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How important that digital solutions can help the succession of SSC and COE in marketing department?

Shared Service Center (SSC) in Marketing [1]

What is Shared Service Center (SSC)?

A Shared Service Center (SSC) is a centralized unit within an organization that provides various back-office functions to multiple business units. [2] In the context of marketing, an SSC typically handles tasks such as:

  • Creative production: Design, copywriting, video editing, etc.

  • Media buying and planning: Negotiating ad rates, placing ad buys, etc.

  • Data management: Data entry, cleansing, and analysis.

  • Campaign execution: Email marketing, social media management, etc.

  • Customer support: Responding to inquiries, resolving issues, etc.


  • Reduced costs: SSCs can achieve economies of scale by consolidating resources and expertise. [3]

  • Improved efficiency: Standardized processes and centralized resources lead to faster turnaround times and better quality.

  • Increased focus on core competencies: Marketing teams can focus on strategic initiatives and customer engagement by offloading administrative tasks to the SSC.


  • Cultural differences: Integrating teams from different business units can be challenging due to different working styles and priorities.

  • Lack of flexibility: Standardized processes may not be suitable for all marketing campaigns.

  • Loss of control: Marketing teams may feel they have less control over their campaigns when using an SSC.

Center of Excellence (COE) in Marketing

What is Center of Excellence (COE)?

A Center of Excellence (COE) is a cross-functional team or unit that focuses on developing and implementing best practices, standards, and processes within a specific domain. In marketing, COEs typically focus on areas such as:

  • Customer experience: Developing and implementing strategies to improve the customer journey.

  • Data analytics: Leveraging data to gain insights and drive marketing decisions.

  • Marketing technology: Selecting and implementing the right marketing technologies.

  • Content marketing: Creating high-quality content that attracts and engages customers.

  • Social media marketing: Developing and implementing effective social media strategies.


  • Improved marketing effectiveness: COEs can help to ensure that marketing activities are aligned with best practices and achieve optimal results.

  • Knowledge sharing and collaboration: COEs can facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among marketing teams.

  • Innovation and thought leadership: COEs can drive innovation and thought leadership within the organization.


  • Getting buy-in from stakeholders: It can be challenging to get buy-in from stakeholders across the organization for the COE's initiatives.

  • Maintaining focus: COEs can become bogged down in day-to-day operations and lose sight of their strategic goals.

  • Measuring success: It can be difficult to measure the impact of the COE's work.

Synergistic Relationship between SSC and COE

The SSC and COE can work together synergistically to improve the overall effectiveness of marketing operations. The SSC can provide the COE with the necessary resources and infrastructure to develop and implement best practices, while the COE can provide the SSC with the expertise and guidance needed to optimize its operations.


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How important is that SSC and CoEs building?

Digital solutions play a crucial role in the success of Shared Service Centers (SSCs) and Centers of Excellence (COEs) in marketing departments. They enable these units to:

  • Automate tasks and processes: Digital solutions can automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry, reporting, and campaign execution, freeing up staff time for more strategic initiatives.

  • Improve data management and analytics: Digital solutions can help to centralize and analyze marketing data, providing insights that can be used to improve decision-making and campaign performance.

  • Enhance collaboration and communication: Digital solutions can facilitate collaboration and communication between SSCs, COEs, and other marketing teams, ensuring that everyone is working towards common goals.

  • Increase agility and responsiveness: Digital solutions can help to streamline processes and make marketing teams more agile and responsive to changing market conditions. [4]

Here are some specific examples of digital solutions that can be used to support SSCs and COEs in marketing:

  • Marketing automation platforms: These platforms can automate tasks such as email marketing, social media management, and lead nurturing.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: CRMs can help to centralize customer data and track interactions, providing a 360-degree view of the customer journey.

  • Data analytics platforms: These platforms can be used to analyze marketing data and identify trends, patterns, and insights.

  • Collaboration tools: These tools can facilitate communication and collaboration between teams, regardless of location.

By embracing digital solutions, SSCs and COEs can become more efficient, effective, and agile, ultimately contributing to the success of the marketing department as a whole.


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Key Factors for SSC and COE Success in Marketing

Based on the provided sources, here are the key factors for success:

Shared Service Center (SSC):

  • Productivity: Focus on driving economies of scale and increasing output.

  • Quality: Ensure service excellence and meet customer expectations. [5]

  • Innovation: Leverage expertise to drive innovation and optimize processes.

Center of Excellence (COE):

Deep Expertise: Assemble a team with deep knowledge in specific marketing areas. [6]

Knowledge Sharing: Disseminate knowledge and best practices across the organization. [7]

Standard Setting: Develop guidelines and processes to ensure consistency and quality. [8]

Continuous Improvement: Invest in training, research, and development to stay ahead. [9]

Additional Factors for Both:

Organizational Culture: Foster a culture that supports collaboration and change.

Leadership Support: Secure consistent leadership commitment and sponsorship.

Clear Purpose and Goals: Define clear objectives, success metrics, and value propositions. [10]

Change Management: Implement effective change management processes.

Resource Allocation: Equip staff with necessary skills, tools, and resources.

Measurement and Evaluation: Track progress, measure impact, and adapt accordingly.


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Differences in SSC and COE Implementation Across Industries

While the core principles of SSC and COE remain consistent across industries, there are some key differences in their implementation and impact depending on the specific industry context.

Industry-Specific Factors:

  • Industry Dynamics: The competitive landscape, regulatory environment, and customer expectations vary significantly across industries, influencing the focus and priorities of SSC and COE initiatives.

  • Marketing Mix: The relative importance of different marketing channels and tactics varies across industries, impacting the types of services offered by SSCs and the areas of expertise within COEs.

  • Data Availability and Analytics: The availability of data and the sophistication of analytics capabilities can differ significantly across industries, influencing the effectiveness of data-driven marketing approaches within SSCs and COEs.

Case Studies:

  • Financial Services: In the financial services industry, SSCs often focus on tasks such as customer onboarding, KYC compliance, and fraud prevention, while COEs typically specialize in areas like customer segmentation, wealth management, and regulatory compliance.

  • Technology: In the technology industry, SSCs may handle tasks such as lead generation, content creation, and social media management, while COEs often focus on areas like product marketing, digital marketing, and data analytics.

  • Healthcare: In the healthcare industry, SSCs may handle tasks such as patient scheduling, claims processing, and medical records management, while COEs typically specialize in areas like patient education, disease management, and clinical research.

Key Takeaways:

  • The implementation of SSCs and COEs should be tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each industry.

  • Industry-specific factors such as dynamics, marketing mix, and data availability should be considered when designing and operating these units.

  • Case studies from different industries can provide valuable insights into best practices and potential challenges.


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