Centralising your marketing
teams to increase marketing
The problems of disparate
data and discrete strategies
Over recent years, many global enterprises
have seen the need to centralise key
This trend has coincided with increased
specialism of marketing practitioners over
the broadening array of functional elements,
channels and activities. Historically, these
organisations have had distinct functions
within the marketing department, and
therefore parameters, including Brand, PR,
Advertising, Events, Products and Direct.
Evolving platforms and potentials have led to
the need for extra dimensions. Database
Management, Email and Digital, Search, Social
Media and Insight have appeared to cover off
various requirements, some marketingorientated, some coming from a sales
perspective, some more technical angle or
IT-dependent, some a heady mix of all three.
The digital environment has experienced
the largest and most diverse growth,
simply because it is the most fertile area
where customer conversations are taking
place. The challenges are around taking
what has gone before and incorporating
what is possible and practical today, looking
to optimise those conversations and have
the greatest influence, ultimately, on the
From an organisational and leadership
perspective, the challenges are not that
of better ROI and more sales opportunities.
So, what are the biggest headaches inherent
in the marketing process as we face it now?
This book aims to explain the changing
world of modern marketing, and explain
the techniques and tools you will need to
adapt to it.
The increasing fragmentation and diversification
of channels, has led to the spectrum of activity that
marketing is responsible for being broader than ever.
As a result, teams grow more specialised. Fruitful integration
becomes harder to manage as goals become unclear, data
fractured and messaging potentially diluted. The ability to
balance and prioritise resource, and communicate from a
single perspective to individual prospects, which is a realistic
possibility, becomes impractical and inefficient. Each function
chases its own KPIs, with its own strategies and initiatives.
Synergy is lost resulting in a loss of productivity, efficiency,
performance and value. The whole is muddled by the sum
of its parts.
The solution: Clarify the big picture
You commonly hear the phrase ‘Where do
you want to go, and how will you get there?’
Here is a perfect fit for its use. This should be
followed by ‘How will team and individual
contribute towards this?’ Without clear
direction, each silo will remain focused on its
own agenda and goals, which cannot deliver
optimal value in the long-term.
By defining a single, common organisational
goal and strategy, everyone knows where
they stand, and can contribute on that basis.
Each team will have its own specific lead
measures, but the overall end goal will be
known to all and the same to all. This
includes clarity on an organisational
blueprint, an overall demand generation
strategy that they need to align to.
While this is a challenge to all functional and
operational teams, digital teams are more
prone to siloed behaviour.
Traditional marketing functions have grown
accustomed to integration and collaboration.
The emergent nature of digital marketing and
the technical skills involved have contributed to
the disparity of new digital channels and roles.
SEO, website, social media, online media and
pay-per-click become necessary but difficult
to control and co-ordinate. As challenge #1
highlights on a broader level, overall ownership
of strategy can be difficult resulting in each
digital silo putting its own strategy together
So a social media and community
management team could be running a
competition, the IT team could be conducting
a keyword audit, while the PR agency have
been focusing on media coverage to enhance
authority but without keyword awareness or
utility. At the same time a vertical team may
be about to launch a paid search campaign in
isolation and a regional team could be running
a new product webinar. Integrating enterprise
stakeholders becomes impossibly hard, but it
has to be the goal. When activity happens in
collaboration, enhancing the cross-pollination
of activity, deeper audience engagement and
value is the result. The whole becomes greater
than the sum of its parts.
The solution: An integrated inbound
Key to reducing the silo effect of specialist teams is having a definable,
referenced inbound marketing strategy. With this in place, each team can act
independently, but with the aim of contributing most effectively to overall
direction and goal. This drives synergy but also empowers each team to own
responsibility for its actions for the greater good of the enterprise and its
With the rapid rise of the importance of content marketing,
production management becomes essential.
The solution: A content marketing
framework and strategy
The role of centralised teams has evolved to
be a central spoke and hub of activity. Whilst
historically activity could be seen as more
production orientated, this has evolved to
facilitate best practice, along with providing
support and consultancy for other
stakeholders. A key to overcoming the
challenges of dispersed content production
is to evolve the wider organisational culture,
and to give individuals from broad
backgrounds the support and guidance they
need to carry out their content marketing
activity. The priority should be to make tools
available to all that maintain brand and
encourage collaboration, along with a focus
on educating and driving best practice
throughout the business. Where possible,
seek to standardise and simplify processes
which help to minimise inconsistencies.
