Remember the old Apple advertisements that coined the catchphrase, “there’s an app for that”?
Need to check the snow conditions on the mountain? Count the calories in your lunch? Automatically renew library books? Identify that song you can’t get out of your head? Yes, there’s an app for that.
Whether consciously or not, many marketers have embraced this idea of creating a standalone solution for every new problem that’s identified—and they’re even applying that mindset to emerging technologies in the workplace.
As Robert Rose recently wrote on the Workfront blog:
“We now have brand teams, demand generation teams, sales enablement teams, field marketing teams, social marketing teams, social CRM teams, PR teams and even (my favorite) a separation in some organizations of ‘digital marketing’ and regular ol’ ‘marketing.’ The interesting thing is that this structure, in most cases, wasn’t designed. These siloes grew organically, like weeds in a garden, as new platforms and technology emerged into popularity. Basically, the business said, ‘Hey, mobile is now a thing. Let’s create a team for that.’”
The result is a series of siloed teams within an organization that actually compete with each other for traffic and engagement—rather than working together to serve the customer.
The solution Rose proposes to this problem is to embrace a “change” mindset. Accept and expect that the structure and protocols you’re following now are temporary. Then when disruptive technologies emerge, purposefully disrupt your current processes to work that new thing in. Don’t just create a new standalone team, leaving the rest of your organization untouched.
Rose’s article is worth reading in its entirety. It outlines three “better practices” that will help you focus on the customer, measure content and meaning instead of teams and channels, and better align the marketing and technology teams amidst constant change.
“Before we look at developing new social media strategies, or a content marketing hub, or a native advertising plan or all the other things where output of the content is the focus, we need to make a strategic effort to make our ability to change the strength of our strategic approach. In other words, if marketing is to become customer-centric and a strategic discipline in this new era, we must simply agree that change is what’s important.”
Let’s face facts here. The only thing marketers can be certain of is that change is inevitable, and there’s no way to accurately predict what’s coming in the next 5 years. After all, we’ve only been creating strategies around Facebook for the past 8 years or so, and the iPad is just a little over 6 years old. The question we all should be asking is, “What can I do to make my organization nimble and fluid enough to adapt to whatever is coming next?”