How Agile Teams are Adapting to Embrace the Flexible Future of Marketing

By Jay Kulkarni, CEO and Founder, Theorem

The marketing world is undergoing rapid transformation. While agility and adaptation to change is nothing new for marketing teams, the shifts brought forth by the pandemic are breaking the traditional models and pushing the need for fast flexibility and adjustments into hyperdrive. As a result, marketing teams have pivoted their strategies and taken the demands of consumers into account on a deeper level. The one constant that stands out through the disruptions of the past 18 months; the future of marketing is flexible and teams that embrace that mindset are those that will ensure success.

How exactly should a marketer look to do this? Let’s explore what’s driving this change and how agile teams can adapt to embrace the flexible future of marketing.

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What do we mean when we talk about the flexible future of marketing?

Many companies today are currently operating in silos. In this traditional working model, the marketing team often works independently from other teams such as product development, operations and IT. Sometimes there are even fairly big silos within the marketing teams themselves. These silos create inefficiencies, especially as they relate to data sharing among the organization and the pandemic puts these inefficiencies under a microscope.

The flexible future of marketing looks to break down these silos, and encourage businesses to think holistically. Teams are rapidly adapting to meet the call of the flexible future by pivoting their internal strategies to unify their goals and break these silo barriers.

Privacy & data… the path to innovation.

In our new world, privacy and data are center stage. Recent privacy regulations and ongoing industry conversations concerning the deprecation of third-party cookies is bringing change to the industry. The demise of identifiers is creating a need for brands to rely more on their own data, and for marketing teams to push their creative limits to find new ways to leverage that owned data to their advantage. The challenge remains: brands must keep pushing the boundaries to find smarter ways to gather and leverage their own data to ensure growth and customer retention. A study conducted late last year stated that only a mere 8% of advertisers surveyed had deployed solutions that would prepare them for a cookieless future.

While one hopes that number has increased, the collective marketing industry could be doing more. Unifying methodologies and workflows across silos within the organization is a key way to achieve success with data gathering and sharing inside a company. Now is the time to understand how to pivot strategy in an effort to begin collecting and utilizing more owned data and continually testing these new measures to make sure they are effective.

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What immediate steps can marketers begin to take now to prepare for this new way forward?

There are three best practices that should be on every marketer’s radar in the coming months.

  • Be transparent.

Be transparent with your clients and audiences in how you are choosing to collect and utilize first-party data. Allow them to feel as though they are a part of the conversation. Transparency is key, both in strategy and in customer policy.

  • Ensure compliance.

All strategies imposed are fully compliant with new and evolving regulations. This is not an easy feat, but it is a necessity. Taking steps such as including data collection practices within your privacy policies, providing clients with tools to control their data sharing with your organization and providing consumers with clear opt-in/opt-out options are all a great start.

  • Remain agile.

The pandemic seismically upended the world of marketing. Consumer sentiments and buying behaviors are shifting on a dime. Gone are the days in which marketers could operate off a set, annual plan, and potentially pivot every quarter or so. Now is the time for marketers to stay nimble, and to continue to push themselves to evolve to meet today’s, and tomorrow’s, challenges. Now is the time to embrace the future… the flexible future of marketing.

What does the flexible future of marketing in a cookieless world mean?

These silos were created in a third party cookie world. Long standing systems and working models are fast becoming roadblocks for teams in terms of agility, transparency and compliance. But how will a cookieless world really impact marketing?

It is clear that first party data collection and utilization is the future but it is under a microscope from a privacy and compliance standpoint, on many levels. The reign of first party cookies will push teams to break the mold of the existing silos and drive forward with agility, embracing the flexible future of marketing on the path to success.

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