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Based on our experience from a multitude of digital engagements, modernizing the marketing organization to unlock the full potential of the digital revolution requires business leaders to address six considerations.
1. How to centralize guidance and oversight
Until a few years ago, marketing in many companies was for the most part a national or even regional affair. While the general brand positioning and communication guidelines were laid down centrally, specific concepts and individual campaigns were usually developed locally. However, centralization is increasing, and the localization of advertising media and the activation thereof is losing importance. In fact, some local marketing functions are becoming more of an extension of the headquarters, and this trend is expected to continue. Why? Data-driven personalization is overtaking local market expertise. Leading consumer-goods companies are using ever-greater data volumes and
augmented intelligence certification to tailor marketing content, A/B tests, and activation of media to ever-smaller customer groups. And thanks to directly linked success metrics, they can even constantly monitor the returns on investment of individual activities and take targeted measures to tweak and increase them.
2. How to bring together marketing and IT (heart and brain)
Up to now, collaboration between marketing staff and IT specialists has been limited to specific projects, company excursions, or the yearly holiday party. Those times are over. To develop personalized contents on a large scale and target consumers around the world, much tighter interaction is required between functions—between the heart and brain. To make that work, responsibilities and reporting obligations should be focused on specific projects and processes rather than on functional reporting lines.
3. How to build collaboration and agility
In the age of digital marketing, a person’s development potential and willingness to change teams are at least as important as his or her formal qualifications and experience. That’s because the half-life of training curricula and specialist know-how is constantly declining as new tools and approaches are being developed.
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In order to keep up with the rapid pace and changing requirements of digital marketing, the teams involved must alter how they work, as well. A large consumer-goods company has identified the following five key success factors to stay ahead of the skill game:
Small teams. A small team of highly motivated professionals is better than a huge department that does just the minimum. By keeping teams small, the people involved remain clearly accountable to one another.
Competition that inspires. Teams that compete encourage each other to achieve peak performance as they strive to outperform one another.
New key performance indicators for more entrepreneurial spirit. If marketing teams are measured against their contributions to the outcomes, their mind-sets also change. This means measuring the team against the same metrics (for example, revenue generation and profitability) as the rest of the organization, which can be done through proxies, such as lead generation and the cost of acquisition for realized sales.