Marketing Transformation

 

Incremental or transformative change? That is the question.

Incrementalists say marketing departments can only evolve. Improvements must be achieved on a daily basis. The intense, steady pursuit of marketing knowledge and capability gains is the only way to advance marketing effectiveness. 

Others say customers have answered the question for us. Their behavior shouts: Either you engage with me or I’m gone. Either you meet me or my company where we are, or you don’t. I’m not waiting for you, I’m going with whoever is ready to engage with me right now. If you’re not ready, I’ll find someone else who is.

Some CMOs respond by saying “it’s both; you need incremental and transformative change.” But this misses the fundamental reality: If you don’t radically transform your approach to marketing, you lose the game. It’s that simple.

Why? One word: digital. Technological innovation is so pervasive and profound that it has changed every facet of human existence. Culture, politics, commerce, interpersonal communcations—every aspect of human life—has been radically changed by technology. Society has been transformed by technology; the change has already happened.

But has your approach to marketing transformed too? Have you made the radical shifts required to be a digitally competent marketing organization? The answer for most companies is no.

The process of getting there starts with the customer…and brutal honesty. For example:

  • How customer-centric are we…truly?
  • Do we understand the underlying ecosystems that determine the level of digital attention we receive?
  • Do we deeply understand the buyer’s journey and personas and how well we currently serve them?
  • Are we an omnichannel marketer, or do our channels still compete with each other?
  • Where is our marketing effort weak, where is it strong, and what should we outsource?

Marketing competitiveness is rooted in moving from functional to strategic to transformational thinking. Are you ready to take your marketing department on the journey?

 

funct strat trans

Functional Capability

  • Content: websites, blogs, magazines, books, webinars, collateral
  • Product and segment management
  • Creative and advertising—traditional and digital media
  • Events: shows, speaking engagements
  • Martech: analytics, AI, machine learning, automation, CRM, customer data platforms, data sources
  • Market research

Strategic Understanding

  • Product innovation
  • Market segmentation
  • Personas
  • Buyer’s journey
  • Ecosystems (of brands, ideas, influencers, etc.)
  • Go-to-market, omnichannel
  • Brand activism

Transformational Marketing Strategy

  1. How customer-centric are our interactions now, and where are the biggest opportunities for improvement? What functional and strategic changes are required to realize these opportunities? What is our plan for making the required enhancements?
  2. Where does our marketing group excel, where must we excel to fulfill the business strategy, and what marketing functions or strategic components should be outsourced to reduce costs and leverage superior marketing expertise?
  3. How should we organize and staff our marketing organization to ensure we excel in our focus areas? Where is our staff weak and strong, and how do we close the gaps? What enabling processes are needed to nurture internal collaboration and optimize outsourced services? 
  4. How does a CMO win approval for marketing transformation with the C-Suite and the Board? What expectations should be set, and how does the CMO “manage up” during the transformation?

Work Steps Overview

  • How customer-centric are our transactions now, and where are the biggest improvement opportunities? What changes in functional and strategic marketing are required to realize these opportunities?

  • Where does our marketing group excel, where must we excel to fulfill the business strategy, and which marketing functions should be outsourced to reduce costs and leverage superior marketing expertise from outside partners?

  • How should we staff and organize marketing to ensure we excel in our focus areas? Where is our staff weak and strong, and how do we close the gaps? What enabling processes are needed to nurture internal collaboration and optimize outsourced services?

  • How can the CMO win approval in the C-Suite and Board? What expectations should be set, and how does the CMO “manage up” during the transformation?

Critical Success Factors

  • Cross-functional design team (Marketing, Sales, IT, Supply Chain)
  • Data-driven assessments
  • Real-world hypothesis testing
  • Speed
  • C-Suite sponsorship and reviews
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