Book Review: Hacking Marketing

Scott Brinker’s Hacking Marketing is a must read for those involved in marketing.

Marketing in 2016 isn’t easy. Marketers need to be as much an expert in creative branding as they do in predictive analytics. They need to produce huge through the line campaigns whilst also optimising the minute details of the customer experience.

Given this situation, the timing couldn’t be better for Brinker’s book. It handles the problems that beset many marketers in how to be more responsive, innovative and agile.

Hacking marketing parallels between software and marketing

Hacking Marketing parallels between software and marketing

What makes the book more fascinating is that the author isn’t a marketer by trade. Scott Brinker is Chief Technology Officer at Ion Interactive, a marketing technology company that focuses on interactive content. His background and exposure to the challenges around marketing technology give Scott a unique insight on how to improve marketing practice.

What’s good about Hacking Marketing

  • Gives approachable guidance on applying agile into marketing operations
  • Provides really clear guidance on building an innovation pipeline
  • Demonstrates Brinker’s intelligence and breadth of research on this topic
  • If applied, could be hugely transformational to a marketing operation
  • Great use of visualisation to help people understand what’s needed
  • The topics in the book are very approachable for the novice and expert

How I’d like to see Hacking Marketing improved

If a second edition of the book is going to be due out, I’d like to see Scott include the following:

  • Addition of quick tools and frameworks to assess and improve your organisation
  • Bulleted takeaway lists to help implement the techniques in your own organisation
  • Additional case studies to strengthen a marketers own implementation of the ideas

It may turn the book into a textbook but I think the practical elements would be well worth the additional page count.

Hacking marketing as a consultant

Based on the book’s concepts, you may want to take the following approach with your clients (or in your own company’s marketing department):

  1. Identify what issue to tackle first (innovation, agility, scalability or talent) – a good way to do this is to force a choice between two of the areas rather than ordering all four options
  2. Use Hacking Marketing to define the end state – how will things work when the change is completed
  3. Identify people, process and technology changes required to reach your end point
  4. Develop a roadmap for change – what are the priority areas to work on, create a kanban board that covers these areas
  5. Apply the agile and minimum viable principles in Scott’s book

The book can be ordered on Amazon UK (Amazon US link).

David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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