Creating Effective Marketing in a Highly Decentralized Environment

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 Kerry Kielb at

Client Profile: International IT Consulting Company. Through acquisition of smaller competitors and complementary service companies around the world, the firm rapidly grew to become the largest in the industry. Situation:
  • Company concerned about its capacity to serve its Fortune 100 companies under immense demand conditions.
  • Company had no long-term strategy.
  • Growth was the primary mission of the company, and growth strategy consisted of hiring and establishing new office locations. This strategy fueled growth from a few hundred people to 3,000 over one year and produced 23 offices in major cities around the globe. Each office housed a highly independent General Manager and a complete array of staff (including marketing) that allowed the office to run independently of the other offices.
At a critical point, the firm realized that serving $50 million + contracts with multi-national projects required a great deal of sharing of resources and cooperation between offices. Contract payments had to be shared among office P&Ls. Sales and marketing needed to be coordinated on national and global sales efforts. Contribution:
  • As director of field marketing, a TBG partner’s contribution was to create a national marketing team and strategy where none existed.
    • Created a matrix management environment whereby General Managers would retain direct authority over their market staffs, but would share management with the central marketing organization.
    • Negotiated matrix arrangement with each individual GM and introduced to 30+ marketing team members affected.
Client Impact:
  • After only a few months of operating in a matrix environment, GMs saw the value of centralization and released management of their marketing staffs to central management
  • Central management of marketing resources led to:
    • Multi-office coordinated marketing programs
    • Redundancy reduction
    • Infusion of strategic planning and results tracking into all significant programs
    • Creation of regional marketing managers with special skills (e.g. events design and management)
    • Consistent brand messages and imagery in marketing programs.