If you had the opportunity to rewrite the script, and you had 90 days to set this in motion, would you work differently than you do today? The key messages I hear from directors and VPs alike are stem from the same statements:
- I have a fixed budget in a variable world
- I need more fluidity in how I navigate the financial and market challenges
- I need a method of better translating what works to the C-Suite
- I have responsibility with shared accountability
- "Less is more" is my operational model
While none of these statements mention eCRM or email, they all speak to the world you live in today. There is a supply chain to these problems. It begins with the business and filters down through marketing and sales, which puts pressure on agencies and suppliers, and ultimately ends with the consumer. Don't forget the consumer's responsibility - it's just like the concept of insurance. If I have an accident, only portions of the repairs or replacement come from me. Ultimately it is a shared expense across all parties, affecting the entire supply chain. The same concept applies to this marketing supply chain. If the consumer buys less, it forces the marketer to spend more to drive consumption, which in turns puts pressure on the entire supply chain to do more with less. This often surfaces with media more than with email and CRM, but all are affected to some degree.
So, again I say, given all these problems, if you had 90 days to reinvent your world, organization, people, process, technology decisions, etc., where would you start?
This isn't a year-end mentality, where you ask, "How did we do?" It's not a planning cycle, where you ask "What we are going to do next year?" It's a restatement of vision, without bias to your surroundings.
If I could reinvent marketing, my top 5 BEHAGs (Big Enormous Hairy Audacious Goals) would be:
- Translate the customer experience so the entire organization understands the levers and interdependencies within the business units. Too often it's a silo with independent thinking, strategies and accountability.
- Form cross-departmental cooperative and fluid budgets that rely on variability and shift, all driven from these guiding attribution principles: everything is measurable. and everyone is accountable for the spend. Imagine if you were only paid on performance; I think you'd spend a lot more time designing clear attribution.
- Build a team that supports the vision, not compliance marketing. Skill gaps are some of the greatest challenges you'll face -- so build a team and sourcing culture that support a healthy balance of internal development and outside influence.
- Introduce a new performance marketing culture and financial culture (we all get paid on results!) including the supply chain. Think like Wal-Mart! There's risk to play their game, for all suppliers.
- Make investments in technologies and technology companies that will enable your organization. Several key equity investments could go a long way toward shaping platforms and enabling solutions for many companies so reliant on infrastructure to drive markets/channels. With companies so vested in technology to operate, I'm amazed how little investment is actually put to work.
These may be lofty ideas to some, and many will likely not happen in my lifetime, but the shift in ideation from what we can do today vs. how we evolve to tomorrow as a business is critical to setting change in motion. Translate your needs to a vision that extends more broadly than your influence today, and you'll find that you may get that seat at the table that you covet.