Old SchoolhouseAre you ready to be an agile marketer? Are you ready to respond to a reality that is changing, in unexpected ways, around you?

I’ve had a recent (and continuing) personal lesson in agility. We just sold our house. It wasn’t on the market, and frankly, we didn’t think it would close.

In short, we were not ready. Now, we need a place to live. Fast. And our experience is reinforcing three key requirements to be agile in marketing, and in life.

1. Know Where You Are Headed

You can’t be ready for everything, but you can know what direction you want to go. When an opportunity presents itself, you can determine if it moves you closer to your objective, or moves you away.

2. Be Ready To Reprioritize

Being agile means you need to be prepared to change any of your plans. Yes, anything. Nothing can be sacrosanct.

In our home, our summer plans have been turned upside down. When we’ve let go and been willing to create new plans, it has gone well. When we have tried to hold on to our original plans, in spite of the changes, it has been counterproductive and stressful.

If you aren’t willing to reconsider your marketing activity (not direction, see above), you will not succeed as an agile marketer.

3. Communicate Clearly and Frequently

Selling our home and getting land has been a dream of ours. So when this opportunity dropped into our laps, you would think we knew exactly what to do. But alas, we didn’t.

Like many long term business and marketing goals, our personal dream was still fuzzy around the edges. We were working towards it, saving and networking with people who have land. But when faced with a real opportunity to jump in and make our dream a reality, we found out just how little we had discussed about the details. What do we need in a house? What do we want from the land? What areas should we look in?

Marketers face a similar challenge. You may have a common understanding of your goal when viewed from a distance, but when you get up close, differences of understanding emerge. Take the time to sit down and work through your goals in enough detail to move forward confidently and as a team.

Bonus: The Pitfall of Being Ready for Anything

Ahh, real time marketing. Unfortunately, you will never be ready for everything. And if you somehow create the infrastructure that is, your marketing will be crushed by the cost of the infrastructure.

The now famous Oreo blackout Tweet was only possible because a team was together ready to take advantage of an opportunity. You can afford to do that during the SuperBowl. You can’t afford to do it every night of the year.

Your Turn

What are you doing to ensure your marketing is ready to adapt to unexpected changes? Share your tips in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

Oh, and if you have a lead on small acreage west of Portland, Oregon that isn’t publicly on the market yet, do let me know!

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Flickr cc