Transformation Horoscope: Designing Your Global Marketing Team

As enterprises transform, marketing transforms. But how do you decide what it might look like? What skills might your team need and what roles might there be?

Start with your posture

It depends, of course, on what you’re trying to achieve, and the big problems you’re trying to solve. A marketing organization that is an acquisition engine will look different than one built for retention. But before even that, you might consider how global marketing might engage with local marketing or the business units. What posture might your team take? In our work with global marketing organizations and transformation teams, I identified four archteypes to consider for organizational design:

Marketing Team Archetypes

Marketing Team Archetypes


1. The Shepherd:  Sets the vision, guides the organization to fast-track adoption by facilitating, socializing and providing resources.

Common activities:

  • Define strategy, guidelines, frameworks, and capabilities
  • Centralize and share best practices across regions
  • Understand current skills and recommend what we need

2. The Oracle: Leads the search for next-generation trends and opportunities, and always look ahead

Common activities:

  • Tracking and sharing what’s next that all marketers should prepare for
  • Identify the handful of things that, if done globally, would matter and would get us noticed in the next 2 years
  • Builds business case for new marketing moves and emerging areas

3. The Builder: Makes and deploys content, campaigns, and other assets using its expertise / skillsets

Common activities:

  • Provide the messages, themes, and concepts
  • Creates a toolkit of assets ready to deploy
  • Develops some globally shareable content for re-use/adaptation by others

4. The Governor: Establishes rules, standards, and guidelines, and enforce these with geographies, functions, and regions

Common activities:

  • Creates and socializes guidelines
  • Sets minimum requirements or parameters to follow
  • Establishes auditing to ensure on-brand marketing
  • Creates a global dashboard for metrics and reporting

Pick your priorities. Eliminate what you don’t want to do.

Assign percentages of importance to each of these four. Once you really distinguish among these, even omitting 1-2 that might be less relevant, things start to fall in place. If you’re looking for a cheat sheet, The Builder and The Governor are great for optimizing current activities, while The Shepherd and Oracle are important for looking further down the road.

Example 1:

Global marketing will set the vision, guide planning and implementation, enforce guidelines, keep an eye on the future — but markets or business units will create virtually all assets and experiences. This would be, roughly, Shepherd 70%, Governor 20%, Oracle 10% , and Builder 0%. Critical team skills would include insights, innovation and facilitation.

Example 2:

Global marketing will set the vision and plan, will create global campaign concepts and guidelines, leaving markets or business units to adapt and create final asset, experiences, plus be responsible for keep an eye on emerging channels and what’s to come. This approach would be roughly Shepherd 50%, Builder 30%, Governor 20% and Oracle 0%. Critical team skills at the global level would include insights, creative, UX and program management.

You can do the same thing at regional, business unit, or local/market level, then convert those into a charter for each so everyone is clear about who will do what. The next steps would be filling in the rest of the capabilities, skills and roles needed and identifying gaps between your vision and today’s reality.