Marketing Organizations Realign For Mobile

Josh GordonMarketers know about the consumer transition from primarily using landline means of communication to primarily using mobile means of communication. There are some basic forecasts detailing how long the transition has been going on, and how long it will take to reach critical mass. While the data exists as evidence, action is even greater evidence of change. Now a major company is reorganizing their marketing department to better align with changing communications conditions for consumers.
Combine the interesting story of departmental realignment at Verizon with their simultaneous announcement that the company is also eliminating the Chief Marketing Officer role, and the story becomes compelling and meaningful to the entire marketing industry.

John Stratton, Verizon’s former CMO, is now taking on new and different tasks within the marketing organization as the leading wireless carrier in the country combines the residential and landline business units. A Verizon representative told Ad Age that the removal of a centralized marketing role is an effort to place additional emphasis on the wireless business, an area Verizon sees the most potential for growth.

Verizon is the number one wireless carrier in the US – especially after the Verizon-Alltel merger is completed and the marketing efforts between the two begin to transition later this October. The company is also the number advertiser in the country. Therefore, the realignment behind the wireless efforts is indicative of the opportunity for growth within the wireless business model, and the general transition for savvy technology adopters from tethered, “landline” communications.

A critical mass and complete consumer transition from landline to wireless communications is still a long way off. However, nearly 60 percent of Verizon’s third quarter 2009 revenue came from the wireless division, a year over year increase of eight percent.

It appears that Verizon is hoping the reorganization not only allows the company to place greater emphasis on the wireless channel in the creative execution, the company also believes increased emphasis on wireless will further expedite marketing messages from conception to in market.

The attrition of landline residential customers in the telecommunications industry has created the opportunity for realignment. Time will tell if Verizon’s realignment within its internal marketing department is overly-ambitious and premature or insightful and pace-setting. Without a doubt, the entire marketing world is watching.

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