MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Design Your Marketing Organization to Fit Your Company's Growth Stage

  • 7m
  • Jonathan Metrick, Kimberly A. Whitler
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2023

Determining the optimal design of a department or function is a key aspect of organization design and one of the most important decisions C-level executives make. Organization design establishes the essential infrastructure that enables or hinders companies’ effective deployment of strategic decisions, yet it is one of the least studied and understood by business leaders. Typically, leaders find themselves contemplating restructuring for the first time in their careers after being promoted to an executive level and facing an organizational problem that needs urgent attention. It takes adeptness for an executive to even recognize that they have a structural design problem rather than a staffing issue.

Consequently, one of the most significant challenges CMOs face is figuring out how to configure the marketing organization to achieve their company’s goals and objectives, especially when it is pursuing or experiencing rapid growth, as in the case of an early-stage startup. A recurring question we’ve gotten from CMOs and CEOs is how to structure a marketing organization to accelerate growth. As we looked for answers to this question, we realized that few existed and none had the specificity to provide insights at different stages of company growth.

About the Author

Kimberly A. Whitler is the Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the author of Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2021). Jonathan Metrick is a partner and chief growth officer at Sagard, an alternative asset management firm active in venture capital, private equity, private credit, real estate, and royalties.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Design Your Marketing Organization to Fit Your Company’s Growth Stage