There’s the need to manage dispersed production, coordination
with required subject matter experts, regional development,
languages and localisation, control over quality, skills shortages
and culture change. And this isn’t an exhaustive list. Across
business units, sectors, functions, departments and regions, it
would seem to be too much for an individual, and unpractical
for a team, to be expected to manage all communications and
content creation whilst maintain consistency in brand, quality in
output and value to its audience.
In the era of ‘big data’, organisations can access as much
information as they need on their audience, and gather
more as a part of the dialogue with this audience.
However, many companies lack the people and the knowledge
to analyse the data in the best way, more do not know how
to use the insights gained on analysis, and many more do not
have the time to do either. Even taking these challenges into
consideration, the biggest problem remains that the data
is held across a variety of systems, in a variety of formats,
each one containing different fields or types of data.
The solution: A unified marketing
In order to effectively deliver dynamic communications, with the right content and message
at the right time, a marketing automation platform is key. This provides the infrastructure
that unifies inputs and data points in a single, usable environment. In turn, this drives
communication of the most relevant and timely information to your audience, dependent
on where they are in the buying cycle.
The result is an inability to be as relevant to their audience
as they could be with the use of personalised, customised
and triggered communications. Cut-through, engagement
and relevance are undermined, and the power of targeted
communications diluted. This is only compounded as a generic
‘batch’n’blast’ communications approach becomes the default
that speaks to the largest proportion of prospects in the least
Hands-on, little and often.
Historically, campaign strategy and implementation have
been built on the perceived need and agreed solution by
committee, usually a compromise, and inflexible
implementation where the plan is executed irrespective of
customer response or take-up. The plan is the plan and we
do it this way because this is what’s been agreed – we don’t
necessarily care what our customers think because we don’t
think about what our customers need.
It can all be so different. Of course there needs to be a plan
in place, but how much more effectively is that plan
implemented when we’re able to take a little-tweaking-butoften approach, grounded in tactical responses to specific,
known customer needs. An open-minded strategy facilitates
ongoing, personalised customer conversations based on where
they are in the sales cycle, not on what our key messages
are. Goals are common to the business irrespective of what
area they come from – in terms of synergy, the whole
becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Covering your customers’ needs,
not your sales pitch aspirations.
Shepherding data from
diverse, disconnected sources.
Content is key to enhanced customer relationships, but has
to be grounded in the new truth, that customers define their
product needs and expectations, and then seek out
information, on their terms, to meet those needs. Your new
product features that you’ve invested millions in developing?
They’re irrelevant if they don’t sound like something your
prospect could do with. And they won’t know that until
they’ve searched the market themselves. You’re best
strategy is to be there with the information they need when
they need it, not trying to force yourself or your product story
on them. Content, then, becomes fluid. Your bank of it, your
‘content cupboard’, will grow over time so that it is capable
of supplying directions at appropriate points as prospects
journey through the buying cycle.
The tools and data used to communicate span a tangle of
platforms including online, offline and social. Don’t forget that
traditional media still has a bearing on where prospects are in
their journey. So a conversation between a prospective
customer and a member of your team at a trade event may
well have registered more nods of approval and mental notes
than any amount of targeted (poorly or not) email activity.
How do you factor this into your customer journey?
Having a central hub of data is becoming more of a reality.
This key tool enables you to gather, manage, use and
update customer insight whatever the platform they’ve
used. Perhaps more crucial than having the data is being
able to use it. Talented analysts will support the most
efficient, cost-effective and impactful use of the information
you have to target the right prospects, at the right time,
with the right messaging as a part of a unified marketing
10 Steps to
About Ledger Bennett DGA
Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883
Ledger Bennett DGA
Tungsten House, Warren Road
Little Horwood, Milton Keynes
Ledger Bennett DGA
1st Floor Centric House
390-391 Strand, London
We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses
sales and marketing know-how to help customers
increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing,
Content Marketing and Marketing Automation
strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation
programmes drive our customers’ business
performance, helping them to:
n Generate more opportunity
n Convert that opportunity into sales
n Retain customers and grow their value
Using more measurable and cost effective
techniques than traditional full service marketing
agencies we are able to maximise business revenue
in the modern world where the internet has
fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.