Throw Out Your Old Tired MarCom Structure


How communications can drive sentiment and behavior change

I have been a publisher, editor, journalist, PR professional, media relations director, digital communicator, advertising copywriter, media buyer, membership marketer, teacher, entrepreneur and strategic communications adviser to the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness.  Everywhere I’ve been, one thing bothered me. Should “marketing” sit at the head of the table?  Marketing (with it’s myriad definitions) is often split off from corporate communications (who usually works directly with the CEO).  Something’s wrong.

From my vantage point, it’s time to reorganize marketing and elevate communications. And rather than organizing the divisions by tactics (like advertising, PR or communications), it should be by result: influencing sentiment and behavior.  And best of all, we can measure them!  We need to break down silos between owned, earned and paid media and let objectives drive.  Should advertising copywriters be banned from producing content?  Should PR agencies be forbidden to conceive of and place “native” advertising? I think not.

Communications should drive the new structure and be in charge of “brand equity” and revenue (with strategy, brand experience, audience insights, positioning and messaging underneath).  These disciplines would then support “sentiment” which would be charged with attraction, engagement and validation.  “Behavior” would be responsible for conversion and retention – no matter what tactics they used.

The holy grail would be to understand the role sentiment and behavior change efforts played in generating revenue and brand equity.

What do you think?

People Worth Knowing

Special thanks to Brandi Boatner, Strategic Communications Professional, IBM Global Business Services, and Alex Lirtsman, Partner/Digital Strategist, Ready Set Rocket for their inspired presentations at Columbia U. Thought Leadership seminar.

Brandi presented IBM’s recent Global CMO Study, while Alex presented slides on measuring ROI after you’ve attracted audiences to your site with your Thought Leadership efforts.  Slides from the presentation will be posted on Columbia U.’s site later this week and we will provide a link.

Brandi Boatner, Strategic Communications Professional, IBM
Alex Lirtsman, Partner/Digital Strategist, Ready Set Rocket