Recently a client asked me to design the ‘ideal marketing organization’. Specifically they wanted to create a marketing department that would serve customers and become the go to provider for all customer needs. This kind of challenge only happens in marketing dreams – or with a very forward thinking company. One would expect this type of request to come from a new startup company; however, this client is a large, well-established and respected company.
I eagerly accepted the challenge, relishing the thought of defining a dream team of talented professionals who could implement clear and effective marketing strategic plans. I was asked to take a blank sheet of paper and from scratch, design a marketing organization with a full complement of the essential members baked into the structure. No limits or restrictions applied.
At first glance this challenge appears straightforward. Draw an organizational chart with boxes that contain titles and connecting lines establishing relationships one to another. This part of the challenge is relatively clear cut, but before populating those boxes and setting off to fill the positions, establishing the why and how such an organization is needed is crucial.
Why = Goal
Two key business elements must be established to ensure that a marketing organization will be successful. The first is a clearly stated goal. It is the why element. Why is a marketing organization with specific skills, talents and structure needed? The goal is the accomplishment the team will need to achieve. The actual accomplishment may be multifocal and many layered, but the goal should be clear, simple and succinct.
How = Strategy
The second element is a sound strategic plan. This is the how element. There are many ways to achieve a goal. Goals can be achieved without plans; however, planning significantly increases the likelihood of success. A sound strategic plan defines the methods to achieve the goal and identifies the essential means to do so. A team of people that can implement the strategy is essential. The skills and talents of the team are implied in a sound strategy.
With these two elements in place, the challenge of designing of an ideal marketing organization is straightforward. Without establishing these business elements first, the concept of defining the ideal organization is half-baked.
(c) 2010 pH Consulting