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McKinsey and Company Suggests Marketing Departments are Stuck in the 1980s

McKinsey and Company Suggests Marketing Departments are Stuck in the 1980s
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A new article from McKinsey and Company suggests that marketing departments are stuck in the 1980s and are in need of a massive overhaul to adapt to changes in consumer behavior.

“Despite that level of change and disruption, if you had put a few typical marketers from the 1980s into a time machine and sent them into the marketing departments of today, they would probably feel right at home,” the authors write.

“The truth is, while the proliferation of new channels and technologies has dramatically changed the environment in which marketers operate, the way they organize and approach their tasks has stayed more or less the same.”

According to the report, capturing the advantages of data-driven marketing requires new ways of working. That means spending more time with other parts of the business on customer journeys.

In particular, the consultants outline three ways marketing departments ought to change:

1. Move from linear campaign process to an ecosystem of partners
2. Scale agile ways of working
3. Build out a set of supporting capabilities that can deliver great customer experiences

1. Move from linear campaign process to an ecosystem of partners

McKinsey thinks more work will shift from agencies to internal teams as brands develop a clearer sense of the value of new capabilities. Supporting this model requires the role of the traditional brand manager to shift from “leader to orchestrator.”

2. Scale agile ways of working

The report says, “With agile, companies use data and analytics to continuously identify promising opportunities or solutions in real time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating. At scale, a high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and test multiple new ideas every week. These new ways of working enable continuous, data-driven improvements to campaigns and assets, while also providing increased transparency and accountability.”

3. Build out a set of supporting capabilities that can deliver great customer experiences

“While most companies understand the importance of a positive customer experience to the bottom line—done well, it can boost revenue 5 to 10 per cent and reduce costs 15 to 20 per cent—few excel at designing or delivering it,” the authors write.

McKinsey suggests starting with customer journey design — not just improving them, but reinventing them with the help of digital technologies to “meet and beat customer expectations.”

“But there is a path forward,” the report says. “It starts with looking outside your own walls for inspiration and forming a clear view of where you can excel. Then it requires combining full commitment and unity of purpose, from the executive suite to the teams empowered to create the change.”


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Megha Shah
Megha Shah
A dreamer, traveler, aspiring entrepreneur and a bookworm beyond repair, Megha Shah is extremely fond of writing and has been doing so since she was a child. Apart from being a part-time writer, Megha is currently in college, pursuing B. Com. (Hons). Megha is an ardent follower of ‘Hardship, Hustle and Heart’ and firmly believes in the power of hard work and destiny!

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