In a digital world, where consumers associate more with brands than with other less interesting elements of a company and the consumer controls their individual brand experience like never before, agile marketing has never been more important. Marketers need to feel empowered to be at their most creative. So it is disturbing that one of the key findings of our research is that some 47 percent of marketers believe bureaucracy is hampering the agility of their marketing operations. Despite the advent of technology to boost operational efficiency, almost one in three of those surveyed believe the lack of autonomy is impacting the speed in which campaigns are developed and delivered.
Perhaps it is little wonder that 74 percent of respondents cited ‘agility of marketing operations’ as a current marketing challenge. Another driver of bottlenecks is business structure: over a quarter (27 percent) of marketers indicated operating in a siloed and hierarchical organisation held back their marketing efforts. Senior marketers are being pulled from both sides – they have to meet the customer’s growing demands while facing high scrutiny over ROI from internal stakeholders. Indeed, 23 percent of marketers cited a lack of vision from top management as a key challenge for their day-to-day performance.
But, I would prefer to look at the glass as being (at least) half full. Technology exists today for organisations of all sizes and scales to become truly agile and customer focused. So what are the necessary steps?
The importance of mindset and five key challenges
First, becoming an agile organisation requires a comprehensive, fundamental shift in how it thinks and acts in planning and executing marketing initiatives. Teams must understand how marketing is measured and proven to key stakeholders. Objectives are established up front: the leadership team must align with an agile approach, allowing activities and programs to flex and adjust in response to market conditions and results.
Our survey revealed five challenges to becoming agile marketers:
In agile marketing, planning is shortened from months/years to weeks/days. Marketers should consider a hybrid approach – a combination of traditional and agile marketing – where strategies and KPIs are established up-front, but flexibility is built in so marketing leaders can make adjustments based on real-time results.
The best marketing leaders determine current resource needs, and they also anticipate future needs. They know what the organisation needs so they can get the right job descriptions into the market, but they also give current and future employees the right place to land – complete with the right culture, the right processes, and the right atmosphere. Having defined processes in a system of record or a knowledge base gives new employees the visibility they need to understand their role and contribute to the outcome. Employer/employee relationships are critical – this includes building teams that incorporate remote employees and contractors/agencies, individual flexibility, tight connections, superior collaborations, and increased visibility.
Ade Camilleri is a leading Internet marketer and Data Marketing Analyst for some of the worlds leading Comapnies with a focus on Tourism, Public Companies, Government Organmisatioons and iGaming. He forms part of the Media Plan group of Copmpanies who provide Digital Marketing Services for iGaming, Tourtism and Fortune 500 Companies.