Last month, Verto’s team attended the Incite Brand Marketing Summit 2018, alongside more than 300 senior brand marketers in San Francisco. The conference was a great opportunity for Verto to share some of our own marketing insights while gleaning a few tricks and tips from top marketing executives. We believe that it’s critical to keep learning and sharing with the best of the best. And as Mike Linton, CMO of Farmer’s insurance put it at the conference, “Marketing is like an iceberg – most people only see what’s above the water, but there’s so much more that happens behind the scene.”
Facebook on the Strategic Importance of Agility
Most business teams are well-versed in the necessity of having an agile team, keeping teams small and being able to pivot upon hearing consumer feedback. While these principles are well known and widespread, it is nascent to apply this to marketing. However, answering the same agile questions for marketing can be very effective: how insular should you keep a team, how do you transform teams when scaling, how do you encourage collaboration between teams, and how do you innovate when change is the only option?
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
Facebook head of Global Partnerships, Brian Groves, spoke in depth about implementing agility at Facebook. First, scrum teams (small teams) organize around the same goals and move fast. Teams work in sprints, focusing on outcomes instead of output. Within teams, Brian stressed the importance of clearly defining roles, creating low friction feedback, and emphasizing adaptation and optimizing over sticking to a plan. He cited OGX Beauty as an example, where small agile teams go after specific objectives to launch a campaign. Teams engage in four-week sprints over six months, which makes the individual teams feel a lot more empowered. More importantly, there are clear lines of responsibility and decision making meetings, not updates.
Farmers insurance CMO on the Evolution of the Role
Marketing is a delicate balance between creative and analytics. Most people only see the final marketing product but they rarely see all the data, strategy, consumer insights, and culture that go into it. Mike Linton, Chief Marketing Officer at Farmers Insurance, spoke about the balance between creative and analytics and how to strike a perfect balance between the two.
While there is a balance between the different aspects of marketing, the story is undeniably what matters, as well as the backing data and measurement. As a marketer, you should strive to understand the key insights about customers and create stories that will resonate with them. Creating a compelling story that is built upon good data is at the core of a great marketing strategy; analytics inform the story, but it’s the combination of creative and analytics that actually drives the story forward. And as a marketer, you must be in a position to tell the company what you’re going to do – or they will tell you (and then it’s too late!). Instead, constantly tell your stakeholders what you’re doing and inform them about how it impacts long-term business goals so that other departments can plan accordingly. Make sure to translate marketing and marketplace data and jargon so the company can truly hear you.
Most importantly, stay ahead of the company and don’t outrun your coverage. While there may be pressure to accomplish as much as you can, you can only go as fast as the company – don’t run past them.
Marketing is an ever-evolving field and there are many insights that can be applied to your business strategy. At the Summit, Facebook stressed the importance of mobile first and agility. Agility can only aid your operation; understanding how to implement it while encouraging innovation is a must. You should strive to become so ready to react that checkpoints become decision making meetings. There is also value in sharing all information with every team member. Farmers Insurance detailed the supremacy of stories and making sure that your creative is supported by analytics. Reward adaptive planning and learning operations instead of sticking to plan. We look forward to seeing you at the next Incite Brand Marketers Summit!