Family Feud Is No Longer in Prime Time. Success on the Web Calls for Better

family feudCIOs and CMOs partnering like never before.  Customer Service, Communications, Marketing, Product Development/Engineering working together.  We all need the expertise of Business Intelligence and better data applications and understanding.

In recent research of marketers and communicators in large companies we see alignment around customer centricity as the key issue of 2013 — in both the b2b and b2c space. When these business leaders talk about a customer centric approach it is about “presenting a more human face to consumers, for communicating in an integrated – and consistent – manner, and for sharing insights about consumers better internally.”

Now sit down. When asked about the importance of collaboration to achieve the above 22% of communications executives said it was their top priority. Only 5% of marketers said the same.  In a related question, 65% of communications executives said that it is ‘very important’ to work better with marketing in 2013, and yet only 48% of their peers in marketing believe the same.

Organizational silos and functional differences exist.  That’s a fact.   Now, let’s all roll up our sleeves and work together for what’s best for your business – sometimes you get to lead and other times you need to play a supporting role. No single department or function knows it all. However, we all lead by drawing on each other’s strengths.

Same could be said for the marketing and communications agency business.  There has been a series of recent articles about Public Relations, Advertising and related marketing communications disciplines — which discipline amongst the various families of marketing communications owns what turf and will do the work in the future. I was a tad shocked by this quote in the last link:

“PR has just as good an opportunity as any other industry to be in a strong position to own this stuff and play a leading role helping brands,” said Rick Liebling, creative culturalist at Y&R. “It comes down to: Do you have chops or don’t you?”

Related links:

It’s Fight Night: PR Firms Take on Ad Agencies Over Native Advertising:

The PR World’s Play for Marketing Content Clout:

Native Advertising: Will it save or slay the needy media:

None of us own the “turf”.  But, each of us brings strengths to the table and together we do better work than individually.  And by the way, we also need others at the table too…

In a report I will share in a few days, 5 of the largest companies talk about their content journey in social media and how they are handling the journey — changes to their own organization, changes to the marketing function, changes to their interactions with agencies. But to fundamentally get it right, these big companies are working to get everyone to the table and working together.  It has everything to do with building better customer connectivity and value in order to be better and a more social businesses – including better agency businesses.

Customers in social media don’t care about various business functions.  In fact their commentary and perspectives often go beyond simply marketing, to touch virtually any part of the company.  I came at social from a history in politics, lobbying, issue management, corporate communications and reputation management.  Look at my last two posts; I think I learned a lot from marketers, and have more to learn all the time.  And my experience in social says it’s best when it becomes part of functions across a company, or across agency lines — that’s what makes for truly social businesses.

Todd Defren has been preaching for some time the benefits of an integrated approach to paid, owned and earned media. (here is a better link for Todd)

Seriously, this has nothing to do with chops.

Isn’t it really all about better collaboration and breaking through functional silos together to deliver more value for customers and more value for business?

6 thoughts on “Family Feud Is No Longer in Prime Time. Success on the Web Calls for Better

  1. Excellent perspective, as always, Richard. I kept looking for some thoughts on the center of excellence model. I think COEs work if they set and stick to a charter that does much of what you speak about here- bringing together that layer of management just below the C suite as a sort of “steering committee” to sponsor and help a COE break down those silos that exist. We all want to “own our piece of the pie,” and it’s hard sometimes to think outside the box and take a backseat, but having C suite collaboration can work wonders toward helping business unit leaders, working with a COE as an internal consulting group, know when to support and when to lead. Great piece, sir!

    1. Yes Bill, I think the COE model has a strong role to play in this regard. However, really it also goes beyond the COE, to organizations/functions and related agencies not seeing this as something to do with “chops” and more about focusing on customers, value and business and the fact we all bring something to the party, to get the job done.

      I appreciate your stopping by and the comment, Bill

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve worked in social starting on the PR side, moved to the digital side of a mass digital agency and am now at a pure play digital.

    The goals for social have always been the same no matter which discipline I’ve parked my butt at. It really has nothing to do with your discipline or who the lead agency is. Those constructs are often driven by how companies want their agencies to work together and/or agency ego in drawing borders around who does what.

    The best stuff is collaborative and needs expertise in the full marketing ecosystem: Insights, Content, Conversation, Amplification, Optimization and so on. It doesn’t really matter which agency or which department leads it (if any does) as long as all these things are pulling in the same direction.

    1. David, thanks for adding the perspective you bring from all sides of the fence. Appreciated. And, as all the data piles up and links everywhere expand, there is no time for whose got chops, its time to get the work done :-). Appreciate your dropping by and commenting

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