How Agile Are You?
Published by Jane Cirigliano, June 30th, 2015
Using new tools to respond faster
Agile Marketing aims to improve the speed, transparency, predictability and adaptability to change for your business. Based on Agile Development for software, Agile Marketing often employs tools such as marketing automation, social media monitoring and scheduling, and content development to move quickly in response to current events, customer interactions and crisis management.
Agile Marketers follow a process that allows for short marketing experiments, feedback (internal and external), assessment of results and adjustments to react to the changing market environment. The goals are to increase the swiftness and responsiveness of marketing, improve communication and better align the company goals with the sales staff.
Sounds great, right? But using Agile Marketing often requires a culture shift in established companies where there is a hierarchy for decisions and approvals. So how can you make your company culture more Agile?
Quickly responding to what is happening in the industry, customers and competitors is a key component of Agile Marketing. Agile Marketers focus on responding to change over following a plan.
However, that does not mean that there isn’t a plan. Agile Marketers think in sprints rather than long-term plans, though their sprints are designed to accomplish long-term goals. This method helps achieve over-arching goals while allowing marketers the flexibility and autonomy to make decisions on short-term campaigns.
If your company has a long-term plan (and you should), it will not hinder your ability to go Agile. Your company may need to look at the plan a little differently and you may need to set some decision-making boundaries with your management team.
Agile Marketing values the use of several smaller campaigns as opposed to investing primarily in large marketing campaigns. Smaller campaigns are typically faster to deploy. They can also be targeted based on market or position in the sales cycle.
Continuing to run large corporate campaigns is still a valuable component of your marketing mix. As with most media, it’s a matter of finding the right balance and integrating your messages.
Agile Marketing focuses on individuals and interactions rather than speaking to the masses. From customer service monitoring on social media to personalized content when a returning customer visits your website, Agile Marketers create experiences for customers that keep them coming back for more.
You must truly understand your customer base and develop deep profiles to take full advantage of personalization. Online tools can help you speed up and automate the process while producing quality interactions.
More and more, we are seeing companies collaborate with customers, suppliers and other external sources to generate content, extend each other’s reach and cross-sell. External orientation shows customers you care about meeting their needs, and it also gives you some built-in endorsements.
Agile Marketers trust data and insights over opinions and a “we’ve always done it this way” attitude. They use A/B and other forms of testing to determine what works best and constantly improve their marketing efforts.
This test-and-learn approach integrates automation, collaboration and monitoring to help Agile Marketers learn what works with small campaigns, then invest in what works to increase ROI.
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