Walker Sands invited other Chicago execs to join in reading Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker.
We hosted a meet and greet with the author in our Chicago Loop office on August 23, 2016. See images from the event here.
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Marketing management is racing to keep pace with the technological advances that are disrupting how customers connect and interact with brands. Instead of planning and producing a few big campaigns, marketers today must design and operate an explosion of continuous marketing touchpoints that evolve as quickly as their organization can manage. Marketing's speed, adaptability, and ability to balance innovation and scalability in this highly fluid, digital environment have become key factors in a company's competitiveness.
How can marketing managers master these new dynamics? In many ways, modern marketing now shares a surprising number of characteristics with contemporary software development. "Hacking Marketing" reveals the fascinating parallels between these two disciplines and shows how marketers, even with no technical background, can borrow and adapt successful ideas from software management to lead marketing more effectively in a digital world.
Scott Brinker is the editor of the popular Chief Marketing Technologist blog (chiefmartec.com), where he covers topics at the intersection of marketing and technology, and he is the program chair of the MarTech conference series. He is also the cofounder and CO of ion interaction, a marketing software company.
Traditional forms of marketing have been in existence years before people were logging onto social media, email and other marketing primed platforms. While the occasional direct mailer and printed newsletter might make its way onto your desk, there is no denying that marketing has become deeply intertwined with the digital world making it faster, easier and sneakier to get your message in front of your targeted audience. What some call digital marketing, Brinker eloquently refers to as marketing in a digital world. Adapt this mind set, and you are well on your way to hacking marketing.
Related blog post: B2B Marketing Needs "Hacking Marketing"
For all intents and purposes, in marketing, “agility” refers to prefered methods of project management that break work into small tasks that can be easily reevaluated and make for adaptable marketing plans. Small tasks and frequent assessment sounds like the ideal work flow; however, before the 21st century, marketers relied on waterfall methods to complete projects. This meant that one task had to be completed in order to begin the next. Sounds good in theory, right? Wrong. The waterfall method leads to bottlenecks and the inability to easily backtrack or experiment with new ideas.
Related blog post: Honing Agility
Innovation is a term used widely by marketers and software developers alike, but what does it mean to truly innovate and hack old methods of messaging and media to create new experiences? Let’s start by changing the way you think about marketing. Traditionally, marketing took on a communication role, but in a digital world, marketing must innovate to become a granular experience. Each touchpoint should be unique and actively transform your brand for customers.
Related Blog Post: Continuous Innovation
In most respects, the digital world makes finding and infiltrating marketing touchpoints easy; however, because of the exponential amount of touchpoints, scalability can be a big challenge. That paired with the urge to embrace constant innovation calls for a look at figuring out how to balance the two. Before finding balance, it’s important to understand the differences between the two and why they are both viable parts of marketing. Innovation emphasizes experimentation, possibilities, trial and error, questioning assumptions and speed, while scalability focuses on standardization, promises, foolproof approaches, assumptions and reliability.
Related Blog Post: Scalability & Talent