What would you do if you discovered that a completely new type of player entered your market with a ground-breaking approach? This is a situation that almost every industry faces at some point. To mention a couple of examples:
- The Nordic IT start-up Skype challenged telco’s bread-and-butter telephony together with mobile applications such as WhatsApp eliminating SMS and MMS
- Streaming services such as Spotify changed the music industry
- Online companies such as the Danish nemlig.com are trying to change the retail sector
- In financial services, the insurance value chain is being challenged by companies such NEXT Forsikring
- In banking, the companies, which are regarded as the biggest threats, are Google and Amazon
The next question to the marketing executive: Are the commercial processes and the marketing plan, which are guiding this, flexible enough? They should be suited for a quick response to a potential threat like some of the above-mentioned – knowing that it might be part of a necessary change of the existing value chain over time. This is where the concept of Agile Marketing becomes of vital importance.
Agile is a concept created for IT development – why is it relevant to marketing?
Within the field of software development, Agile development is widely recognized as a strong approach that focuses on developing, maintaining and adjusting systems and platforms in an ongoing process that furthermore requires cross-functional teams. If applied in a marketing context, there are several parallels we could benefit from.
Firstly, marketing as a discipline has stretched beyond the marketing department as customer experiences encompass touch points such as sales, customer service, web shops, etc. To execute a customer-centric strategy as I wrote in an earlier blog, consistency and coherences are necessary in terms of what, when and how we interact with customers. Modern marketers are thus working as representatives of the customer by enabling cross-departmental alignments.
Secondly, the execution of customer centric-strategies requires cross-channel and real-time decision-making capabilities. This goes beyond the individual employee or system – to which marketers are becoming highly IT skilled. Therefore, CMOs and CIOs need to work much closer together in order to deliver on the requirements set forward by digital insight and demanding customers. Only like this, we are able to turn the new technologies into profits and growth.
Turning technologies into profits and growth
Traditionally, our marketing strategy and plan has been developed to respond to current market demands that has been a successful, albeit reactive approach. With new competitors emerging from completely different worlds and with marketers becoming more IT skilled and with cross-functional responsibilities, we need to develop a more agile and cross-functional approach, enabling more proactive market engagement.
Agile Marketing is a new and relevant concept that puts emphasis on the business development side of the marketing role. Here, we can use our strategic excellence combined with our customer and market understanding to shape the future of competition. Therefore, Agile Marketing is a concept that most modern marketers should look into in the nearby future.