I had the pleasure of participating in two CMO group discussions on marketing organizational structures in the past week. The Atlanta DMA focused on a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled "Rethinking Marketing For Tomorrow." The article suggests that value-based customer and brand management requires a reinvention of the marketing organizational structure. It's the common debate around product and brand-centric organizations versus customer-centric.
In addition, I facilitated the CMO group at Forrester's Marketing Forum today on "Organizing For Social Media." In February and March, I conducted 10 interviews with senior marketers including Best Buy, IBM, Louis Vuitton, and others about their current organizational design for social media. The CMO group discussed the challenges and best practices in organizing for social media.
Like many movements before it, IT is rapidly evolving to an industrial model. A process or profession becomes industrialized when it matures from an art form to a widespread, repeatable function with predictable result and accelerated by technology to achieve far higher levels of productivity. Results must be deterministic (trustworthy) and execution must be fast and nimble, two related but different qualities. Customer satisfaction need not be addressed directly because reliability and speed result in lower costs and higher satisfaction.
IT should learn from agriculture and manufacturing, which have perfected industrialization. In agriculture, productivity is orders of magnitude better. Genetic engineering made crops resistant to pests and environmental extremes such as droughts while simultaneously improving consistency. The industrialized evolution of farming means we can feed an expanding population with fewer farmers. It has benefits in nearly every facet of agricultural production.
Manufacturing process improvements like the assembly line and just-in-time manufacturing combined with automation and statistical quality control to ensure that we can make products faster and more consistently, at a lower cost. Most of the products we use could not exist without an industrialized model.