Marketers have been evolving toward one-to-one marketing communications for over two decades. Now with the capabilities of digital and mobile channels, companies can move beyond mass mailing to deliver the next level of personalization—which consumers have come to expect.
Most companies have started down this path. Yet marketing organizations are struggling to operationalize the vision at speed and scale. Many are exhausted by the effort and have realized that working harder and applying more resources to the challenge is not sustainable.
Marketers need new ways of working that are powered by new operational disciplines and new technologies. The result can be lower costs, reduced regulatory compliance risks and improved marketing spend effectiveness.
Most (78 percent) respondents to Accenture's CMO research believe that marketing will undergo fundamental changes over the next five years. Many marketing organizations have been slow to refine their operations even though they acknowledge the need to do so because of several barriers related to:
Marketing’s traditional position in the business. Most organizational areas, such as finance, human resources and supply chain management have already refined their operations through multiple generations of enterprise resource planning projects. These projects sometimes passed marketing by because marketing was thought of as too unique - even too creative - for such process and technology-driven structures.
Marketing’s unique skill set and focus. The marketing function attracts big ideas people who typically focus on design over process discipline. They often act as right-brain creatives before they think like left-brain project managers. As a result, marketing teams tend to be less oriented toward thinking about efficiency and effectiveness.
With digital transformation increasing the workload, there is a critical need to increase the operational effectiveness of marketing. Throwing more money at the problem, either with more employees or more agency partners, is not a sustainable solution. Until marketing organizations refine their operating models, they will continue to struggle with the volume of work required to scale their personalization strategies.
According to recent Accenture research, marketing executives are realists with keen insight into the challenges of their environments. And with continued tight budgets, CMOs are expected to improve both marketing spend effectiveness and operational performance.
Barriers to change sometimes entrenched in the marketing organization
Fully three-quarters (78 percent) of the respondents to Accenture’s CMO research believe that marketing will undergo fundamental changes over the next five years.
Because of several barriers, many marketing organizations have been slow to refine their marketing operations even though they acknowledge the need to do so.
These barriers have their roots in marketing’s traditional position in the business. Yet,technology challenges are not the only barriers to improving operational effectiveness. The marketing function attracts big ideas people who typically focus on design over process discipline. They often act as right-brain creatives before they think like left-brain project managers. As a result, marketing teams tend to be less oriented toward thinking about efficiency and effectiveness.
n the survey, the question was posed, "Which of the following have been the most significant barriers that prevent your organization from furthering performance in marketing operations?". The results are displayed here.
Done well, improving operational effectiveness can result in business benefits beyond cost reduction, such as improved agility for shorter cycle times, faster times to market, and better brand consistency.
Next generation marketing operations require both a reorientation of the business with an updated operating model and a flexing of the platform with new technologies. To get there, marketing organizations must make changes across these recommended four areas of the marketing operating model:
Processes. Without a standardized and industrialized set of marketing execution processes, most organizations are doomed to slower cycle times, higher labor costs and increased costs of quality.
Organization/People. Misaligned roles and responsibilities means missed opportunities to reduce duplicative work efforts to capture economies of scale and use leading practices more holistically.
Technology. MRM (Marketing Resource Management) software enables improved workflow management, increased marketing spend management and visibility into the operational metrics.
Governance. Empowered Governance structure provides the necessary stewardship and decision-making capabilities to sustain success.
With a high performing operating model and the new digital marketing capabilities working together, organizations can achieve the personalization goals at scale that have eluded many for years.