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How to achieve clear vision and direction for your marketing organisation

Christine Downton - Observatory International Christine Downton Managing Partner, London March 4, 2024

Anyone who’s worked in the corporate world knows how difficult it can be to ‘turn the super tanker’ of a marketing organisation.  Change can often be made incrementally but not sufficiently to keep pace with the dynamic shifts taking place in the external environment for consumers, tech and society.  You can get caught in the ‘cross-fire’ between competing departments, even competing egos.  And at some point some stalwart of the organisation will pipe up with ‘oh we tried that once and it didn’t work’.

What does it take to break-out of this stalemate and establish a clear vision and direction for your marketing organisation?

In our view you need 3 things:

  1. A mindset unencumbered by legacy thinking and internal politics. The Discovery and Diagnosis phases of our consulting methodology holds a mirror up to the organisation.  We tell it like it is without the fear or risk of internal politics, enabling us to objectively present recommendations based on what we have seen and heard.
  2. To provoke debate and showcase fresh perspectives that challenge the status quo. As an example, for one of our clients we took a detailed look at how they were organised and their ways of working. Their company was at a pivotal stage, they had a clear business strategy, and they had the opportunity to establish a clear role for their brand, but their marketing operating model and resourcing was holding them back.  Our recommendations were at times challenging and sometimes uncomfortable for the teams that were used to working in a particular way.  Through external insight and industry perspective we were able to present compelling arguments for change, that they were able to ‘sell-in’ to their business.  It’s gratifying to know that the majority of our recommendations have been implemented and they are on their way to delivering marketing efficiency and effectiveness finally aligned to their business strategy.
  3. To guide with experience and authority. As a team we have direct experience of working ’client-side’ as members of marketing and communications teams.  Frankly sometimes as a client you may feel you know what the answer to a problem is, but somehow an external voice can convey that message with more authority and credibility.  Frustrating but true.  Our extensive experience of working with other brands and companies, and the insights and case studies that we use to illustrate solutions mean that our recommendations are grounded in best practice and clear strategic direction – ensuring strong stakeholder engagement and buy-in.

So if you need to develop a compelling business case for change, or even the strategic insight and vision to develop your recommendations, consider bringing in a marketing management consultant to help you get there.

Focused experience and authority

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