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3 Prescriptives for transforming the B2B marketing operating model

A leading authority in marketing organizational design and transformation offers strategies and best practices for reimagining how B2B marketing teams operate.

5 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

Team strategy meeting

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Given the current economic conditions and the onslaught of new technology enabling new go-to-market strategies and driving the need for new skills, the marketing resource paradox is omnipresent. Marketing leaders face slashed budgets and headcount reductions while the pressure for accelerating revenue increases.

It’s time for a reboot and reimagining of the marketing operating model and focusing on the benefits it can bring. Here are three prescriptives for transforming the way you do marketing. 

Design a marketing operating model with a focus on desired outcomes. 

Buying behaviors have changed dramatically over the past few years, with buyers expecting much more than simply being engaged and earning the label of “happy customer.” Today’s buyers want friction removed even before the purchase experience and want more personalization than ever — a shift from “mass to micro.” They want what they want, when and where they want it. 

But, quite often, to deliver on what customers want, marketing leaders looking to optimize the performance of their department and teams are too focused internally on the who (“Do I have the right teams and the right people?”) and not on the overall what (“What are we actually trying to achieve?”). 

Yes, you want a team skilled in engaging prospects who convert and become loyal, repeat customers. But that starts with rethinking your entire strategy: Marketing leaders should be focused on whether their marketing operating model is designed to efficiently and effectively engage audiences in a seamless, scalable and repeatable way.  

Create a framework that helps you make informed decisions, focusing on what success looks like to your organization, how you can quantify that, and what investment is required to get there. Then, you can train your team to deliver these outcomes. Designing a marketing operating model focused on desired outcomes keeps your eyes set on measurable factors that will bring you closer to your goals.

Consider alternative resourcing models. 

Let’s face it: marketing leaders cannot stretch their marketing investments far enough to do what they believe needs to be done to support growth. Gartner’s most recent annual CMO Spend and Strategy Survey reports that 71% of CMOs feel their enterprise lacks sufficient budget or resources to deliver its marketing strategy successfully. And, lately, CFOs are coming knocking more often — “tin cupping” for savings across the organization, if you will. It can induce a knee-jerk reaction among marketing leaders where it feels like the only solution is to cut programs and people drastically.

But what if the solution isn’t to nix everything, full stop? What if there’s another way to think about marketing — a more cost-effective way? 

As the marketing resource paradox becomes evermore acute, it’s time to consider alternative resourcing models. Granted, there’s a stigma around outsourcing marketing that many marketing leaders have yet to unlearn, but there’s plenty of research to sway you: The global outsourcing market was valued at $280.64 billion in 2023, and it’s projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% until 2030. More than half of executives already outsource business functions (and 76% outsource IT functions), and even the majority of small businesses plan to maintain or increase their spending on outsourced business services.

Employing alternative resourcing models not only frees up your team to focus on their core competencies; it also offers remarkable savings (music to the ears of that CFO with the tin cup). For example, by outsourcing a function such as marketing operations to a business like 2X, you can reduce your labor costs by about 50%

Be an innovation enabler. 

To remain competitive, marketers need to create an environment of experimentation and innovation in their organization, and it has to be more than just lip service — you need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

Take AI, for example, marketing leaders are hungry for their teams to integrate AI into their go-to-market strategies, but with resources already working at maximum capacity, most employees simply don’t have the luxury of taking time for learning. 

Here’s another example of where rethinking your marketing resourcing model can facilitate growth: By outsourcing marketing processes that are burdening your marketing teams and drawing their focus from higher-level work — think: tech stack management, routine operational tasks and even AI — to certified, trained experts, you can complete up to 50% of your work at 70% less cost, while enabling your marketing team to focus on core competencies, innovation and big-picture thinking. You’ll bring in standardized processes, best practices, and shared knowledge while, at the same time, freeing up your team to dream bigger than the looming to-do list.

Tightening budgets and resources aren’t doomsayers for marketing leaders; they’re an opportunity for transformation. By designing a marketing operating model with a focus on desired outcomes, unlearning the stigmas around outsourced marketing and creating space for innovation and experimentation, marketers can reimagine their current operating models for better organizational savings, growth and outcomes.


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