My recent projects: Blending up a storm

For some businesses, an in-house marketing and design team just makes more sense than relying on agencies for every small request. However, sometimes your in-house team may not have the capacity, skills, or creativity needed to complete your projects.

At Something Big, we support in-house teams by working collaboratively with them, filling in the gaps and supporting their development. We call it Blended Teams™.  We’re here when you need us, and you can turn us off when you don’t.

Our Blended Teams™ services have been going down such a storm with our customers I wanted to share just a few examples of the different ways I’ve been working with our customers recently.

#1 MARKETING REVIEW

The business challenge

A national not-for-profit organisation reorganised its’ senior leadership structure, leading to the Chief Operating Officer taking accountability for a wider remit of support services including marketing. Already having accountability for IT, facilities and procurement, the COO was fully aware that he could not be a specialist in each of these areas. However not being an expert doesn’t mean not driving excellence, innovation and a solid strategy, and the COO was keen to ensure that the marketing function continued to evolve and improve under his leadership. He commissioned Something Big to undergo a full review of the marketing function.

How we helped

As a strategic consultant and experienced leader, I underwent an end-to-end review of output, resources, processes and skills.

Strategy alignment / perception: Starting with the businesses five-year vision and strategy and aligning this to the needs of the marketing function, I helped to define the purpose of the marketing function and prioritise their output. In line with this, I interviewed a variety of internal stakeholders from the CEO to key department heads in order to gauge the perception of the marketing function around the business.

Team skills / capabilities / resourcing levels: Spending time with each individual within the marketing team, reviewing their role descriptions and gathering feedback from stakeholders, I was able to make recommendations on team structure, development plans and training needs. Reviewing the level of required activity and the efficiency of working practices, I could advise the COO on appropriate resourcing levels. 

Processes and productivity: I attended a key weekly communications meeting and reviewed some of the processes being used to manage the team’s workload and was able to advise and make recommendations for improvement, including streamlining communication, improving version control, approvals and proof reading. I shared all my findings and recommendations in a detailed report which was presented and positively received by the Executive Board and enabled the COO to create an actionable plan to move his department forward.

Would you like to press RESET on your marketing? If a department review might help you drive improved performance, talk to me about how we could carry out a similar approach.

#2 SUPPORTING A SENSITIVE PROJECT

The business challenge

Following a recent acquisition, the task of rationalising and merging two organisations’ service offerings was a complex challenge that required distance and a lack of emotion. With all the stakeholders available to work on the challenge from either the new parent company or the recently acquired company, personal opinions were bound to entangle judgement. Something Big were commissioned to provide a neutral, external sounding board to the approach.

How we helped

Our Strategic Consultants were easily able to independently review both service offerings and support the Project Lead by posing neutral questions, providing examples of how other organisations had approached similar challenges, guide thinking and to finally propose a methodology that would enable an appropriate judgement criteria resulting in the most appropriate solutions.

Are you working on a business sensitive project? If you have confidential project but need to talk it out, speak to me about our how our Strategic Consultants could help you.

#3 COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY REVIEW

The business challenge

Following the publication of a key government strategy, funding was made available to carry out a key piece of research in the care sector. Many local and national organisations were brought together to co-ordinate this programme of research, and as a result up to 50 care providers were engaged to support the research.

Whilst the programme was a success, representatives from each of the organisations (the Programme Board) concluded that engaging and recruiting the care providers had been significantly more complex than they had anticipated, and given that further funding would be made available for a second phase of activity they were concerned that their communications strategy had some potential failings. Something Big were commissioned to carry out a review of the communications and to make recommendations for improvement.

How we helped

I underwent a full review of the communications deployed for the project, looking particularly at the content, language, audience data, channels deployed, layout and design. I attended a series of workshops with researchers, care providers and stakeholders, conducted a series of telephone interviews and thoroughly reviewed the communications deployed throughout the programme before collating my insights and feedback.

I shared my findings and recommendations in a detailed report and presented the executive summary to the Programme Board, who positively received the feedback and have commissioned our support in the second phase of their programme.

Do you have a project that needs an independent wash up? If you’ve got a project that didn’t go as expected and needs an objective review, talk to us about how we can take a similar approach.

WHAT WE DO DEPENDS ON YOU

It might sound strange, but we’re excited that there’s been a shift to brands having more marketing resources in-house because it often makes sense for the businesses we work with. We can see that not relying on agencies for everyday requests saves time, budget and often mental bandwidth! However, we know that there are times when relying only on in-house teams can bring its own challenges, and the Blended Teams™ approach means that by working closer together we can bring the best of both worlds.

And of course, if you’re interested in how we might be able to help you please do get in touch!

Published in Case Study, Insight / Research
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