Home Marketer's Note Top-Down Support Drives Successful Change In Marketing

Top-Down Support Drives Successful Change In Marketing


joannaoconnelrevised“Marketer’s Note” is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O’Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger.  

As part of my ongoing look at companies’ migration toward a customer lifecycle management approach (or not, as I must always point out, as this is by no means a universal trend), I’ve spoken with senior marketers at dozens of brands in different phases of marketing evolution. During this process, I’ve noticed some organizations exhibit a belief at the highest levels that future business success necessitates a company-wide commitment to change.

Below are some quotes from marketers I have interviewed that hammer that point home, and a little bit on what kinds of things they’ve been able to accomplish as a result:

  • “From the top of the organization, we know we want to be there. Sharing data needs to happen. We’ve recently reorganized, so we now have one group gathering all data across all functions.” Having a more uniform approach to data collection is allowing this organization to clearly identify gaps and breaking points in data gathering and data flow.
  • “Our CMO and chief product officer were aligned that this was important and messaged that to the organization.” Starting with the hypothesis that its business would improve if it better understood how media programs influenced consumer behavior (implicitly and explicitly), this organization moved away from ad network CPA buying to a model of self-managed programmatic buying.
  • “We [now] have a chief data scientist in charge of enterprise data strategy (which is new as of 2 years ago). At a very macro level, it’s about helping wrangle things together in terms of back end infrastructure. There’s one master instead of it being piecemeal with a bunch of people with a little say and a little involvement.  It’s got a sponsor, an owner.  It helps get traction and maintain consistency.” This organization is currently going through the process of aligning its CRM system and digital data management platform (DMP) – pulling CRM data into the DMP to inform digital activities, as well as taking a DMP extract and feeding that into the traditional data warehouse for econometric modeling and more.
  • “Alignment of resources and money is always an issue when you get an organization as big as us with a lot of smart people: strong leadership and clarity in goals is always important. Some top down prioritization needs to happen, but we’re on the right road.” In order to facilitate data sharing and usability across groups, this organization has made API connectivity among its tools an explicit priority in order to allow “everything to talk to everything else”.

None of these marketers made any false claims that the process of getting their data (and all the related tech infrastructure) and organizational ducks in a row was simple or painless. In fact, I heard, “Candidly it takes work,” with some frequency. But what did come through in these particular interviews was a sense that their companies shared their commitment to becoming more relevant to consumers for the sake of long-term business success. They sounded, for lack of a better word, hopeful.

At the risk of sounding trite, I think there is power in these sentiments. These are the kinds of companies that are leading the revolution – if your organization isn’t on this bandwagon yet, which, I recognize, it likely isn’t, I say use these quotes and examples to help your cause: pass them on to colleagues, drop them in your company’s virtual suggestion box, bring them up in meetings. I’m all for marketers helping other marketers to improve!

Thoughts, questions, comments, send them my way.


Follow Joanna O’Connell (@joannaoconnell ) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter. 

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