Marketing needs to be more Adaptive!

Ok so this isn’t the newest concept you ever heard of – but hear me out – its time we really changed a few things in the marketing organization.

So its easy to see that today’s marketing teams are not that well equipped to handle “real time marketing” as David Meerman Scott defined it. We need better systems to take in data and analytics in order to make smarter better business decisions.

I would argue that you have to have several sensing mechanisms in place – one that is a data set that is always looking backward (like a rear view mirror) so see what has been said and is always listening and watching the conversations, in addition to that you need a forward looking data set (like a windshield) to help drive decision making on what new products or services to launch, what will be the effectiveness of this campaign, what new hyper customer segments can we go after, and then of course you need a dashboard that pulls all this together in one place so you can see across multiple forms of media.

With today’s fragmented media landscape no single individual can pull together all these media channels to orchestrate and master them. And as a result you get silos of sub-optimized media.

In a real time marketing world speed will be key. So how can you even think of making a yearlong media plan? But that’s what some media planners are doing when it comes to TV and Print. As marketers we need to be optimized for speed and rapidly effective decision-making. Having said that I know we have a long way to go but anything is better than making gut level decisions or worse taking advice from your CEO on a media plan!

7 comments to Marketing needs to be more Adaptive!

  • Paul — Two questions come to mind after a quick read of this.
    1.) Does your forward looking (windshield) data set supplant market management/product marketing or is providing the analysis to that function in order to speed up and improve the decisions around markets, desired products, etc.?

    2.) How do you account for data that may not be available in a real-time view of a market? Some data just isn’t moving at the speed of today’s decision-making processes.

    I 100% love the idea of marketing becoming more nimble and opportunistic. I think one of the challenges — which you touch on with the comment about year-long media plans — is budget. Marketing is under pressure to justify every dollar, which in turn reinforces the year-long planning approach. Firms need to get comfortable with the notion that markets will have shifted before the midpoint of each year. Rather than pigeon-holing every dollar to a specific activity or campaign, they need to consider setting quarterly spend targets and empowering the marketing leadership to utilize those funds as market opportunities arise.

  • @Alan – thanks for the comments

    1) no it doesnt replace it – it could feed into some master dashboard (which is where I think we are going) because ..

    2) you’re right not all data moves at the same speed so I think you need a blend of both realtime data and data that moves say monthly or quarterly etc

    great comments

  • I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with the overall statement here: That marketing needs to be more nimble and driven by data (preferably normalized and consumable data).

    So let’s assume that the marketing organization *does* have the raw data, but it’s not consumable. Let’s say you have data available through Web analytics, and marketing automation, and your CRM,and maybe some other a la carte sources.

    What’s the magic overlay that pulls it all together into dashboards the help you manage revenue performance (because ultimately it’s all about ensuring that every dollar is being maximized to drive revenue, right?) A BI tool of some kind? Discuss.

  • @Amy – thanks for commenting – yes thats it – many firms I am talking to are working on that – including Networked Insights

    Its a very exciting time to be a marketer and be able to see what we can now that we couldnt see even a year ago!

  • Hey Paul, I saw the title and just had to comment because it is something I have been saying for years. Not just in marketing, but in life as well, adaptation is becoming a very rare skill for people to posses these days IMO

  • @Jason – Congrats Jason you are clearly ahead of your time 😉

  • Since I’m writing a white paper entitled “The CMOs Guide to the Crazy New World of Marketing” this post struck a nerve. Marketing is changing at lighting speed, so marketers need to adapt – and measure – like never before. Having the ability to make sense of the data – looking both forwards and backwards – is critical today.

    Looking forward to your appearance on Mad Marketing TV too, Paul.


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