Is it time to build your revenue marketing Center of Excellence?

 Debbie Qaqish, chief strategy officer, The Pedowitz Group, breaks down how to achieve significant business results with a marketing Center of Excellence

Coaching marketing executives is one of my favorite activities. I love helping people and always learn so much in the process. I recently coached a marketing leader at a large financial services firm. After two years operating with a single marketing automation system for one group, his company is now implementing marketing automation to five additional groups. My executive was unclear about his role in this move and how he could add the most value to the company. The current Demand Center (DC) he runs supports this one group and does a lot of the heavy lifting. He asked my advice on what to do and how to approach this new reality. Here is what I told him:

  1. Think bigger
  2. Create a governance group
  3. Build a playbook

Think bigger

Think bigger relates to stepping up as a transformational leader. This particular marketing leader has more experience as a revenue marketer than anyone else in the firm. With the expansion of marketing automation across new groups, someone needs to guide the initiative with a business orientation. I’ve seen this move in many companies and leaving disparate groups to do their own thing often leads to using marketing automation as a very expensive e-mail system. Step up as a leader for this initiative and provide the insight, structure and playbooks to accelerate time to results.  The structure required is a Center of Excellence (CoE) that operates as an internal shared services group.

Create a governance group

Marketing in today’s organizations is a collaborative entity. Nothing happens in a single marketing silo and this is especially true when transforming marketing from a cost center to a profit center. I suggested that this marketing leader build a governance group comprised of the key marketing leaders from each of the groups. The role of the governance group is to create standards that will optimize business results from marketing. The governance group also divides the work load especially in the early days of a roll-out. One group might pilot a new campaign process; one group might pilot a new role in marketing; and one group might pilot a new lead management process.  Many hands make light work.

Build a playbook

A good friend of mine is a CMO for a tech company. He has a proven track record for coming into organizations and getting to revenue results quickly. How does he do it? He builds a playbook so everyone knows all the plays and who will do what. He knows what will happen on the journey. He knows the “gotchas” and the accelerators. I made the same suggestion to the marketing executive I was coaching. Build a playbook for how the group can begin and accelerate your own revenue marketing journey. In that playbook, describe the services the CoE can provide and provide a roadmap for the group.

A Center of Excellence serves many roles, but needs to be effectively structured and run by a competent executive who understand the power of collaboration. This is the most effective model for achieving business results I have seen in the market. I hope my executive takes my advice.