How Nissan Structures For Marketing Success
Nissan, the automaker, has improved its marketing agility and seen an uptick in various performance metrics after deconstructing traditional silos in its in-house and agency teams.
Allyson Witherspoon, vp/marketing communications and media at Nissan, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2020 Media and Measurement Conference.
She reported that one aspect of Nissan’s strategy had been to consolidate its agency roster, and then to foster a more holistic approach.
“We broke down the agency silos of media, data, and creativity,” said Witherspoon. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Nissan enhances creativity through new structures and nuanced use of data.)
Having found the right balance among its agency partners, Witherspoon decided to adopt a similar approach within the automaker’s four walls.
“The results were so strong on the agency-side that we didn’t hesitate to restructure the internal team,” she told the ANA online assembly.
Consequently, a previously “very traditional” model of independent silos – a TV team, a website team and a media team – was collapsed into a series of new product-portfolio clusters: namely, a sedan/sports unit, an SUV/truck group, and a brand team that reflected a comparable realignment from Nissan’s agency partners.
From an administrative perspective, with the internal and external consolidations, “We were able to create a truly single profit and loss statement and then aligned those resources through key strategic leads,” Witherspoon said.
And from a results perspective, “what we’ve learned is that we can get into market much faster. And our messaging converts at a much higher rate through the convergence of data and creativity.”
This outcome follows on from a deliberate strategy. “Back when people could sit together, we had the data team sitting right next to the creatives. Now everything’s done virtually, but the data [still] inspires the creative team,” Witherspoon said.
“I can actually see that come through in the creative proposals. Data is the fuel for the entire creative process, not just at the concepting phase, but all the way through to on-going optimizations in messaging.”