Think Big.
Start at the Top.

Marketing Operating Model

CMOs who recognize the need to harness Big Marketing start at the top, creating a marketing operating model that defines the scope of the marketing organization.


The marketing operating model, based on a firm-level business model and customer experience design, is the first step toward helping a big, complex organization get its big, cool marketing ideas out in the world—in a way that accommodates the uniqueness of the marketing discipline. This component of the C+D’s Adaptive Marketing Design Methodology is a critical to creating marketing that wows customers, scares the competition and fills your company’s coffers.

Business Model

Contrary to common practice, the first order of business when embarking on a marketing operations improvement initiative is not implementing a technology solution, defining process or hiring more people. It’s defining the marketing management strategy, answering the big questions like:

  • What is marketing’s role in the firm?
  • Who is the voice of the customer?
  • How does marketing interact with adjacent functions?
  • What are our tasks?
  • What is in-sourced, what is out-sourced?
  • Who owns various capabilities?
  • Where do these functions reside?

The answers to these questions form the basis of the marketing operations model, and the approach is two-pronged:

  1. Develop an integrated view of marketing functions with a common definition of customers, partners and suppliers, and a hierarchy of business capabilities. All tasks, interactions, roles and relationships, internal and external, are ordered and aligned.
  2. Put this ordered view into agreed-upon action by providing a solution that fosters collaboration, accommodates and manages global complexities, and increases the reliability of marketing output.

Only with an adaptive, dynamic marketing operating model can informed decisions be made to improve marketing performance — and to thrive in today’s Big Marketing environment. More than ever before, this blueprint for the future is necessary to effectively manage the increasing complexity of marketing: Status quo won’t cut it and siloed efforts and point solutions aren’t the way.

It takes a strategic effort ranging from a square-one initiative to minor tweaking (depending on your current state) to equip you to handle your 12 or more channels (and counting), deliver more impressions, act faster, add meaningful personalization to the customer engagement, and accurately track results.

A successful marketing operating model fosters the flexible, creative and collaborative essence of the discipline as well as the tight, transparent and management measures Big Marketing demands. With this foundation in place, the table is set to design end-to-end process and enabling technology for perpetual adaptability.

Let Coffee + Dunn help you create an effective marketing operation model for your organization. Contact us for more information or to learn more about our consulting services.