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Why Does Enterprise Tech Marketing Keep Failing

Stages in Evolving a Marketing Center of Excellence

Just as "one does not simply walk into Mordor," one does not simply walk into an Enterprise Marketing Center of Excellence (MCOE).

I've learned from friends in the business analysis community some useful transitional stages to evolve a COE. These involve identifying Key Areas of Practice, and then the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with influence within the marketing organization. Once these areas and influencers are identified, they can be invited to charter Communities of Practice.

For example, here's a high-level view of a Marketing Automation Community of Practice across Enterprise Marketing business units, including one newly-acquired organization:

Community of Practice

Using the CMMI as guidance (opens a PDF), the Community of Practice focuses on three areas: People, Process, and Technology. Given the importance of customer/prospect data and data analytics to marketing organizations, Data may be considered a useful fourth category. CMMI subsumes it under Technology (although reporting on its importance); I maintain that data quality and KPI analysis is important enough for marketers that it should a separate area.

Each Community of Practice is chartered not only to assess and identify best practices and waste, but also to build a culture of cross-silo positive relationships, mutual support, and knowledge exchange.

The importance of the positive cultural charter can't be overstated - without it being "safe" to exchange ideas and support, the enterprise will never be able to tap the full value of its people and their knowledge.

Each Community of Practice (for example, Product Marketing, Marcom, Demand Generation, Branding) can be made as granular as makes sense for the organization. For example, Marcom may have Communities focused on AR, PR, and Digital Asset Management; Demand Gen may have Communities focused on Outbound, Inbound, Operational Level Agreements, and Marketing Automation.

But each Community will evolve in line with the CMMI maturity map. Below is a sample of such a map for the stages in a Marketing COE.

Stages in a Marketing Center of Excellence

(To see a mind-blowing array of other uses of the CMMI Maturity Model, check these images out via Google.)

More Stories By Lori Witzel

Lori Witzel has provided marketing leadership for software and technology services organizations. Her new approaches to strategy and execution, with a focus on demand generation and operational excellence across all marketing disciplines has created positive response, results and success.

By applying lessons learned from the business analysis and software engineering communities, marketing operational excellence can be transformed, yielding a faster Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).