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It is an understatement to say that digital marketing has changed marketing. First and foremost, it has given marketers more ways than ever to connect with their target audiences. But it is not just the growing number of channels and services that has changed things. Just as impactful is the manner in which creative assets are developed and distributed today.

Thanks to digital technology, creative assets — banner ads, social messages, etc. — can be developed quickly and cost-effectively, especially when compared to the past when TV commercials and print advertisements dominated the marketing mix. And once assets are developed, many of them can be easily distributed and placed, whether it is the posting of social messages, the purchase of keywords for search ads, the implementation of retargeting ads, and more.

The ability to develop and distribute creative assets quickly and cost-effectively is particularly critical in this day and age when consumers require interactions that are relevant and timely. To meet the expectations of today’s consumers, it is important to be agile and to adapt quickly.

All of this has a significant consequence on the pace in which decisions need to be made. It is no longer sufficient to have the same mindset of the days before digital. Marketing organizations need to increase the pace of their decisioning to support the types of activities they are executing today. 

Fortunately, the increased pace of decisioning needed today is supported by the fact that marketers can now access feedback on what’s happening instantaneously, unlike in the past when it took a long time to know the effectiveness of a TV commercial or a print ad. As a result, it is foolish for organizations to not take advantage of the instant feedback available and make decisions that enable them to optimize their creative assets often.

Shorter decision cycles at the creative assets level also have an effect on the pace of decisioning further up the food chain. For example, in the past, it was not uncommon to wait to review the effectiveness of a campaign until after it was over. This no longer makes sense, particularly for campaigns that are digitally oriented. Instantaneous feedback on the effectiveness of particular creative assets can be used to make spend reallocation decisions across different elements of a campaign on a regular basis. Similarly, decisions about a particular channel should be made on a more timely basis than before and ideally within the context of an omnichannel campaign.

Even when it comes to big picture strategic decisions, marketing organizations should consider making such decisions more often than in the past, in order to keep up with the faster pace of how marketing activities are being executed.

Marketing organizations need to get ready to handle the increasing pace of marketing decisions. They need to put the people, processes, and technology in place so that decisions can be made at all levels in a timely manner. I will expand on these issues in my next blog post.