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Going Agile: Five Organizational Changes to Eliminate Waterfall Marketing

Digital-first, contextual marketing requires an organizational paradigm shift which can scare businesses into paralysis. Here are the steps you can take to ease your business into the new era of marketing.

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Pivoting From Waterfall Marketing to Agile

In today’s day and age, marketers aim to conduct personalized, one-to-one marketing with their customers – a goal that requires businesses to act with speed and agility. Unfortunately, for many businesses, designing and executing campaigns is a multi-departmental mission that demands the participation from multiple company functions cooperating in a linear work-flow.

This is called the waterfall approach: it affects not only speed of execution, but the essence of marketing itself. Instead of interacting with many customer segments in campaigns that are personalized, relevant and effective, marketers are stuck with the old “Big Campaign.” Moreover, the old assembly line paradigm and personalized marketing at scale are mutually exclusive. In other words, this cumbersome workflow kills all initiatives that don’t involve large groups of customers, and inevitably leads to a stunted ideation cycle and customers who are chronically underwhelmed.

Shifting from Paralysis to Control

In order to get to personalized, spot-on interactions and enhanced relationships with their customers, businesses must learn to conduct agile marketing. This kind of marketing portrays intimate, one-to-one communication and endows brands with an aura of emotional intelligence, sensitivity and customer-centricity.  This advanced, data-driven marketing is geared at generating a strategic uplift for your business.

However, agile marketing requires an organizational paradigm shift, which often scares businesses into paralysis. Here are some steps you can take to overcome this stagnation and ease your business into the new era of marketing:

1. “Skill Chaining”

Similar to a manufacturing assembly line, marketing production cycles rely heavily on the schedules of the individuals involved in the task. So, cross-training workers to perform multiple tasks mitigates this difficulty and allows greater flexibility. The method, often referred to as “skill chaining”, increases productivity by creating a skill overlap that streamlines the work process.

2. Hire talent

Arts and sciences play equal parts in the modern marketer’s skill set. Fluency in data science and analytics are a paramount, along with creativity, digital savviness and business know-how. Recruiting well-rounded marketing talent is sometimes the best next step you can take in order to boost your marketing results. A marketer that is equally at ease with the creative team and the analytics team can consolidate the marketing cycle and speed up both ideation and execution.

3. Take the technological leap with CRM solutions

With the new generation of data-driven Customer-Led Marketing solutions, marketing can manage hundreds of distinct customer groups and ensure that each one receives the most relevant and effective campaign. With robust data and predictive analytical capabilities, these marketing tools allow small, integrated marketing A-teams to manage workflows and execute campaigns from start to finish, without the need to outsource campaign components to a host of other departments in the company.

4. Bring in professional services

Many companies have perfected the art of agile marketing through technology and training and offer consulting services to help you achieve the same. In the age of high professional demands, it may be worthwhile to aid your organizational transition by bringing in the experts.

5. Outsource

At times it’s easier to make a change after experiencing its benefits. If you’re still weary of agile marketing, you may want to outsource parts of your marketing efforts to businesses that offer these services. Deep customer segmentation, campaign performance analysis, campaign optimization and report creation are all services that can be obtained from external sources.

In order to stay relevant, marketing in customer-facing businesses needs to become the agile, effective, creative and responsive powerhouse that it can be. It’s about changing the way you operate, getting more from your data, and increasing engagement with happier customers.

As a CMO or marketer, it’s up to you to make sure you get there.

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Pini Yakuel

Pini co-founded Optimove in 2012 and has led the company, as its CEO, since its inception. With two decades of experience in analytics-driven customer marketing, business consulting and sales, he is the driving force behind Optimove. His passion for innovative and empowering technologies is what keeps Optimove ahead of the curve. He holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Tel Aviv University.