While marketers show a real desire to optimise their businesses by creating new structures that put customers at the heart of the conversation, change must start with the culture of the company itself.

And it appears the industry is moving in the right direction. Some 57% of respondents taking part in Marketing Week’s Future Marketing Organisation study, conducted in partnership with marketing intelligence company MiQ, believe that marketing is changing for the better.

Furthermore, 47.8% of those surveyed say marketing is becoming more accountable, while 43.5% believe the marketing function is more central to the business than ever.

However, in order to achieve these new levels of accountability and effectiveness, brands need to invest time and energy in their company culture. This has been a clear area of focus for drinks giant Diageo, which is building marketing teams where everyone is accountable for driving business success.

Speaking on stage at the Festival of Marketing (11 October) Jerry Daykin, head of global media partnerships at Diageo, explained that he sits within the company’s Centre of Digital Excellence, a team he described as the “most striking change” the company has made in how it approaches the future.

Everyone has to be accountable when they’re presenting things within their teams, but also outside the marketing organisation to other parts of the business.

Jerry Daykin, Diageo

The Centre of Digital Excellence is intended to empower Diageo marketers with the right tools to make decisions.

“We’ve created a pool of people who are more tech focused and are delivering that tech side of marketing, which frankly a lot of our local markets are happy to have lifted above them, and then we have a team that is driving transformational thinking and best practice in marketing,” he stated.

The Centre of Digital Excellence also helps other functions across the business transform the way they work, such as by facilitating more collaboration with the HR department.

Forging cross-functional relationships is crucial to building a culture of collaboration, according to Annabel Venner, global brand director and partner at Hiscox.

Speaking on the same panel, Venner explained that her marketers are good at having conversations across the organisation to ensure everyone understands the customer and how the business intends to target them, rather than that information being held solely within marketing.

This ability to engage colleagues across the business will be crucial, especially given 54.3% of marketers surveyed as part of the Future Marketing Organisation study believe marketing’s future role will be collaborating with other functions such as IT, sales and finance to deliver business strategy.

Venner explained that Hiscox strives to ensure there are no silos across the marketing team.

“The senior marketer is on a leadership team and they will be engaging on a regular basis with our operational teams, our pricing teams, our underwriting teams, so we’re not as siloed as other organisations,” she states.

“I sit at group level, so I have marketing meetings with our chief finance officer, I talk to our chief operating officer and this is happening across the business.”

Venner explained that to evolve…