There’s no doubt that the social media revolution has altered the way consumers interact with brands forever. Today’s consumer is more knowledge and opinionated than before. This has forced corporations turn to look for new marketing practices allowing them to be better situated to compete. One of these recently developed practices is agile marketing. Sure, we’ve talked about the principles and theories that govern this marketing philosophy. However, simply understanding principles and theories will only get you so far. It’s equally important to know how to successfully implement agile marketing. If you find yourself asking “How does one make the switch?”, well you’re in luck. Simon Ward offers up some excellent tips on how to implement agile marketing.
Out with the old, and in with the new
According to Ward, the first step in becoming more agile is to “believe in the new.” He states that traditional marketing consisted of relying on “leaps of faith and breakthroughs”. However, in today’s fast-paced business environment, companies that still rely on traditional marketing are realizing that the odds of these “leaps of faith and breakthroughs” working are rare and “overlook how the pace of change has made it increasingly difficult to predict the future.” So, it’s important to have a team that embraces change. If your team isn’t open to it, then no matter how well thought out your marketing migration plans are they will not be successful.
Speak less, be heard more
Today, most people rely on the immense power of connectivity at both the personal and the professional level. Ward believes that, “With this in mind, the real skill now is all about quality, not quantity.” Don’t believe us? Check out this recent Marketing Sherpa case study on how producing quality content that appeals to your audience has huge results. So just how does one do this? According to Ward, “The answer is a little less conversation, a lot more listening and action…Successful agile marketing depends on having the right tools in place for ongoing monitoring and awareness of the environment.” Only after you understand your audience, can you successfully create content that appeals to them.
Drop in on real customers from time to time
With the advancements in the social web, marketers now have the ability to analyze sentiment and people’s actions. This “Behavioral research, whether virtual or physical, allows you as a marketer to ‘drop in’ and observe real behavior very closely… [giving] greater insight.” No longer do firms have to create focus groups to gather customer sentiment. Now, it’s readily available allowing organizations to “modify, or drop initiatives based on the real world rather than predictions.” The beautiful thing about agile marketing is that it “turns social into a much more valuable asset as a way to elicit action and measure response to marketing efforts.”
Content is King
“If social media is the engine to drive agile marketing initiatives, then branded content is its fuel, powering communications,” writes Ward. He points out that with an agile marketing approach, “once [content is] deployed, it needs continual management and evaluation. The pave with which it proliferates, how it’s perceived, and it’s momentum – these need to be evaluated, and there will need to contingencies. With agile, it the first iteration isn’t functional, the team needs to be ready to iterate again.”
So there you have it. If you’re looking to implement agile marketing, the steps outlined here are the bricks to lay the foundation for it.