Forrester’s Consumer Forum EMEA – Reinventing The Marketing Organization

I spoke on Monday afternoon at Forrester’s Consumer Forum EMEA on Reinventing The Marketing Organization.  Guess what?  Different geography, same questions.  I’ve posted answers to the Q&A on the event blog, cross-posting here.

Thanks to all who attended the session on Monday. In response to the questions from my session:

"What steps should you take to convince your company that an organizational change is needed?"

Find out how many departments focus on ‘the customer.’  Then figure out
who’s coordinating efforts so that everyone has the same vision of your
customer groups.  This will give you a roadmap for the gaps that exist
in your current organization and how far you need to go to drive real
customer-centricity.  Bridging the gaps = the way to get started.

"The Forum content today has focused on social media in the consumer context.  What about B2B?"

Customer-centricity is as important for B2B as B2C.  In B2B, this
happens on two levels.  The first means focusing on your customers –
the buyers of your products or services.  Ultimately, people make
procurement decisions, not processes or departments.  The second means
helping your customers better understand their consumers.  As your
customers move to a CCMO to better reach their consumers, it will make
your path to customer-centricity even clearer.  [BTW my colleague Laura Ramos will be extending the Reinventing the Marketing Organization idea into the B2B space.]

"Do you have examples of Customer-Centric Marketing Organizations?"

– Yes; look at the published examples of Best Buy, Starwood Hotels, and Procter & Gamble.  Other companies that have implemented elements of the CCMO are Fidelity Investments and The Gap.

"How do you centre around customers when you have many brands in different categories with different needs and benefits?"

I think the CCMO is critical in this type of product-centric
organization.  Focusing on customers will result in persona-driven
groups that align around common lifestyle solutions.  This means that
some brands may need to be pruned from a large portfolio, while others
are added to reinforce the cohort value proposition.

"How do you apply the CCMO in practice?  What are the 1st steps to take to move to this org model?"

The CCMO means changes must be implemented in structure, culture,
technology infrastructure and partnerships/alliances.  The first step
to take is convincing your CEO to make the leap – creating a charter to
support the transformation.  This charter is supported by input from
other function heads, including IT, finance, and HR, among others.

"If I’m making profits and my customers are happy, why should I take your approach into account?"

Product- and channel-based organizations work – in the short-term.
Once consumer preferences change, companies respond by reorganizing
internally to address new requirements.  So profit and happy customers
are typically a short-term proposition.  Long-term?  Moving to a CCMO
means customers transition from one group to another as needs change,
or break off the relationship once their needs are misaligned with your
business strategy.  The result is good profit and growth.

For more information, check out the report or this post.