agile marketingEnterprise marketing agility is the adaptability of the organization to readily accommodate spontaneous evolution in the market. The idea of agile marketing is sexy and the potential benefits promising. However, before you put too many eggs in the agile basket, make sure your organization has done its due diligence.

Consider these success factors:

  1. Know yourself: The key to differentiation is to thoroughly understand what makes your product, service or company stand out from the crowd.
    • What problem are you solving?
    • What do you stand for and why?
    • Who you want to do business with?
    • How will you make a difference?
  2. Know your market: Thoroughly understand the business opportunity, trends, patterns that may lead to future trends, competitive positioning, ecosystem.
  3. Think like your customer: Target customers that fit your business model and develop deep insights about them:
    • What outcome(s) are they trying to achieve and why?
    • What’s the gap between their current and desired future state?
    • What’s blocking them from getting there? What are their motives, urgency, payback expectations, consequences of inaction, means to act and perceived risks in acting?

    Segment your audience and develop personas to ensure you develop messaging that is context specific and relevant to each.

  4. Align the company: Mobilize cross-functional talent, energy and resources around a shared vision so focus stays on serving the customer, achieving common objectives and winning together.
  5. Ensure accountability: Great marketing builds credibility, trust, goodwill and reputation, provided your organization walks the talk (brand promise = value + performance + customer experience).
  6. Market and sell to customers on their terms, not yours: Understand your customers’ buying journeys.
    • Deliver useful content, just in time, to support them wherever they are in their journey.
    • Think relationship, not transactions. They will buy when they are ready; pushing them to do so earlier is putting your needs over theirs.
    • Respect their privacy and be especially cognizant of inadvertently spamming them via communications that are self-centered, invasive and, especially, irrelevant.
    • Create opportunities to listen at least twice as much as you communicate.
  7. Strategy informs tactics: Clear direction is an imperative before taking action. Success depends on a well-formulated strategy, including metrics and key performance indicators. Measure investment with a portfolio point-of-view to keep the focus strategic.
  8. Win buy-in: Secure executive, peer and grassroots support and commitment to fully execute the strategy. Make sure you invest enough to go the distance. There’s nothing more demoralizing than not being able to finish what you started.
  9. Prepare for contingencies: Executing a marketing strategy is an ongoing process. Smart companies have a contingency plan in place that enables them to make course corrections, in alignment with the strategy, to address the dynamic realities of doing business — new market forces, competitive innovations, changes in customer preference or requirements. Today’s marketers must have a mindset of continuous experimentation, adaptation and refinement to be effective.
  10. Demonstrate results: To be credible in the C-Suite, marketing needs to show its investment strategy is working, fix what is not working, and redirect investment to those portfolios that are performing the best (or have the potential to do so in the long-term). Tracking progress, measuring impact and communicating success is imperative to ensuring decision-makers see the return and continue to fully fund the marketing organization to lead the way.

Next time we’ll discuss the importance of putting strategy before methodology in advancing marketing agility.

Image purchased under license from Shutterstock.