February 02, 2010

Rebuilding: The Strategist

You are a CEO. And you believe you have covered all of your bases. Your have an Organizer who maintains accurate, precise, and organized data that yields high-quality automated reports. You have a Miner who can tell you anything you want about how customers are behaving. You have a Targeter to makes your business a ton of profit by linking the right ads with the right customers. You have a Futurist who pushes your company in new directions, and is willing to fail most of the time in order to hit the next big thing.

It is time to rebuild your marketing department around a Strategist.

The Strategist operates on a whole different level than a Futurist.

The Futurist will push a company into Social Media or Mobile Marketing, simply because somebody has to push the company in a new direction.

The Strategist understands the need to push the company into the future. More important, The Strategist knows when to cut the cord on experiments. Most important, The Strategist knows how to integrate the skills of the Organizer, Miner. Targeter, and Futurist in a way that benefits all employees within a company.

For example, The Strategist knows when Social Media efforts need to be moved out of experimentation mode within the marketing department, and actively convinces folks in the contact center to take ownership of something that marketing initiated. The Strategist knows when Mobile Marketing needs to be something that is embraced by the Merchandising organization, and actively sells the benefits of the technology to teams that may not perceive there to be inherent benefit.

The Strategist pairs different marketing individuals with different Executives. If the Merchandising leader needs dashboard reporting, then The Strategist pairs the Merchandising leader with a Marketing Manager responsible for Organizing information. If the Information Technology department is pushing for data mining tools, then The Strategist links Marketing and IT together, in order to benefit the company. The Strategist listens to the Merchandising leader, and when clearance activities need to be pursued, The Strategist links a Targeter to the Merchandising leader. The Strategist listens to the Executive team, and directs a Futurist to explore new marketing channels that are likely to be embraced by the Executive team.

An Organizer, Miner, or Targeter focuses on what is "known", and is averse to risk. A Futurist focuses on what is "unknown", and is willing to accept risk in order to learn more about customer behavior. A Strategist possesses "intuition" ... a learned response to many years of trial and error as an Organizer, Miner, Targeter, or Futurist. A Strategist has the experience to understand how people respond to Organizers, Miners, Targeters, and Futurists, putting those individuals in places where they can be successful.

A CEO hires a Strategist only when Organizer, Miner, Targeter, and Futurist roles have been clearly defined. A Strategist is unlikely to be successful without an Organizer skilled at providing a quality data infrastructure. A Strategist is unlikely to be successful without a Miner skilled at telling the company how customers are behaving. A Strategist is unlikely to be successful without a Targeter who takes profitable action on customer insights. A Strategist is unlikely to be successful without a Futurist who pushes the company in new and interesting directions that are likely to fail.

In other words, a CEO rebuilds a marketing department around a Strategist only after a series of successes generated by building a marketing department around Organizers, Miners, Targeters, and Futurists.