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Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative Hardcover – March 21, 2016
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"A brilliant road map on how to evolve the capability and culture of marketing practices using parallels from the most disruptive industry in the world, the software industry."
—Ram Krishnan, SVP & CMO, PepsiCo
"Creates a compelling model for how to think about the intersection of marketing and our digital world. It helped me re-think the way I approach my role as a CMO."
—John L. Kennedy, CMO, Xerox Corporation
"Marketing success is based on the experience it delivers, and now Scott Brinker lays out a terrific manifesto about how to rethink the operations underlying it."
—David C. Edelman, Principal, McKinsey & Company
"An original take on how the management of marketing must transform to keep pace with our increasingly digital world. It's a must read for anyone looking to stay relevant in this modern marketing era."
—Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
"A must-read operating manual for CMOs who want to lead in the digital age."
—Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director, Bain Capital Ventures
"We are all digital now. Scott makes it easier than ever for smart marketers to ask the right questions and to discover what they need to know now."
—Seth Godin, Author, All Marketers Are Liars
"An inspiring read for anyone who wants to master the art and science of modern marketing management, from the practice of lean and agile marketing to the design of a scalable engine for marketing innovation."
—Mayur Gupta, SVP and Head of Digital, Healthgrades
"Scott shows how great marketing management today is closer to modern software development than the marketing of yesterday and helps marketers understand how to incorporate those principles to succeed."
—Rishi Dave, CMO, Dun & Bradstreet
"The truth is that marketing has changed, more than almost any other profession, and the majority of marketers have no idea how to effectively manage the process. Hacking Marketing gives you a flashlight and shows you the truth so you never have to look back again."
—Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
"I am a strong believer that Agile has to be the foundation of any successful marketing team. Scott’s book provides timely insight into how to make a shift to agile marketing."
—Joe Staples, CMO, Workfront
From the Inside Flap
Marketing management is racing to keep pace with the technological advances that are disrupting how customers connect and interact with brands. Instead of planning and producing a few big campaigns, marketers today must design and operate an explosion of continuous marketing touchpoints that evolve as quickly as their organization can manage. Marketing's speed, adaptability, and ability to balance innovation and scalability in this highly fluid, digital environment have become key factors in a company's competitiveness.
How can marketing managers master these new dynamics? In many ways, modern marketing now shares a surprising number of characteristics with contemporary software development. Hacking Marketing reveals the fascinating parallels between these two disciplinesand shows how marketers, even with no technical background, can borrow and adapt successful ideas from software management to lead marketing more effectively in a digital world.
Written by one of the industry's foremost experts on the interplay between marketing and technology, Hacking Marketing is a nontechnical guide to managing marketing with a new generation of "digitally native" practices and frameworks. In a conversational style, it walks through pragmatic solutions to the challenges of increasing agility without losing strategic focus, accelerating marketing experimentation without sacrificing scalable operations, and empowering a more independent and distributed workforce without disconnecting executive leadership.
Whether you're an experienced marketing manager updating your skill set or a newcomer looking to gain a foothold in the current marketplace, keep this one-of-a-kind resource of convenient, authoritative information at your side for its:
- Thoroughly clarifying primer on agile marketing, including fundamental concepts of iterative and incremental management, workflow strategies, team dynamics, and more
- Practical guidance for shaping marketing programs in a world of digital experience touchpoints, including working in perpetual beta, collaborative design, interactive content, and "big testing"
- Everyday tactics for managing the dichotomy between innovation and scalability, including a two-pronged approach to stability and agility, an easy-to-use "pace layering" model, and strategies for avoiding the pitfalls of complexity
Hacking Marketing expands your mind-set and skill set for cutting-edge marketing leadership in a digital world where everything flows with the speed and adaptability of software.
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He also dives into the evolution of marketing from simple communications to the design and delivery of experiences. In other words, how we as consumers in any industry have a greater need for an interactive engagement with our brands. I appreciate that he borrows from various other disciplines and tactics including growth management, rapid software development, and customer experience. These mindsets and methodologies are what we worked to change in our executive and operational marketing management clients before we deployed any new marketing technology.
If you are a marketing leader working through the struggles of managing multiple projects and initiatives to deliver meaningful results, this is the book for you.
I particularly love the idea of taking an experimental approach to marketing. However, I will admit to finding the practice considerably more difficult than the concept. A/B testing of, e.g., landing pages has become commonplace, and we have likewise found ways to introduce randomness into other marketing efforts such that we can potentially learn something about their true effects. So far so good. But gathering the data we need to learn what we need to learn from experiments: that has turned out to be surprisingly challenging.
One variation of a landing page, for example, might be particularly good at getting people to click through to a website or even sign up for a free trial. But what if that population of visitors/sign-ups is significantly less likely to convert to a paid subscription? It’s not enough to experiment with landing pages and scale up those that generate the most clicks or the most sign-ups. You need to know something more about the populations for whom different landing pages work, and about the long-run revenues and costs that might come from those populations.
Capturing good data on metrics of success that truly matter can be incredibly difficult in practice. At our company, we’re building out a custom Force.com system to help us track experiments through to eventual revenue and other metrics of success. It’s complicated, since we have to track not only who was exposed to what experiments, but also how our relationships with those users developed. When sales cycles are long and involve multiple people and even multiple organizations, tracking attribution is tricky, and it involves a lot of legwork on our part. But without that legwork, we simply don't end up with the data we need to properly learn from the experiments we conduct.
Hacking Marketing has given us an extremely useful conceptual framework, plus a whole slew of practical management ideas for how to put that framework into practice. This has then allowed me and my company to focus on sorting out the actual experiment->data->learning part. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there!
Personally and professionally, I found this book to be a long-needed therapy session, especially in how Scott introduces reasons for writing it on page 18: ”The time and expense for making website changes are almost all a function of human and organizational factors—while the costs of distributing them on the Web are, technically speaking, close to zero... This will be a recurring theme: how can we reduce unnecessary organizational constraints to take maximum advantage of digital malleability."
Scott covers agile (traditionally from the software engineering discipline) applied to numerous functions. For example, while we have come to accept that technical feasibility exists in most every part of our lives, it's the agile sprints that create ‘organizational’ flexibility.
For maximum efficacy, share this book with your colleagues, people inside your company, and your partners and peers. You’ll thank me for it!