Marketing Bootcamp

Overwhelmed Marketers Need These 3 Ingredients to Build an Adaptable Company

Ask any marketer and they will tell you they are overworked, overwhelmed and still not able to keep their heads above water, let alone get in front of and predict their customer’s next move.

We knew this was coming. As consumers have more control over how they engage with brands, the job of the marketers becomes infinitely more complex, harder, faster and frustrating. Despite all this, marketers are doing the same thing they have been doing. They’re spinning their wheels using playbooks from another era in marketing. And guess what? It's not working. As marketers, we’re frustrated and looking for a lifeline.

What’s the solution? Buy more marketing technologies? Perhaps. Work harder? Unlikely. Spend more time in mountains of reports? Nope. Marketers need to learn adaptability and they need to build adaptive companies that thrive on understanding their customers and anticipating their next moves.

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Adaptability needs to start at the core of a company’s identity and it can only thrive in the right environment. Here are three points to consider when building an adaptive marketing mindset within your company DNA:

1. Adaptability starts with people.

Focus on diversity and attitude when building an adaptable marketing team -- your customers aren’t all the same so your team shouldn’t be either. A company that has an eclectic mix of generation X’ers, Y’ers, millennials and everything in between with a diversity of backgrounds and ideas is a powerhouse of consumer knowledge.

For instance, one of the reasons why we chose to build our company in Portland is because the city thrives on being different, striving for excellence and craftsmanship in everything.

2. Adaptability grows with culture.

An innovative marketing team will only thrive in an environment that allows for experimentation and exploration, which is why adaptability needs to start at the very core of your culture. It’s easy to be safe, predictable and rely on past marketing campaigns -- even if they might not address your current audience.

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Encourage your internal team to have a nimble frame of mind to the changing forces of consumers. Otherwise, your marketing won’t keep up. For leadership, this means giving your teams the room to experiment and even fail.

3. Adaptability prepares you for the future.

The great irony about marketing is that as much as we marketers aspire to stay ahead of our audience, the profession as a whole has yet to adopt the tools that will allow us to do just that.

Demographic data, for example, is still the main data set that companies rely on to determine the strategy of a marketing campaign. While gender, age and ethnicity are valuable, this data only reveals surface-level insights into consumers.

Behavioral data, the basis of adaptive marketing, goes beyond generalizations and examines customer behavior itself, giving marketers insight into how, where and when a customer interacts with brands. This is the type of valuable information that generates relevant, actionable, future-forward insights into the customer psyche and will drive sales.

Even with the right team building upon a great culture, marketers need to know where they and their consumers are going. Otherwise, they’re cornering themselves into a futile, stressful cycle of constantly trying to keep up with their customers. Adaptive marketing is about consistently looking forward, not just to drive sales and increase market value, but to connect, entertain and educate your audience in more meaningful ways.

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