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Agile Marketing: Flipping your Strategy Script

Posted by Veronica Wainstein and Alison Krumm on March 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Veronica Wainstein and Alison Krumm

Top view of people hands drawing business teamwork strategy-398090-edited.jpeg

In marketing, strategy execution varies from business to business, with distribution of messaging changing as though strategy were a screenplay. Your Hollywood script-writers - marketing managers, agencies, management teams, or shareholders - can influence the style of script, and when the pressure is on, often turn your brand into one of our two featured characters: A Zombie, or a Cowboy.

We discuss how to flip the script and solve the Hollywood-esque problem you may find yourself with and give you a breakdown of the characters you could have on your brand-film.

Agile Marketing: The ultimate flip of the script

We've discussed the benefits of a solid, fully integrated strategy that filters through your entire business. This is the first step to take in getting truly agile. It sounds unrealistic, but have a look at how you can make yourselves more agile through better, more specific strategy

  • Establish your strategy, and understand your consumers fully. This will help you to spot the changes as they occur. 
  • Know your objectives, and if a new trend arises that can help you to achieve them, rationally incorporate it into your already robust strategy.
  •  Step outside of your comfort zone to find ways of truly engaging with your consumers. The only way to do this is to know what exactly your comfort zone is, and which way you should go to get to your target audience

The main points to consider when planning an integrated agile strategy are where you currently stand on the spectrum from cowboy to zombie, and balancing the output for a more integrated, proactive, and flexible approach. 

Agile Marketing gives a breakdown on what exactly your mindset should be. We suggest combining this with your current strategy - but rationalise your approach if your marketing has become too trigger-happy: 

  • Responding to change vs following a plan
  • Rapid iterations vs Big Bang campaigns
  • Testing and data vs opinions and conventions 
  • Numerous small experiments vs a few large bets
  • Individuals and interactions vs target markets
  • Collaboration vs silos and hierarchy

A balance between all of these components will make your marketing strategy far more flexible if you have a bad case of the Zombies, and tighten it up if you've got cowboys hurtling around your campaigns. 

 

Your marketing and how strategic style can impact the outcome

The extremes of marketing styles are almost too comical to be true, but stick with us on this: 

The Strategy Zombie The Strategy Cowboy
Slow-moving strategists, focused on brains: The academic execution of the plan Fast moving strategists, focused on getting everything out on as many platforms as possible. These guys shoot the wrong targets by accident. 
Their MO: Inflexible sticklers for the plan Their MO: Shoot first, ask questions later 
Their weakness: Opportunities are missed in the quest for their favourite staple: brains! Their weakness: Opportunity isn't enough, and they blast the marketing out in favour of their favourite staple: EVERYTHING! 
The dangerous hybrid: The father of Zombies, doing strategy the same way since 1625

The dangerous hybrid: The trends first-responder. Add it on! Does it speak to our audience? NO! But that's ok because it's everywhere

By now, you may have an idea of which of these your marketing is channeling. If it's neither, that's fantastic! Keep going! 

If it's either of the two, though, here are our rescue operation blueprints to get you out of the movies and into the swing of things: 

 

If you're noticing a few marketing cowboys around: 


"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target."

- Winston Churchill


Cowboy Clipart
Remember that the 'Spray and Pray' method isn't called 'Spray and Hit Goals' for a very valid reason. Giving yourself room to manoeuvre on a strategy does not equate to endless changes to the plan: It just means that your strategy is so solid that your consumer's changing needs can easily be accommodated. 

Shooting anything that moves shows that you need a strategy tune-up, to tighten the springs and lock away the wild-west guns, so that you can more effectively communicate with your target audience


"Intuition isn't guessing. It's sophisticated pattern matching, honed over time."

- Seth Godin


 

To combat the strategy zombies: 


“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful.”

- Lao Tzu


 

Zombie ClipartZombies are reliant on the results they've always seen, the actions they've always taken, and the rigid patterns of tried-and-tested strategy construction
 
Remember, now, that the consumer journey has changed. With easier access to brand information and specs, your consumers will likely travel through their consumer journey expecting that their changing needs will be accommodated. Since it's so easy to get information, it's also easy to make a decision - so when they want something, they want it now, not in your rigid timeframe. 
 
Being too rigid in your strategy can create a disconnect between you and your consumers, because you are no longer answering their needs. In fact, the more rigid your strategy is, the more you seem to ignore this need. Watching your consumers - knowing their moods, their responses, and their behaviour - and moving with their changes will help you to engage on a much deeper level
 

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

 

In conclusion, you will benefit more from a solid and fully integrated marketing strategy that filters through your entire business.  Be agile through better and more specific strategies.

Want to know more about integrated marketing strategies and where to start? Give us a call

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Topics: Strategy

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