To be honest, I hesitated to use the term ‘agile’. After all, a tremendous movement has grown up around agile marketing, with innumerable books, courses and a methodology that must be scrupulously followed if you want to become a certified agile marketer.
Although I applaud the principles, I would not like to set myself up as a champion of a commercialised system and I am using the term for the sake of convenience to talk about a different way of working. Agile, flexible, lean and mean, on the ball, well you know what I mean and, purists, you have been warned.
We live and work in a digitalised environment where everything is constantly on the move and changing. For a company or brand, that’s hard. Particularly if you have rigid structures or silos, where procedures and protocols are often more important than results. At best, you work with an annual marketing plan and have defined your channels and tools in advance. If everyone agrees, then the plan goes ahead and everybody hopes it will work.
As a marketer you have two options: accept or adapt. I’m assuming you will choose the second; otherwise I can recommend a couple of popular marketing books from the 1990s. But where do you start? Can you, as a marketer, change an entire system? Just try. Here is a brief guideline which one you can use for example.
- Work in the short term. Is a long-term goal out of the question? Certainly not; you need a vision and you have to know where are you going as a brand. But chop that big plan up into bite-sized pieces. Sprints rather than marathons. With feasible, realistic deadlines and KPIs. Set priorities and carry them through.
- Compile a team that knows and monitors what your clients are up to and responds accordingly. Real-time marketing demands real-time actions. Call in technical people and analysts. Get them working together with copywriters, designers and strategists so the silos automatically disappear.
- Dare to test and try. See what works best and go with that. The time of the all-knowing marketer is over and the tenability of truths is ever shorter.
Is your own organisation not quite ready yet? Then this is, perhaps, the most important tip: find a suitable partner who can help you be more reactive. Form a team, formulate joint goals and challenge each other. Above all, don’t forget that – regardless of the channel, the technology or the target group – creativity ALWAYS makes the difference!
For the fans, here are the principles of the latest Agile Marketing Manifesto:
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