Why build processes?
Functional orientation vs process orientation
Functional orientation (classic – vertical) is based on building a marketing department on the basis of job titles.
- For example: marketing specialist, marketing manager and others. The name for this position in most cases was created when defining the job advertisement. It informs a given team member about the place in the organizational structure.
- Pros: Easily understood by everyone. Most marketing departments work according to these principles. This approach is easier to apply because it does not require defining and measuring results.
- Disadvantages: Not financially effective. Because there are no measures of whether or not specific actions are effective or how much. A typical example is hiring a copywriter. Who writes four articles a month. The only question is why is he doing this? What does this mean for the company? There are people who find themselves perfectly in such a structure where the quality of their work does not translate into marketing results. They do ineffective work and feel good about it – the employer may feel bad. Only the adoption of indicators for measuring the results of processes – such as for a copywriter: “the amount of downloaded organic traffic”, which made a certain number of users fill out the contact form. Only this approach can be useful. Thanks to it, you can realistically evaluate its contribution to the implementation of the process: customer acquisition. Of course, when using this approach, one should properly look at the time horizon of the measurement.
Process orientation (horizontal) is based on the definition and measurement of processes carried out within the organization.
- Example: For people operating within the marketing department, responsibilities related to the management of individual processes are assigned. If we assume that the primary marketing process is acquiring new customers. Then, positions named in accordance with the organizational structure are not created, but responsibility for individual sub-processes: the owner of the outreach process, the owner of the content marketing process, etc. It is only here that rights and responsibility are granted to individuals in terms of the achieved measures – most often it is profit.
- Advantages: process orientation, if well implemented, generates much better financial results than the functional approach. It also allows you to make better decisions regarding the choice of the communication channel with customers (significantly more effective calculation of return on investment in marketing), choice of communication strategy and in many other cases.
- Cons: It takes time and money to invest in a process approach.
Stages of building marketing processes in the marketing department
Respectively: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control / Navigate
The purpose of this stage is to define marketing processes and sub-processes and to identify process owners, people responsible for effective process management).
Activity #1 Workshop with key employees
During this stage, the process approach is presented. This framework can be used as informational material, sent to the participants before the meeting.
- It is very important to explain:
- What is the purpose of introducing the process approach to marketing (increasing the effectiveness of activities – especially in terms of reducing customer acquisition costs – CPA – cost per acquisition).
- Reducing resistance to change. Increasing the transparency of activities and evaluation of implemented processes may raise concerns about the position taken. It is good to address these emotions and explain the exact course and purpose of the change.
- Sample task during the workshop:
- Based on the materials sent and explaining what the process approach is. The task for participants may be to try to define processes and indicators and to assign process owners.
DEFINITION: The process in organization and management is most often defined as a set of interrelated activities, the implementation of which is necessary to obtain a specific result (most often consisting in meeting the needs of an internal or external customer).
Source: mfiles.pl – Management Encyclopedia, 20/04/2020
During the implementation of this task, apart from processes, marketing projects will appear. It is also worth identifying and writing them down. They are an inseparable element of work in the marketing department.
- Process – action that has no definite beginning and end. It is carried out on a permanent basis and can be measured using: KPI – Key Performance Indicators – Key performance indicators. Examples of KPIs – Conversion from the website, Profit, Customer acquisition cost, quantity and value of sales.
- Project – is an activity with a defined start and end. In most cases, it also has a specific budget. An example of a project is: preparation of a brandbook, development of a visual information system, etc. At a specified price and within a specified period.
The “Defining” stage can be considered complete if:
- All marketing processes and sub-processes are defined
- Measures will be assigned to each of them,
- And people responsible for achieving these measures (process owners) will be appointed.
It is a good idea to prepare a process map. Graphical presentation of measures, processes and their owners as a summary of the described stage of work.
Additionally: If the organization has previously implemented a process approach and team members know their responsibility for achieving individual results, it may turn out to be worthwhile to conduct the described workshops if:
We want to improve the functioning of processes at present because the responsibilities are blurred.
Especially in situations where marketing works with more than one department, or companies within the same organization and team roles often overlap. The general principle here is: Along with responsibility, powers must be assigned. The process owner cannot be accountable in areas where he or she does not have decision-making powers.
We want to implement a cockpit to manage the organization. “You can’t manage something if you can’t measure something” – if we want to respond quickly to market needs, conduct lightning-fast market experiments, or simply increase profits. It is very important to monitor the answer to the question: Which activities bring the best results? Which activities should you invest more money in, and where should you stop working? The metaphor here can be: the cockpit of an airplane or a car – without it, it is difficult to win in the race or on the market.
Measuring the results of a process makes sense if it guarantees two things:
Autonomy – process owners responsible for achieving results need to have autonomy in the implementation of their activities. In short: no one beyond the dimension can bother them. Especially in marketing, where the implementation of changes in processes must be quick. Reporting on progress must be automatic. None of the team members, in today’s digital age, can invest their time in preparing tables and reports.
Transparency – all indicators must be visible and updated in real time for everyone, both for directors and the management board, as well as for those responsible and participating in the process. They should be available immediately. Therefore, the preparation of the discussed “cockpit” should be prepared with great precision. In an appropriate and dedicated way for every organization.
Action # 2 Creating a dashboard – aggregating all data
The most common methodology is: starting from the ideal model. Based on the collected requirements, we try to develop what the cockpit should look like. Which indicators should be on it and determine where.
It is also possible to create additional dashboards, more detailed for individual process owners.
Listing some of the solutions that can help in creating a dashboard:
- CRMs (mainly for companies selling services):
- Google Doc, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads,
- Data aggregators:
- Google Data Studio – data aggregator – creating “dashboards” for ongoing monitoring of customer behavior.
Analyze, Improve, Control / Navigate
Defined processes, prepared KPIs and data dashboards will not perform optimally if they are not performed regular meetings. During which knowledge will be exchanged.
Action #3 Regular meetings (eg every 2 weeks).
Usually, process owners are invited to these meetings to present “their indicators”, and discuss them quantitatively and qualitatively. They share their conclusions and present their recommendations – they share their knowledge and try to inspire others to take action.
The flow of knowledge takes place during these meetings in the following areas:
- Calibration – Contentparticipants share information which, in their opinion, worked best in promoting marketing content. Which messages resonate best with your audience. In a word, what to write about the company to be able to attract the audience. An example of this is sending a completely new message to potential customers and looking for an answer to the question which message made the market more attractive.
- Digital calibration – searching for answers and best practices to increase sales by improving the landing page.
- Calibration of the business model – I mean here, in particular, the exchange of experiences in the field of a unique sales proposal that is communicated to a particularly defined customer segment.
- LTV calibration – if we undertake the assessment of the profitability of individual marketing processes, it is very important to compare the investment in advertising and the results achieved in the customer’s life cycle – LTV (Lifetime value).
LTV answers the question: how much has the company earned on a particular customer or segment of customers. Not only with the first purchase, but throughout the customer’s lifecycle.