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The Agile Marketing Journey

With a decade of helping companies grow their businesses online, we’ve solidified the processes that ensure success. More often than not, we find that companies struggle with their digital marketing because they attempt to jump directly into execution rather than taking the necessary steps.

Digital Marketing Transformation

Marketing transformation is synonymous with digital transformation. In a Data Study from PointSource – Executing Digital Transformation – data collected from 300 decision-makers in Marketing, IT, and Operations points to the struggles that businesses have in improving with the end-user in mind. They found that companies:

  • Lack clearly defined goals and direction only 44% of businesses say they’re extremely confident in their organization’s ability to achieve its vision for growth and 4% aren’t confident at all.
  • Struggle to unify cross-channel digital experiences – only 51% of businesses say their organization addresses specific user needs across all platforms  
  • Have legacy mindsets that create barriers for digital transformation – 76% of businesses say their department competes with other departments in their organization for resources and/or budget.
  • Operate on outdated systems which hinder the ability to improve digital experiences – 84% say their organization has disparate legacy systems that impact the speed of development of new digital experiences

These are the threats to your organization as you hope to transform your digital marketing. We have a large retailer in the region that wanted assistance with their digital marketing. We saw an incredible opportunity for them to implement a new e-commerce system that was integrated to their point of sales. However, the leadership balked at the expense having built a proprietary inventory and point of sales system that had cost them tens of millions of dollars over the years. They said any investment in a new point of sales, inventory, and fulfillment system was out of the discussion.

The result was that there could be no synchronization or integration between online and offline sales. We walked away from this prospect after several promising meetings – there was just no way we could achieve the growth results they wished given their systems’ severe limitations. I have very little doubt that this was a huge factor in their struggles – and they’ve now filed for bankruptcy after watching their business decline over the years.

Agile Marketing Journey

If your business hopes to adapt and overcome these challenges, you must adopt an agile marketing process. This isn’t news, we’ve been sharing agile marketing methodologies for a few years now. But as each year passes, the impact of an inflexible marketing process continues to impair businesses more and more. It won’t be long before your business is irrelevant.

Key Performance Indicators have expanded for the digital business, including awareness, engagement, authority, conversion, retention, upsell, and experience. In our latest infographic, we’ve diagrammed the journey that we take our clients through to ensure their success. The stages of our Agile Marketing Journey Include:

  1. Discovery – Before any journey begins, you must understand where you are, what’s around you, and where you’re going. Every marketing employee, hired consultant, or agency must work through a discovery phase. Without it, you don’t understand how to deliver your marketing material, how to position yourself from the competition, or what resources are at your disposal.
  2. Strategy – Now you have the tools to develop a baseline strategy used to achieve your marketing goals. Your strategy should include an overview of your goals, channels, media, campaigns, and how you will measure your success. You will want an annual mission statement, quarterly focus, and monthly or weekly deliverables. This is an agile document that can change over time, but has the buy-in of your organization.
  3. Implementation – With a clear understanding of your company, your market positioning, and your resources, you’re ready to build out the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Your digital presence must have all the tools necessary to execute and measure your upcoming marketing strategies.
  4. Execution – Now that everything is in place, it’s time to execute the strategies you’ve developed and measure their overall impact.
  5. Optimization – Notice the cool wormhole that we’ve included in the infographic that takes our growing strategy and transports it right back to Discovery again! There is no completion of the Agile Marketing Journey. Once you’ve executed your marketing strategy, you must test, measure, improve, and adapt it over time to continue to maximize its impact to your business.

Keep in mind that this is the overall journey, not a tactical guide to implementing and executing agile marketing strategies. One well-detailed resource is ConversionXL’s How to Implement Scrum for Agile Marketing.

We just wanted to illustrate the relationships between core phases of your journey and the factors that must be explored as you’re moving through the cosmos of digital marketing. I hope you enjoy this infographic as much as we enjoyed working on it the last month! It’s the foundation of every one of our client engagements.

I’ve also developed a Marketing Initiative Worksheet to help you plan out your marketing efforts and ensure alignment with your overall corporate goals.

Download the Marketing Initative Worksheet

Be sure to click for a full version if you’re having trouble reading it!

Agile Marketing Journey DK New Media

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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