Marketing Organization and Process Design

We hope that you will find the following case to be helpful.  If, after reading, you would like to learn more about our experience, please contact Dan Plachta at dplachta@bedfordgroupconsulting.com.

Client Profile: A large Midwest-based technology company

Situation:

  • Client was highly decentralized within its corporate marketing group and among the independently managed field marketing groups in 170 U.S. markets.
  • The Client determined the relationship between its corporate marketing organization and its primary external marketing partner was not working well.
    • Significant disagreements developed on product positioning strategies and creative direction for advertising
    • Major strains over the cost and productions schedules for completion of programs.

Contribution:

  • Conducted comprehensive relationship assessment of the 13 most senior marketing people within each company to determine the core issues involved.
    • Identified substantial issues in the partner relationship, organizational malfunctions, project development/management processes, and internal communications issues
    • Recognized Client issues were leading to inefficiencies and conflict both internally and with the marketing partner.
  • Structured a matrix organization, tying the product management function (marketing program strategies) and the brand and advertising function (design and production of programs).
    • Organization allowed branding and advertising function to have management authority over all aspects of marketing program development
    • Linked independent product marketing efforts.
    • Enabled more effective product bundling and messaging focused on end-user needs.

Recommendations:

Short-term solution:

  • Engage the Client’s marketing partner in highly personalized behavior training and coaching programs, designed by The Bedford Group.
  • Client to enact a series of actions to change the fundamental culture, organization and processes used to develop and implement marketing strategies:
    • A new project development and process flow, eliminating several redundant steps
    • A marketing counsel to represent the views of a very large constituency that had been here-to-for required to weigh-in on each project
    • Fewer people who must “approve” a project and a “negative response option” rule that put the burden on the advisor/approver to respond within a set period of time or lose rights to give input.

Longer-term solution:

  • Eliminate individual product marketing functions in favor of a product-neutral/end-user segment organization.
    • More effectively bundle products and services to meet the needs of identified customer segments
    • Package marketing messages more appropriately.

Client Impact: Enabled Client to eliminate redundancy, improve marketing efficiency, and reduce conflict between Client management and marketing partner.