In an era where people can ignore your message with the click of the delete button or a DVR, the ad game has lost some of its control. Consumers have the power, and unless you are speaking directly to them, the trend is to tune you out, unsubscribe or put you on the “Do Not Call” list. These “one size fits all campaigns” that people are sorting through over their trash cans aren’t enough anymore.
Enter, Agile Marketing. Instead of the long-term, cemented and meticulously planned advertising approach, agile marketing demands to be noticed and dares to be different. Spawned by innovative software development methods in 2001 and influenced quickly by social media, agile marketing boasts flexibility, rapid response, customer satisfaction and even (gasp!) experimentation as desired qualities of an ad campaign.
So why is social media the agile marketer’s playground? From small start-ups to major corporations, businesses can tailor their content to communicate in a more human and approachable manner or tone of voice through the internet and social media. But agile marketing is more than just a clever, timely tweet or a rushed blog on a relevant, trending topic. There is a reason consumer behaviors are in the drivers seat and without agile marketing, agencies and businesses are caught in the crosswalks.
New to agile marketing? Well, agility doesn’t come naturally. You have to be at ease with working at a quicker pace, making almost instantaneous adjustments and having no ability to predict what will follow. So why should companies test the waters of agile marketing? And what does agile marketing look like?
Agile marketing is quick.
It allows for faster campaigns, which translates to faster results. You can take a breath to re-evaluate your position as you track behavior on your website and keep tabs on your target audience. Responses you receive are in real-time and and can be carried out in rapid cycles at the pace of market demands.
Agile marketing is flexible.
Your campaign strategies shift quickly to meet a new need, a trend, or emerging data. Because of this, the marketing is relevant, more timely and always adjustable.
Agile marketing is cost effective.
Campaigns achieve better results in a more cost effective way. It prioritizes for you as the most critical work rises quickly to the top. Because you are able to respond to events within minutes by altering your homepage or microsite, you have a relatively low risk and inexpensive way to experiment with different messages or content.
So how does a company who is used to traditional marketing make the jump to agile marketing?
Break large tasks into small increments requiring minimal planning and duration – usually one to four weeks. Teamwork and collaboration (team huddle anyone?), effective communication, the ability to make quick decisions (and change direction at a moment’s notice) and the right tools to harness real time data are all key to assessing instantaneous consumer feedback and gaining insight into what motivates an individual or company to respond or react. Being able to take that data and feedback, and tailor it to the perfect service or product quickly can be a winning combination. Leveraging this information and engaging at the right moment can be tricky. It’s not always easy to tell how long a topic or trend will be relevant. Strike too late and the significance may be dated and obsolete.
There is a place and time for old school approaches that aren’t necessarily agile. Always has been and always will be. But agile marketing needs a seat at the table too. Its ability to satisfy customers readily with its adaptable, problem solving abilities creates huge value for your business, and your clients. Welcome agile marketing, make room for it, and give your marketing team the tools, environment, the support and encouragement they need to quickly identify and work with changes in your marketplace.