Get Agile: The new approach that’s disrupting digital marketing - and how you can use it.

Posted on Dec 16th 2019 under Marketing Tips

Even if you don’t know much about marketing, it’s hard to escape the fact that digital has been changing the game for some years now. Digital marketing is an increasingly vital part of every chauffeured transportation company’s plans, with sites like Trip Advisor, Google, and Yelp dominating the reviews market and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube becoming more and more indispensable to the marketing mix.

You’re probably already active on at least some of these platforms, but with each new app that is released or smartphone update installed it can be increasingly difficult to keep up. For marketers using a lot of traditional methods that have worked well for them in the past, getting their message out there using tried and trusted techniques becomes increasingly problematic, and ultimately unsustainable.

Statistics from CMO predict that by 2022, 87% of marketing budgets will be spent on digital marketing alone, in large part driven by the advent of more and more digital software products that help streamline this process for marketers and make it easier (and more cost effective) to target specific customers.

With so many platforms to manage, marketers are being increasingly challenged to produce high-quality, engaging content on an ongoing basis. A recent survey of industry professionals shows that this is one of the biggest concerns within marketing teams today – 53% of respondents thought that producing higher quality content was the biggest challenge they were facing, the most of any option in the survey.

Digital disruption is well and truly here.

So how can you continue producing quality marketing content and reaching your customers with the constantly evolving demands of a digital environment?

A new way of working is needed.

This is where so-called Agile Marketing comes in.

What exactly is it?

Agile marketing grew out of a kind of project management employed by software developers in the late 1990s to help increase efficiency and complete more projects on time and to budget. It was clear that this methodology could be beneficial across other industries too, and in 2012 a group of forward-thinking marketers came together to form a set of guiding principles, otherwise known as the Agile Marketing Manifesto.

Essentially, the Agile Marketing Manifesto lays out the ground rules for a radical way of working that relies on a mix of experimentation, data-driven decisions, speed, responsiveness, and total customer focus.

The trap that many companies still fall into is thinking that they are engaging in Agile when they are really just swinging aimlessly from one method to the next, hoping that one will eventually “stick” and get results. Agile marketing doesn’t mean flipping between approaches, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, nor does it mean you should only react to your audiences’ whims. Agile marketing is both focused and proactive, but it still means having (and sticking to) a clear plan.

Being truly “Agile” can take some serious structural and cultural reorganization within your business, but even if you aren’t able to go all-out, there are some useful lessons to be taken from the world of Agile marketing.

How do I make it work for me?

While it takes some serious time, effort, and consideration to implement a total Agile approach, there are some ways you can incorporate the key principles into your current working practices to help you get more from your marketing in an increasingly digital-dominated environment. Try out these ideas, see how they fit with your team, and where you take it from there is up to you…

1. Get experimental

If you want to incorporate an Agile style of marketing into your organization, an easy way to start out is by encouraging experimentation. A huge part of the Agile approach is built on the premise of experimental content creation and dissemination, learning from the results, and readjusting for next time. Try out a variety of posts on your social media channels, change up the content, the time you post, the comments you include, the type of media you use – text, photos, videos, etc. Brainstorm with others and work together to try something different from the standard approaches you’ve always used (more on that later).

2. Respond with data-driven insights

In Agile marketing, data is king. You need to have an effective process for keeping track of analytics, measuring your data, reporting back on results, and determining what aspect of your marketing was most effective. Set parameters for what would be considered a success in advance and stick to it. For example, set goals for the number of shares you want a post to receive, or the amount of engagement it should encourage, or number of click-throughs to a landing page on your website. Make your parameters measurable. If something worked well and met your specified goals, do it again. If it didn’t, then move on.

3. ALWAYS keep your customers front and center

One of the major features of Agile marketing is being responsive to your customers and always keeping them at the heart of every part of the marketing process. Be flexible and open to your customers, and always think of them first whenever you are coming up with your marketing plans. Doing something that is easy for your team or has worked well in the past is not a reason for continuing with “business as usual” marketing. Work out what your customers are talking about, where they’re spending their time online, and what they really

want from you as a transportation provider. Use their insights to guide you. Your focus should always be on the question: how does this add value for my customers?

4. Embrace innovation

Innovate, innovate, innovate is the Agile marketer’s mantra. There’s no room for playing it safe here – you need to be bold and forward-thinking with your choices. However, as well as pushing innovative ideas, you need to be sure your whole team is embracing it as a culture, too. It should be a mindset shift. Innovation simply won’t happen if not everyone is on board with this way of working. Let your employees and coworkers know that they are free to experiment and try innovative new ideas without fear of “failure”.

5. Change the way you think about teamwork, leadership, and collaboration

For an Agile marketing approach to be truly effective, you’ll need to adapt to new ways of thinking about how you work with colleagues as part of a larger team, as well as the interactions with leadership. As touched on above, the emphasis should be on a collaborative way of working that encourages innovation and experimentation and doesn’t shy away from the possibility of failure. You need to create a team culture that actively encourages this approach, so your coworkers know their efforts won’t be rebuked if they don’t always succeed. The emphasis should be on idea-sharing between all levels of the business, from senior management to marketing assistants. Joining forces and sharing knowledge and experience in this way, without fear, allows employees to work more efficiently and effectively – and get better results from marketing efforts.

If you start experimenting with this approach and you see positive change, it may be time for a complete overhaul of your marketing. Read up on the most popular Agile methods, such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Scrumban, then choose what’s right for your team and your business based on what you’ve learned with your experimentation.

Implementing a full-scale Agile marketing approach takes time, commitment, and buy-in from the rest of your organization. However, if it’s done right, the evidence suggests you’ll see positive results that are robust to change and will serve you well as marketing moves on into the digital future.

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