There are huge risks to an organisation’s success if any department operating within it isn’t fit for purpose and doesn’t align with organisational objectives. But a marketing team structure that’s not fit for purpose is particularly risky because it will have a fundamental impact on organisational growth and market position.
Because of the speed of technological change impacting competitive advantage to such an extent, it’s more important than ever that marketing teams are agile, scalable and data led.
The structures employed by an organisation are influenced by a number of variables, people; processes; technology and competitive landscape. So there is no one size fits all when it comes to marketing structure.
But, there are common themes and challenges faced by most modern marketing teams. And agility is one of the most common aspirations for marketing leaders.
What is Agile Marketing?
Agile marketing is a marketing approach in which tactical teams collectively identify high-value projects on which to focus their collective efforts.
Teams use sprints (short, finite periods of intensive work) to complete those projects cooperatively. After each sprint, they measure the impact of the projects and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.
Problems with traditional B2B marketing structures
Stuck in the past
They often haven’t changed in response to the market
Traditional marketing structures aren’t built for testing which is crucial in a data driven, results focused environment
Lack of flexibility and understanding of the right combination of in-house/agency/freelance resource needed at different times
Resource and understanding
Limited resource available for talent, and lack of understanding at board level of the needs and cost of an agile marketing team
So what’s the solution?
- So, how do you build an inhouse (agile marketing) team capable of delivering modern marketing techniques?
- How do you know what specific skills you’ll need from day one and at what scale?
- How do you attract, train, develop and maintain talented individuals to deliver best in class marketing?
- How do you change your marketing resources to reflect the constant changes in demand from the business?
As a starting point, Econsultancy’s Modern Marketing Model quickly illustrates the breadth of skills required to successfully run an integrated digital marketing function that delivers. All underpinned by the effective implementation of technology. This just helps us to take a step back and take a look at the high level marketing picture, before drilling down into skills requirements. (Modern Marketing Model. Econsultancy 2018)
The ‘Capability Gap’
What the graph below is telling us at a fundamental level, is that technology is changing at a rate that organisations can’t keep up with. No matter the strength of the leadership and quality of the strategy, no organisation is able to maintain the change of pace technology has set.
Organisations change ‘logarithmically’, meaning slowly, because it takes time to alter people’s thoughts and behaviours. In spite of that fact, organisations still need to find a way to move with the tide. There’s a competitive opportunity that accompanies the ability to change more quickly than your peers, and no change at all will leave your organisation stagnant.
Finding a flexible solution to closing ‘The Capability Gap’ referenced in the graph above is how you’ll improve the productivity and output of your marketing team, and speed up the pace of change to an enviable rate.
Agile Marketing Actions
The first port of call is to run a skills gap analysis:
- Consider the Econsultancy model above to illustrate the big picture requirements
- Review your business and marketing objectives and identify the skills you need to deliver against these
- Perform an honest review of the skills you currently have access to both internally and externally
- Identify and prioritise the skills gaps you’re facing
There follows a few options, and your solution could be a blend:
- Consider additional full time hires to plug the gaps
- Invest in training and development for current talent
- Consider reinforcing your on-the ground team with remote workers
- Implement a flexible marketing resource solution like Fluid Talent from Ledger Bennett
Ledger Bennett has worked with hundreds of B2B organisations over the years, and the challenge of agile resourcing has become an increasingly critical issue. In response we’ve developed a proposition called Fluid Talent.
Fluid Talent is a flexible marketing resource, managed by us but embedded into your business. Scaled as and when you need it
We work with you and your team to shape your resourcing strategy, identify the right marketing resource from our teams to be embedded into yours and manage the success of those people by your side day to day.
Check out a skeleton example of what a 24-month marketing resourcing plan might look like.
Transforming your marketing team for agility will probably be one of the most impactful strategic decisions you can make for 2020.
If you think it might be time for a strategic review of your marketing team, get in touch today and set up a Fluid Talent consultation firstname.lastname@example.org
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