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For many marketers, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it necessary to react faster than ever to changing circumstances.
Audi has kept customers updated on changes to the conditions for opening showrooms around the world, as governments have changed their lockout rules. Direct Line carried out more experiments on its website in 12 weeks at the height of the UK crisis than in the previous three years. TSB relaunched its six-week friend referral program.
What all of these companies have in common is that they use an agile approach to get things done faster.
The move towards more adaptable and responsive marketing, of course, did not start with the pandemic. For some time now, the customer experience has been a key point of differentiation as consumers increasingly expect personalized communications from brands in real time, delivered through their current preferred channel.
And while marketers have access to unprecedented levels of data and increasingly powerful marketing data and analytics to meet those expectations, traditional marketing processes are evolving too slowly to take full advantage of them. As Rob Lawrence, Agile Marketing Consultant and former Global Head of Digital Marketing at Nivea, says: “To do something meaningful with data, you have to be able to go fast.”
So marketers need a faster, more responsive approach. They need to be more agile. What that looks like and how you achieve it is the subject of a new report from The Drum in collaboration with Neustar, Agile marketing transformation: why it’s the key to your success.
Agility or « Agile »?
When people talk about agile marketing, they are most often talking about marketing that is more fleet-focused than traditional. It may even include adopting the ideas and procedures of the Agile approach to software development.
“We see agility as the ability to think and act quickly and easily,” says Blake Cahill, Global Head, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce at Philips. “The Agile methodology is a way of working that involves shorter cycle times, higher release frequency and greater impact. Thanks to this, we achieve agility. «
The Agile methodology was codified in 2001 by a group of software engineers who wanted a better approach than the “waterfall” model then in effect. Rather than trying to design and build a system that would perfectly meet user needs, Agile is based on rapid iterative development; build something, test it, modify it based on user feedback, test it again, and so on.
Another defining characteristic of Agile is that it brings together people from across the organization in multidisciplinary teams to work on a specific project, with goals defined by the company rather than a particular channel or department.
The results are typically faster time to market, greater efficiency, breaking down silos within the business, and faster response to changing conditions.
In addition to examining what agile marketing is and how to fit it into an organization, the report also examines the qualities needed to be a truly agile marketer. These include being curious, disciplined, collaborative, and data-driven, as well as being politically savvy and a good communicator.
The new normal
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown – if more evidence was needed – that marketing needs to become faster to respond, more efficient, and more capable of leveraging big data. He also demonstrated the benefits that even small steps towards greater agility can bring. And finally, it’s clear that agility, across the business rather than just marketing, will be a major source of competitive advantage in the future.
As Sinem Soydar Günal, Global Head of Digital Marketing at Vodafone Group, says: “The adoption of Agile is inevitable. Businesses need to find a way to respond to changing customer needs that’s easier, faster and more efficient than ever before. Agile is becoming the new normal. »