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Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative

Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative

Scott Brinker

ISBN: 978-1-119-18323-5

Mar 2016

288 pages



Apply software-inspired management concepts to accelerate modern marketing

In many ways, modern marketing has more in common with the software profession than it does with classic marketing management. As surprising as that may sound, it's the natural result of the world going digital. Marketing must move faster, adapt more quickly to market feedback, and manage an increasingly complex set of customer experience touchpoints. All of these challenges are shaped by the dynamics of software—from the growing number of technologies in our own organizations to the global forces of the Internet at large.

But you can turn that to your advantage. And you don't need to be technical to do it.

Hacking Marketing will show you how to conquer those challenges by adapting successful management frameworks from the software industry to the practice of marketing for any business in a digital world. You'll learn about agile and lean management methodologies, innovation techniques used by high-growth technology companies that any organization can apply, pragmatic approaches for scaling up marketing in a fragmented and constantly shifting environment, and strategies to unleash the full potential of talent in a digital age.

Marketing responsibilities and tactics have changed dramatically over the past decade. This book now updates marketing management to better serve this rapidly evolving discipline.

  • Increase the tempo of marketing's responsiveness without chaos or burnout
  • Design "continuous" marketing programs and campaigns that constantly evolve
  • Drive growth with more marketing experiments while actually reducing risk
  • Architect marketing capabilities in layers to better scale and adapt to change
  • Balance strategic focus with the ability to harness emergent opportunities

As a marketer and a manager, Hacking Marketing will expand your mental models for how to lead marketing in a digital world where everything—including marketing—flows with the speed and adaptability of software.

Introduction ix


1 Hacking Is a Good Thing 3

2 Marketing Is a Digital Profession 9

3 What Exactly Are Digital Dynamics? 15

4 Marketing Is Now Deeply Entwined with Software 25

5 Marketers Are Software Creators Now 31

6 Parallel Revolutions in Software and Marketing 37

7 Adapting Ideas from Software to Marketing 47


8 The Origins of Agile Marketing 55

9 From Big Waterfalls to Small Sprints 65

10 Increasing Marketing’s Management Metabolism 75

11 Think Big, but Implement Incrementally 85

12 Iteration = Continuous Testing and Experimentation 95

13 Visualizing Work and Workflow to Prevent Chaos 105

14 Tasks as Stories along the Buyer’s Journey 117

15 Agile Teams and Agile Teamwork 129

16 Balancing Strategy, Quality, and Agility 143

17 Adapting Processes, Not Just Productions 155


18 Moving Marketing from Communications to Experiences 163

19 Marketing in Perpetual Beta with an Innovation Pipeline 173

20 Collaborative Designs and the Quest for New Ideas 183

21 Big Testing Is More Important Than Big Data 193


22 Bimodal Marketing: Balancing Innovation and Scalability 207

23 Platform Thinking and Pace Layering for Marketing 219

24 Taming Essential and Accidental Complexity in Marketing 233


25 Chasing the Myth of the 10× Marketer 247

Notes 255

Acknowledgments 263

About the Author 267

Index 269