Agile Marketing: 2019 Is Your Year
VP, Americas Marketing and Communications
As I reflect back on 2018, it was an exciting year for marketing. A year full of embracing new technology, adapting our business models to succeed in the market, and keeping intently focused on the customer to drive the best outcomes.
I recently moved from my role leading partner marketing for Cisco, and now am running Cisco’s Americas Marketing and Communications team. Through my transition, although the audience has shifted, many things remain the same. Creating the best experience, whether it be for partners or customers, is still key. As marketers, we are energized by new ideas, and have the ability to execute in creative ways with a data-driven approach.
Marketing organizations have a very strategic role to play for the business, and this will become even more critical as we move in to the New Year. Here are a few things that marketing practices can embrace to make a big impact in 2019.
Businesses will need to adapt their marketing organizations to be agile, and this can only happen if they are fueled by data. Gartner released a report earlier this year describing the 7 key practices to successfully lead today’s agile marketing organization, many of which focus on leadership qualities to embrace, developing trust with your team, and creating a shared vision for your team. The report also shares some of the hard skills that are critical for marketing teams to embrace. Notably, knowing how to use market/customer insights and brand/content/messaging.
Using market and customer insights is critical to agile marketing. And what do I mean when I say that? The ability to be strategic in your decision making, optimize projects on an ongoing basis, and push the business to make relevant investments. Using insights gives you the utmost power as a business leader. You are supported in data, know your customers intimately, and can meet their needs because of this knowledge. Meeting customers on their journeys with the right content and messaging isn’t anything new, but it will become more targeted with the insights to fuel the decisions. And this is all in the hands of marketing to act on.
Marketers must also be creative and resourceful to succeed in an agile marketing organization.Like I said, as a marketer, I am energized by new ideas and creative thinking. Marketing organizations have the opportunity to influence perceptions of the business at the front lines with customer touchpoints. At Cisco, we’ve recently launched our brand campaign: the bridge to possible. This is a great example in my mind of connecting a brand’s purpose and message to something greater – something more human – and something powerful.
It’s clear, marketing has a strategic seat at the table with business leaders. The insights that we formulate about customers is what leads to strategic decision-making—fueled by the insights of an agile and creative marketing organization.
Know your customers deeply. Get creative and connect in meaningful ways. And fuel everything with insights.
Let’s make 2019 the year of agile marketing.