A marketing archetype is the operating model by which your central brand/marketing teams work with your business units or geographic marketing teams.
Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong answer. What’s important is to assess what’s best for your business, and understand the gap between that and where you are today. Go out and speak to leadership, the central, geographic, and business unit marketing teams—and other functions—in order to get a handle on:
● Your business ambitions and how they fit in the evolving marketing conditions
● Current perceptions of the marketing function and the value it’s creating
● Key needs met and unmet by the marketing function
● Key areas of opportunity for the marketing function to help grow your business
This will help you figure out where you are, and where you want to go.
Let’s look at each archetype and see how your business stacks up and where you need to be in the future in order to position your business for growth.
The Independent archetype
In this archetype independence is, unsurprisingly, the operative word. The central marketing function supports the BU and geographic marketing teams by helping when they need it, but mostly lets them do their own thing, checking in on occasion to make sure everything’s running smoothly and brand assets are used in the correct way.
For the most part, the business unit teams run ALL of the marketing and brand building, with HQ there for oversight and assistance.
You should work in the Independent archetype if:
● Your customers need to have established, local relationships with each business unit or geography. Centralizing your marketing wouldn’t make sense.
● Each marketing team needs to customize messages and use different tactics to reach their unique audiences, so common ways of working wouldn’t be a great idea.
● You have a portfolio-style, holding company culture of diverse or disparate brands.
The Distributed archetype
The central team is the enabler in the Distributed archetype. They build out all the tools, processes, and education programs necessary to strengthen Marketing Capabilities throughout the organization, then assist and sign off on key initiatives to make sure they fit the brand. However, building relationships with customers is left in the local or BU teams’ hands.
You should work in the distributed archetype if:
● Your customers need to have established, local relationships with each business unit or geography. Marketing teams tend to use similar tactics and have similar needs. Common ways of working make sense, since there is a lot to gain from leveraging the best way of doing things across your company
● Each business unit has its own special rogues gallery of tough competition. It makes more sense to teach them how to hold their own on the ground rather than command everything from afar.
● In other words, the central team is providing the BU’s with “the global might for the local fight” in their marketing.
The Integrated archetype
In the Integrated archetype, the central team orchestrates and owns a common brand idea while working shoulder-to-shoulder with each division.
Every team has equal ownership, so the culture is more collaborative. The central team controls the master brand, while individual units control what happens in their area.
You should work in the Integrated archetype if:
● Your customers overlap but also have some unique needs in their market
● Individual markets and BUs have overlap in competition as well as smaller unique competitions, so it makes sense to have some common ways of doing things while giving teams the freedom to solve their own problems.
● Innovation and general reaction time to market events needs to be fast, requiring quick adaption and reaction
● Both leveraging scale as well as leveraging skills has a positive ROI
The Centralized archetype
In this archetype, the central marketing team calls the shots. They drive marketing as the key component of the business strategy to build a consistent global presence and fuel growth. All the teams act on behalf of central’s commands, and just execute as needed.
You should work in the Centralized archetype if:
● Your customer needs overlap all over the globe
● You have similar competition across the globe
● Each team has similar needs, so it makes sense to have one team plan the strategy instead of muddying the waters with too many boats
● You have to move fast, and can’t rely on a game of telephone as you pass a marketing initiative across units
What does your marketing archetype mean?
Once you have a vision for your brand and know your operating model archetype, it is important to develop a detailed roadmap for shifting from your current operating model to your aspirational one, a model that better fits your needs and positions your business for growth.
For example, if your organization is shifting from an independent to a distributed archetype, you may need to develop a marketing academy to teach marketers how to develop a marketing plan or deliver an experience strategy. You may feel it is necessary to build a process flow tool or optimize your current asset management system. First, you need to ensure you develop the correct tactics based on the needs of the business, as well as gaps, for your ideal image of your marketing organization. You can do this through engaging the organization in custom research, running work sessions, and using best practices.
Once you identify the tactics that are necessary to propel your business forward, you need to develop a detailed roadmap to ensure you get the right people engaged at the right time and building the right assets.
So now that you know where you are, let’s plan where to go next.
To find out how to build a strong foundation for ongoing growth, download the Marketing Capabilities handbook: