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Agile Marketing: How Companies Keep Pace in an Always-On World
How top companies keep
pace in an always-on world
1 /// Rapid response to market changes
or customer behaviors
2 /// More strategic delivery of event invitations
3 /// Increased effectiveness of triggered
communications (e.g. “welcome” and
4 /// Adjust content or segmentation mid-
campaign to optimize effectiveness
than ever to respond to the fast-paced needs of
empowered customers who control the conversation
of your brand. Consider this: consumers will own
nearly 4 billion smartphones by the end of 2017,1
which the IDC predicts will drive $1 trillion in mobile
commerce that same year.2
This ability to interact, research and purchase
almost anything, anytime, anywhere has changed
expectations. It necessitates an accelerated pace of
campaign creation and implementation to nurture
ongoing relationships and have real-time dialogues.
To do that, marketers are getting more agile.
They are identifying and defining steps in quick
succession to make the next moves predictable.
They are being transparent and sharing information
and data across the enterprise to ensure that
nothing gets left out or left behind that could have
adverse effects later. And they are moving fast.
THE NEW ERA IN
AGILITY This overview will reveal some of the latest
foundational tools that enable marketers to
be more agile in response to customer
behaviors and market realities.
With these new tools, marketers gain
enhanced agility in managing campaigns,
including capabilities such as:
1 - Ben Evans, “Mobile, context,
and discovery,” February, 2014
2 - IDC, November, 2012
The speed at which you can get your message in front of your
customers and the agility in your response to their needs are critical
to the successful marketer. If you can’t keep up, your competition will
be glad to step in.
Campaign management technology provides a valuable answer to
this need for speed. Ideally, the solution will be integrated across
the enterprise with other components of the marketing solution and
provide marketers with access to huge volumes of customer data
from wherever it resides. This enables you to focus on segmenting
the list and executing campaigns.
The best solutions enable you connect to one or multiple data
sources, eliminating data silos and enabling you to create a single
view of the customer. Once connected, you decide the access level
that best meets your segmentation need (e.g., household, individual,
product) and can switch between them within a segmentation for
quicker and more efficient targeting efforts. That means less time
spent on back-end processes—importing data, running segmentation
and counts, or re-uploading data back to an email delivery service—
and faster response to marketing needs. And of course, it must scale
with your organizational needs and requirements.
A COMPLETE VIEW OF YOUR
of customers will buy
from your competition
after a bad experience3
3 - RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report, 2011
The American Red Cross is an international non-profit organization
that relies on volunteers for both time and financial donations. When
disaster strikes, they need action and to be able to communicate
quickly to get resources where they will do the most good. For
too long their siloed information was a drag on their response
capabilities. When the organization made the move to a more
modern system, their new integrated marketing platform eliminated
silos. Now they can build a campaign from concept to execution in
less than 5 hours and reach millions of volunteers. The result is sure
to save lives.
The digital era has accelerated and shortened the reaction time that
customers expect every time they interact with you. Not only do
marketers have to continually improve the relevance and timeliness of
their messages to enhance the customer experience, they also have
to respond to corporate directives and fend off competitors. The
agile marketer needs a tool that provides the information required to
present the right offers and messages based on customer behavior
and response – and do it fast.
Creating the best possible customer experience means keeping your
message fresh in the customer’s mind regardless of channel. You
need the ability to respond in hours, if not right now. And you need
to do it within your processes.
To begin agile marketing, you’ll need:
A single platform for easy usability everywhere it’s needed.
Easy access to customer information, whether in-house or
third party, and wherever or whatever the database.
Ability to change customer segmentation criteria for the
customer information source on-the-fly to match market needs.
A SINGLE, SCALABLE
Your campaign management solution should be integrated and
scalable, enabling you to deliver multiple campaigns and scale as
your organization requires. When customization is required, it should
be open and flexible. This ensures solution usability and adoption
across the enterprise, as well as consistency in reporting and tracking,
with the flexibility to match the organization’s unique requirements.
The solution you choose
should support your choice
of marketing databases:
native, third party
databases, or a combination
of both. The solution
should enable marketers
to seamlessly connect
to, manage and segment
across all your customer
And naturally, it should
work with other marketing
programs across your
organization to create a
To take advantage of this
valuable customer data,
marketing solutions should
be able to access and
segment against one or
more external marketing
databases. Ideally, the task
of moving data should be
eliminated. This enables
faster campaign execution
with less preparation or lag
caused by data availability.
This also reduces the
burden on IT.
The ability to add lists
on-the-fly should also be
considered. For instance,
you might want to add
new prospects or recently
acquired customers into
a segmentation of an
ongoing campaign. Tools
should enable this addition
while including the ability
to exclude fraudulent
individual IDs, recent “do
not solicits,” or any variety
of variables, including
From Internal and External
Marketing Data to a Single
EASY ACCESS TO CUSTOMER DATA
What are best practices? The answer is always “test” because
customers and their expectations are continuously evolving, as is our
understanding of their motivations.
Marketing is all about crafting the right message and offer for the right
customer. This involves filtering your database to find the customers
and segmenting your audience by the criteria you believe will be most
One key to being agile is the ability to work in smaller defined pieces
and execute shorter interactions. By testing messaging with a variety
of segmentations, marketers can pinpoint what resonates with
different personas. Armed with this information, they can make smart
decisions about the communications going forward for that audience
member and others who fall into a similar profile.
RELEVANT AND REAL-TIME
Your customers want a relevant and compelling experience. In fact,
61 percent of smartphone owners say they have a better opinion of
brands when they offer a good mobile experience.4
CHANGING CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION CRITERIA
Changing segmentation criteria is among the more common tasks
facing digital marketers as they continually adjust their message
offerings. Marketers may also need to append additional information
to a specific segmentation. Ideally, the marketing solution will enable
marketers to move between selection contexts without having to
move data or create a new segmentation. The result is the ability to
deliver the right message with significant time savings.
4 - Bricks and Mortar and Mobile: How to Take Advantage of an Unrealized Opportunity,
MarketingProfs, Catherine Dickinson: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/9936/
In the marketing space, customer interactions are key. And they
require an almost immediate response. The conversation timeline has
shrunk from weeks to days—or even seconds, honestly. Marketers
who delay in getting back to a customer risk the conversation ending
entirely. Or worse, that customer moving to a more nimble and
Successful agile marketers have the ability to respond with the
speed marketing demands. By providing rapid access to target
data, customer segmentation and campaign execution can happen
in a fraction of the time when compared to the use of conventional
tools. The goal of “right person, right message, right time,” is the
Digital marketing has introduced an era where your customers crave
relevant connections and seek out relationships that can be nurtured
and developed. Make sure you have the agility to keep up—and give
your customers what they want.
To learn what tools you need to have for a complete view of the
customer, check out “Tools You Need to Drive Revenue and