How to build a World-Class Marketing Organization: Processes and Ecosystem
Top-level marketing organizations design their processes around responsibility or accountability, not efficiency.
Has it ever happened to you that you try to design a process as efficient as possible but it's not clear who is the owner of that process? Who makes the decisions about what happens? And, what happens if that is the wrong process? There has to be a constant reinforcing loop of responsibility because that makes everything go faster.
In this post, we will analyze the processes and the different ecosystems of an organization, which along with structure and talent are part of the 7 keys to make your company an ideal environment to work.
'' In the end, everyone blamed someone when nobody did what anyone could have done ''. This idea is constantly coming up in slow teams, this is at the heart of poor performance. It's not because of malice but phrases like, '' I didn't want to get into his field ''or ''I thought he/she was doing it '' and nobody did it... And if nobody does it can not have an impact. So first level Marketing organizations have these 3 types of processes:
I guarantee that your companies have focused too much on the first, processes around what are we going to do? (the road map, alignment) but we don't focus on the other two that are, how do we do it? vital in order to be as effective as possible and who does what to carry out those responsibilities and that accountability.
What are we going to do
You should answer the following questions:
- What are we building?
- When do we have to deliver it?
- What is the impact on the business?
There are a lot of road maps that have a lot of detail and end up being a huge graphic of chaos and nuances and steps but you can't even look at it, nobody can look at them and see what we are doing and when to deliver it when it has to be finished. Everyone in the company should be able to access this and know at a glance when it has to be delivered. That makes us responsible, knowing when we have to respond.
In our day to day, we use the Kanban method for the latter, a type of system based on agile methodology. Why do we think is the best approach? Because in operating environments whose priorities change frequently it's necessary to introduce requirements at any time.
With this method, we achieve maximum transparency, equalize the capacity of the team with the work in progress and concentrate on the duration of the cycle for example: how long it takes a task to go from the backlog to be completed.
And to reflect our Kanban and make it accessible to all we use Trello. Here's an example:
Make sure that the information is easy to see at first glance, that is easy to digest because that is what will bring value to the company.
How do we do it?
We can approach it in three different ways: Request forms, Asset Trackers and Quality Frameworks.
- Request Forms (Google docs; Pipefy): you may be working leading different teams or international offices, however, you have to centralize all the responsibility on you and any request that has any member of those teams. You can navigate their waybills but they have no visibility between them, they usually have a request form and therefore you have to be able to process is and give a suitable solution.
- Asset trackers (Asana, Trello, Nutcache): The main reason we use it is that you can instantly see where you're going exactly and all the processes that are being carried out.
Quality Frameworks (Google docs, proprietary): Marketing consists of a series of hours of incredibly creative professionals. Where you can put those hours so that they produce better? If you don't know how to break down those hours and what impact they have for your business, you will not be able to make the necessary adjustments.
This reduces weeks of interactions because in the end we waste these people’s time. You have to adjust everything better, you have to be able to design a process and nail it. Alignment from the beginning is the most important part of all this.
Who does what?
The last and most important thing: who does what. Most companies, as they are very small, don’t have these processes in place because there are only 12 or 15 people, so they think that it doesn’t matter, that they know who does what. And suddenly it starts not to be like that. If this is implemented quickly, from the start, it will shape your culture in the long term.
One of the methods that you should start implementing is the so-called DACI method.
Basically what it means is that each project that is transversal or interdepartmental, has to have a DACI framework:
- D=impeller; that person responsible for the timelines. Whoever manages everything, who organizes it.
- A= a single approver, a person who is in charge of approving, and that is the one who decides when things are going to be done. Only he/she can decide what is done and what is not done. And this greatly reduces the '' internal talking ''.
- C= the collaborators, the taxpayers, people who have things to say about a topic. An important point of view, they have experience in a domain and you have to listen to them.
- I= informed. Everybody has to have a global vision about what each of their colleagues has to do, about the decisions that have been made and about the final result.
Moreover, you should do a retrospective analysis. Retrospectives are vital, we need the team in a meeting room giving their opinion about things that they think have not worked exactly, that's what creates perfect teams: little ego and feedback in an honest, sincere conversation, with no malicious intent, we do not seek retaliation, we must create this safe environment and a channel for it.
- Have a monthly/ quarterly review process of the roadmap that leads to the main business metrics.
- Invest team building around the vision for business thinking.
- Each project requires a unique “driver” and “approver”: they can’t be shared.
- Leave exceptionally clear in weakly communications who is responsible for each metric.
This is the idea of total versatile interdepartmental teams. We must organize ourselves in completely stacked and multifunctional “squads”. This is vital.
We have departments and professionals in Marketing, product, finance, and the problem is the following: everyone has their roadmap but when the time to meet and share things, each one is only concerned with what he has to say no matter what others have to say. But watch out! we depend on each other in order to achieve the best results we can possibly give.
For example, as CMO you will always depend on the CX. Marketing, your brand, depends on the CX specialists and you may not know exactly what they do, and they may not know what you are doing but you will have to do it together and this is how you should structure yourself.
You have to align Marketing, Engineering, Product, and Analytics (one of the most difficult things). You have to be fully committed and it will cost but it will help you act quickly when problems arise.
- Align the leaders of marketing, product engineering, and analysis around the format of “squadron”.
- Agree on the main 3-6 approaches for the next 6-12 months.
- Agree the main KPI’s for each “squadron”, all the elements of their waybills.
- Execute quarterly reviews of the program
- Be open, move fast, make programs so that other teams know what we are doing, share knowledge, send emails and then do cross training. This has to be all done in parallel.
In the next post, we will comment on the importance of good management and adequate leadership. Since a leader should know how to manage their teams in an efficient manner while knowing how to lead appropriately.
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