The Marketing Strategist:

How to Transform Your Marketing Organization: Lessons from the Trenches

October 18, 2012

During May 2012, ITSMA conducted a survey with nearly 200 marketers to examine where marketers are in their transformation journey. Of the handful of marketers who were well on their way to transforming their organization, a few stories stood out. Capgemini was one. Capgemini took a three-pronged approach to make its marketing organization more relevant to the business, focusing on assessment, skills, and measurement. Don’t be fooled by the direct and straightforward design for transformation, though; the execution was anything but simple. Here’s the approach they took:
  1. Assessment. The first thing Capgemini did was assess its marketing function, looking specifically at how it was or was not aligned with the goals of the business. Even at this beginning stage, they worked with the Chief Sales Officer and the business unit leaders to make sure business goals and marketing goals were in alignment. This was difficult and time-consuming work that took place over the course of more than a year. John Manos, Chief Marketing Officer, Capgemini North America and Asia Pacific, met with his marketing directors several times to discuss how to realign marketing and define a new path for the organization. The challenge was keeping pace with the ever-changing sales and business unit goals. Past experience demonstrated that the traditional work of putting together a marketing plan for the upcoming year wasn’t working anymore. Business unit and/or sales objectives would change in response to the ever-fluctuating market, requiring the plans to be scrapped and revised or completely rewritten. The process had to change. As a result, Capgemini is adopting an agile and flexible marketing model that allows it to support the fluctuating goals of the business. Thus, marketing assessment is now a continual process.
  2. Skills. The next logical step after assessing marketing’s objectives and activities was to determine which skills the organization needed in order to succeed. The organization needed defined marketing roles and to really assess which roles were key, and which skills needed to be enhanced. Part of this process was looking at where the skills were located, whether onshore, offshore, or within agencies. It also required making sure Manos’s team had access to training, both internally and externally, and was receiving support from the organization to add new resources. Through a trial and error period, Manos and his team identified the right mix of in-house and external support resources that could provide real value to the business, driving increased brand recognition and sales.
  3. Measurement. The final piece of the transformation journey was measurement. Capgemini now looks at every component of marketing as measureable in terms of impact on the business. It created a dashboard to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) of its marketing activities and is building key performance indicators into its current system so marketing’s activities are now fully integrated with those of sales and the lines of business.
Capgemini’s marketing transformation has taken two years to fully implement and one of the toughest lessons Manos learned along the way is patience. However, taking the time to get it right generated the desired results: marketing at Capgemini has improved its relationships with sales and the lines of business and is now seen as a partner in driving the business. Read Marketing Transformation: Are we there yet?

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