Circle Insights

Is your digital marketing team structured for success?

Simon Gray

To create real marketing magic, you need an extraordinary alchemy of people, process and technology

Agility, flexibility, responsiveness… you’re building them all into your digital marketing strategy right now. Everyone knows how important it is to be ready to react to coming trends and sudden consumer and competitor movements in this unpredictable, digital-first marketplace.

Devising the strategy and maintaining continuous oversight of performance metrics so you know when you need to change, is one thing. Delivering real-time optimisation of your campaigns to fulfil the strategy and respond to trends is quite another.

Your resources aren’t as fickle as your consumers

To get the job done, you depend on your talented people and capable systems. These resources are substantial, not ephemeral. You can’t just ditch and switch them in an instant. Unless you have unlimited budget, you can’t keep adding more people to your team with the exact digital or creative skills you need for a campaign moment. You can’t retrain your people in a snap to meet a sudden spike in demand for certain tasks.

There’s less of an ethical issue with hiring and firing your inanimate technology solutions, but it still costs money to make changes and there’s risk inherent in messing with established connections and procedures. You need to keep your campaigns and customer intelligence current and scaling with demand, but you don’t want to break anything, nor find your campaign delivery capability is compromised during upgrades or development projects.

Outsourcing is not such a dirty word these days

This is why outsourcing has come back into favour as a means of powering the digital marketing function in leading consumer organisations. Before, it was seen as a strength to have all your resources in-house, from IT and systems hardware to expert staff. That way you could be sure of guarding talented people and technology know-how for competitive advantage. But now, the pace of innovation in marketing technology and the accelerated digital-first consumer market together make using on-demand, specialist resources a very attractive solution.

It’s the same argument that’s driving the mass adoption of cloud technology and digital services, as opposed to on-premises hardware and wholly-owned software solutions. By paying for what you need when you need it and dispensing with the burden of long-term ownership, you create freedom to adapt and focus on what you can uniquely deliver for your customers.

But let’s get back to digital customer engagement. Structuring your marketing team, processes, data and technology to meet demand is now the biggest differentiator for digital consumer marketeers. Agility comes from having the specialist expertise you need on tap. Maintain a talented team in-house, with strong core delivery, management and strategic skills. Then supplement them with third party digital marketing experts who have experience and best practice knowledge from across the market. Then you have that magical combination of stability and agility you need to support your campaign delivery.

The dream team and the dream tech are what we call co-managed services

If you choose the right partner, you’ll get to exploit learning from their cross-sector experience. You’ll get leading-edge technology advice and the ability to implant project teams to develop, augment, connect and replace crucial elements of your data and insight ecosystem and martech stack. You’ll get insights into the latest smart approaches to customer insight, customer experience optimisation and creative execution.

You can pull in account managers, marketing and database specialists, SCV optimisers, data planners and campaign managers to step in and deliver whatever you need… and step out when they’re done, with no ongoing overhead. They can upweight your core resources to handle essential management and operations or tackle a specific requirement or project that’s outside the day-to-day.

What’s the downside? You might create a management headache in trying to co-ordinate a myriad of individual or niche contributors to deliver all this specialist input. That’s why we advocate choosing a single, trusted, expert partner with a strong and proven talent bench of experts right across the board, and an obsession with the latest developments in global digital marketing. With a range of clients on board, such a partner can afford to nurture specialist talent in every area and make them immediately available as needed.

Co-managed services for digital customer engagement could be the alchemy you need to deliver exceptional, powerful, customer marketing magic. In a very fast changing environment, it’s a model that works, if you can find the perfect partner.

Of course, you can see where we’re going with this. We’re big believers in co-managed services for digital marketing. And we’ve set ourselves up to offer a unique breadth of vendor-agnostic expertise, from a talented team of leading digital marketers. If you’d like to explore how the CACI team could augment your people, process and digital resource in one or more areas through managed services, please get in touch.

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Simon Gray