You may be familiar with this type of model that describes the capabilities of an organisations test:  

(This example has been cut down to just consider the areas that are required for customer communications.)

Current methodology for using this sort of model would have you colour code this from red to green to indicate how well you can perform this capability. Then create another model colour coded for where you want to get to. Between the two you then create a change programme as your roadmap.

However, there are number of challenges in using this not least of which is that there is no description of the interfaces and responsibilities between the areas – the inputs and outputs.

Unfortunately, what has happened to date is technical people have implemented technology which they may then end up running when they are not specialists in the subject matter. To help explain this let’s use a decision engine as an example. If the decision engine is your oven, then marketers are your chef’s, data & insights provide the ingredients and your publishing channels are the dishes. But companies end up with the kitchen fitters cooking the meal and the priorities of the project become technical deliveries (plates), not what you are achieving for the business with the tool (the meal)! Ok maybe that takes the analogy too far, but hopefully you get the point.

When implementing new technologies that provide new capabilities such as decision management, always-on marketing, customer journey mapping or next-step-content/dynamic content it becomes a significant challenge for organisations to work out how to best implement them and who should do what and how. A new model is required that can combine the more traditional capability model with a sense of how functions can work together and what the governance model is.

The diagram below shows the main areas concerned with engaging with customers and what the main interface point is between each. This gives a better indication of the “customer – supplier” relationships between the different areas and who is responsible for what. This model puts the marketers back in charge of content, and by this we mean content in its broadest definition – anything that is created, written, drawn or filmed. Content is marketing fuel, then everything else is a delivery mechanism.