Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018

Adaptive Marketing – Survival of the Fittest

I cannot help but think, as I reflect on the latest conversations I had with business owners in the area, how the marketing profession has changed in a very short period. The way people interact, research information and buy products and services has changed.  Ten years ago, many were wondering about the Internet: “I guess I need a web page, but I wonder what to do with it” the same way many are now wondering about social media: “I guess I need a Facebook page for my business, but I wonder what to do with it!”

In the future, there will only be two types of companies, experts warn: those that are agile and adapt to consumers’ changing media behavior and those that go out of business.  Digital channels force marketers to rethink their approach. To avoid extinction and survive in the digital age you must employ Adaptive Brand Marketing. Forrester defines Adaptive Brand Marketing as a flexible approach in which marketers respond quickly to their environment to align consumer and brand goals and maximize return on brand equity.

To truly transform the business into a more agile and innovative organization, you must adopt these habits (called “the five habits of highly adaptive marketers”):

  • Accept change by being flexible to experiment with organizational structures, media, and technology. Do not assume that what works today will work tomorrow. Prepare for the unexpected and settle in with the leading pack.
  • Dare the status quo by demonstrating leadership to push for innovation. Strive to create new brand experiences and use technology to your advantage.
  • Act continuously by making speed a priority when it comes to using new channels. Take on new customer-facing initiatives. Ask the experts and avoid the indecision caused by too many options.
  • Participate personally by getting involved in new media innovations. Empower your team to take a personal stake in shaping the brand experience.
  • Tear down boundaries by eliminating the silos that stifle creativity. Create incentives for people to join forces in new ways and offer them tools to collaborate and share knowledge.

Leaders of Adaptive Marketing organizations will grow their business faster, build stronger brands, and create a competitive advantage in both the short term and the long term.  More than half of the marketing leaders surveyed by Forester point to digital and social marketing as the primary driver behind their next organizational structure. Interestingly enough though, only 4% of them feel that they are very prepared to exploit digital marketing opportunities.

In order to create a healthier and more agile organization, you have to think like a personal trainer. People who successfully lose weight accomplish this by practicing a consistent lifestyle, not sporadically going on crash diets. Stop chasing the latest digital craze and adopt a consistent mindset while adjusting your organizational behavior. Yet remember: the only way your brand can exist in the transparency of social media is to let your product or service do the talking.

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