如何做出跨界行銷決策

How to Make Cross-Boundary Marketing Decisions
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《哈佛商業評論》資深編輯賈迪納.摩斯(Gardiner Morse)解釋,行銷部門若是指派明確的角色來參與共同決策,就能與其他職能部門有效協同合作,相關內容請參考阿迪提亞.喬希(Aditya Joshi)和愛德華多.希門尼斯(Eduardo Gimenez)合著的文章〈讓決策驅動行銷〉。

我是《哈佛商業評論》資深編輯賈迪納.摩斯。我協助規畫我們雜誌以行銷為主題的焦點企畫專題,並與貝恩公司的喬希和希門尼斯合作撰寫其中一篇文章〈讓決策驅動行銷〉(Spotlight On Marketing)。這篇文章的核心是部門交界處的決策架構,也就是說,行銷部門必須與其他部門共享決策權,如資訊科技、銷售、財務或組織任何其他部門。例如,行銷和資訊科技部門必須共同決定,公司是否應購買行銷自動化平台,如果是,該購買哪個平台;而行銷和銷售部門,必須對於應優先考量哪些顧客區隔和產品線,保持一致看法。

這聽起來簡單,但你也知道,其實並不簡單。在部門交界處,最常發生溝通中斷、流程停滯。最終該由資訊科技團隊選擇行銷自動化軟體,還是該由行銷部門決定?同樣地,你要如何解決以下難題:行銷和銷售部門對於該把焦點放在哪裡,各有不同優先順序?跨職能的共同決策,是最難解決的挑戰之一,因為你建立的協作關係當中,每個團隊都必須承擔部分責任,但各方對於如何尋求機會或解決問題,會有不同的意見。而且往往不清楚該由誰來做最後決定。

例如,某家汽車製造商的歐洲事業部,行銷人員和產品開發人員都自認有最終決定權,可決定新車款中應包含哪些功能。你可以預料到,這可能導致各種爭論和延誤。要做好共同決策,需要比平常投入更多的前置工作。公司必須設計清楚的決策流程,並指派人擔任具體的角色。貝恩公司開發了一個工具,名為RAPID,可協助分派角色。

它把決策流程劃分為五個角色,一開始就指派人選,包括提供意見、建議、同意、決定、執行等角色。舉一個簡單的例子,行銷和資訊科技部門共同決定要購買哪個行銷自動化軟體平台。獲派擔任建議角色的人,負責收集贊成和反對各個平台功能的理由、定價、銷售商的過往績效等。他們會推薦購買哪個平台,並說明理由。

這些建議人員必須具備分析技能和常識,因為好的決定取決於他們提供的資料和分析。他們也應具備組織的智慧,因為他們的部分職責是要爭取支持。建議人員會諮詢那些擔任提供意見角色的人。後者的意見不具約束力,但他們的知識可以指引建議內容。只有掌握關鍵資訊或專業知識的人,才能擔任提供意見的角色。建議人員必須認真看待他們的意見,特別是因為提供意見的人,通常會在流程結束後協助執行決策。

如果沒有妥善挑選提供意見團隊的人,會導致決策緩慢或品質低下。這也表示,即使做出好的決策,也很有可能在執行過程中出錯。不同於提供意見的人不具有約束力,扮演同意角色的人所採取的觀點,必須在制定建議過程中被納入考量。雖然在流程最後,決策者有時可能會推翻這個觀點,但建議人員應該先設法納入同意角色的意見,然後才向決策者提出建議。

因此,指派這個角色務必要慎重,例如交由法律或法規遵循等部門擔任,他們原本就負責管理企業風險和法規要求。扮演決定角色的人被稱為「決策者」。他有權解決在決策過程中的任何僵局,並促使組織採取行動。擁有決策權的人,只能有一個人,他應對這個決定負最終責任。最後,擔任執行角色的人負責執行決策。

好。現在你已知道如何建立共同決策流程,以及指派角色。讓我們用一個更複雜的例子,來說明這如何運作。假設有家公司希望把行銷溝通決策權,分派給組織中的多個團隊。首先,領導人組成一支團隊,成員是各相關部門的代表,包括產品管理、中央行銷、法規、行銷創意、銷售和顧客服務,你可以看到這顯示在矩陣底部。然後它列出必須做的決定,呈現在矩陣的左邊。

首先要處理的決策是,整體訊息傳遞策略是什麼?在這個情況下,產品管理部門有兩個角色。這個部門的中階主管擔任建議的角色。他向行銷創意部門的人收集意見,後者可能知道哪些訊息的選項,適用於不同的顧客區隔。然後,這項建議會提交給高階主管和產品管理部門人員,由他們決定最終的訊息傳遞策略。最後,提供意見的創意部門人員,要負責執行這項策略。他們扮演執行的角色。

第二個決定,是關於利害關係人的行銷傳播內容是什麼,要強調哪些功能和好處。在這方面,產品管理部門代表獲得決策權,因為在這家公司的情況中,它負責管理每一條產品線的業務和顧客策略。中央行銷部門代表擔任建議的角色,因為它可運用相關的廣泛經驗,包括哪些產品特性最能引發顧客共鳴。法規部門代表獲得同意的角色,因為它必須確保產品聲明的內容是正確的,而且符合法規指導方針。

