The War Room: A Powerful Tool for Human Marketing

May 17, 2017 Marla Schilling

One day, our CMO Frank told a bunch of us marketers that he wanted us to create a daily “war room.” I heard “war room” and immediately thought NASA Mission Control: headsets, walls of monitors, super high security requiring those fancy retractable badges and some sort of eyeball scanner.

Marketing is evolving and has been for hundreds of years. Think about it: humans used to travel far and wide to make face-to-face barters for things that were grown or handmade and in high demand. Today, humans can hide behind a shield of technology and with one click of a button and no face-to-face interaction, get anything they want (seriously, anything—at one point Justin Timberlake’s left-over French toast was on the market for $4,000).

Things have gotten so impersonal, that our CMO was inspired to bring the human back to marketing.  What does that mean?  We are living in a time where our prospects and customers are demanding highly contextual interactions with us. Each interaction must deliver value to them—must give them return on the attention they’re spending on us.

So back to this “war room” and what it is exactly.  To be entirely transparent, we didn’t have the slightest idea what this room should be or where to even start.  After 2 weeks of individually contemplating it, our CMO asked for a status update.  Well, Houston – we had a problem.  Complete silence and blank stares ensued.

That next morning, we finally had our first meeting.  We decided that if we were truly going to bring the human back to marketing, we would have to “eat our own dog food” (which we happily changed to saying “drink our own champagne”).  We would to immerse ourselves in our brand experience and customer interactions daily. We would have to learn who our visitors are, what they are looking for, what they are trying to accomplish, and how we can help them to accomplish their goals to ultimately help them along on their buyer’s journey. Oh, and all of this would have to be a close-to-real-time effort. Simple, right?

So, that is the purpose of this blog: we are going to share exactly how the Harte Hanks sausage is made.  You will begin to understand the nitty-gritty innards, even the gross little pieces no one wants to think about.

Join us next time to hear about our first meeting and how it was nothing like NASA Mission Control.

Very humanly yours,


About the Author

Marla Schilling

Marla Schilling, Marketing Manager, focuses on digital marketing, demand generation and marketing communications. She earned her BS at Ithaca College, with studies in Health Sciences and her Master’s at the University of Northern Colorado, with studies in Exercise Physiology.

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