Much like the Avengers, the gruesome work of marketers is never done and often thankless. Just ask a marketer how much behind-the-scenes stuff they go through to do their job and it'll be enough to make you stab yourself with one of the Black Widow's daggers. Marketers have witnessed huge changes to their jobs in the past few years that will make for an interesting future. To illustrate our point, we've called on our favorite Marvel superheroes as stellar examples of how to tackle your agile marketing quests for now and beyond.
1 - Marketing & Technology aren't breaking up
Marketers are business people. They are really the only function of an organization focused on bringing new business in. Having said that, marketers need to be on the cusp of technological changes so they can do their jobs. Just think, nowadays we consume more video, read more news from non-traditional sources and continue our infatuation with mobile and chat bots. Not to mention the growing popularity of augmented and standardization of VR technology. All of this tech isn't something marketers can ignore or hope will blow over. Sure, marketers don't need to necessarily know all of the intricate details of how the technology they use actually works, but they need to know how to use it to their advantage.
When faced with a technology-related problem would you expect Captain America to throw up his hands and say "nope...I can't do it, send me back to the 40s!" No! He faced one heck of a learning curve adapting from the humility of the 1940s to modern day tech. Captain America is no quitter. He adapts to the times because he knows that is what will best serve the people. Sure, the shield's a little tacky, but he's fully embraced modern technology to do his job. If Captain America can do it, so can you.
2 - In an agile marketing environment, the term 'full service agency' is dead
Marketing agencies and departments will get more specialized as the marketing industry continues to grow and the breadth of tactics increases. For example, some organizations will be good at video production, others at inbound marketing and others at media buying/placement. You get the idea. Marketers and agencies have become specialized whether they like to admit it or not. As such, the term 'full service agency' really needs to go. Marketers need to focus on the tactics and type of marketing that they are actually good at vs. what they communicate they are good at. Agile marketers are good at getting marketing done quickly and iterating tactics based on results. It's very hard to be agile in a typical full service agency (where everything is done in house) where your resources are probably generalists vs. specialists.
Instead of trying to do everything on your own find teams and partners with the expertise and knowledge to help you in implementing specific tactics. The Earth-dwelling Avengers may have taken this to a new level when they took Thor in as one of their own. Sure, outsourcing can be a dirty word in some marketing circles and who knows? Maybe it is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe too, but the Earth needed protecting from an evil demigod (Loki) and Thor was willing to help. Thor and the Avengers shared a common interest and he had intimate knowledge of how to thwart Loki's invasion.
In the marketing world there is always something new to learn and you shouldn't be ashamed to ask for help where it's needed. It's what an agile marketer would do.
3 - Know thyself
If the Avengers were the Beatles, Hulk and Hawkeye are clearly the George and Ringo to Captain America and Iron Man's John and Paul. Without a doubt. Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner's character, has as many super powers as you or I do. Plus, unlike Jeremey Renner, we have the luxury of being able to say we had nothing to do with the Bourne Legacy. Kidding aside, Hawkeye doesn't reap the benefits of a shiny suit or super powers. When it comes down to it, Hawkeye's success has been founded on his ability to be a pillar of strength and consistency. He's someone who gets the best of himself every day. Similarly, Bruce Banner isn't your average Joe. It'd be really easy for Bruce Banner to crumble under the pressure of being gigantic, green, and different. Instead, he's dedicated himself to analyzing his triggers and understanding how to work around his flaws. Sometimes that takes a little bit of soul searching, but it will be time well spent when you decide to get in the ring and employ these lessons.
Ultimately, every marketer is different. Usually they have a core skill set that they combine with marketing expertise. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for the daily challenges that might come up in the marketing sphere. The most important thing is to understand your marketing organization's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.
As time passes you can expect the bond between marketing and technology to get stronger and marketers to get a lot more specialized. The only way to thrive and survive will be to get help with your weaknesses so you can reinforce your strengths. That's what the Avengers would do...and that's what successful agile marketers will do. Need help? This whitepaper outlines how to build your agile marketing team for the future.
About the Author:
Sajeel Qureshi is the Vice President of Operations at Computan. Computan helps short-handed marketing departments, inbound marketing agencies and traditional marketing agencies get more agile by providing them affordable and reliable back-end development and technical support. He has a business degree from St. Bonaventure University, and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University.