his new age challenges. A traditional marketing team (PR, Creatives, Events, Advertisements, Outdoor, etc.), and a new digital marketing team – content, SEO, SEM, Media, Social, Analytics, Marketing Platforms (Automation, CRM, websites, etc.). For large enterprise organizations, factor in vendors, agencies, and partners and this becomes a complex eco-system.

The CMO’s challenge arises from an increasingly fragmented and siloed marketing organisation where too many specialists are doing too many things.

  1. Lack of Customer Centricity: Unfortunately, customer centricity – the purpose for which this structure was created tends to get lost with each highly specialised team focused on their KRA/KPIs which may not translate to customer delight.
  2. Learning Organisation: Today’s CMO simply does not have time to spare, fail-fast… do what works best and share the learning across the organisation. A fragmented marketing team is not a learning organisation. Sooner or later it will falter.
  3. Communication Barriers: Have you heard teams say, That is not our job, it’s <team name>’s job?. Well, then you are in trouble. When the buck gets passed, when your internal teams and agencies stop communicating to collaborate, every initiative takes a hit.

So what’s the solution? How does a CMO make all the moving parts come together like a hand crafted Swiss Grand Complication? Well, there is no simple answer, but there are a few things you may want to consider:

The culture of customer centricity needs to be inculcated across all teams, agencies, partners, vendors. If an individual’s or group’s action impacts the customer/prospect, it’s their responsibility to execute the task till completion.

  • Leverage technology to ensure stakeholders are always on the same page and have a medium to communicate and collaborate
  • Cross training helps. It is quite monotonous to run campaign after social campaign. Add skill sets and cross train resources to bridge gaps between different teams.
  • ONE Team: Implement the philosophy of ONE Team. Do away labels like digital, traditional, etc. Marketing is ONE Team, working to delight One Customer in as personalised a manner as possible

I would like to hear from you if you have faced these challenges and how you tackle them in your organisation.

Originally published on Qrius

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