April 22, 2014, was not just a regular Earth Day. It was also the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair, one of the most amazing wonders of the world for its time. The 1964 World’s Fair, along with the famous Isaac Asimov, set people’s imagination on fire with a glimpse of the future of technology and a series of predictions of what our life would be like in 2014. And as we reflect back to what the fair and Isaac prophesized about life 50 years into the future (or exactly where we are today in 2014), it’s uncanny how much of what was showcased and predicted are now a part of our everyday life. From satellite phones to multimedia communication, interactive 3D TV, and driverless cars, our world has definitely changed. But sadly, the infrastructure that supported it all, the fairgrounds themselves complete with the iconic 140-foot-tall unisphere, has remained stuck in the past, a relic of that historic point in 1964. And for marketers, this tale provides an important lesson to learn.

While customer buying behavior and expectations have dramatically changed in the post-digital world, marketing organization structure remains stuck in the distant past, glued to marketing channel or product silo approaches. Much like the historic fairgrounds, the hierarchical and channel-obsessed marketing organizational structures are leftover from an old era; time has moved on, and marketing organizations can no longer afford to be a structural relic. Rather than continuing to move boxes around a tired organization chart, it’s time for CMOs to find a new approach to their organization design.

And, that’s where my new report Reboot Your Organization For Modern Marketing (subscription required) can help. My new report introduces a marketing operating system (MOS) organization model as a framework to help reorient marketing from a hierarchical to a fluid structure that will better win, serve, and retain customers. Now is the time for you to reboot your marketing organization because:

  • Customers demand consistency. In our digitally connected world, empowered consumers expect to move seamlessly between marketing channels, devices, and experiences. And your organization must make sure these expectations are met with an agile and fluid experience.
  • Marketing efficiency requires coordinated efforts. Silos and channel-based structures inhibit efficient and flexible interactions with customers. Marketing organization structures must prioritize customer relationships over marketing channel performance. A coordinated and agile organizational design will help enhance marketing effectiveness and customer engagement.
  • Analytics offer a competitive edge. The connected world offers the potential for rich data analytics on every customer action. To keep pace with peers, you must be able to act on deep customer insight using marketing technology in a consistent way across the organization

Many of the CMOs and marketing leaders I talk with are looking for better ways to organize their team, to enhance customer engagement and improve marketing efficiency. Moving boxes around existing marketing structures just won’t get you there any longer. It’s time to rethink your approach and build a customer-obsessed MOS to empower your organization to prosper in the age of the customer.

What are you doing to evolve your organization model? I’d love to hear your comments and perspectives about this topic. Please reach out to me at via email, on my blog, or on my Twitter account with your thoughts. Or to learn more, you can schedule an inquiry with me.