marketing agility navigatingTwo-thirds of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the past fifty years, according to a study conducted by Adobe. At the Marketing Operations & Technology Summit last fall, we were mesmerized with insights from Adrian Ott, author of The 24-Hour Customer and Exponential Influence. She cited additional research findings from Forbes, IDC, and InformationWeek:

  • Volume: From 2012 until 2020, the digital universe will about double every two years
  • Velocity: The rate at which data is generated and captured is doubling every 90 days
  • Variety: 80% of data is unstructured; 68% is generated by consumers
  • Value: 25% of data have some value if analyzed

This rate of change is underscoring interest and vital need for nimble Marketing organizations (also known as “Marketing Agility“, not to be confused with agile marketing which is a rapid iterative product development process). Adrian pointed out that the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and Software as a Service (SaaS) are transforming marketing organizations that capitalize on the exploding customer data universe. And for technology providers, Marketing has become a strategic lynchpin.

Here are 7 Marketing agility hacks recommended by Adrian:

  1. Outsource to train your team on new marketing methods. For example, IBM has become a digital agency, and cloud vendors are aligning with agencies to provide outsourcing managed services (Wunderman/Adobe, Onicom/Salesforce, Publicis/Adobe).
  2. Get a handle on your new marketing workflows.
  3. Iterative, rolling campaigns trump long-term plans.
  4. Apply agile concepts where they fit, and don’t sweat where they don’t.
  5. Competitive strategy playbooks avoid pinball re-organizations and identify real “what-if” pivots.
  6. Apply BEYOND disruptive threat assessment.
  7. Leverage public data when good-enough and speed count.

The most successful Marketing organizations now and in the future are rapidly embracing these practices. The train is moving forward at lightning speed, and we need to work smarter to keep rolling with it. Being well-organized operationally can free up tremendous energy, creativity, and strategic thinking for the quick-moving opportunities that lie ahead.

Note: I’m also a big fan of Adrian’s article in Fast Company magazine: Six Ways to Prevent Corporate Tunnel Vision