Organizing Marketing Team and Processes for Consumer Technology Company

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Client Profile: A large Midwest-based technology company
  • 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.
  • 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 program, 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.