Optimize Your Organizational Structure
As catalog companies grow and their business strategies change, having an effective organizational structure can help executives improve results. Of course, the size and complexity of a business will determine how many people are needed to make any structure work.
This month, we’ll examine typical organizational structures for catalogs of all sizes and how effective hierarchies can be established.
Structures and Teams
In a large corporation that has other business units, the front end of a catalog operation—marketing, merchandising and creative—generally reports to a catalog director or vice president. In a more typical catalog operation, they report to a president and/or CEO.
In other companies, the creative group might report to marketing or merchandising, especially if it’s outsourced or the services are obtained from the creative division.
Another effective method is to organize teams around titles. The teams generally are marketing, merchandising, creative and/or operations, and they report to a team manager, who then answers to a group vice president or executive vice president. Note: This structure often is too expensive to maintain in a small to medium-sized company due to job redundancies on the teams.
The key to any successful and effective organization is the amount of integration and communication that happens between these functions. No matter what the reporting relationship, it’s crucial to have shared goals and objectives. This makes it’s easier to know what actions specific people must take and each function’s contribution toward common goals.
The marketing group should be responsible for developing and executing mail plans, acquiring new customers, and providing market research and other information to the company.
Within this department, you generally find circulation managers and analysts; research and/or database marketing analysts; and someone who focuses on managing the list or working with an outside list manager and broker. In some organizations the merchandising analysis also is done by the marketing group, because this area often has the staff most skilled in analytical work.