What is the ideal organization for CRM, Marketing and Data teams?

The organization of a CRM team can be complex to define. Between strategy definition, data model selection, customer segmentation, campaign planning, targeting, sales pressure, email creation, statistical analysis and deliverability monitoring... there are many things to do!

So who does what? How does the CRM team fit in with the data and marketing teams? What are the roles and responsibilities of each? Should there be autonomy or dual control?

This guide aims to help managers understand the division of responsibilities between marketing, CRM and data team members.

Note: The content of this guide is not only a synthesis of Badsender's experience as a sales and marketing agency for its customers, but also a summary of the main points of the guide. consultants in email and CRM strategy. It's also, and above all, the fruit of many interesting discussions with members of our community. (hello Pierre and Natacha!). You can listen to the podcast or the replay of the animated live on this subject with Pierre Génin. Pierre is passionate about topics related to organizations that bring talent together around data and customer benefit.

We have chosen to transcribe our thoughts in the form of questions and answers.

Why do some CRM marketing strategies fail?

In 2022, students from SKEMA Business School (a business and management school) conducted a thesis whose problematic was: "Does new ways of organizing data make marketing activation strategy more fluid?".
To answer this, they conducted a qualitative study and interviewed 10 professionals from marketing and technical departments. Here's what came out:

Reasons why CRM strategies fail:

  • The lack of accessibility to the data by marketers.
  • The lack of confidence in the reliability of the data. Marketers are faced with bad data. There is a lack of agreement on data standardization which leads to poor data quality.
  • A method ofcomplex and obscure data organization.
  • A lack of fluidity in the use of tools.
  • A lack of time dedicated to reflection, analysis and taking a step back (the teams always work in a rush).
  • A complex organization of teams.
  • A lack of communication between the data/technical team and the marketing team.
  • A poor understanding of the issues on both sides.

When we talk about organization and strategy, it's all about people, tools, data and language!

Why does the definition of the data model often seem obscure to the marketing team?

Generally, a data model is created at a given moment by one person. Without necessarily having taken the time to discuss with the other business units the company's vision: where it wants to be in 5 years.

It sounds simplistic but taking the time to exchange around a common vision allows to have a target data model in mind (the one in 5 years). So to create a more or less open model that foresees the probable evolutions.
Example: in 5 years, we plan to open several call centers. We need to plan the tools that will allow us to ingest the flows, the necessary tables, the data types, etc.

Needs constantly evolve over time with the business. And if the vision work is not done, the technical team adds a layer, a layer and a layer again on the existing data model. After a while, you end up with a data model made up of post-it notes stuck all over the place and where you don't understand anything anymore...

Moreover, in the meantime, if the person who initially created the data model has left and nothing has been documented, the history is lost. In short, it's a mess.

What is the (ideal) division of responsibilities between CRM, Marketing and Data teams?

In large companies, there are 3 types of teams that work together: the marketing team, the data/technical team and the CRM team.

Ideally, here are the roles that each of them should have:

The role of the Marketing team

It has knowledge of the brand and the product or service being marketed.

She knows the quantitative and qualitative objectives that have been set by management. She knows how to prioritize them. She manages the planning of the campaigns, she writes the campaign briefings. She has a perfect knowledge of the statistics generated by her campaigns. She also makes quarterly assessments and draws up the roadmap and its optimization needs.

The role of the Data team

It is usually part of the ISD (IT Services Department = technical team).

It creates the data model. She connects the API/webservices between the different data sources and the marketing activation tools. She creates the customized dashboards that are made available to the marketing team. She creates the scores.

The role of the CRM team

This team is the link between the Marketing team and the Data team.

She will work with the Data team in support of the Marketing team. She will translate the marketing needs into technical vocabulary. She will have rather "tools/tech" skills. She will be responsible for the quality of the data and the deliverability of the campaigns. She will check if the data useful for marketing purposes is available in the segmentation and personalization engine of the tools. She will train the marketing teams to use the routing tools.

