Most internal marketing organizations have a scale issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and pop or Fortune 500 brand. While the size and scope of your organization might be different, every company is facing three key issues:
Marketing has become highly technical and fragmented.
If you are a brand or agency you’re probably hit up several times a day from a new technology provider or advertising platform that will supposedly make your marketing more efficient, more effective, and/or improve your ROADs. Unfortunately, all of these platforms take resources to setup, manage, and use to their fullest potential.
The reality is just about every marketing department has a long list of platforms and none of them are setup and/or optimized to work efficiently. To make matters worse these platforms are rarely integrated. The technology we rely upon as marketers to make our lives easier is in many cases making our lives harder because it unintentionally is fragmenting our operations.
Difficulty hiring and retaining key talent.
This headline says it all here. Every industry seems to be facing a shortage of talent, but technical expertise is at a critical shortage. As marketing becomes more technical we find ourselves competing with other tech companies for talent. Finding people with experience on the platforms we rely on is hard enough and many organizations (especially SMBs) do not have the resources to hire an inexperienced employee and train them.
Challenges identifying, working with, and managing 3rd parties (agencies, consultants, and tech platforms).
Since it is difficult to hire and manage domain experts to service all aspects of a marketing tech stack most organizations look to outsource to agencies, consultants, or they allow their tech partner to manage their instance for them (for an additional fee). Unfortunately, the amount of experts you need is growing.
Advertising on just Google and Facebook/Instagram isn’t enough for most brands anymore. You need to be on TikTok, Snap, connected TV, streaming audio, native, and digital out-of-home. Add these unique channels to your CRM, CDP, email platform, SMS, content calendar…. (I’ll stop). It quickly becomes unmanageable to oversee best of breed 3rd parties to manage all of your platforms for you.
The end result of these issues is chaos and inefficiency. How can your organization take meaningful steps to address your scalability issues and make your marketing team more efficient?
Marketing Operations Leadership
A lot of marketing teams lack dedicated project management or operations managers who are dedicated to making sure everything runs like a well oiled machine. While it is difficult to hire anyone with specific domain/technical expertise it is easier to find good project/operations managers. You don’t even need a senior level hire for this role. Having someone on staff that is dedicated to the operations of your marketing department will pay major dividends. It will provide the flexibility you need to ensure your internal staff and 3rd party partners are in sync and operating efficiently saving significant time and money.
Balance 3rd party agencies/consultants between how much assistance they can provide to match your goals.
If you have marketing ops that can manage many 3rd parties then select best of breed, niche partners to service all of your needs from ad buying specific platforms like TikTok, to analytics/reporting, and more. If you’re a leaner marketing organization you need to identify your core needs and find partners that can provide support for multiple items. While domain experts are great, more often than not someone who has some experience across multiple disciplines can provide work that is good enough to significantly enhance your marketing efforts (basically you don’t always need someone with a ton of experience, the vast majority of orgs can get the job done with intermediate level expertise on most platforms).
Simplify your platform/tech stack.
This might sound similar to point #2, but this gets down to doing a good job of picking the right partner/platform. There are thousands of martech/adtech companies and I’m sure you have seen 10s if not 100s that could theoretically help your organization. I always challenge our clients to ask one of two questions:
Does this solution help us enough to take on the additional responsibilities to maximize the opportunity?
Does this advertising platform help us reach enough incremental new in-market consumers to take on managing it?
The bottom line is looking at the incrementality of a solution. Any time you add a solution to your stack it requires resources to manage and make it work properly. The new solution must provide a lot of value to justify adding resources to manage it.