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Organizational Design Essentials: Part Three, Finding Your ‘Future-State’ Structure

By Marc Brown | November 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

MarketingMarketing Organization and OperationsMarketing Strategy and Innovation

Finding your future-state model is more than getting your boxes and lines redrawn.

Organizational design starts with an in-depth analysis and understanding of the current ‘as-is’ organization. You must review your current marketing strategy and long-term marketing mission against your organization, identifying and documenting key issues, gaps, and areas of investment (i.e., innovation, CX, etc.) that your new design must support. You need to evaluate your internal and partner resources and workflows. When it comes to optimizing your design, the form will follow function.

So, where do you begin? Is there a common framework, providing a roadmap for discovery, understanding, and ultimately, your next design? Yes. Follow the 5 step systematic approach here:

  1. Analyze the ‘as-is’ organizational design thoroughly before making any proposed changes. You need to be highly informed about what is working effectively (don’t break what’s working), what is not working, gaps, and alternative resolution options. In many cases, you can minimize risk by adjusting workflows to meet your objectives without initiating a team redesign. To gain thorough insight, form a cross-functional committee (including management and employees from all levels) that can provide you with a full 360-degree perspective of the team. And as I mentioned last week, you need to have your change management plan in place to minimize team disruption.
  2. Use a structured method for determining the future ‘to-be’ design.  You will want to analyze your design using multiple techniques, by business unit or resource location, by corporate or functional alignment, by focus area (i.e., CX), or by sales/channel alignment.  Using one or multiple techniques will provide you with the best set of ‘what if’ scenarios, testing each option against your strategy requirements, corporate constraints (corporate structure, reporting authoring, and budgeting), and workflows. Resources you can use (Gartner subscription required):
  3. Integrate new team functions necessary for modern marketing agility and effectiveness. This includes marketing operations, content marketing, and sales enablement. These three functions don’t always existing formally in many marketing groups but are critical.
    • Marketing Operations should serve as a core function for marketing, providing cross-functional coordination, communications, and reporting. Your marketing ops team will be instrumental in successfully transforming marketing into a revenue and growth engine for your company.
    • Content Marketing, when combined with an efficient operating process and set of guidelines that mandate regular audits, content repurposing and contextualization, and template use, allows marketers to deliver outstanding business results at low cost. To boost the value of your content investments, you need to rethink how new and existing content could be linked to strategic initiatives, improving customer experience, bringing campaign narratives to life, or delivering ‘evergreen’ thought leadership pieces. Fundamentally, you need to be smarter about how, where, and when content will be used across the customer journey.
    • Sales Enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information (messaging, targeting, and qualification criteria), content (sales guides, one-pagers, etc.), and tools needed to help them sell more effectively and efficiently. Basically providing sales what they need when they need it to engage the buyer throughout the buying process successfully, and ultimately, delivering more value from marketing.
  4. Review organizational design against others. Remember, there is no one, single right way to organize your team. However, consider the drivers that are most pertinent to your organization’s strategy (both near-term and long-term), objectives, and corporate constraints. Consider blending different models to build a structure that suits your desired capabilities and outcomes. You can compare your ‘to-be’ model against others by using the Gartner Marketing Organizational Structure Compendium (Gartner subscription required).
  5. Develop rollout plan, including timeline, communication plan, training, etc.

Spending time developing your future-state model is critical for successful organizational transformation. Let me know your thoughts and approach.


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