A Rubik’s Cube structure for the marketing department

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Chris Kuenne wrote a terrific guest editorial in Ad Age a couple of weeks ago: Four Talent Categories You Need to Win in a Connected World.

This is one of the best articles I’ve read yet that focuses on how the structure of the marketing organization needs to — and is finally starting to — change. He makes an apt analogy comparing the old approach to football teams and the new, emerging approach as rugby teams. His point being that new marketing has much less of a “linear” flow than in the past, and marketing teams must have a more agile and collaborative deployment methodology.

A Rubik's Cube structure to the marketing organization

Writes Chris, “It’s a major transition from the hub-of-the-wheel organization in which the brand or product manager is at the center to the Rubik’s Cube structure that requires all functions to be interlocked with one another as they rotate around a core — the brand — in perpetual pursuit of the winning platform.”

The four talent categories required for a successful marketing organization? According to Chris:

  1. Strategic
  2. Analytic
  3. Program design
  4. Technological

To quote his paragraph on technological talent, which asserts the need for marketing technologist leaders in this new structure:


Is your team able to build engaging interactions across platforms in a stable and scalable manner so that the customer experience is consistent across devices? Just as important, do you have a technologist as a member of your inner circle, someone involved in initiatives from the start? We are seeing the emergence of the chief marketing technology officer on both the agency and client side — evidence of a broadening of the marketing team’s composition and outlook.

He also emphasizes the importance of culture in the reconfigured marketing team.

“As CMO, your other challenge is culture,” states Chris. He notes that traditional marketing brand strategists and interactive program architects must now mesh with analytic Mozarts and technology whizzes. “The result: the high school equivalent of the captain of the football team hanging out with the class chess champion and the AV club president. You must encourage collaboration across radically different temperaments, skills and backgrounds.”

Definitely worth reading the complete article.

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