The way to modern marketing utopia

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

How to achieve the marketing organisation of the future

In MOI Global’s six-month project looking into the current (and future) state of marketing – consisting of a survey and three global Disrupt Forum dinner discussions, with thought leadership from some of the top marketing leaders – we first looked at the individual modern marketer and then moved on to the role of marketing as a whole.

How do you build a modern marketing organisation of the future? Well, it goes back to the individual. Our Disrupt Forum panellists were fairly unanimous on that point. Every single person in an organisation has an impact on its success and that means marketing leaders need to encourage and empower their teams to be the best they can be. “Marketing leaders need to inspire others,” says Patrick Barwise. “Then it’s contagious.”

Communicate your vision

Change can be daunting. Get your people on board by creating clarity, generating energy, and setting the team up for success. If you can inspire and onboard upwards and sideways too, then you create your change agents who will inspire and onboard others in turn. “If I did the marketing job I did 20 years ago I wouldn’t be in a job,” says Disrupt panellist Scott Allen, chief marketing officer at Microsoft UK. “I’ve learned to admit what I don’t know, and I’ve learned to lead from the front, middle and back.”

Give power and GRIT (growth, resilience, instinct and tenacity)

Empower every one of your team members to achieve. Identify their strengths, promote GRIT, give them the freedom and support they need to succeed – and to learn from their mistakes.

No more silos

Silos are often the result of a disunited management team. Get your team collaborating both with each other and with other departments. Encourage inclusion while promoting diversity, and the broader range of perspectives and understanding will result in fresh ideas and solutions, ensuring everyone’s rowing in the same direction.

Hire for attitude

That’s not to say marketing skills and experience isn’t important, but skills can be learned, attitude can’t. Look for curious, creative and can-do people who will continuously build on their skills, and promote a culture of curiosity, questioning and trying new things.

Hang on to your best talent

Give your best people the opportunity they want and the support they need, to develop and grow. “It’s really important to give people tools,” says Gemma Davies, marketing director at Apttus. “Identify their strengths, find out which are the ambitious team members and help them develop. But their progression is up to them – I’m just there to support them.” Leverage the aptitude and desire of millennials for multitasking, fluidity and positive response to change, and champion the values that attracted them to your company in the first place. Help them do well, because their success is your success.

While our customers are shifting the goal posts as fast as we can locate them, there’s a new breed of marketer who can play them at their own game. It means that, in a world where buyers hold all the power, modern marketing organisations can redress the balance.

You can find out more about our findings on the future of marketing here.

Matthew Stevens is managing director at MOI Global.

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