Monday, June 09, 2008

Marketers Number One Problem

toysoldiers2, originally uploaded by docman.

Sorry I havent been posting for a while. I have been travelling a lot and hadnt had a chance to. A recent trip to France brought up some interesting thoughts though (thats why I love travelling). But a collegue sent me this interesting article over at the brandchannel about the number one problem of marketing people. Silo'd decision making.

A comment that the editor of the Times made at an IPA event I went to on speed strategy was that in order to be fast you need a flat and mobile decision making structure. He discussed how the recent BA Terminal 5 diseaster could have been fixed and limited if Virgin had launched the terminal. Because they would be able to move quickly to service the people and change things to fix it. He commented that just to get some free sandwiches and drinks to the people. The staff at the coldface wouldve had to get the decision all the way up the line to the main board. Hence the reason it took so long and was a debacle.

This is glorified in one of my favourite books Blink by Malcolm Gladwell where Gladwell explains a defense force training exercise where they bring back an old general to run a force against a computer system. He had a smaller army, no intelligence and he still wins. Why ?. He set the scene with his key people at the beginning. Then empowered them to make decisions in the field... not come back and ask. This is the general decision making of major organisations and no doubt the struggle of any marketing director

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