How Does A CMO Build A Modern Marketing Organization?

Gone are the days when marketing tasks could be delegated to a couple of interns (although that probably never actually worked). Today’s modern marketing organization is complex, and requires purposeful planning and a combination of talent, technology, and consumer insights in order to have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution as to how to put together a dynamic marketing team, a bunch of progressive CMOs and digital marketing executives (including PayPal, JPMorgan Chase, Jet Blue, and Kimberly-Clark) recently collaborated to figure out if such a blueprint was possible.

In a report presented by The CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud titled “The CMO Solution Guide for Building a Modern Marketing Organization,” the author aims to get at the heart of what attributes and talents a team of marketers must possess.

While you can access the full report written by John Ellett, CEO of nFusion, here, we pulled out some of the highlights so you can start doing some soul searching about what might be lacking in your marketing strategy.

Acumen: It’s all about the skills.

Or as the author puts it, the backbone of a strong marketing organization starts with acumen – specifically 10 major skill sets that every marketing organization needs. Take a look at the list to determine if you need to fill in any gaps:

  1. Customer insights specialists who can mine data, and develop customer decision journey maps
  2. Digital expertise that is ingrained – no more winging it!
  3. Social media mastery
  4. The ability to incorporate emerging digital, social and data-driven capabilities on the fly
  5. Content – but, of course!  Ask yourself: Are you producing it with explicit intent to be used across multiple touch points?
  6. Using data to influence and recommend next steps
  7. Predictive data to plan for the future
  8. Data gathering that is done securely while protecting privacy rights
  9. A chief marketing technology person to lead mar-tech efforts.
  10. Wiggle room to experiment and fail.

Alignment: No more silos.

Everyone needs to be on the same page if marketing efforts are to work. In other words, organizations thrive only when there is alignment from top to bottom and across all functions. Here are some steps to get things to line up:

  • Know the mission, and be consistent about values.
  • Company execs and marketers should be executing around the same business model.
  • Figure out who’s in charge of creating a workflow and calendar.
  • Implement planning tools that help keep things aligned.
  • Get the marketing and sales teams together on common customer goals.
  • Executives should model collaboration for the rest of the organization.

Agility: Be OK with ditching your plan.

Planning and strategizing is very important, but so is the ability to change course and adapt to the speed at which things evolve. In other words, agility matters. As the author writes, “the pace of change is faster than the typical annual planning cycle of most corporations.” True that!

To improve agility, you can work on the following:

  • Work experimentation into your budget.
  • Form cross-functional teams.
  • Develop “test-and-learn” programs.
  • Model decisive behavior.

“We’ve had a playbook that has been well honed, very effective, time proven; but we recognize that the world is changing and the consumer is changing. And effective as this might still be, is it sufficiently following the consumer? So how do we evolve our playbook and recognize the changing world?” — Peter Horst, CMO, The Hershey Company

Accountability: Own Your Strategy (And Failures)

Passing the buck or blaming failures on technical difficulties will only get you so far. It’s vital that marketing organizations have accountability, from the CMO down through the entire team. Here’s how to instill a culture of standing by your performance:

  • Keep your eye on the top-level prize.
  • Use appropriate metrics and share reporting.
  • Encourage personal accountability.

How large your marketing team is will depend greatly on the size of your organization, and whether its B2B or consumer-facing. It could very well be a one- or two-person show to start. Either way, by following the basic framework above and garnering the support of the organization as a whole, you can have a more focused game plan to move forward and grow.

This article originally appeared on the NewsCred Blog.