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Growth Intelligence

Time to rebrand the Data & Insights function?

You may or may not be aware of the fact that Coca-Cola replaced their CMO with a ‘Chief Growth Officer’ last year. The intention being to shift the objective of marketing away from building awareness and winning Cannes Lions awards and instead to focus solely on activities that support business growth. You can read more about it in this Marketing Week article

It’s easy to dismiss this change of title as a fad, ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ or similar. However, I think that’s too easily done as Coca Cola’s aim is to ensure that their marketing team is clear on their purpose and the wider business is left in no doubt about what the marketing team is there to achieve. Loud and clear, it is saying “we’re not a cost centre, we’re a revenue driver”.

Could or should Data & Insights teams take note?

Of course, as we know through the various businesses we work with that there are many, many different names within different businesses for the function responsible for data, analytics, research and insights. However, all the function names I have encountered speak only to the work being done, not the value being delivered. Data, analytics, research and insights are outputs, they are not outcomes.

Growth, on the other hand, is an outcome and I have a lot of time for the argument that the responsibility for growth does largely fall into the remit of the marketing team.

However, if the marketing function is responsible for delivering growth, then surely the Data & Insights function are the masterminds behind identifying where that growth can come from? Would that make a case for rebranding whatever your function is currently called as the ‘Growth Intelligence Department’?

Would that not help shift Data & Insights away from being seen as a cost centre? Would it not speak to why every function within the business should seek to partner with your team? – i.e. not just marketing but all the other functions that make decisions based on the data and insights your function provides. After all, are they not making those decisions largely on the basis of delivering growth themselves?

Of course, if your primary outputs are not about supporting growth then the argument about identifying the business outcome you are supporting still makes sense. It would still speak more clearly to the business value your function is delivering and solidify the team’s understanding around their purpose.

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