It’s Time to Re-Evaluate our People, Process, & Tech
According to a number of business experts, we’ve seen about 5 years of digital adoption take place in just a 1 year span. The accelerated growth and adoption of digital has happened across almost all consumer demographics: adults book vaccines through an online portal, children learn through online classrooms, socializing happens over Zoom, and shopping is primarily done online. The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we do things now and in the future.
As marketers struggle to adjust to the rapid speed of change, it’s an opportune time for companies to do a “Big Rethink”. Repeating the exact same things will not work in this new modern marketing world. As Rishad Tobaccowala says, The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past. To get started, marketing executives need to examine three core elements:
People (who, what, where)
Ensuring you have the right talent in place is a critical aspect of the “Big Rethink”. When it comes to people powering your organization, you need people with multiple capabilities plus a “capacity to learn”. The top companies recruit and groom HiPo’s (High Potential talent) because a 10x employee can make the world of difference. The best companies also beef up their executive ranks with seasoned digital marketing veterans who are strategic and tech savvy. Senior digital talent is scarce. Experience and leadership matters in increasingly complex fields such as marketing.
Tip: If you’re not hiring new people now or (partnering with strategic agencies), you’re likely to get really stuck in the future.
The other important aspect is terrain - where will employees of the future will work? How will your people work and learn – will you go back to a traditional office? Or work in a collaborative hub? Or adopt a hybrid of virtual and in-person work? How do teams & employees stay connected?
Process (efficiency, enable flow)
As emphasized in our earlier newsletters, marketing teams are being stretched beyond capacity. Marketers today are often being asked to do more with less, therefore our processes need to get more efficient. One strategy is process engineering to examine constraints and workflow. From an execution perspective, if you’re not doing some form of agile marketing, you’re going to be left behind. In traditional project management, you may have 3 projects and a typical project plan with GANTT charts for each. Now, instead of 3 projects, there’s 10. If you follow the same process, you won’t have enough time or resources to get everything done. Marketers need to move to a new way of doing things, that involves finding overlapping steps that can happen simultaneously. (link to industry nugget)
Tech (core, data, connectors)
The accumulation of marketing tech has become a major issue among companies. Buying tech that doesn’t serve a purpose has led to what some experts call the “digital hangover”. Take an honest look and flag legacy or redundant tech.
In your “Big Rethink”, you need to examine how much waste you have within your technology ecosystem. Recognize that more technology isn’t always the answer. Companies are quick to jump on new technology, but you need to ensure it fits in your vision and roadmap. Consider adding by subtraction. Decide when is the right time in the future for an overhaul or pivot.