Faster, cheaper, better — this is the mantra of the impossible demand. At least, we’re told it’s impossible to get all three. As marketers, we want to unleash campaigns faster, see better results, and do all of it in a cost-effective way – and we’re always looking for tools and techniques that help us do just that.
Lately, marketers have embraced a new marketing paradigm that promises to do all that – and surprisingly, it comes from the tech world. No, this isn’t a new app or platform but a new approach: agile marketing.
Anyone in the tech industry is familiar with agile software development, a methodology marked by collaboration, flexibility and real-time response to customer feedback. The advantages are numerous, including accelerated time to market and cost savings. Now, marketers are adapting agile practices to fuel their campaigns – and the movement is revolutionizing the marketing industry.
From Strategy To The Spotlight
Just like agile software development, agile marketing breaks down the barriers of formality and structured processes. This is a dramatic shift from the laborious and obsolete cycles of old-school marketing, which is exactly why it works so well in today’s business landscape.
Smart marketers know they need to act fast and stay nimble to create relevant and interesting assets in our fast-paced and interactive digital world. Agile marketing unlocks the door to that power.
Both tech and marketing follow the same agile practices: collaboration, communication, rapid cycles, and harnessing customer input to tailor the perfect product. Marketers keep campaign creation flexible and responsive to real time data and developments. This quicker lifecycle allows brands to stay competitive and compelling – and positions them to create campaigns that move at the speed of ideas.
So just how does this look in real life? Clever. Entertaining. Memorable. Consider Oreo’s quick-thinking response a few years back when the lights went out during the Super Bowl in New Orleans. During the delay in the game, Oreo’s social media team tweeted an ad about the power outage that read “You can still dunk in the dark.” It was liked and retweeted tens of thousands of times and stirred up major coverage.
Arby’s pulled off a similar social media coup during the 2014 Grammys when its team sent out a brief but hilarious tweet about Pharrell Williams’ hat. Not only was it retweeted a whopping 75,000 times, but other brands like Pepsi and Hyundai promoted it as well, with a light-hearted response from Williams providing additional exposure.
Agile Marketing In Practice
Oreo and Arby’s aren’t exactly considered the most cutting-edge brands, yet their ability to market themselves through real-time commentary to major events definitely put them in the spotlight. This is the power of agile marketing: getting maximum results through a clever and flexible approach. So just how do agile marketers position themselves for that kind of success?
• Get In Synch. In agile software development, frequent team huddles keep everyone on the same page while clarifying any changes necessary for successful execution. This plays out in agile marketing, as well, where departments move away from siloed teams and instead created integrated initiatives. Because all team members are synchronized in their goals and agenda, they unleash a consistent brand message, look and feel across all channels.
• Use The Right Tools. Agile software developers put a premium on empowering team members with the tools for success – and agile marketers do the same thing. To ensure maximum efficiency and creative power, the team is given the most advanced marketing technology available to facilitate collaboration and memorable, responsive campaigns.
• Use Real-Time Data. Customer feedback is the secret ingredient agile developers use to create the most perfect software possible. Agile marketers refine their campaigns the same way, collecting real time data to incorporate into tailored, laser-sharp campaigns that address precise audience motivations and needs.
• Follow A Scrum Framework. A scrum framework subverts the traditional sequence of development, because the development changes in response to customer feedback. For marketers, scrum focuses on staying flexible enough to quickly respond to emerging data.
That means identifying low-performing campaign elements and modifying them for improved performance, as well as identifying new audiences and developing complimentary campaigns on the fly. It also involves paying attention to current cultural phenomenon and capitalizing on opportunities to jump into the spotlight.
Consider the Oreo and Arby’s examples. While the Superbowl and the Grammys might not seem connected to their products, both marketing teams created a clever way to direct an existing buzz of attention to their own brands.
Transformation Without Limits
When it comes to finding that mythical faster, better and cheaper marketing solution, nothing delivers like agile marketing. Instead of wasting time on dud campaigns that don’t deliver, brands enjoy maximum return from assets that respond to the changing nuances of the marketplace. Campaigns are always relevant, compelling and fresh.
This is more than a new marketing trend; it’s about embracing transformation as a way of business. In a digital world that’s perpetually changing, nothing could deliver higher marketing rewards.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.