Organizational agility is critical for business success, according to 90% of executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Nonetheless, 27% also said that their organization is at a competitive disadvantage because it is not agile enough to anticipate fundamental marketplace shifts. Clearly, marketers must lead the charge in anticipating market changes to enable ongoing business success.
In a recent online conversation, marketers answered the question: How Can Marketing Operations Remove Roadblocks to Enable Greater Marketing Agility? A number of strategies came to light:
- Cross-educate left- and right-brainers on the value of the other to the whole.
- Convey that there is not a one-size fits all approach to marketing agility.
- Use clear processes and tools to plan and track accountability.
- Lead the effort on identifying and benchmarking best practices, defining and implementing infrastructure.
- Enable teams to easily share ideas, learn from one another’s work and work iteratively via tools.
- Put customer at center — whether internal or external.
- Enable adoption of processes, focus on skills development.
- Bridge competency gap to get to future state.
- Model desired behaviours i.e. VOC monitoring, openness to new ideas, team building, vigilant trend watching & smart/quick actions.
What’s the Risk in Seizing Opportunities to be More Agile?
Of course, when facing changes that we are discussing, some organizations really fight and try to maintain the status quo. Why?
- Seizing these could be politically unpopular; or being called out to ‘know your place.
- Over-zealousness, lack of holistic thinking could generate maverick behaviour, out-of-alignment to strategy.
- It takes courage of conviction. Need to do a lot of socialization to make sure support is there.
How can these obstacles be minimized?
- Get buy-in, establish discretion parameters.
- Point out revenue-loss from missed opportunities.
- Permission to operate with agility could be used as excuse to be decisive for sake of action – in other words: just do it.
- Emphasize overall strategic objectives and the need to meet important marketing goals
- Use good data and analytics, solid infrastructure and processes, meaningful metrics, and strong scenario analysis skills.
When you consider all of these great points, how can companies not afford to take marketing agility seriously?
Thanks to these tweeters for contributing to this article: @garymkatz @HReichler @LauraVEM @MaryAnnLong @Mopartnersceo
By Simon Johnstone, Consulting Director at Marketing Operations Partners & Founder of Quali5