Step 1: Evaluate the trade-offs between centralized, decentralized and hybrid structures.
When thinking about how to redesign your marketing organization, keep in mind that one solution does not fit all — and every organizational restructure includes a degree of risk.
Centralized: Centralization refers to the concentration of management and decision-making power at the top of the organizational hierarchy. Strategy, planning, goal setting, budgeting and talent deployment are typically conducted at the direction of a single, senior marketing lead.
Decentralized: In decentralized organizations, formal decision-making power is distributed across multiple groups, regions or business units. Decentralization is more appropriate when marketing’s activities support local markets or when the company must respond quickly to changing or regionally differentiated customer needs.
Hybrid: Hybrid structures use a network of centralized and decentralized teams. What to centralize or decentralize is determined based on the role and objectives of each team. Hybrid structures blend the economies of scale of centralization with the agility of decentralization.
Step 2: Identify what to centralize or decentralize.
The first step in determining the reporting structure for any marketing organization is to understand its role, scope, objectives and associated workflows.
Weigh the importance of marketing operations efficiency, customer centricity and marketing effectiveness as you consider the pros and cons of centralizing or decentralizing the team. For example, a global VP of brand marketing would support corporate goals versus regional goals, which might support a decision to centralize. Conversely, a regional VP of marketing would need to incorporate local insights into campaigns, supporting the decision to decentralize.