HomeBlog EMEA CMOs: Three Reasons to Drive Organizational Changes

EMEA CMOs: Three Reasons to Drive Organizational Changes

June 06, 2016 | By Meta Karagianni

  • EMEA CMOs continue to evolve the organizational structure of their marketing teams
  • Seventy-five percent of EMEA CMOs have moved away from siloed country operations
  • There are three main reasons to further drive organizational change across EMEA marketing teams

In our ongoing conversations with EMEA CMOs, the topic of organizational design and the evolution of existing structures remains top of mind. Seventy-five percent of the EMEA-based CMOs we have recently talked to are moving away from siloed country-based operations. So it was not a surprise to see that 85 percent of European CMOs have undergone an organizational change during the last 24 months. But the journey is not finished, and the destination of “perfect marketing organization” has not yet been reached.

EMEA-based CMOs are looking for ways to further drive improvements in their organizational constructs. Some are doing this in response to business drivers and others are anticipating changes. Three key business drivers emerge: 

  • Modernize marketing. In some organizations, marketing is still perceived as the “event and collateral function.” The CMOs are focused on installing a credible and accountable marketing engine to improve marketing’s business contribution. Often their focus is demand oriented at the early stages as the impact is tangible and well understood across other functions.
  • Optimize marketing. Here the basic demand engine is in place, but CMOs are looking to drive further operational efficiencies and optimize program and people investment.  
  • Evolve marketing. Marketing is adapting (or responding) to changing business requirements or business models. When we probed CMOs, three sub-reasons emerged:
The first was embracing customer marketing. Many marketing organizations are investing most of their efforts on new customer acquisition and ignoring or underinvesting in customer marketing. The importance of keeping customers happy and growing the customer base is not a new notion for marketers (or even outside of marketing); however, many organizations lack a disciplined approach to customer marketing. Changing business models ­– e.g. moving toward SaaS or subscription-based services – require organizations to rebalance their efforts and attention. CMOs also realize that demand-oriented marketers have a different DNA from customer-oriented marketers, causing them to revisit their organizational design and formalize the creation of a customer marketing function. In SiriusDecisions’ 2016 CMO Survey, 25 percent of CMOs reported that they are adding customer-marketing related roles.

The second was digital transformation. CMOs are ensuring that digital is not an afterthought within their organizations. Integrating digital into marketing strategy and strengthening digital awareness and competencies are vital to this transformation. However, progressive CMOs are taking this transformation a step further by looking into how digital can transform the way their organizations interact and deliver value to their customers, buyers and stakeholders. To do so, CMOs assume a leading role in helping their organizations to define the business goals digital must support.

The third was content. Obsolete or inefficient content production capabilities and processes cause b-to-b organizations to waste a significant amount of resources and investment. In a recent content study we conducted with b-to-b organizations, 54 percent of survey participants reported that they have content that is irrelevant or of low quality and difficult to adapt, and another 42 percent reported having content that is difficult to find or users who are unaware it exists. As one of my members put it, “It pours down with content in our organization.” The net result: An estimated 60 to 70 percent of centrally created content goes unused. From an organizational design perspective, organizations have long made the assumption that content is the sole responsibility of content creators (e.g. product marketing teams). That approach has failed. SiriusDecisions has pioneered an enterprise content creation process and anticipated the need for a new content operations function to own and orchestrate and that process on behalf of the organization.

As CMOs continue transforming their organizations, one thing is certain: Marketing structures will continue to evolve. When organizational changes are done well and with a well-thought-through change management approach, they can energize and mobilize resources in effectively, but when they are done badly, they can destroy morale and negatively impact business performance.

If you're interested in diving deeper into this topic, join us in London on September 26-27 for 2016 Summit Europe.

Meta Karagianni

Meta Karagianni is Service Director, European CMO Strategies, at SiriusDecisions. Before joining SiriusDecisions, she spent several years working closely with CMOs and commercial leaders in Europe and South Africa, providing strategic advice and implementation support across critical decision areas. As a practitioner, Meta led marketing teams in Europe. She started her career as a strategy/marketing consultant. Meta lives in London.

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