Managing Marketing Chaos During Organizational Change

by Alan Cassinelli

The only thing that is constant at enterprise companies is change. 

They change their organizational structure or change leadership. They spin up new teams or consolidate regions. There is always some amount of organizational change that is going on that can make work feel chaotic.

Chaos makes employees feel uncertain of the immediate future, creates confusion of responsibilities, and a sense of frustration from being slowed down. 

That isn’t the most pleasant experience, but enterprise companies constantly create change because of the potential it can have on an organization. Change can be a catalyst for massive acceleration.

The experience and perspective that a new CMO can bring, the opportunity to better align teams around company objectives, or better resource allocation can help people produce better work and be more efficient.

At Opal, we work with some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world who are always looking for ways to change how they operate for the better.

To go from good to great. 

And yes it requires change, that often times can be chaotic, but their marketing organization comes out of it better than ever to tackle today’s marketing challenges. What many of our customers find is that Opal is a critical structure that provides stability, visibility, and alignment during times of change.

Opal as a reflection of an org structure

A common period of change is when organizations go through large scale reorgs and there is chaos from role changes, layoffs, or team consolidation. Managers in leadership positions feel the pressure to get their new organizational structure right and create new processes to enable their new teams and employees for success.

During these times teams need to establish common practices, align on the taxonomy they use, systemize their processes, and create a sense of purpose for what the team is trying to achieve. 

These very important decisions are the same ones that must be made when our customers bring Opal into their team. The onboarding process requires thinking through the change management of how your team will work in a new way with Opal.

Marketing executive Ryan Turner knows this important phase firsthand from his time bringing Opal to the global social teams at Starbucks, Amazon, and now in his current role at New Engen.

“There is no better time to onboard Opal than right during the middle of a reorg. It forces you to think through lines of accountability, roles, and responsibilities, how you’re organizing the content you are producing, what your goals are, how your briefing process works, etc. All those things have to be figured out when you onboard the Opal Platform.”

– Ryan Turner, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at New Engen

Instead of waiting until things settled down, his teams were able to move faster out of the forming, storming, and norming process and realize the benefits of the org change.

The benefits of Opal during times of change

The Opal Platform is a critical piece of our customer’s tech stacks, and even more so during transitional periods. Opal enables teams to work better with visibility, alignment, and efficiency in their new marketing organization. 

Our customers share with us the many ways Opal helps them:

  • Stabilize operations – Keep momentum and move content production moving forward despite changing roles and responsibilities.
  • Engage new leadership – Give immediate visibility to a new CMO or marketing/communications leader of all the current campaigns, plans and activities, including past and future initiatives.  
  • Onboard employees – Seamlessly handoff responsibilities, workflows and tasks to employees in new roles to minimize disrupting team execution.
  • Establish correct processes – Ensure new teams follow desired processes and procedures with set workflows.
  • Operationalize a new vision –  Align teams on the work that needs to be done with a unified calendar across regions, business units, and channels.

Opal acts as the “source of truth” to maintain operational stability amongst the uncertainty and confusion around the organization.

“I’ve had to make personnel changes, shuffle roles, and reprioritize markets, but throughout it all Opal continued to be the same. It was the source of truth for us. It was the stability to keep our business intact.”

Eric Toda, Head of Marketing at Hill City / Gap Inc.

A transformation of work culture

When organizations that use Opal come out the other side of change, there are lasting impacts that continue to deliver value beyond the immediate period. For Ryan Turner during his time at Starbucks, “Opal introduced a level of process discipline that was unprecedented in the team.” 

“Opal introduced a level of process discipline that was unprecedented in the team.” – Ryan Turner

As new team members joined, they were quickly indoctrinated to the team’s rules and how they worked. The original people that went through the change management were champions of Opal because it gave them security and confidence that their work was being done in a way that they could feel proud of.

Team members would even refuse Turner if he tried to break the ‘team rules’ and push content to be published without going through the proper workflow. 

For Eric Toda, Opal was transformative in influencing how teams collaborated with each other. In an email-heavy work culture, Opal was a breath of fresh air where people could collaborate on content in the context of the overall strategy.

“We brought in Opal and saw our email usage decrease tenfold.”   – Eric Toda 

No longer were his teams using inefficient spreadsheets or decks to communicate their strategy. They were now able to be nimble, plan better, and move quicker to achieve their goals. 

Opal was the catalyst for changing “this is the way it has always been done” and improving their work culture.

A partner in your success

Change is not easy, whether in our professional work or personal lives. And while we can’t help with the latter, Opal can make a material impact in organizing and managing the chaos of enterprise marketing.

To have a unified place where marketing work is done, regardless of the changing leaders, teams, or roles is the exact thing that your organization needs. To get teams up to speed faster, bring visibility to silos, and alignment across functions and teams – the Opal Platform is the one constant in the swirling seas of uncertainty, confusion, and chaos that change brings.

We believe in being a partner with our customers in the evolution of their work to be better, quicker and more collaborative. And what better time to have a partner in your success than during the midst of change?

About the Author

Alan Cassinelli

Content Marketing Manager

A native of Portland, OR, Alan is a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, craft beer, and the PDX Carpet.

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