Yes, You Can Think Small

After the tectonic changes have already taken place in Customer Relationship Marketing, we need to assess the best way to build our teams to address this change. As our predecessors have shown, bigger isn’t always best. 

Thomas Edison’s “Muckers” of Menlo Park, the core team at the famous “Invention Factory” was a small group of fewer than 20 innovators, possessing every skill needed to work very fast.

Like Edison, Walt Disney was known to crash together various disciplines into a role his team would define as “Imagineers.” Walt explained Imagineering as “the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how.” 

Disney and Edison both understood that when two divergent ideas converge, they create a new idea. Similarly, digital marketing requires the crashing together of varied expertise for higher levels of system integration. It requires a united force of creative minds, media experts and analytics experts. They all need to talk with one another and, in real time, integrate ad-tracking pixels and meta data from corporate CRM and accounting systems. Many brand managers have been limited by fragmented departments, fractured agency relationships and political blockades within an organization.

Imagineering is “the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how.” 

Walt Disney

Because of the common practice of separating their traditional media department from their digital media department, 66% of marketers are not using data from digital advertising to inform traditional media including TV, radio and print. But it will no longer be possible to separate digital from traditional media as these two disciplines become co-dependent forces. Integration will become crucial to making it all work together as budgets shift toward digital over time. True integration requires leadership and accountability from the highest levels of the organization.

Hopefully, you have a full-service advertising agency. If not, the first step toward integration is to put digital media and traditional media under the management of one media director. Second, if your media team is separate from your creative team, you have a lot more work to do. Integrating separate firms isn’t easy when they are accustomed to working independently. For that reason, most digital agencies are terrible at making great creative content, and most creative agencies are terrible at digital analytics, so pick your poison. 

You will need to prioritize your goals to develop a united team, but keep it lean and agile for change.  

– Excerpt from: Surfing The Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age