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The Demands Innovation Places On the Modern Marketing Team

Posted over 8 years ago by Rebecca Thomas
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Last month we looked at the impact digital and innovation has had on talent and role profiles, and in this follow-up article we’re looking at its impact on teams.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift in the makeup of marketing teams.

If we rewind to 2009, we had the global meltdown; teams tightened, budgets decreased, expectations increased and more had to be done, with less. This created the first shift in the makeup of teams, which resulted in leaner, more commercially focused teams; a trend that has continued ever since.

At the same time, the world of digital innovation and tech has been accelerating rapidly and it stands to reason that if it’s had a significant impact on individual role profiles, it’s arguably had more impact on teams.

When we’re talking to Marketing Directors about how their teams have evolved, what’s immediately apparent is the influx of more technical, analytical and data-oriented roles.

So the challenge the modern-day marketing department faces is how to combine the creative, right brain aspects of marketing, with the technical, left brain side of data, analytics and technology.

These are two areas that don’t always sit well together and integrating marketers and techies can be a challenge.

A recent interview with Charles Wells, (CMO at JustGiving) summarised this shift nicely:

“Our team has marketers, creatives, data scientists, engineers, developers and user experience experts, who work together in small project teams to try and create growth. This is a radical change from the way traditional marketing departments work.”

The pressure isn’t all on marketers though; just as marketers need to develop a better understanding of technology and what’s feasible, so the more technical staff also need to become more creative.

Google calls these people “Smart Creatives”… the ones that combine technical knowledge, with business expertise and creativity”.

In our opinion, this is one of the things that’s fuelled a rise in senior marketers getting a seat at the top table in boardrooms.

And it’s what’s given rise to roles such as ‘Creative Technologist’.

Digital has created an “always on” world, which means marketing teams must now be faster, more nimble and more agile to capitalise on opportunities and threats.

When we look at what employers are looking for in marketers, it’s that same “always on” mindset. That doesn’t mean working 24-7, but having that curiosity and awareness to spot opportunities or neutralise threats in real time.

There’s no question that digital innovation will continue to have a significant impact on individuals and teams as we move into 2016, as will the importance of not seeing ‘digital’ as a silo or separate discipline.