"As the chief marketing officer collaborates with the chief executive and other senior-team members to nail down a shared approach for designing, building, operating, and renewing customer touch points, he or she also will require a new kind of marketing organization." This sentence, and the posting headline are excerpted from McKinsey Quarterly article We are all marketers now. And they are right - a new kind of organization is required and it requires engagement across functions.
Staff for what?
That makes perfect sense, you think to yourself, if I am staffed like GE. OK - so what's a SME to do? You have a staff of several marketing folks - filling traditional disciplines. But there is no way you can build the internal organization required to adopt the approaches McKinsey's research indicates are going to be required.
So what do you do? Build an agency within your company - forget the "department" and create a multi-faceted cross functional group which interfaces throughout the organization, evangelizing and cajoling others. Using a combination of internal talent, strategic consultation and contracted specialists even small companies can build robust marketing operations - fight effectively for business and stand out in competitive markets.
Where to start
Like many tasks, though, this feels daunting. And honestly it will take some time and some money - although probably not as much of either resource as you fear. But it does take experience building that sort of a team - the "agency within the company." Planning and structuring that is a specific skill which combines strategic, analytical, technical, visual and multi-media marketing skills along with keen management and leadership.
In general the VP of Marketing feels as though they should be expected to have the skills to pull it off, but simultaneously understands they don't - and they shouldn't. This isn't part of the regular job. But working with a talented, experienced consultant like Consilium Marketing Advisors can allow companies with traditionally strong, or weak, marketing focus to compete effectively.