#3. Companies need to simultaneously embrace both a more aggressive and a more disciplined mindset to campaign & execution development.

Traditionally, marketing interactions and communications have centered around a core idea designed to appeal to a broad swath of a brand's current and potential audience.These ideas were carefully crafted and nurtured and then thoughtfully "rolled out" across a variety of channels, often in limited versions of the idea, and would run for relatively lengthy periods of time.

The newly available channels and tools will make this approach obsolete. Marketers are increasingly capable of creating individually-tailored messages, distributing multiple versions cost-effectively, measuring the effectiveness of different alternatives and adjusting both messaging and media plans in real-time to optimize performance.

To succeed today, marketers must learn to be comfortable with discomfort

They need to acknowledge that they can't predict which ideas and executions (and channels) will resonate before launch, instead they need to get into marketplace nimbly and see how consumers interact with their messages and offers.Marketers in this new environment need to be both aggressive and disciplined. They need to be aggressive (and creative) in how they create products, communications and experiences with their consumers or customers. And they need to be disciplined in how they structure experiments across a range of factors and measuring and optimizing results in real-time.. 

#4. The future of marketing will likely involve new operational models and partners, and characterized by different working relationships with those partners

The traditional operational model was relatively bifurcated.Company employees wrote briefs outlining marketing objectives, set budgets and investment levels, and managed agencies who executed most of the work.The agencies developed the campaign idea, created the various executions of that idea across channels and then planned and executed the media against those plans.

Responsibility for measurement and optimization has always been somewhat ambiguous, when done at all.Sometimes analytic companies would do the measurement, sometimes it was done internally, sometimes agencies assumed responsibility.

As both the economy and marketing landscape changes significantly, companies will want to explore alternate working models.Talent is increasingly the driver of success in the evolving economy, yet the battle for talent is fierce.There is a worldwide shortage of professional workers, in particular there is a data scientist shortfall. The talent – especially millennials – have different career goals and expectations than those generations that preceded them.They yearn for more control, more flexibility and divergent experiences.In the future, competing effectively for talent will require models that appeal to those motivations.

For example, the "gig" or "on-demand" economy continues to grow (currently about 40% of the workforce has been involved in what is called the alternative or independent workforce).Progressive companies will learn to leverage and benefit from these evolving workstyles.

In a future blog, I will discuss the respective benefits for talent and companies in this new gig or work economy.Properly executed, leveraging this new environment can be a significant source of competitive advantage for companies. Companies can enjoy many benefits from these new working arrangements: perhaps most importantly, they will have access to talent they might not ordinarily attract, they can make fixed costs variable, they can better plan and staff around peak periods (e.g., annual planning periods), etc.


Technological innovation and its subsequent impact on the marketing landscape are quickly changing both the tools that marketers rely on and the traditional rules of marketing. And in the face of these changes, marketers are increasingly called up to navigate unchartered waters.Just as marketers are changing their tools, they also need to rethink how they approach marketing broadly: their internal processes, their capability development and training efforts, their partnerships and how they evaluate and optimize all those components working in conjunction.Winners in the future will be the ones who master both the aggressiveness and discipline necessary to navigate these changes.