There’s a word I want to focus on today: agile marketing. As someone who is a fan of sports and enjoys being active, I know building up your agility makes you a better athlete. And those professional athletes who are more agile on the court or field have a greater advantage over their competition. I think of Donovan Mitchell with the Utah Jazz. He’s extremely agile and can move around players with ease while getting to the hoop.
Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants is also extremely agile in being able to move around defenders and make insane catches that climb to the top of the highlight reels. Or there’s Novak Djokovic in the tennis world whose agility helps him zoom around the court and get the shots no one else could.
So, why am I writing about sports on a blog about marketing? In today’s world of digital information and constantly changing messaging, it can be hard to figure out the right marketing plan for your business and the clients you serve. What works for one business might not work for someone else. You have to be constantly on your toes to stay on top of the latest algorithm changes. It’s important to know where target audiences get their messaging. And you need to follow best practices and trends of what can be applied to your clients. In other words, you need to be agile.
What does it mean to be agile in marketing?
McKinsey defines being agile in marketing as using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities to problems in real time. Even within this definition, there are several different aspects that go into being agile.
Agility can mean you’re quick and well-coordinated. This means quickly reacting to changes in the marketplace. So is shifting the focus of your client’s campaigns immediately when needed. As is the ability to anticipate when big things are about to happen and already have a plan in place.
Agile can also mean you’re active and engaged with all your clients to make sure they’re getting the results they want. You’re actively working on building strategies and shifting the plan when new things arrive. You’re learning all you can to improve your own business practices and techniques so you can pass along the expertise to your clients. You know about the individual campaigns and plans for each of your clients. You’re knowledgeable on what specifically works for them, and can build upon your experience to execute better marketing strategies down the line.
Agility means you react quickly, you’re mentally aware, and know how to make important decisions happen in a timely manner. This is so important when it comes to marketing. In our age of digital information, things change constantly. You can be working on one strategy, see something working somewhere else, and need to completely shift focus to build on that success. Today’s marketing world will not favor those who sit on their heels waiting for the next big trend to happen. Being agile in marketing means you can quickly see the ROI of the plans you put in place, and progress towards your overall business goals. It shouldn’t take weeks or even months to get a good idea translated into an actionable plan. Agile marketing means you get these new ideas put in place quickly.
Agility in Messaging
For a specific example, I want to talk for a minute about media messaging where agility is key. You only have seconds to make an impression when with you’re messaging, so you need to make sure it has an impact.
Regarding your clients, take a look at their budget for messaging. How much do you spend on traditional media versus digital media? Now, take a look at your clients’ target audience. Do you advertise on the platforms where your potential customers come from? That includes social media, banner ads, promoted ads, sponsored content, or anything else with content involved.
Being agile with your messaging within the digital media realm can reach wider audiences. Agility in messaging provides the ability to expand audiences, gain new and diverse customers, and get a clearer understanding of your success rates. And if something doesn’t work the way you’d hoped, quickly transition into another messaging option.
Adapting to an agile form of marketing won’t happen overnight. It takes buy-in from your clients about your process and how you want to proceed. It also takes a new form of thinking from your own marketing teams, client service reps, project managers, and the entire company. Agility in marketing requires progressive thinking from everyone involved. It won’t work if just one cog in the overall machine isn’t on board. To do this, it takes a willingness to invest the time and resources to make it stick.
If you’re feeling like things have become business as usual, agile marketing could be the change you’re looking for. When you deploy agile marketing practices, you can change things for your own organization. And consequently, changes get made for your clients. The process of agile marketing creates fast-moving teams that continually drive growth and move forward to the next big thing.