The most effective and efficient approach to the development of go-to-market strategies and tactics, and the translation of these initiatives through the retailer to the shopper, requires a vertically integrated and highly collaborative cross functional planning process. This means breaking down silos and transcending boundaries between marketing, sales and other functions and the creation of a seamless planning process between marketing, sales and the retailer to the “touchpoint” with the shopper…the store.
Vertically Integrated Cross-Functional Alignment and Collaboration
Internal Components: Marketing, Sales and Retail Customer Planning
The following provides an overview of those key internal components that must be in place to support vertically integrated cross functional alignment and collaboration.
- An iterative process focused on cross functional alignment of annual go-to-market plans and financial objectives.
- Accessible consumer and shopper insights knowledge flow across functions and down through the organization
- An integrated collaborative planning process that places the appropriate emphasis on brand, category, shopper and the shopping experience.
- Planning lead times that are consistent across functions and aligned with market requirements.
External Components: Collaborative Retail Customer Business Planning
The following provides an overview of those key external components that must be in place to support vertically integrated cross functional alignment and collaboration.
What We Do
- A 2-3 year brand and category planning horizon
- Highly productive strategic dialogue with retail customers.
- The alignment of business objectives, strategies, key strategic initiatives and capabilities in a solutions-oriented environment, with a focus on the shopping experience.
- Planning with a shopper insight’s into action focus.
- he ability to rise above brand biases through a shopper-centric alignment of business strategies.
- Transparency in the sharing of data and consumer/shopper insights.
Key Factors to Consider
The effectiveness of cross functional alignment and collaboration depends on a number of key factors to consider when determining how to align and optimize cross-functional alignment and the collaborative process.
Metrics: Examine what gets measured and determine how that contributes or hinders collaboration.
Rewards: Are the right behaviors and outcomes being incented, or are people being pitted against the common good for individual or departmental acclaim?
Skills: Do people know what behaviors and skills to employ (team-building, communication, problem-solving, needs assessment, project management, etc.)?
Culture: What behaviors are valued and modeled by senior executives? What gets people “noticed?” Who can communicate with whom without jeopardy?
Organization Structure: Can individuals/groups work together logistically? Are they co-located? Does the reporting structure get in the way of their ability to work together? Is the decision making and decision input process clearly defined?