The advantages and disadvantages of the different organizations between marketing and CRM teams

There are 3 ways to manage campaigns. These three types of management depend on the structure of the company, the means available and the tools chosen.

100% mailings managed by the CRM team

The CRM team executes all the campaigns. The campaign brief is issued by the marketing team. The CRM team is then considered (almost) as an internal service provider. It is mainly composed of campaign managers. They are not decision-makers but executors. The risk: WHO validates the campaign? The CRM team? The marketing team? When the person who executes the campaign is not the one who issues the brief, it creates a mind-boggling number of round-trips with many requests for modification. A waste of time.

Mailing management shared between the marketing and CRM teams

Here, the marketing team orchestrates its campaigns up to a certain level of complexity. When the campaign is too complex (advanced personalization, unusual segmentation, marketing automation, etc.), the CRM team takes over.

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100% mailings managed by the Marketing team

The Marketing team implements its entire emailing strategy (manual campaigns + marketing automation scenarios) in total autonomy. The CRM team is there as a support. The marketing team creates the brief, creates the email, the segmentation and analyzes the campaign.

Today, most routing tools are fairly easy to use. For several years, routers have focused on the UX/UI of their interfaces. This has allowed marketing teams to be 100% autonomous in executing their strategy. In this case, the target organization to reach is most certainly #3.

Micro-control or autonomy for CRM Marketing teams

Ideally, the person who creates the brief, i.e. the person from the marketing team.

Unfortunately, many managers still validate the email creative. It reassures some of them to validate everything, to check that there are no mistakes, that the tone used in the email is the right one, that the graphic charter has been respected to the last color. But it generates a lot of back and forth. It is certainly a way for them to be absolutely certain that a mistake has not been made. This is a sign of a difficulty to trust and to let go.
But it can't work like that. And if a mistake was ever made, is it that bad?

In heads yes, while in reality no. If a mistake has been made, this is an opportunity to show that you are human, to send back an "Oops!" or "Erratum" campaign. Open rates for this type of email are often quite high.

The more you are in micro-control and micro-management, the more you risk losing talent (we will come back to this a little later). There is a balance to be struck between autonomy and control.

It is not easy for a campaign manager to write an email! He is in front of a blank page (or almost) and the only brief he has is: "Here, the spring offer is up to -40% on all our magazines. That's it! Oh yes, and you have to increase the performance because last time it was not pretty. Kisses, kisses". Most of the time the briefs are very, very brief!

However, there are many things to check in an email campaign: have the texts been respected? Are the words and the tone used in line with the brand? Has the graphic charter been respected? Are the links correct? Does the unsubscribe link work?

So if the campaign manager can refer to a specific email editorial charter, a specific email graphic charter, a quality control checklist, then he will make fewer mistakes and be autonomous.

With the acceleration of digital technology, professions that have a soul have been forgotten. The job of designer-writer does not exist in emailing while it still exists for paper. The job of graphic designer and layout artist is tending to disappear in emailing in favor of the job of email builder. Email is a channel of opportunity and we have forgotten the multi-channel consistency.
Documenting charters gives a framework to all this. These are documents that the companion leaders can refer to. Giving freedom in the framework.

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Recruiting CRM Marketing talent

Recruiting and retaining CRM talent is a critical issue.

It's not so easy to find good profiles today. You have to retain talent like you retain customers. This is one of the challenges of any organization. The more the CRM team is integrated in the organization global from the companyThe more employees feel they are contributing to value and are inclined to feed the change. This issue is sometimes forgotten.

However, job offers require CRM and Marketing profiles that are increasingly versatile. A CRM manager today must master the MySQL language, Agile project management.... A campaign manager must master all digital channels, analytics, and be responsible for the database. Let's not mix fields of expertise.

2 possible impacts to this finding:

  1. An increase in outsourcing Companies are looking for specialized profiles from freelancers or agencies. (Whereas the overall skill level of marketing employees is generalist. Marketers and CRM are no longer experts, contrary to the profiles integrated within IT departments (architect, developer, data analyst...)).
  2. Juniorization of profiles and massive use of work-study programs (for campaign manager in particular). These juniors are managed by managers who sometimes delegate operational responsibilities too much. The budgetary tensions linked to the current crisis amplify this phenomenon.

