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How a leading technology company consolidated its marketing function to improve strategic effectiveness



An iconic technology pioneer has built a loyal customer base that spans businesses and households around the globe through a solid reputation for innovative products and an entrepreneurial spirit. However, in recent years, the company’s brand positioning has slipped and its reputation has faltered.

To drive business and turnaround perceptions, the company has centralized the marketing function to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of its marketing. Like many large organizations, marketing has changed dramatically in recent years as emerging technologies — including social media, mobile and analytics — have transformed how companies target, attract and engage customers. While marketing activities have evolved, the organizational structure of the company’s decentralized marketing function has remained stagnant, resulting in fragmentation in the marketplace and limited returns on marketing investments.

Company leaders turned to Deloitte to help transform its marketing function into a centralized, cohesive marketing organization that is structured to drive strategy, focus and quality across the enterprise.

The Challenge

The company had outgrown its decentralized marketing structure. Over the years, the marketing function had ballooned as each business unit established its own marketing team. With more than 1,500 marketing budgets spread across the enterprise, managing overall marketing initiatives and expenditures was difficult, to say the least. Plus, with marketing employees distributed across various businesses, there was no central record or accurate visibility of employees who supported the marketing function, resulting in redundancies and a high fixed cost structure. The company wanted to centralize its marketing organization to improve leadership’s visibility into marketing expenditures, control costs, and improve overall quality.

How We Helped

Effective organizational transformations require buy-in across the whole organization, beginning at the top and filtering down to everyone who could potentially be affected. The Deloitte team worked with client leadership to build the case for people, budget and process changes that would create a more cohesive and effective marketing organization. Deloitte also supported leadership in effectively communicating the need for change and the value it could provide to the organization.

Strategic reorganization. The team began with a clean slate by establishing new groups within the marketing function — centers of excellence in branding, sponsorships, media, research and events — which are dedicated to helping the organization execute the strategic vision. Top marketing talent from across the enterprise was identified and brought together to fill specific leadership positions within these centers. The company also expanded their marketing shared service center to improve execution consistency and cost efficiency.

Organizational alignment. The team worked with management to define the boundaries of the centralized marketing function. Piecing together fragmented data sources, thousands of employees were aligned to newly defined roles to streamline handoffs and interactions between business groups and horizontal functions. In collaboration with finance and HR, the people, budgets and workflows were transformed to enable the new organizational structure.

Spending transparency.
A governance council to oversee marketing initiatives was established to provide leadership with greater insight and control over marketing spending across specific categories such as research, sponsorships, events and media. Deloitte helped management squeeze greater results from marketing spend by recommending opportunities for near-term savings. Deloitte also developed action plans for evolving underlying business processes and decisions to improve cost-effectiveness.


A centralized marketing organization structure was created and more than 7,000 marketing employees were reclassified, improving visibility and accountability within the marketing function. The coordination of marketing priorities has led to creation of an integrated marketing plan across the business groups and clear focus behind fewer activities.

Marketing investments were prioritized based on how effectively they supported the company’s overall strategy. Through this value lens, savings opportunities were unveiled that reduced marketing spending by approximately 10 percent. Just as important, improved governance and spending transparency has laid the foundation for more focused future initiatives and improved marketing ROI, which supports higher quality, increased cost effectiveness and improved alignment across the organization for years to come.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of Deloitte practitioners. Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, financial, investment, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte, its affiliates and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

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