Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Getting Faster.– Paul Worthington
Ahead of everything else, the tactic that will dominate the 21st-century marketing landscape will be speed. Simply put: The brands that act and react in real time (or as close as possible to it) will have the edge over those that cannot.
But you’ve heard plenty of this talk already, I bet. There’s talk about the shift from the broadcast environment to the conversational one; from image determining perceptions to experience doing it. And while all of these paradigms matter, I’d argue that they don’t go far enough.
The need for greater speed is what will change how marketing operates in the most fundamental ways. Instead of yearly planning cycles, marketers will have to adopt far shorter time frames—not only with clear business outcomes, but also with sufficient planning to make necessary changes as quickly as conditions demand.
Easier said than done, of course. But marketers can learn from how these changes have already informed the software business. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “agile development” ethos that’s taken root there, and in the process redefined the relationships between business people and developers. In a so-called agile world, teams work not in the protracted cycles of yesteryear but in “sprints” of two to six weeks. And instead of depending on bureaucratic planning, the teams rely on personal interactions and daily meetings (limited to 15 minutes) to keep everything on track. Agility will come to the marketing world, too.