By Chad Solomonson, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy, RDA Corporation
Today, companies must constantly adapt and pivot to keep pace with disruptive competitors and rapidly changing customer behaviors.
Initially adopted by software engineering teams, agile methodologies have now become a standard in high-performing marketing teams. Teams that are driving innovation are leveraging enterprise technology investments, scaling customer insights across channels and building repeatable and transparent processes.
Instead of spending time and resources on launching one “big-bang” campaign, successful marketers are building a strong foundation to experiment, test, and adapt, by continually collecting data and learning about their customers.
Building the following agile marketing capabilities will keep you keep moving with speed and confidence.
Extensible Customer Experience Platform
Many marketing teams have done the hard work to create assets and content in their customer platform. Getting a strong platform in place unleashes significant opportunities for agile marketing. Marketers can easily personalize journeys for visitors and provide useful guidance for next logical actions. An extensible platform also leverages web services and a service-oriented architecture to support integrations into systems of record as well as other marketing automation tools. We have several customers integrating with leading marketing automation tools that drive lead nurturing and deeper engagement opportunities.
Sitecore’s Fabienne Heiles gives a nice picture describing the value of an agile marketing team with a strong platform:
“I see customer experience as the perfect puzzle, with every interaction a consumer has with your brand or product as the piece that fits perfectly according to his needs and desires. If we can offer him all the right pieces, at the right moment, we can complete his puzzle – in other words, a satisfying customer experience.
Agile marketing plays a huge role in this. It allows us to personalize each piece of the puzzle in real-time and adapt it to whatever gap there is in a customer’s needs. With the data we collect, thanks to being agile, we are able to instantly form an image of who the customer is and serve him the information he’s looking for before he knows he needs it.”
The key objective now is to leverage the platform to focus on how, where, and when you should present your content and to whom. Features such as campaign automation, personalization, A/B Testing, Geolocation services and digital commerce are the paths forward.
Data Driven Operations
Customer focused platforms present real time insights and data that can enable agile marketers to optimize their investments, align with business goals, and ultimately establish their value.
Our strategy team at RDA works with several clients to:
•Define deeper segments that target personas with personalized content
•Configure customer experience platforms that present visitors with relevant content
•Deliver page-by-page insights and analytics that align real time data with actionable and defensible recommendations
One of our clients is leveraging their customer behavior data to become a more consultative brand. Not only is the data supporting more cost effective customer buying journeys, it is also enabling them to present personalized guidance to help the customer feel empowered in the buying process. Their team is becoming a major source of the company’s competitive advantage.
As marketers grow confident and savvy in their customer data and initiatives, the following outcomes become critical to success:
- Speed to market (days, not weeks) with offers, campaigns, and new product releases
- Personalized marketing interactions that solve problems and create measurable value
- Stronger alignment and confidence with sales and product development teams
- Return On Marketing Investment and Lifetime Customer Value metrics become viable KPIs for growth
Predictable & CollaborativeSprints
RDA has been delivering successful enterprise projects for nearly three decades using agile development methodologies. Naturally, we have taken on this approach to drive highly measurable marketing services. By excelling in agile delivery best practices, our ‘Digital Marketing DNA’ is now wired the same way. We have found ourselves being an important bridge between IT, marketing, and sales. The teams that are creating an environment of high quality and predictable delivery are leading companies forward. Building this capability requires the right mindset and tools.
Team sprints are becoming the norm. They are time-boxed efforts restricted to a specific duration Sprints help maximize a team’s ability to deliver with focus and speed, respond to changing requirements, and adapt to new technologies and market conditions.
Transparent collaboration is at the heart of successful sprints. Many of our clients are using easy-to-deploy management tools such as Slack, Kanban and Trello. These tools can quickly bring in key internal and external stakeholders to support shared goals while maximizing efficiency across departments.
Leading marketing teams are becoming more sophisticated by learning how to optimize their outcomes real-time. By investing time and resources into the development of a strong agile marketing foundation, your brand will be able to adapt to changes in real-time while keeping a pulse on customers’ needs.
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