Russell Goldsmith
Russell Goldsmith 3 July 2017

Building a modern marketing organisation of the future - Podcast with Microsoft, Apttus & Capgemini

Listen in to what the CMO of Microsoft UK, Marketing Director of Apttus, Head of Marketing for Cloud Infrastructure Services at Capgemini and former Chair of the DMA think about how you can go about building a modern marketing organisation of the future.

Show 45 of the csuitepodcast was recorded at MOI's recent Disrupt Forum, where I interviewed each of their panel speakers on the topic of ‘Building a modern marketing organisation of the future’.

Above photo L-R: Scott Allen, Microsoft UK, Joel Harrison, B2B Marketing; Gemma Davies, Apttus; Russell Goldsmith,  Audere Communications and Podcast Host; Julia Porter, the DMA; Lorraine Graves, Capgemini

My first guest was Lorraine Graves, Head of Marketing for Cloud Infrastructure Services at Capgemini.

Lorraine said that Capgemini is a matrix organisation, which therefore allows them to pull expertise from specialist teams such as their offshore design team, campaign management, digital and bid marketing.  This enables them to ensure they use the right resources to deal with the business requirement.

Capgemini have a culture that embraces agile marketing, where they put the customer first.  The agile manifesto focuses on individuals and interactions over processes and tools and as Capgemini's requirements and the solution evolve, plans need to be flexible, customer input is therefore key, the work is tested early, and teams need to develop a continuous improvement mind-set.  The agile marketing message is extended to all employees and therefore with 9000 staff in UK, and 190,000 globally, internal communications is very important to achieve this, ensuring that everyone understands both the marketing and the business success matrix and how they are contributing.

In the second part of the show, I was joined by Scott Allen, CMO at Microsoft UK and Gemma Davies, Marketing Director of Apttus, a Quote-to-Cash and Contract Management Cycle Technology Company. 

In terms of team structures, Scott said that the way he hires has changed over the last five years, with his team now being part scientist and part creative. He explained that traditionally, your marcomss professionals would have been great at content marketing, understand digital, good at social engagement, social media, social listening, and great at delivering local experiences, events, but now they also need to be part scientist, which means they need think about how they are more of a financial analyst, more technically proficient, understand data and how to analyse it and how to use data to make forward making decisions.

In comparison, Apttus has smaller, more nimble local teams, with individuals performing multiple rolls.  Gemma said this means there are less specialists and more generalists, which she believes gives their employees the opportunity to maximise their learning and development.

Scott encourages his marketing team to see customers more, to add value and often open doors within customers that the sales team wouldn’t necessarily get in front of. They ensure that marketing is embedded in what he describes as the ‘sales rhythm’, so that they can understand what the sales team needs to achieve and what the customers do.  He is running five programmes in the UK:

  1. Customer obsession – understanding customers better, running storytelling days, putting posters of customers up to see what they are doing, inviting customers to team meetings.
  2. Growth mind-set – allowing the team to take time out to think of some of the things they wish to go forward with.
  3. Being diverse and inclusive – not just male to female ratio but in terms of different skill sets, mind-sets, and a mix of introvert and extroverts.
  4. Making a difference – bringing back to the team some of their personal passions, for example charity work as a team.
  5. Looking beyond the marketing department – look at how other resources within the business can be marketers for the organisation too.

As at Capgemini, Gemma and Scott see every individual within their organisations as a marketer, where they all have a responsibility to represent the business.

The final part of the show featured Julia Porter a business advisor as well as a Board Member and former Chair of the DMA.

Some of the key areas that Julia looks to her clients to focus on are around how they leverage data and digital, for example, measuring performance against business goals, as well as not getting too wrapped up in the complexity of the technology and lose sight of the customers.  She added that marketers must not get overwhelmed by the amount of data that is available to them and to be clear about what outcomes they are trying to deliver.  However, she said that you have to be agile and think flexibly about how you can use the data.

Finally, in terms of the kinds of people Julia would want to see in a marketing team, once again, an aptitude for understanding, managing and leveraging data for your business was a key priority.  However, she also said you need curious people, creative people and those who are self starters and collorabative, with a 'can do' attitude, but who are comfortable with complexity, because they are going to have to learn as they go as the skills they have now wont necessarily be the ones they need in five or ten year's time.

The advice from each guest to those wishing to transform their business into a modern marketing organisation were:

  • Lorraine: "Ask people to take ownership."
  • Scott: "Always be yourself, break what you need to achieve now into constituent parts that add up to the whole. Look at what other organisations are doing in their marketing. Take your leadership team with you on the journey."
  • Gemma: "Focus on the business outcome, understanding the direction of the business and have clear accountability and responsibility for what the marketing function needs to deliver. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team and to fill the gaps."
  • Julia: "Ensure the marketing leaders is close to the CEO and FD"

All previous shows of the csuitepodcast series are available on the websiteSoundclouditunes and TuneIn.  There is also a growing community on Facebook and Twitter, where you can get involved in the discussion. 

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