Transforming Marketing Teams for the Digital Age
The new world of marketing is experiencing a shortage of talent. Demand for tech savvy marketers (experienced) with a hybrid range of skills and who are capable of building, managing and executing fully integrated campaigns that produce measurable results is at an all-time high. There is a new breed of marketer emerging. But most teams have a cross section of old marketers and new marketers. The solution is to tap in to both.
Five strategies for transforming Marketing teams to achieve success in the digital age
To achieve and deliver this, leading edge marketers typically use five strategies for success.
1. Compelling customer insight
Compelling customer insights can be used to engage customers with the right message, at the right time, through the right channel. Marketers should be leveraging new, more cost-efficient communication channels alongside traditional ones, and delivering a customer experience that makes it easy for people who see an advert to inquire and buy.
2. Leading edge technology
To put this in place the customer data, systems and technology needs to identify who each customer is, and focus on the activities that are most effective for the customer.
3. New channel expertise
Today it’s all about bringing the brand to life across all customer touch points as well as communication channels, in a seamless and integrated way. Marketers are quickly identifying and focusing investment on those communication messages and channels that are most effective, and eliminating those that are not.
4. An agile, empowered culture
It’s critical to streamline teams and processes to be more agile as well as empower people to challenge the norms, and learn from their failures as well as their successes. This is where a balance of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ can be advantageous. The trick is knowing how to extrapolate the latent skill-sets.
5. Tight performance management
For continuous improvement (at pace) to occur marketers need to implement systematic test & learn processes to quickly identify success and failure. Investment can then be focused on the top performing activities and eliminate poor performing ones.
These five strategies naturally have an implication on the skill-set of existing employees. The need to build new skills, talents, and tools is a key focus. The new way of marketing demands new skills, including advanced analytics, test-and-learn media design, and data management. At the heart of this change will be marketers who must relearn their trade while reclaiming their role as integral business managers. Existing marketing teams will require retraining, and new talent should be hired to fill skills gaps (which may well expand the number of people involved in marketing).
Transforming marketing teams: key traits of a leader
To leverage the rewards that come from continuous improvement in digital marketing, decision making must accelerate dramatically. Marketing teams must be very agile, with minimal debates and handovers from one unit to the next. Marketers must be customer-centric and success lies in giving the marketer the freedom to iterate, learn fast, and adjust tactics in minutes or days (not weeks or months). To summarize:
- Quick decision-maker
- Leads by example
- Adapts quickly to change
Structural changes in the company which are crucial to Marketing Team Transformation
Boston Consulting Group in a very recent article ‘The Digital Marketing Revolution has only just begun’ suggests that many organizations, control over the “four Ps of marketing” (product, place, price, and promotion) has been handled in independent (functional) silos. To optimize going forward companies need to be structured in such a way that cross-functional teams can work very close to the consumer – and all insights, expertise, and decision rights should be accessible across all relevant functions.
Theoretically this is completely correct but the biggest challenge is a cultural/change management one. Marketers have grown up in a silo-ed/functional world over the past 20 years and the fundamental change that is required unfortunately does take time. The trick is to assess the skill-set you have, identify the gaps and execute against a simple short to medium term plan.