A Marketing Centre of Excellence is a physical or virtual center of knowledge that brings together existing expertise and resources, adds to it where required and optimizes marketing in a way that ensures a high rate of efficiency, performance and value. The scope and goals of the Marketing Centre of Excellence are very clearly defined down to all the specifics and every resource optimally leveraged. This helps push beyond performance boundaries to deliver great value and excellence.
But in order to do this, there needs to be a cohesive working together of all the various wings of a marketing center of excellence. And when that happens, the benefits are great!
According to a study, it was found that the top benefits are improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%) and the ability to meet customer expectations (35%). Quality of deliveries go up by 26% and costs some down significantly. (Source – https://www.ptc.com/en/technologies/plm/digital-transformation-report)
Marketing efficiency increases
Every person who is involved in a Marketing Center of Excellence has their roles and responsibilities clearly defined. All the processes are clearly defined. And every activity is tracked and reviewed to ensure optimal output.
You can optimize people, processes and tech costs
When you engage with several vendors for different services, you end up paying a lot more than you have to. The pricing of any vendor includes every cost involved in servicing a brand. For instance, every vendor will include an Account Manager’s cost in their pricing. When you work with multiple vendors you end up paying for multiple Account Managers!
Moreover, a marketing center of excellence utilizes every resource and every person optimally. There will be a dedicated cross-functional team with expertise across the entire gamut of marketing services. And you will have one dedicated Account Manager with a cross-functional understanding, who can understand and communicate requirements across functions and get the work done on a daily basis. This prevents the need for working with multiple agencies and paying for redundant skills.
Next, in a Marketing CoE, you will NOT be charged separately for platform licenses, platform implementation / customization, technical maintenance and for professional services for using the platforms. All these costs are discounted and consolidated into one single bill resulting in your paying significantly less than you would otherwise pay if you had worked with multiple point solution providers, bringing down costs to a very large extent.
Common goals for both Marketing and Tech which eliminates any discrepancy
When you do marketing in-house and you send a request to the tech team to process your campaign, your tech team might not do it at once. They have their own priorities – for them, marketing is just another internal stakeholder. And that slows things down for you.
In a Marketing Center of Excellence, the tech function has only one client – the marketing team. So your request is always the number one priority! Moreover, pre-determined SLA / TAT for every task dependent on the IT team gives marketers absolute clarity on timelines.
This ensures that the marketing team gets all tech-related deliveries on time with ZERO conflict or lag.
The pandemic has underscored the fact that the time to consolidate your marketing efforts is now than ever. We are in a time, where there is
Helps you handle the pressure to “reduce spends but produce results”
Cancelling / postponing customer facing offline marketing events is inevitable as social distancing has become the norm and people think twice before venturing out. Putting long-term projects on hold without cancelling them, can also help cut costs.
But the others may largely be counterproductive.
- Delaying campaigns will reduce customer engagement and take you further away from your customers
- Reducing headcounts can affect marketing velocity and your ability to quickly alter any communications across all your channels
- Cancelling media buys will inhibit customer acquisition, which is already tough
Which is why we recommend that you reduce spends and consolidate your marketing efforts.
- Instead of postponing the execution of campaigns targeted at existing customers, integration of marketing will help you zero in on most important ones that can keep your customers engaged. This way, they will continue doing business with you and offset potential losses that you may encounter because of low acquisition numbers.
- Instead of reducing headcount randomly, integration of marketing will help you spot skills that are redundant, obsolete or unnecessary. Cutting those out will cut costs without impacting marketing velocity and outcomes. You can use this to hire new skills that are currently lacking to achieve overall objectives.
Cancelling media buys will only hurt acquisition and the resultant revenues. When you consolidate your marketing efforts, you can spot important campaigns and run those, saving money and precisely targeting your audience with a range of affinity and demographic parameters.
Helps you leverage existing MarTech investments to the fullest –
The underutilization of MarTech platforms is an ongoing challenge and the pandemic is forcing marketers to take a long, hard look at the investments they have made.
Marketers are caught in a Catch-22 situation. They cannot scrap the whole thing, as they have spent a bomb buying them in the first place. But it is tough for them to get their teams to quickly up-skill themselves and start using the platforms to the fullest. Marketing integration can help by showing you if you need the tool or not. And if a platform is useful but under-utilized, you can just step things up and use it better.
In any case, when it comes to marketing technology, no one is really cutting budgets!
To sum up, a Marketing Center of Excellence helps you –
- Do away with the redundant skills / technologies that you are paying your agencies for
- Bridge all the gaps in skills needed to achieve your objectives
- See how low your current usage of your existing MarTech tools is (You would see a shocking truth about this later in this article)
- Do away with process inefficiencies in executing inbound and outbound digital campaigns
- Spot all the value leaks that happen during the hand-off between teams (Watch this space for a detailed article on this shortly)
- Catch all the inconsistencies in brand communication across channels that have caused disjointed customer experiences
- Cut media costs because of sub-optimal targeting in digital marketing
- Gauge the current level of analytical maturity in marketing decision making and show where there could be scope for improvement
- See how irrelevant metrics are changing your marketing course and direction
Fragmented pieces of marketing efforts can slow things down a great deal. So when you integrate it all together and set up a marketing Center of excellence your marketing velocity goes up along with the effectiveness of your efforts.