Marketing Transformation – Lean Marketing equals Strong Marketing

What is marketing transformation?

Marketing, like it or not, is a head office or administrative function. Like most jobs available today, marketing roles are susceptible to transformation, automation or outsourcing. If this sounds like the preserve of large corporations, you would be wrong. Companies of all sizes have opportunities to transform their marketing and transform their ROI. Read on to find out more.

Why do I need to transform? And what is the impact of digital transformation and marketing?

To answer the first question, most companies do not have a choice. Whether it be a move from offline marketing techniques to online, direct mail campaigns to e-mail, networks to social media groups or simply that the businesses have grown rapidly, marketing will go through a transformation of sorts.

For modern marketers, change is a fact of life and possibly more so for marketers than some other professionals as technological change sweeps across the profession and digital skills become more and more important owing to the digital transformation of marketing itself.

Staying agile within this environment requires marketing managers and business owners to develop a marketing strategy and marketing plan that are fluid and flexible yet researched, right on trend and robust.

Think Beyond is a marketing management consultancy operating from Wilmslow and Alderley Edge in Cheshire. We service clients across the North West and beyond. We specialise in marketing strategy to help businesses increase sales and marketing ROI and we even help you put that strategy into action. To speak to a Chartered Marketer at Think Beyond, call 01625 682110 for a no obligation, confidential discussion.

What types of transformation in marketing do I need to know about?

Broadly speaking, there are 8 main types of marketing transformation and they are as follows:

1. Rationalise websites and social channels

If a business has operated for a long time, it may have built up a number of websites, microsites, landing pages, domains and social channels. All of these carry cost and an administrative burden that may be reduced by consolidating or switching off redundant services. Even a website that you are not using may be incurring hosting charges.

2. Rationalise brands, businesses and companies

FMCG and Retail in particular can consist of many brands, business divisions or even legal entities. Logic may have dictated creation of new brands to target different segments or to differentiate from competitors. New ventures and product lines with little overlap to existing products may have been set up as new companies with new logos, imagery and brand guidelines. It may be that you have marketing agencies charging a flat fee per brand or business or different agencies are contracted with different companies in your group. It may be time to consolidate.

3. Rationalise marketing agencies

We all know that there is a marketing agency for everything. With the rise and rise of digital marketing, you may face a bewildering array of providers to deal with. Host website? Check. Build and manage website? Check. Graphic design? Check. Social channels? Check. The list goes on and seems endless. Imagine having multiple group companies and more than one agency supplying each type of service…

4. Rationalise brand building expenditure

Brand building can be an expensive business and a long term one at that. CEOs and CFOs may view expenditure as expendable due to the inability of measuring marketing ROI. Well-established brands may be able to increase effectiveness by switching from television advertising to YouTube, Instagram or Facebook videos for example. An eCommerce business sinking thousands into Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising may save money by investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and personalising the customer journey for greater marketing ROI.

Direct mail campaigns can give way to e-mail campaigns or increasing social media followers. New and agile companies may skip traditional marketing methods entirely and go entirely digital, deploying Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social channel posts and online content to build brand awareness and followers at low cost.

Zero-based budgeting (ZBB) may force marketing to justify their budgets or lose investment to other worthy projects across the organisation. Market and customer research and leveraging neuroscience in marketing so that neuromarketing can boost your advertising ROI.

5. Rationalise technologies

Marketing is a highly technical field with software required to perform all manner of tasks, possibly more than most head office functions. There are also a large number of portals, subscriptions and services that may be needed. Acrobat, Dreamweaver, SurveyMonkey, WordPress, Eloqua, Salesforce, Marketo, Google Drive, Dropbox, SEMRush, Optimizely, Hubspot, Tableau, MailChimp, Google Ads, CIM, IDM, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Shutterstock, Getty Images etc. There may be opportunities to consolidate or rationalise.

6. Increase marketing automation

For many, gone are the days where more marketing meant more manual effort, more printing and more people. There are, however, increasing demands on marketing in certain scenarios. For example, if a brand seeks to increase social engagement, publish more content or nurture more leads, would you expect to hire more staff?

Not necessarily, with software automation technologies available that can be programmed to post online, e-mail and tailor content to draw people in to become inquiries to prospects and eventually, customers. In the B2B world, proper management of the Sales Funnel with CRM can increase sales without increasing spend and lead scoring coupled with lead nurturing can focus effort on the most important leads.

Beyond the scaling of ‘volume’ activities, there exists artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning to further reduce and automate simple tasks. This frees up marketing to focus on higher value, results-driven strategies and allows more time to be spent influencing a customer-centric marketing strategy with personalised journeys.

7. Increase shared services

For many head office or administrative functions, the possibility of outsourcing is very real. Sometimes, this can be a business leveraging wage arbitrage by moving roles to a lower-cost jurisdiction. Often, a business may seek to place new or volume work with a specialist agency that has the scale to lower costs e.g. a large telemarketing agency or digital marketing developer. It is not unusual for B2B organisations to establish demand centres offshore that manage high volumes of requests for marketing materials, marketing campaigns or landing pages that can be processed at a lower cost per hour than recruiting more marketing executives.

8. Renegotiate marketing services

If anyone has spent considerable time with finance or procurement professionals, renegotiating contracts or inviting companies to tender every time a contract expires (e.g. annually) is standard fayre. A long-serving supplier may have failed to make internal efficiencies and deploy automations of their own, meaning costs are higher than new entrants or more digitally-savvy competitors. A supplier may have increased costs or is being paid a flat rate for some services that you are no longer using, meaning a renegotiation armed with that information or an invitation to tender on renewal allows an opportunity to right-size the service and cost.

How can I get help to transform my marketing?

Think Beyond are a marketing management consultancy offering a range of services from marketing plans to Marketing Director as a Service (MDaaS) through to marketing health checks and marketing agency management. We believe that marketing is a science, not an art and we recognise the importance of marketing transformation to ensure a lean and effective marketing function, which is a great start to ensuring marketing and finance are BFFs.

A Chartered Marketer or Marketing Director on your board can increase revenue by an average of 8% as well as help you deliver marketing transformation through efficiencies and marketing automation.

Contact the Think Beyond marketers today

If you would like to chat to a member of the Think Beyond team, you can reach us on 01625 682110, e-mail us at or fill-in our simple contact form and we will get back to you.

You can view testimonials from our happy customers here.

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