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Effective marketing leaders of today are no longer aligning their department activities with business objectives, they're charged with developing and driving the strategies to lead business growth. The line between marketing and strategy have disappeared in the consumer-driven "Age of Awareness" that denotes today. 

Marketing strategists figured out that beating competition requires intimate and exact knowledge of customers' needs and wants. This insight would ensure their strategies – the capabilities they invested in – would actually meet an intended customer need better than competitors. In effect, the customer-centric strategy emerged with purpose and thus, the need for a highly skilled customer-centric marketing team. 

Content In a Consumer-Centric Strategy 

There are many dynamics and principles of a customer-centric strategy but one key area of focus, especially when building your team, is content. Content builds trusts and credibility with audiences by providing value in a relevant and engaging way. In fact, 52% of buyers viewed 8+ pieces of content from the winning vendor, and 61% chose the vendor who delivered a better content experience. 

A customer-centric model reflects these buying trends and in effect, organizations are building their marketing teams with a much greater emphasis on content. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers plan on creating more content in the next fiscal year.

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This shift to a more content and consumer focused marketing model means the roles within the marketing team must change to keep up with the increased demand for timely and relevant content, delivered across an ever expanding array of technologies, channels and media formats.

The Modern Marketing Team

What does all this mean for organizing an effective marketing team? Marketing is strategic and holistic, and data is the glue bringing everything – and everyone – together. If everyone is using the same data to make customer-centric decisions, it makes sense to have everyone collaborating toward the same goals.

Marketing strategies are becoming more interconnected as the technology and tactics supporting them becomes more advanced.

This means the days of separating marketing departments by function, or “silos,” are long gone. Each function of the marketing team – PR, SEO, design, social media, email, off-line marketing, etc. – must work together to share data and present a personalized and cohesive customer experience across all channels. 

Rather, the effective marketing team might have three areas of expertise: production, marketing, and strategy.  Jay Acunzo from Sorry for Marketing suggests organizing these three areas in a pod structure, an organizational structure in which these areas work together to produce one asset. Each asset would have its own pod.

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Here's a snapshot of what customer-centric marketing teams may look like:

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This post was originally published in spring of 2017 and has been updated to reflect most recent data. 

Seeking creative talent to build your customer-centric marketing team? 

WunderLand Group is the destination for creative, digital and marketing talent that you need to build your customer-centric marketing team. We work with the top producers, marketers and strategists across the country. Contact us today to connect with the industry's top talent. 

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