Advertising and marketing Staff Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive


How lengthy has it been since your advertising and marketing staff acquired restructured?

Sporting our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was inside the final two years.

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.

Analysis from Advertising and marketing Week’s 2024 Profession and Wage Survey finds that nearly half of promoting groups restructured within the final 12 months. (And the opposite half most likely did it the earlier yr.)

Why do advertising and marketing groups restructure so typically? Is that this a brand new factor? Is it simply one thing that comes with advertising and marketing? What does all of it imply for now and the longer term?

CMI chief technique advisor Robert Rose presents his take on this video and the abstract beneath.

Advertising and marketing means frequent change

Advertising and marketing Week’s 2024 Profession and Wage Survey finds 46.5% of promoting groups restructured within the final yr — a 5-percentage level improve over 2023 when 41.4% of groups modified their construction.

However that’s markedly lower than the 56.5% of promoting groups that restructured in 2022, which almost definitely mirrored the impression of distant work, the fallout of the pandemic, and different digital advertising and marketing traits.

Perhaps the actual story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of companies restructured their advertising and marketing final yr.” The actual story could also be, “Holy smokes, solely 46% of companies restructured their advertising and marketing.”

Put merely, advertising and marketing groups are actually within the enterprise of fixing steadily.

It raises two questions.

First, why does advertising and marketing expertise this modification? You don’t see this occurring in different elements of the enterprise. Accounting groups hardly ever get restructured (normally provided that one thing dramatic occurs within the group). The identical goes for authorized or operations. Does advertising and marketing change too steadily? Or do different features in enterprise not change sufficient?

Second, it’s possible you’ll ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our advertising and marketing groups in a while. Are we behind? Are we lacking out? What are they organizing into? Or it’s possible you’ll fall on the different finish of the spectrum and ask, “Are we altering too quick? Do corporations that don’t change so typically do higher?

OK, that’s multiple query, however the second query boils all the way down to this: Do you have to restructure your advertising and marketing group?

Reorganizing advertising and marketing

Centralization emerged because the theme popping out of the pandemic. Gartner experiences (registration required) a definite transfer to a totally centralized mannequin for advertising and marketing over the previous few years: “(R)esponsibilities throughout the advertising and marketing group have shifted. Advertising and marketing’s sole duties for advertising and marketing operations, advertising and marketing technique, and marketing-led innovation have elevated.”

In line with a Gartner examine, advertising and marketing assuming sole accountability for advertising and marketing operations, advertising and marketing innovation, model administration, and digital rose by double-digit proportion factors in 2022 in comparison with the earlier yr.

What does all that imply for in the present day in plainer language?

As a result of groups are siloed, it’s more and more harder to create a collaborative atmosphere. And advertising and marketing and content material creation processes are complicated (there are many folks doing extra small elements to inventive, content material, channel administration, and measurement). So it’s loads tougher nowadays to get stuff carried out if you happen to’re not working as one huge, joined-up staff.

Truthfully, it comes all the way down to this query: How do you higher talk and coordinate your content material? That’s innovation in fashionable advertising and marketing — an concept and content material manufacturing unit working in a coordinated, constant, and collaborative approach.

Let me provide you with an instance. All 25 corporations we labored with final yr skilled restructuring fatigue. They weren’t keen inventive, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech groups champing on the bit for extra new roles, duties, and operational adjustments. They had been nonetheless making an attempt to settle into the final restructuring.

What labored was fine-tuning a largely centralized mannequin into a totally centralized operational mannequin. It wasn’t a full restructuring, only a nudge to maintain going.

In most of these conditions, the Gartner knowledge rang true. Advertising and marketing has shifted to get a tighter and nearer set of disparate groups working collectively to collaborate, produce, and measure extra effectively and successfully.

As Gartner stated in true Gartner-speak vogue: “Marginal losses of sole accountability (in favor of shared and collaborative) had been additionally reported throughout capabilities important for digitally oriented progress, together with digital media, digital commerce, and CX.”

Corporations gave up the thought of promoting proudly owning one a part of the shopper expertise, content material kind, or channel. As a substitute, they moved into extra collaborative sharing of the shopper expertise, content material kind, or channel.

Rethinking the advertising and marketing reorg

This evolution might be productive.

Nearly 10 years in the past, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our e book Experiences: The 7th Period of Advertising and marketing. We talked in regards to the concept of constructing to vary:

“Tomorrow’s advertising and marketing and communications groups succeed by studying to adapt — and by deploying methods of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By consistently constructing to vary, the advertising and marketing division builds to succeed.”

We surmised the advertising and marketing staff of the longer term wouldn’t be asking what it was turning into however why it was altering. Advertising and marketing in the present day is on the tipping level of that.

The truth that half of all advertising and marketing groups restructure and alter each two years won’t be a response to shifting markets. It could simply be how it is best to consider advertising and marketingas one thing fluid that you simply construct and alter into no matter it wants to be tomorrow, not one thing it’s essential to tear down and restructure each few years.

The power in that view comes not in understanding it is advisable to change or what you’ll grow to be. The power comes from the power and capability to do no matter advertising and marketing ought to.


Need extra content material advertising and marketing ideas, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute