Brands must restructure marketing teams: Telstra

By Frank Chung | 12 August 2013
Telstra chief marketing officer Mark Buckman.

Brands have to radically rethink their marketing teams and their structure, according to Telstra chief marketing officer Mark Buckman.

The reality of the always-on, mobile-first consumer means brands need to produce smaller pieces of snackable content, more often, across a broader array of devices than ever before. That means completely rethinking how they operate.

Speaking as the closing keynote of the ADMA Global Forum on Friday, Buckman said the 'newsroom' model, where every brand is a publisher and consumers expect content and engagement around the clock, meant not only marketing and agency teams needed to be restructured, but entire organisations.

"Our audiences are on 24/7, expecting content, feedback, solutions, answers and support. The days of launching a campaign and handing it over to the sales team are over,” he said. “These days the launch is just that – the first day. We are now all in the world of content and publishing.

“This means we need to have content strategies that push out smaller packages of content more often, and that leads us to rethink our marketing teams. We need to be agile, nimble, working in a completely different way than ever before. This poses a bit of a problem and might be confronting to some brands that are more process-driven and risk-averse.”

Risk and legal teams within organisations would have to be brought on board with this new structure, Buckman said, in order for brands to be able to respond quickly. He said brands would have to build a “new world” marketing team.

“Ask yourselves, do you have the right mix of people on your team who understand the world we're moving into? You need to be employing and having around you people who are marketing and living in the world that we're actually marketing to. Those who are socially aware and across every form of media.”

That includes everything from writers and bloggers to technologists, developers and even filmmakers, he said. “Channels are just as important as the message now, so you've got to make sure you've got the right team who understand and live in those sorts of channels in order to take advantage of all the opportunities.”

The new “information-spoiled” generation of consumers is harder than ever to capture, so content must be as snackable and entertaining as possible – marketers need to start planning around Gen Z. “We're the bridge between the old and the new era. All of this technology is a bonus to us because we know what came before, but Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a fully connected world.

“They've never known entertainment without YouTube, friendship without Facebook, music without... Mog – bit of a plug there for us – study without Google, or even photos on paper. They don't just consume media and content, they want to create it. They want to be part of the story. The broadcast model is boring to them.”

Buckman said the new model meant brands were now not only competing with each other, but traditional content producers. “How do we compete with the HBOs of the world for attention? Imagine someone sitting on the bus watching a piece of content on their smartphone – are they going to watch an ad or Game of Thrones? Ad, Game of Thrones, ad Game of Thrones? You're never going to win.”

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Have something to say? Send us your comments using the form below or contact the writer at

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus