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The East African : July 21st 2014
The EastAfrican 46 BUSINESS JULY 19-25,2014 MANAG E R their companies earn customer loyalty. But today’s turbulent environment Successful fi≥ms make, implement c≥itical decisions M arketers have always had to build brands, create demand, promote sales and help means they must play critical new roles: They must be strategists, allocating scarce resources to support company priorities and increasing return on investment. They must be technologists, track- ing and capitalising on the most useful of the sophisticated technologies that are flooding their field. And they must be scientists, because the future of their business may not look much like the past: Experiments that were once sideshows to preplanned campaigns are increasingly central to a marketer’s job. We’ve seen many individual mar- keters try valiantly to take on these challenges. But most of them are stymied by structural constraints and capability limitations. The gap between marketers’ aspirations and what their organisations can accomplish creates intense pressure to reshape how marketing is done. Some leading companies have de- veloped an innovative approach that focuses on the seams between marketing and the other functions it interacts with — the C-suite, information technology, sales, finance and so on. It is at these seams that communication most often breaks down and processes stall. To complicate matters, the bound- aries themselves are blurring, and some tasks are moving from one function to another. The cutting-edge companies create a different kind of marketing organisation — one that is less siloed, more interactive and more collaborative, and that increases marketing’s value and effectiveness. Leadership teams confronting or- ganisational barriers often try to redraw the boxes and lines of their org charts. But that risks simply creating new silos. A more fruitful approach is to identify the critical decisions involved in successfully marketing a company’s products or services and focus on improving the effectiveness of those decisions. In essence, the leaders of these companies inject more discipline into decision-making processes — clarifying roles for mar- odology, criteria to guide the allocation and clear guidance on what data were needed. Meetings often ended without explicit conclusions or agreement on next steps. A decision reset entails redesign- ing a decision process to improve its effectiveness. Here the team kicked off the redesign by creating a working group of senior executives involved in the allocation decision, including representatives from marketing, finance and relevant business units. The marketing representative, who reported directly to the chief marketing officer, led the group. In three workshops this group ex- amined every aspect of the decision. Defining the what involved securing agreement on the scope of the allocation process and the guiding principles that would inform marketing allocations. Specifying the who meant identify- ing and agreeing to specific decision roles for each participant. Determining the how and the COMMENTARY ADITYA JOSHI AND EDUARDO GIMÉNEZ “When marketing works closely with other functions to execute key decisions, it can avoid organisational bottlenecks.” keting and other relevant functions and establishing decision criteria. The decision perspective Their approach requires a new mindset for all the parties concerned and a shared commitment to rethinking how decisions are made and work is done. Typically, three categories of marketing-related decisions cross organisational seams: 1. Strategy and planning decisions involve aligning marketing goals with business and customer strategies and aligning the priorities of marketing and sales. 2. By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent THE FIGHT AGAINST maternal deaths in sub-Sahara Africa is set for a boost following the announcement of a new mobile phone text messaging service to educate people on better health care and nutrition. The initiative, dubbed pan-African mHealth Initiative (PAMI) is supported by GSMA, a London based mobile operator and is in line with United Nation’s Every Women Every Child Gobal Strategy and the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact. This is expected to ensure a health delivery model for women and children that is more Execution decisions, the marketer’s traditional purview, are 3. more challenging than they used to be. A proliferation of marketing vehicles and digital technologies has vastly increased the complexity of creating and delivering messages and offers in an environment where ever-faster execution and relentless budget pressure are the norm. Operations and infrastructure decisions cover all the new capa- bilities that are increasingly important to marketing’s success. More generally, marketers must determine which activities to keep inhouse, which to automate and which to outsource. None of these decisions can be made by marketing alone, because they lie at the seams between functions. Some require collaboration with the CEO or a general manager. Others require close interaction with sales, product management, pricing, analytics groups, IT or other functions on marketing’s boundaries. That’s when what we call “mining the seams” comes into play: When mar- keting works closely with other functions to execute key decisions, it can avoid organisational bottlenecks and get things done far more quickly and .effectively than in the past. Mining the seams How should marketing revamp decision processes at the boundaries between functions? Consider a global financial services company that was grappling with how to allocate marketing dollars among its various product lines. The company redesigned the decision process using a three-step approach: It conducted a decision X-ray, performed a decision reset and implemented the new process. A decision X-ray diagnoses how the decision is currently made. In this case, a team began by gathering input from the key participants in the budget-allocation decision, using interviews and surveys. The team mapped the decision process in detail, then conducted a workshop with the participants to discuss the collected input. A number of issues stood out. The decision process lacked basic disciplines, including a consistent meth- when meant agreeing on the allocation methodology, what data participants would need and the timing of the decision. In the final step, the company pi- loted the process during the next quarterly budget reforecast, evaluating the process steps and decision roles and assessing the allocation outcomes. Not everything worked out as planned, but team members were able to modify both the procedures and the roles. Then they rolled out the redesigned process as part of the next annual budgeting cycle. Today, this company’s marketing allocations are much more explicitly aligned with its business strategy. This three-step approach can be applied to a broad array of marketing decisions that lie at the seams. Every marketing organisation will probably find that some seams matter more than others, and no company can address all the seams at once. But organisations that identify the most important decisions and learn how to make them more effectively will be on their way to better and more powerful marketing. Aditya Joshi and Eduardo Giménez are both partners at Bain & Company. Harvard Business Review GSMA to launch a phone se≥vice in fight against mate≥nal mo≥tality patient-centred, value-based and accessible in even remote environments. The rates of child and maternal deaths annually are estimated at 6.6 million and 260,000 respectively. The programme, launched at the third Partners’ Forum of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in South Africa recently, has been designed to capture health content, patient registration, data collection and critical diagnostics to increase access to health care for vulnerable women and children across Africa, while providing the delivery mechanism for mHealth services that are commercially sustainable and scalable. The phase one of the programme will be jointly launched by GSMA partners with services in seven countries — Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia — in September, extending to Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania in 2015. Collectively, the partnership will reduce bar- riers to handset ownership and connectivity for consumers and health workers by committing to offer discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa; provide access to the Samsung ecosystem (music, video and other value-added services) to be used as an incentive to drive health usage, pre-embed a Smart Health application that provides a range of professional applications, information and services on 80 million Samsung handsets among many other features. Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer at GSMA said there is a total annual, addressable market of 15.5 million pregnant women and mothers with children under five years of age. Current lab based static diagnostics tools are unable to meet growing patients’ needs as countries step up their HIV treatment programmes in conjunction with the decentralisation of CD4 testing. According to GSMA, the success of the project is intertwined with the millenium development goals which aims to save the lives of over 16 million women.
July 14th 2014
July 28th 2014