與此同時,行銷創意和銷售部門代表,都獲派擔任提供意見的角色,因為他們本身的職責是開發溝通素材,以及最終要銷售產品。第三行的決定,是關於材料的外觀和感受。產品管理和法規部門代表也擔任提供意見的角色,以確保前兩個有關最終製作素材的決定,具有連續性。中央行銷部門代表擁有決策權,因為它原本就負責管理品牌定位和視覺識別,而行銷創意部門代表兼具建議和執行的角色,因為它們具備創意和生產的專業知識。

部門交界處的決定,是最難妥善做出的決定。改進的關鍵,是在一開始就額外努力,界定必須做出的決策、制定清楚的決策標準,清楚說明各個參與人員的角色。你若是知道誰擁有決策權,就能做出更好的決定。若要了解更多內容,請參考《哈佛商業評論》的文章〈讓決策驅動行銷〉,作者是喬希和希門尼斯。

(劉純佑譯)


Hi, I'm Gardiner Morse, senior editor at Harvard Business Review. I helped create the “Spotlight On Marketing” in the July-August 2014 issue, and worked with BAIN authors Aditya Joshi and Eduardo Gimenez on their article, “Decision-Driven Marketing.” At the heart of the article is a framework for decision making at the seams -- that is, decisions that require marketing to share the decision-making rights with another group, like IT, or sales, or finance, or any other part of the organization. Marketing and IT for example, must jointly decide whether the company should buy a marketing automation platform -- and if so, which one -- while marketing and sales need to align on which customer segments and product lines to prioritize.

It sounds simple, but as you know, it's not. It's at the seams that communication most often breaks down and processes stall. Does the IT team ultimately choose the marketing automation software, or is this marketing's call? Likewise, how do you resolve a situation where marketing and sales have different priorities about where to focus? Shared decisions across functions are some of the hardest to get right, because you set up a collaboration in which each group has an interest in being in charge, but there are going to be differing opinions on how to pursue an opportunity or solve a problem. And yet, it's often not clear who gets to make the final decision.

In one automaker's European division for example, both marketers and product developers thought they had the final say on which features to include in a new model. You can see how that could lead to all sorts of haggling and delays. Getting share decisions right requires much more upfront work than is usually put in. Companies must design clear decision processes and assign specific roles. A tool developed by BAIN called RAPID can help with role assignment.

It divides the decision-making process across five roles which are assigned up front – input, recommend, agree, decide, and perform. Let's consider a simple case -- marketing and IT jointly deciding which marketing automation software platform to buy. Those assigned to the recommend role gather input about the pros and cons of each platform's functionality, pricing, the vendor's track record, and so on. And they make a recommendation about which platform to buy and why.

These recommenders must have analytical skills and common sense, because a good decision depends on their data and analysis. They also need organizational smarts because part of the job is to build buy in. Those given the input role are consulted by the recommenders. And though their input isn't binding, their knowledge guides the recommendation. Only people with key information or expertise should have this input role. And recommenders need to take their input seriously, especially because the people providing input often help execute the decision at the end of the process.

A badly chosen input team mean slow or poor-quality decision making. And it means that even a good decision is more likely to falter during execution. Unlike input, which isn't binding, the perspective of someone in the agree role must be considered in the development of the recommendation. While a decision maker at the end of the process might sometimes override this perspective, recommenders should work to accommodate the opinion of someone in the agree role before they make a recommendation to the decision maker.

Consequently, it's important to assign this role carefully, say to functions like legal or compliance that manage business risks and regulatory requirements. The person in the decide role is said to have “the D.” He or she has the authority to resolve any impasse in the decision-making process and to commit the organization to action. The person with the D -- and there can be only one -- is ultimately accountable for the decision. Finally, those in the perform role execute the decision.

Ok. Now you know how to set up shared decision making in and assign roles. Let's see how this works with a more complicated example. Let's say, a company wants to assign marketing communication decision rights across multiple groups in the organization. First, leadership assembles a team with representatives from each of the relevant functions -- product management, central marketing, regulatory, marketing creative, and sales and customer service -- which you can see along the bottom of the matrix. Then it lists the decisions that need to be made. Those appear on the left side of the matrix.

The first decision being addressed is, what is the overall messaging strategy? In this case, product management has two roles. A mid-level executive in this function gets the recommend role. He or she collects input from people in marketing's creative department who likely to know what options will work with different customer segments. This recommendation then goes before senior executive and product management, who decides on the final messaging strategy. Finally, the people in the creative department who provided input implement the strategy. They have the perform role.

The second decision is about what claims stakeholders want to make in their marketing communications and what features and benefits to emphasize. Here, product management gets the D, because in this company's case, it is a steward of the business and customer strategy for each product line. Central marketing has the recommend role because it can draw on its broad experience around what product attributes resonate best with customers. Regulatory has the agree role, since this function must ensure that product claims are accurate and in compliance with regulatory guidelines.

Meanwhile, representatives from both marketing creative and sales have input roles given their jobs in developing communications materials and ultimately selling the product. In the third row is a decision about the look and feel of the materials. Product management and regulatory are assigned input roles to assure continuity between the previous two decisions in the final materials that are produced. Central marketing has the D, given its role as a steward of the brand's positioning and visual identity, while marketing creative has both recommend and perform roles, given their creative and production expertise.

Decisions at the seams are the hardest ones to get right. The key to improving is to put in extra work up front defining the decisions that need to be made, setting clear decision criteria, and clarifying the roles of those involved. When you know who has the D, you'll make better decisions. For more, read “Decision-Driven Marketing” by Aditya Joshi and Eduardo Gimenez in the July-August 2014 issue of HBR.



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