These three tactics talked about in this article can be a quick start to optimizing your marketing organization. An optimized marketing organization helps prevent headcount from bloating at the expense of program spend.  

As a CMO, you arrive to the office on Monday morning and are getting settled in.  One of your functional heads pops in and asks if you have 5 minutes.

 

You know that it will not be only five minutes and you have a strong suspicion of what will come next…  You were right, another request to add headcount!  Does this sound familiar?  “The team is working around the clock and we cannot survive at this pace, we need help”, “We don’t have the capability we need to perform (fill in the blank)”, “Our data is a mess, we need someone to clean it up”, the list goes on and on.

 

These requests are common, but how you respond does not have to be.  Often these requests are a sign of bigger problems related to gaps in talent and organizational management.  Many organizations who deal with talent resourcing in an ad-hoc manner end up with bloated marketing organizations at the expense of program spend.  This is driven from continually throwing headcount at a problems vs. strategically optimizing the headcount model. A common result is ending up with a large group of specialists, working in silos, and your talent strategy has fallen apart.

 

I propose a more objective and analytical method to identify and address the root causes. Here are three tactics that can be deployed in a short time with a big potential impact.  These tactics are designed to identify organization structure inefficiencies, talent alignment issues, and other potential wastes. Addressing issues identified will enable an efficient organization and money for program spend.

 

For more detail on Marketing Organization design principles, what “types of marketers” exist (G,I, or T), and other best practices refer to this article.

 

To leverage SBI’s comprehensive guide of best practices for Marketing Org design, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook and turn to the Marketing Org phase on pages 280 – 285.

 

Download The Marketing Org Assessment Tool to:

 

  1. Review an assessment with 15 questions, each addressing a specific facet of marketing organization design and talent management

     

  2. Enable comparison against best in class marketing companies and also inform if you have taken steps necessary for organization optimization

     

  3. Evaluate if you have bigger issues to address than just responding to headcount requests.

     

Perform a Time Survey and Benchmark Against Job Descriptions

 

A time survey can bring great insights regarding the allocation of resources and identifying waste.  This is done by putting together a categorical list of options of where time could be spent.

 

It is important to be MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive).  You do not need to be too detailed and should end up with 12-18 categories.  Examples could include “internal meetings”, “creating content”, “campaign design”, etc.  Then ask each team member to allocate their personal time allocation to equal 100%.

 

After the results are in compare the actual allocation against the intended job description allocation.  The results can be shocking.  Summarize areas of potential waste and opportunities to clarify roles.  A common finding is internal meetings, ad-hoc data requests, creating proposals for sales and similar activities greatly eat into core marketing function time.

 

For Each Position Identify Key Competencies and Create an A/B/C Scorecard

 

Each role should have competencies defined.  If not yet defined, it is critical to get this step done.

 

Once completed, define what an “A player” and a “C Player” descriptions would be for each competency.  This will allow creating the “B player” much more easily afterward.

 

Once A/B/C descriptions for each competency is defined have each manager assess individual team members.  This can be a simple spreadsheet exercise.  Results here can be shocking as well.  This assessment should be done at least annually and include a blind self assessment from each employee.

 

The results can be a great asset in identifying employees that may not fit their assigned role, or are under performing.  Before hiring more headcount, it is critical to evaluate current talent and potentially upgrade if needed.

 

Conduct a Self Assessment to Benchmark Against Best in Class Companies

 

Conduct a self-assessment of your marketing organization.  This will enable comparison against best in class marketing companies and also inform if you have taken steps necessary for organization optimization.

 

This assessment will include 15 questions, each addressing a specific facet of marketing organization design and talent management.  If you find yourself answer “No” or “Unknown” to several of these you may have a bigger issue(s) to address than just responding to headcount requests.

 

Recommended steps for the Marketing Organization Self Assessment:

 

  1. Download the Marketing Org Assessment Tool

     

  2. Complete the questions and add commentary

     

  3. Schedule a complimentary discussion with an SBI marketing expert to discuss your answers.  Our experts will structure the discussion based on emerging best practices in marketing organization design principles located here.

     

These three tactics mentioned can be a quick start to optimizing your marketing organization. An optimized marketing organization helps prevent headcount from bloating at the expense of program spend.

 

 

 

Additional Resources

 

For more detail on Marketing Organization design principles, what “types of marketers” exist (G,I, or T), and other best practices refer to this article.

 

To leverage SBI’s comprehensive guide of best practices for Marketing Org design, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook and turn to the Marketing Org phase on pages 280 – 285.

 

If you would like to participate in a custom workshop focused on marketing org design, bring your team to engage with a hand-picked team of experts in Dallas at The Studio , SBI’s executive briefing center.

 

Located in Dallas, TX, our facility offers state-of-the-art meeting rooms, lounge, full-service bar, and a studio used to tape our TV shows. SBI provides the location and facilitators, all at a compelling price point.

 

New call-to-action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Spencer Anderson

Enables sales and marketing leaders to make the number through rigorous data driven analysis and implementation of emerging best practices.

Prior to joining SBI, Spencer spent 11 years in the medical device industry, holding roles in global pricing, marketing operations, Sigma/Lean process improvement, sales operations and leadership. Most recently Spencer led commercial operations for 33 countries and several global projects. Spencer has delivered results in the areas of CRM design and implementation, business analytics, go-to-market design strategy and execution, performance management, sales enablement, pricing process, new product launches and other related areas.

Read full bio >