Agile marketing is not just about speed and flexibility. Agile marketing has a lot of attention right now as many people believe that it is faster and more flexible marketing. In general, this may be true, but this is only a part of the definition. To be more specific, agile marketing is a process-oriented device whose purpose is to generate proactive and innovative marketing actions. It is the result of a perfect union between agile methodologies, from the world of software development, and creative and the innovative area that is marketing.
The Agile methodology was created in response to the traditional waterfall approach used by the software development sector. The Waterfall Approach received its named because the process was divided into stages which proceeded in cascade. A waterfall project typically involved four steps – Step one – carefully define the specifications. Step two – architecture design. Step three – Development of the implementation. Step Four – verification, delivery and maintenance (permanent stage). At this point the sale would be considered closed.
This approach was slow, high-risk, difficult to administer, too formal in communications, etc. The implementation of the waterfall approach took so long that projects were rarely completed, and if they were completed, they were already obsolete upon implementation. In many cases, customers were furious because developers had misinterpreted the needs and therefore the mapping activities were bad. Marketing today suffers from similar problems: too rigid planning, compartmentalized functionality and delayed results due to the desire for “perfection”.
This suggests that marketing and the agile methodology are made for each other. The Agile development methodology implements processes that combat rigidity, slowness and running in silos, allowing you to work and react quickly. This is a clear method, which focuses on close collaboration, open communication and sharing of intelligence. It works in small steps, with the constant delivery of small batches of results. This allows for real-time and continuous measurements. It follows the process of Scrum agile structure with up to 4 iterations per week and daily 15-minute meetings planning.
One of the things I like most in the agile marketing is the pride of place it accords with the observations, continuous measurements, and subsequent adaptations. Because in this world of increasing complexity, characterized VUCA- volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – you cannot afford to wait quietly to see if your marketing efforts eventually translate into sales figures. You may miss the boat.
Actually, the answer is simple. You must know the market and your client to respond appropriately to them, but in order to gain real knowledge, you must watch and monitor them continuously. We are in the era of real time and reacting slower would be a long term disaster.
The marketing guy must own smart technologies
For your marketing to be truly agile, get your experts to work closely together and with other departments such as IT. This will be helpful, but not as much as the use of smart technologies, which allow you to evolve in step with your industry and to remain a leader.
For example. You must be able to launch a new product page on your website and test consumer reaction; what do they look at first? Are they going to click on what you want and if they click, does this interest turn into a purchase? You must be able to quickly determine if the buy button works better on the left or on the right. More sophisticated technology to adapt online content to customer’s interests is also essential.
Content should be determined by clicks from readers on the previous pages. You also need a tool that can deliver customer feedback that is posted on multiple sources, like social media so you can make intelligent decisions and take action in all circumstances, such as during a crisis.
Finally, I will share with you one of my favorite agile marketing examples: the French company Bouygues Telecom – number one competitor of Free Mobile – launched a large promotional campaign related to its ADSL offering.
Within an hour of the campaign launch, Free Mobile launched its own campaign promoting a cheaper ADSL offer. Free had already analyzed its upstream leeway in case of such an action from the competition and prepared its promotional offer in the system, in order to respond as soon as possible.
The company even issued a press release in the same hour stating that Bouygues’s offer was more expensive than the new free promotion. A lesson in terms of agility and visibility. When faced with such levels of volatility and digital expertise the market can only become more and more ruthless. All companies still reveling in their slow devices marketing, research and market analysis are unable to react in an innovative, prompt manner are in big trouble if they do not wake up.
I hope you are awake!