There were more inquiries about marketing organizational structures in the first quarter of 2016 than in the first half of 2015. That’s not surprising since this is a topic of urgency and interest: marketing organizations need to quickly align their capabilities to seize immediate opportunities.
Recommendations from Gartner’s 2016 Marketing Organizational Design and Strategy Survey will help marketing leaders understand what new skills and capabilities are needed to align marketing and business goals and allocate resources appropriately for future growth, noted Anna Maria Virzi, service analyst, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
Agency reliance continues
Fifty-two percent of marketing leaders say their current organization relies heavily on agencies and third parties. Marketing organizations use in-house talent to set strategy and translate that strategy into programs but many organizations then outsource execution of the strategy to external partners. Only 19% of organizations have a strong in-house focus.
Many marketing leaders would like to rely more on in-house talent as a long-term vision for their organizations. They want to add more value directly to the organization and be more autonomous from external parties. The path to that vision, however, requires leaders to rely more on agencies in the short-term due to skills gaps.
52% of marketing leaders say their current organization relies heavily on agencies and third parties.
There is a perception that agencies and third parties deliver superior quality or performance over in- house resources and it’s difficult to recruit qualified talent for in-house positions. As a result, 40% of marketers plan to increase their use of marketing agencies and other third parties.
Ms. Virzi advised leaders to “assess current in-house capabilities and resources and objectively compare the quality and depth of expertise against potential external marketing partners.”
Where’s the multichannel leadership?
Multichannel marketing leadership requires channel owners to collaborate and communicate effectively. Yet most companies lack clear ownership of multichannel marketing strategy. The survey revealed that marketers who oversee integrated, multichannel campaigns hold any one of eight titles, signaling differences in the roles and authority over programs. “If everyone owns multichannel marketing, nobody owns it,” noted Ms. Virzi.
Instead, she advised marketers to assign a single owner to oversee multichannel communications to make the undertaking more manageable and customer-focused. At the same time they should collaborate with human resources to assess the team leadership structure in their organizations and determine whether there are any gaps in responsibilities.
Marketing leads technology purchases
The majority of marketers lead decisions to acquire marketing technology in response to increased expectations for marketing to deliver business value. The survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of marketers say marketing, and not IT, leads the purchase of marketing technology.
Given this landscape it is important to review the marketing technology roadmap to improve integration among tools and the overall marketing technology infrastructure. Work with your marketing technology leader to evaluate your organization’s approach to vetting, acquiring and retiring marketing technology and services.
Use the survey findings to deliver business outcomes that match expectations in a landscape of fast moving marketing opportunities.