The digital reorganisation must go beyond marketing

Your research on how digital is affecting marketing departments’ reorganisation plans (MW 10 March) wasn’t that surprising – except perhaps that it wasn’t 100% of CMOs planning to reorganise their teams.

The digital environment demands flexibility, adaptability and evolution and a lot of marketing teams aren’t there yet, so reorganisations will become increasingly commonplace. People need to embrace the need for change.

But if anything, your article didn’t go far enough. Yes, marketing departments need to change to better understand and use digital, but the issue goes beyond marketing.

The implications of digital, and of social media in particular, need to be thought about strategically at a total company level. It’s not just about the structure of the marketing department – it’s about how marketing interfaces with the whole of the rest of the business.

In his excellent book, Reorganise for Resilience, Harvard’s Ranjay Gulati argues that for companies to become true customer-focused organisations, ’systematic integration’ of their activities is needed across all functions. To help lead this strategic challenge from a customer-driven perspective, marketers need to review processes, roles and responsibilities in areas such as strategy development, innovation and customer service, not just in brand communication.

The digital revolution is creating an important need for marketers to help shape the strategic agenda of their organisations. To succeed, they need to think and act at an overall organisational level.

Andy BirdCo-founder/managing director
Brand Learning


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