September 4, 2013

Modern Marketing 2.0 – The Marketing Organization Must Adapt

One of the hot topics in marketing these days is the CMO and CIO relationship.  This is best illustrated in the prediction by Gartner Analyst, Laura McLellan, that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs.  As marketers we’re embracing technology, yet we often gloss over the part where we need to understand its role. This understanding is what allows us to be responsive and serve our customers through technology.

With the increase of tools sitting at the fingertips of marketing users, there is a challenge in organizations adopting a larger portfolio of advanced marketing technologies.  These are the companies that made investments in Campaign Management and/or Marketing Resource Management technologies, and now want to add Contact Optimization or Real-Time Inbound Marketing

Approaching this challenge starts with the marketing operating model – it needs to be reevaluated.  I see organizations developing new strategies enabled by new marketing technology, but not addressing the changes needed at the operating model level.

The marketing operating model is the bridge between your marketing strategy and the detailed design of the organization.  Think of it as the floor plan for marketing, where the different rooms/walls illustrate the operating model and the material items in each room is the organizational design.  As marketing strategy changes, I often see organizations jump right to technology investments without looking at the impacts to the operating model.  The result is a suboptimal return on their investment, leaving such organizations wondering why they can’t get it off the ground.


If you find that your organization is struggling with technology adoption (like Contact Optimization or Real-Time Inbound Marketing) let me leave you with a few questions you may ask yourself to start breaking down the problem:

  • How do we allocate the marketing budget, does it need to change to support our new marketing strategies? Should we allocate by product/program type or by customer/channel?
  • Should we provide a shared/centralized marketing services group or enable regional/distributed locations?
  • Where do we need general versus specific talent and skills?  (This becomes critical with more technology in marketing)
  • How does our culture play to our success…today and in the future?
  • Do we have the right governance and frequency in place to enable cross-group processes to support critical strategic and operational decisions?