The skills of a CRM Marketing team

  • Product Manager To be comfortable talking with the data/technical/ISD team as well as the marketing team. In return, he/she must know how to popularize the technical side of things in order to transcribe it to the marketing department. He/she must have a good understanding of the needs and challenges of marketing.
  • Project management : know how to implement one or more tools. This skill can be outsourced.
  • Campaign manager To be able to produce basic and complex campaigns, he/she must keep a competitive watch on the tools, best practices and trends. He/she is responsible for the proper use of the tool and liaises with the software publishers (contacting support, understanding what is in the contract, following product developments, maintenance, etc.). He must influence the router's roadmap. He/she must challenge the marketing teams and encourage or feed the test & learn approach (implementation of tests).
  • Controlling deliverability. This expertise is easily outsourced.
  • Data quality To be in charge of the global governance of the data. He/she is the link with the DPO (Data Privacy Officer). He/she transcribes into the tools the respect of the RGPD (data anonymization, deletion of unsubscribers, unsubscribing, preference center, data history, etc.). He/she puts in place quality control and data reliability indicators (format, duplication, usable and useful data).

So 2-3 people max if the marketing team is autonomous in managing the campaigns.

The skills of a Data team

The data team is usually integrated into the IT department. It is also possible to merge the CRM and data teams.

  • Project Officer : liaise with the Product Manager of the CRM team.
  • Data Analyst : create the data model and the customized dashboards.
  • Data Scientist : create the scores, the algorithms, everything that is predictive. This skill can be easily outsourced.

Transmit Data knowledge to the Marketing team via the CRM team

Every month, someone from the CRM team should train the marketing team on the data model to give them visibility into what data is stored and how reliable it is. It shows the marketing team where the data is in their tool and how to leverage it in both segmentation and message personalization.

The marketing team takes advantage of this to bring up the needs. The CRM team takes note and optimizes the roadmap to be sent to the data team and the routing tool. The loop is closed!

RACI for CRM, Data and Marketing teams

A RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) is a matrix of responsibilities.
It indicates the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders within each process and activity.

The RACI can be adapted to the company's structure: add a "Editorial Team" column if this team writes and/or validates the marketers' messages. Or add columns for external service providers if certain tasks are subcontracted (in this case, sharing the RACI with them and having them validate it allows everyone to agree on who is in charge of what and to avoid any misunderstanding).

Example of RACI for the management of a "simple" e-mail campaign with a 100% management mode carried out by the marketing team.

R - Director Task Manager: performs the task and is responsible for it.
A - Approver Approves/Validates the completion of a task.
C - Consultant Can be consulted prior to a decision or action (can assist, provide expertise or advice)
I - Informed must be kept informed of a decision or action.

Definition of the strategy
Define priority and secondary objectivesRII
Define segmentsRCI
Define marketing pressureRCI
Update the campaign calendarRCI
Campaign management
Write the briefRCI
Verify that all data is available in the toolIRA
Create and write the emailRAI
Create the targetingRAI
Validate the proofs: ensure compliance with the brief, the graphic charter and the editorial charterRAI
Control the good diffusion of the campaignIRA
Analysis of the campaign
Fill in the follow-up document at D+5RII
Check deliverability and reputation levelIRA
Analyze the campaign stats at D+5RAI
Decision making based on the analysis of a campaign (next A/B test, decision to relaunch, decision on the target for the next campaign)RAI
Overall analysis of the strategy
Expression of the needs of the dashboardsRAC
Creation of dashboardsACR
Data quality analysisCRA
Analysis of perf - quarterly and drafting of the roadmapRCI
Sharing the reason for beingstrategy, company visionCCC
Editorial CharterIII
Graphic charter emailCCI
Tool trainingARI
Continuing education on the data modelARI