What Marketers Can Learn From Software Developers
The software development world thrives on agile development — strategizing for an end goal, collaborating on the development of a minimally viable product, taking feedback and then iterating. Agile development allows for quicker development and thrives on taking feedback from users to validate the product, fix issues and continually get better. Marketing should take the same approach. We should develop good strategies, get them to a great — but not perfect — place, then launch them to determine if they are working as predicted. Here’s why this is a critically important approach to marketing:
- Most strategies are based on hypotheses – You take educated guesses on whether the strategy will work. While you need to use all of the resources and skills available to develop that strategy, you will never know if it works until you test it in the marketplace. By rapidly executing a first-stage “test” of the strategy, you can prove your hypothesis before you go “all in” on it. Once you’ve proven it, in real-time, you can roll it out and duplicate the strategy for a broader, consistent approach that truly succeeds.
- We live in a data-driven world. Data doesn’t lie. By getting the first stages of a digital campaign started and tested faster, you will get quicker data (feedback) which moves you beyond guessing to proof. This type of real-time data not only allows a strategy to get better, it provides measurable proof for company stakeholders, investors, acquirers, and new clients. It’s one thing to hypothesize that something will work, it’s a whole other thing to prove that it is working.
- If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we never know what tomorrow will bring. The world is constantly changing. If you take significant amounts of time to develop and activate a marketing strategy, the very things you have based that strategy on may shift before you even launch. If you don’t grab the moment, you might lose the opportunity.
By doing your homework, developing strong hypotheses and then launching them to test and adjust, you will fail faster, succeed quicker and capture the feedback and hard data to show what works and what doesn’t. When you see that adjustments are needed, you can make them earlier and at a lower cost. When you see success, you can duplicate it and build the predictable momentum that is the hallmark of successful marketing. They say that “Speed Kills”, but when it comes to marketing, while you need to develop a smart and thorough strategy, speed actually pumps life into marketing and, as a result, your balance sheet.