Agile marketing is a term that can stir up confusion, but is really a simple concept. The need for agility is driven now more that ever by the constantly-evolving digital world. Agile marketing is planning, execution, measurement and adjustment, allowing responses to marketplace events as they happen. The agile approach does not try to solve all problems in advance. Instead the agile process is one of continualy learningand improvement.
The agile process is different from traditional marketing, which starts with some initial research and a planning process, and is then followed by a long and closed build phase. Afterwards, everything is released in one go. The main issue with this process is that it’s very long and isolating, and can often result in products that may not be in line with what users really want or need. The agile method was created by software developers who wanted a process that was more open to learning and real time response.
Traditional marketing processes use small groups of users to test out concepts before launching a full creative campaign. Agile marketing uses this idea and takes it to a different level by using all media as live and ongoing tests that gather feedback and then constantly evolve the program based on what works.
There’s a large amount of considerations in the process of planning for marketing. The importance of the customer is one of the most critical aspects in applying an agile lense to marketing. Linking the customer and product development process means getting an insight into the end user and allows you to test messages, features, and prices. All of that can streamline your process to determine what you can leave out and what will be necessary to keep in. Another thing to keep in mind is where the customer begins their journey, which is actually long before they buy something from a business. It’s important to meet them in the early stages and provide relevant and useful content so that when they reach the purchasing point in their journey, you’ll be a consideration.
It’s also critical to not be afraid of failure. Agile marketing is all about testing and not all tests will succeed. Failure is a great learning process for a business. When you put roughly finished products into customer hands and then gather feedback, it helps to adjust on the fly so that the fully formed product and program is the best and most complete version it could be. If something isn’t working, marketing can’t be afraid to fix it. This is especially important because not adjusting for customer needs and wants can create an unsatisfactory customer experience.
Digital is a good space for agile marketing. The digital sphere is uniquely suited for agile in that it allows for rapid changes due to things like social media and the accessibility of forums and comment threads and websites. It grants a business the ability to rapidly analyze data and feedback and then correct their course of action.
The agile marketing process also works best in conjunction with integrated marketing. The collaborative aspect of integrated marketing combines social and print marketing which creates a process to allow the agility of digital to change all the working parts, including print marketing, as you go. This ensures that all of the marketing mix is agile and cohesive.