June 2, 2014

How to incorporate agile business techniques into your marketing

Agile business
The agile business philosophy adapts well to social marketing.

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, entrepreneurs, educators.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaAgile business – a philosophy that involves frequent, meticulous planning sessions followed by “sprints,” and then reevaluation – has been used in many industries to make businesses more flexible and competitive.

The success of agile business models has been so profound, in fact, that some enterprises are beginning to incorporate the concept into their social media marketing plans. Many are finding that the up-to-the-minute, real-time nature of social media is a natural framework for the agile business theory to flourish.

Social media spontaneity

All social marketing is about social interaction. According to one analysis, by placing more value on personal interactions – as opposed to external tools and processes – agile-business-based social marketing plans can have an extraordinary impact.

Take the example of Oreo’s off-the-cuff tweet during the Super Bowl blackout, which read “You can still dunk in the dark.” It was retweeted 15,000 times in 14 hours. When a social media marketing plan is shackled to a rigid, time-of-day-scheduled tweeting system, that kind of spontaneity is simply not possible. So build flexibility into your plan.

Respond, adapt, experiment

Brands that demonstrate the ability to adapt and respond in real time have the greatest advantage in the world of digital marketing. By adapting an agile marketing strategy – and applying it to social media – brands maintain the ability to break the schedule- and issue-driven models of social marketing that have become the norm.

Another key ingredient provided by an agile marketing strategy is that it allows room for experimentation. Like the Oreo example, agile marketing not only allows but encourages well-timed, well-intentioned experiments – often to the benefit of the company behind the Twitter account.

Real-world examples

In How Syncsort Became Agile, a company insider discusses their move toward agile marketing, which started with their development managers becoming scrum masters. This term is based off of a widely-used rugby definition, a concept that allows the team to self-organize and adapt under stress. Daily meetings and “sprints” – two key trademarks of any agile strategy – were led by scrum masters who used their skills to adapt and react to changes in real time. This is the essence of any agile business strategy, whether or not it’s part of a social media marketing plan.

The agile business philosophy has made many business models more efficient, streamlined and cost-effective. But recently, more and more enterprises have realized the benefit of incorporating the same philosophy into their social media and digital marketing strategy. The real-time, intuitive nature of social media has proved to be a perfect foundation on which to build an agile marketing plan. When adapted for digital marketing, agile business not only fits but excels.

Image at top by Dushan Hanuska on Flickr (CC BY SA)

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers online marketing and agile business planning.
  • http://www.kaptasystems.com/ Kapta

    Good stuff! It is important to understand that having an agile business is really more of a mindset. Like anything else it needs to become an element of the corporate culture rather than a checklist.

  • krobert

    I always try to push the people to interact in social media but not always i can do it. I hope so that your article really help me to do this

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  • Olivia Jennifer

    An agile process tends to focus on iterations, and
    client feedback, to allow for the inevitability of changing requirements
    whereas a waterfall process tries to define all requirements up front, and
    tends to be inflexible to changing requirements. You can learn more about agile
    and scrum by referring to some free resources
    (http://www.scrumstudy.com/free-resources.asp) provided by scrumstudy or by attending any agile scrum certification
    courses. I would personally suggest Agile Expert Certified course or a Scrum
    Master Certification
    to you.