Structuring for Success

So in last week’s post, we decided that today’s IMC campaigns must utilize a variety of offline and online channels to successfully connect with and persuade audiences. Of course, these various channels must be orchestrated in such a way as to ensure 1. the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and 2. when taken collectively, they present a consistent brand experience for the consumer.

Such orchestration is not easy, and in fact, may demand the restructuring of marketing departments, teams and agencies. In a great blog post titled “The Marketing Department of the Future,” Samuel Scott argues against dividing your marketing department by tactic type – traditional and emerging/digital. Instead, he proposes that teams be broken down by four larger, more general functions: Strategy, Creative, Communications, and Audit.


This post struck a chord with me as my marcom department is in the midst of a reorganization of its own. For the last several years, we’ve had more of a department/client/product-centered focus, with individual account managers planning and executing campaigns and tactics in a bit of a silo. However, these account managers all have different strengths and so may have reached out to each other (informally) for help with graphic design, online ad placement, Web development or PR.

We just recently started a transition to a structure that is more in line with what Scott is proposing in the graphic above, albeit with a few differences. Instead of Scott’s four lanes, we’ll have three, with digital continuing to be separated out: marketing, communications and digital/Web. While different from Scott’s proposal, this new structure should allow us to better focus on his four pillars than we were able to before, as marketing can focus on strategy, creative (copy) and some audit; communications can focus on, what else – communications and a bit of what Scott would classify as creative content; and digital can focus on creative (landing pages and other functionality) and audit (analytics).

As weeks go by and the transition ramps up, I’ll be sure to update you all and let you know how it’s going. In the meantime, I’m wondering – how are your marcom departments/teams structured? Do you feel they need to change in light of today’s IMC landscape?

What’s that you say? You hadn’t thought about department structure? Well, it may be time to start. As Neil Perkin points out on his “Only Dead Fish” blog, the future of digital marketing belongs not to those who simply utilize the channels but those who utilize them effectively — with the right infrastructure of strategies, processes and team structures firmly in place.



2 thoughts on “Structuring for Success

  1. Very interesting post! It definitely got me thinking of how the teams at my agency are broken out. I’m part of the creative team, then we have accounts, strategy and insights, digital and data analytics. Though our group lanes aren’t necessarily named like Scott’s, the functions he lists are dispersed throughout all of our teams. Similar to reorganizing marketing departments by tactic types, I read this interesting Forbes article that discusses how marketing organization, with regards to specific role types, will have to change as well. An ongoing study, Marketing2020, suggests that companies will become more integrated with a hub-and-spoke structure that places the CMO in the center, surrounded by different marketing roles (product manager, PR manager, etc.). This helps to rid silos and allows teams to truly coordinate with one another. Research from the study also reveals that there is a need for a chief experience officer, who should oversee marketing staff grouped as thinkers (analytics marketers), feelers (engagement marketers) and doers (production/content marketers). The functions of marketing seem to be changing daily, so it’s important that organizations are restructuring to meet the demands of consumers and the industry. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds!


  2. Stephanie,
    The demands on marketing teams to produce content in the digital marketing space is pushing many organizations to rethink how their marketing and communications teams are integrated. Here is a great article on how this is impacting B2B marketing organizations.

    The bottom line – Content is King, but you need the strategists to make sure it aligns with the business objectives and you need the staffing to create and execute.



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