After #ArgyleCMO: How to Build an Agile Marketing Strategy

November 20, 2015 James Thomas

After #ArgyleCMO: How to Build an Agile Marketing StrategyWe heard a lot at the Argyle fall 2015 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum about the importance of agility, speed and strategy for CMOs. (Read my full #ArgyleCMO recap.)

It can be tempting to burrow down into the weeds of analytics, but leaders need to make smart, fast decisions to keep pace with customers. How can you get the information you need make better decisions and avoid losing time? I’ve gathered some useful ideas on how to make your marketing strategy agile.

Agile Marketers Make Internet-Time a  Strategic Weapon. Forbes: “Marketing has never been more important or more challenging than it is today. Online customers have so many choices other than you: other things they can see, other things they can do and other things they can buy. The Internet has made constant change the new normal for marketers. Online marketing channels, marketing technologies and customer expectations are in constant flux, while the best marketing opportunities can come and go in the blink of an eye. The only way to keep up is to deploy agile marketing practices and technologies that can adapt to change in Internet-time. If your average marketing project length is one month, then you can’t take advantage of any marketing opportunity in less than 30 days. If your marketing planning cycle is quarterly, then you can’t change your marketing plan in less than 3 months. And, if your marketing strategy is annual, then you can’t change your marketing strategy in less than a year. It’s just plain math.”

Big Data Is Only Half the Data Marketers Need. Harvard Business Review: “To start working successfully with both data types in concert, CMOs need to revisit their customer insights departments as well as establish close ties to CFOs. Many companies are well advised in weak data sources, but unskilled in obtaining and making sense of thick data. Similarly, many companies have no clear strategy for their big data collection, and they end up locking it into different silos or not cleaning it up enough for effective usage.”

What Is Agile Marketing and Why Is It Important? The Huffington Post: “Native advertising becomes big when Ad-blocking software becomes popular. Then native gets slammed by John Oliver and who knows? Soon businesses may start looking back at outdoor or offline advertising as more reliable alternatives. The point is, even the best marketers may only know 5 or 10 percent more than what “non-marketers” know. Then, they learn by doing. That’s why having an agile marketing philosophy that calls for change, pivots and tweaks quickly and affordably needs to become the norm for your marketing department. It’s what smart marketers are already doing.”

Auto-Tune for Marketing: Tips for Using Analytics to Plan, Execute and Adjust Your Marketing Strategy in Real Time. Marketing Land: “By the end of 2017, Gartner predicts, most organizations will have shifted from conducting market analyses on an annual or quarterly basis to a daily basis. Things are changing so quickly, any sense of sustainable competitive advantage will have vanished. A lack of predictability in audience behavior, economic conditions, technological disruption and competitive developments have resulted in the need for increasingly agile planning cycles. Meanwhile, continued advances in marketing data analytics give marketers — and the executives who approve their budgets — a real-time view into financial performance, marketing effectiveness and customer insights. The problem is that budget cycles haven’t caught up to the new reality just yet.”

Three Steps for Getting Sales and Marketing Strategically Aligned. CMO: “Once you’ve established your focus strategy and put a program in place to achieve the reach required to impact sales, you must continuously optimize your marketing engines. To do so, you have to create forecastable metrics that can be adjusted and reconfigured as needed to generate your desired results. For instance, an effective demand generation program should be measured against a number of data points — everything from campaign and content effectiveness to overall ROI and impact on sales — to determine campaign success rates.”

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