Starting with the Man in the Mirror: Martech & Marketing Organizational Change


When a lot of marketeers are away from the workplace, you can hear them complaining about how hard life is in the digital age. Data is siloed. Progress is difficult. A lot is happening.

When the workday is done, these people go home. There, they are greeted with a similar situation. Nobody is talking to each other. Everybody is accessing information that they want and interpreting the family agenda as they judge to be the best:

Your spouse is on social media letting all family friends know that an important anniversary is coming up and canvassing who might be able to join the TBD celebration; tentatively planned at a local banquet hall later in the year.

The children are online too, agreeing to sporting and social activities that will absolutely conflict with the big event while, at the same time, shopping and sharing content that they created that day, content that makes fun of the big anniversary. It’s loving and sweet. It is also a distraction.

Unknown to all, the in-laws are using an online travel agent program to plan the ultimate ‘surprise’ Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration far away, one in which they will cover accommodation costs to all who agree to make the trip.

Wouldn’t it be great if all these people gathered together to match needs, agendas, talents and goals?

 “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change”

(M. Jackson ‘Man in the Mirror’ (1987))

It is a fact of life that the digital age makes it even easier for all of us to achieve big things when working independently. It is also a fact of live that a lot of those great things won’t mean much if the rest of the organization either doesn’t know about them or is not also working to compliment or support them.

Does your marketing organization have a well-functioning CRM platform and program? Congratulations! You have the tools and equipment you need to really get to know your customers and their needs.

Did someone else in your organization convince management that, to drive acquisition, you need a DMP? They did? Wow! Now, the organization has real capabilities. But, without enlightened management, the DMP team lead will probably come into conflict with the CRM team – or visa versa. When this happens neither group operates efficiently.

Does your media team operate in both paid social and display? That’s great! But, it’s a safe guess that the KPI for the former is cost per click. The latter? Probably CPM. Do the teams that generate these results compare notes or align strategies? Maybe not.

Data, who has it and what they do with it, is another forest of siloes, both within and without the formal marketing organization. And, despite all the work that goes into it, attribution tends to be one touch or last touch and tells too limited of a story for most marketers. Not knowing this, the Attribution Lead generates reports that nobody reads citing results that nobody believes.

At Flock, we see this situation every day; organizations that give themselves over to equipment and trends without bearing in mind the overall goals – and current capabilities of the organization. Left unchecked, this results in conflicting agendas, missed opportunities and an absolute lack of clarity. In the digital age, this makes no sense whatsoever.

It also makes no sense that marketing is omni-channel while almost any journey developed by any marketer contains only digital information – with scant mention of ATL or POS – and references none of the valid research commissioned by the organization.

Any well-functioning team needs equipment and training to succeed.

But, all well-functioning teams win because they are all playing the same game together, helping each other to succeed and driving towards a common goal. The equipment they use to achieve those goals is secondary.

Loads of great Martech.

Highly-trained & motivated people.

Questionable results.

The man in the mirror needs to change his ways of working.


“Integrated”, “Through the line”, “Whole Egg”, “Total Communications” and other catchphrases were concepts that arose once a previous generation of marketers finally realized that ATL was just a part of a much bigger whole.

It was an important lesson.

Then, the digital age so distracted us that many marketers have forgotten it entirely.

To overcome, organizations need to realize what they need to do, prioritize how they need to move forward and evangelize team work, cross functional collaboration and shared success.

This can be achieved with a full-scale Ways of Working effort, one that gathers together an entire marketing organization’s talents and capabilities and, via partnership, iterative improvement and management sponsorship, can lead to improvements in organizational results within months. Like any new dance, it starts with a few steps.

Step One: Re-confirm what your marketing operation really needs to focus upon. Let’s face it. Nobody is great at everything. But, if you are mature enough to admit that your most pressing need is, for example, getting the message out there or knowing your current customers, you will be able to focus, and generate results, more quickly.

Step Two: Map it out the way you want it to be over a three-year horizon. Yes. Just like choreography, it is necessary to write down all of the different steps your organization needs to go through in order to share information, data, best practices and goals. CRM platforms can do things that DMPs can’t, and visa versa. So, the steps/methods involved in sharing information and collaborating on optimization will need to be mapped out. Over time, like any dance, doing so becomes second nature. The same is true for un-silo-ing data and creating organization-wide KPIs for paid media.

Step Three: Turn on the music and give it a try. The world only saw Michael Jackson on stage after months of hard practice. Digital marketing specialists tends to use different tools and those tools tend to offer (overly) tailored success metrics; So too for ATL electronic media, copy testing, tracking research, call centers, retail traffic, etc. Getting good at sharing, translating, collaborating and optimizing towards a shared enterprise goal is an equally rehearsed and perfected effort.

Step Four: Enjoy the music. Improve. Measure Against Organization-Wide KPIs. Succeed. Optimize. Repeat. Eventually, create new and bolder goals and start over.

If you’d like more information on getting your organization’s ways of working in line with the digital era, then please don’t hesitate to contact Flock Associates.

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