In 2009, the Europe, Middle East and African marketing function of software company Symantec was merely supportive of the sales function, implementing activities on its behalf.
The firm realised that this needed to change and that it had to become more marketing-focused.
In order to do so, it had to reinvent the marketing function as a more powerful and credible voice.
This philosophy was enshrined in the Road to Revenue, an approach that was rolled out to 92 staff in 22 countries. The aim of the initiative was to equip marketers to plan more confidently by becoming data-driven rather than opinion-led.
A marketing dashboard was introduced showing data that was the basis of marketing decision-making. This enabled marketers to more accurately predict return on investment and conversion rates.
As well as the data, marketing staff were offered personalised training on how to use the information to make decisions and stand by them. Marketers' confidence increased in dealings with sales because they were able to demonstrate that their tactics were delivering gains.
At the start of the programme, targets were set on the contribution of marketing to sales. These have been comfortably exceeded and have allowed Symantec to be more ambitious about future targets.
Overall, the role of marketing in the firm has been transformed, to the extent that operations in Asia Pacific and Japan are looking to adopt the approach.
Judges were unanimous in their praise and agreed it was the clear winner. 'This programme changed the way that marketing is viewed throughout the organisation. It shifted the organisation to be customer-led,' they said.
Paper goods giant Kimberly-Clark was experiencing a fragmented approach to marketing with different strategies and tools creating duplication, overlap and confusion.
It set up a series of marketing universities to create a 'KC way of marketing'. Its aim was 'to sell more stuff, to more people, for more money, more often'.
Starting in 2009, the two-and-a-half day events have delivered 800 days of training in Europe at Kimberly-Clark's very own Global Marketing University, through a combination of seminars, case studies, exercises, and new tools and processes.
As well as garnering great feedback, there were concrete business results. The Kleenex and Andrex brands were reinvigorated with new category strategies delivering higher market share. Innovation has also lifted sales of DryNites, Little Swimmers and Pull Ups.
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