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The empowered marketing organisation.


Dec 2017

Craig Hannah

Board Director of Cohesion

The modern marketer has a lot on their plate. Breathless with the rate of change, overwhelmed with technology choices and expected to deliver measurable, consistent value to the business.

The world has simply changed and we believe that marketers need partners not suppliers. They also need their internal capabilities to grow to meet customer needs and compliment the expertise of their partners. That’s why we developed our Empowered Partnerships methodology. 

We’ve now worked with lots of companies using Empowered Partnerships and learned a bit along the way. Here are some of the main ones.

  • Understand where your journey needs to begin
    Try using a map to plan a journey when you don’t know where you need to start from. It’s an impossible task. Yet many companies don’t have a clear understanding of where they are now but are trying to navigate to where they want to be.
  • Make prioritization a robust process
    Strategy is deciding what not to do. Doing a bit of everything usually means doing nothing well. Understand what the underlying infrastructure is that you need, what are the dependencies, what will move the performance needle, where are my quick wins?
  • Changing direction is fine as long as you’re ready and able
    That means being agile and having a culture where change is easily accepted (in fact embraced). Agility in marketing is now a key differentiator. Make sure your technology partners build platforms that give you control. Don’t get locked into processes that mean you wait weeks or months for changes to happen.
  • It’s not what you have to do, it’s how you do it
    Once you’ve worked out your agile roadmap it’s all about how you make the change. Take 1000 small steps if you can. Culture trumps everything - start early by hiring people who thrive on challenges.
  • Measurement and visibility matter
    If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. That doesn’t mean you measure everything. Isolate the Single Big Objective for each key area and measure that. Don’t make the mistake of hiding measurement in a report that no one reads. Make everything highly visible (yes we do mean on a screen in every office if you can).
  • Great organizations are made up of great people
    We implied this before but it’s worth repeating. Marketing is a people business. Great people make great marketing. Don’t skimp, don’t under pay, don’t limit their potential. Be tough and lose people who don’t fit your culture and embrace your purpose.
  • It’s a journey not a destination
    Everyone talks about “digital transformation” which builds false assumptions. Firstly its starts the scare stories (who wants to be “transformed”), secondly this isn’t something that ends and so don’t set it up to sound like it will. Make sure people understand that it’s a journey with no finite end. As long as we’re moving forward at the right pace then we’ll end up in a good place.

This list is not by any means complete and omits many areas of opportunity that we have found when working with our clients, but these ones consistently came up regardless of size, complexity or sector. Do you know where your journey needs to start from?

Craig Hannah

By Craig Hannah
Board Director of Cohesion

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