Complex problems, whether centered around marketing challenges or otherwise, often demand complex solutions. Just as complex problems are distilled into several smaller problems, appropriate solutions are described as the application of several solutions aided by individual tools and techniques.
Most solutions are found by combining multiple tools that were developed with something else in mind. The proper know-how and experience lead to the correct selection of tools and the appropriate use. The diversity and compatibility of the set of tools at your disposal is a crucial factor in determining the correct solution. Since it’s rare to find a single tool that can completely solve a complex problem, you need a diverse set of tools that work well together. Otherwise, you will find yourself solving only a portion of your problem or multiple aspects of a problem in ways that generate inconsistencies. Defining a solid toolset ensures your ability to address a wide range of problems before they arise.
It works both ways
A lot of care is put into defining problems. You design experiments, analyze data and perform A/B tests to understand that a problem exists and all the possible causes. This is followed by finding a commercially available solution that addresses the observed high-level problem. However, the odds that the single platform or software tool will precisely address the problem at hand is slim. It’s true that the most cost effective solution is to use a mature tool that can guarantee some degree of success. However, if you were to design a perfect solution to your problem from scratch, how close would it be to the commercially available solution?
The same approach towards identifying the problem should be used to identify a solution. You should design experiments, analyze data and perform A/B tests just the same. This requires control over the fundamental pieces of the solution in order to mix and match, replace and tweak the parameters that make the magic happen. Imagine if you had the technical know-how and experience to design the exact computer needed to address the critical tasks that you perform the most. It would undoubtedly be superior to the computer you bought on Amazon, but the money required to do this likely outweighs the benefits from the increased performance. However, if your business relies on solving a specific problem that continues to change over time, access to a flexible and diverse toolset that can be used as fundamental building blocks to address complex and dynamic problems will pay off.
Marketing challenges demand flexibility
Imagine the building you could build if your building blocks are bricks rather than entire rooms. Your building will be completed faster and cheaper using the rooms as a fundamental unit, but the building you build with bricks will be the exact size and have the optimal layout to best suit your needs. Granularity brings flexibility and breadth at the expense of speed and initial investment, but it provides a collection of building blocks to solve future, unknown marketing challenges. The rate of change in markets and business practices demands agile thinking. Access to the fundamental components of your marketing solutions allows you to quickly adapt in an environment that continues to reward customization.