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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Featured Research: The Rise of the SupermarketerBy Dianne Kim
The landscape of B2B marketing is hardly recognizable from what it was just 10 years ago. The ubiquity of social media, the proliferation of channels, the deluge of data, and the changing buyer behavior has created a world of chaos for marketers. Add to this the ongoing geographic expansion and continuing budget constraints in most companies, and it’s easy to see that marketing organizations require a complete renovation. This includes modernizing the people who “do” marketing. A department of event planners and public relations specialists is not going to be able to tackle the business strategy, technology, and measurement requirements in this new world.
It would be impossible for any one marketer to embody all of the new skills that are required. Nor can companies just fire everybody and start over.
ITSMA research shows that two types of marketers will be important to the future of the marketing organization:
Specialists will come from many different areas, many from outside of marketing. They are industry practitioners, delivery specialists, journalists, and data “scientists.” They come from technical disciplines, finance, universities, and b-schools.
On the other hand, supermarketers will be experienced marketers who can orchestrate multichannel marketing programs with the components created by the specialists to execute the business strategy. These supermarketers are consummate generalists who have just enough background in all the marketing specialties to have credibility and good judgment while having the leadership and relationship skills to pitch and manage these programs both internally and externally. The supermarketer has the:
But how will the specialists and supermarketers work together? In hub-and-spoke marketing organization structures based on centers of expertise or shared services organizations to house specialists.
The trend toward this type of organizational model is clear. According to ITSMA’s 2012 survey on marketing transformation, 62% of respondents anticipate their marketing organization to be hub-and-spoke in the near future (one to three years), compared to just under half of respondents currently.
By leveraging globally dispersed teams, agency relationships, offshore locations, and outsourcing agreements, it is now possible to take advantage of the best skills and talent when you need them. Having specialists in certain areas directed by a core in-house team of supermarketers offers both the flexibility and structure needed in today’s ever-changing marketing world.
For more information, read the latest ITSMA online survey report, Marketing Transformation: Are We There Yet?
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