There’s an unavoidable need for businesses to respond as the world changes around them. Incidents like COVID-19 have really emphasised this, forcing a lot of companies who haven’t historically embraced an agile approach to technology marketing to rethink their processes.
Technology has always been a market characterised by rapid evolution. Its purpose is to outdo what has come before, to always strive for better. It’s built on innovation. Not only are creators driven to develop the next ground-breaking solution, to finally solve the great unsolved challenge, but consumers are always demanding the next thing, the ‘new and improved’.
In the world of tech, last year’s trending product can very quickly become last generation’s forgotten gadget.
Businesses are therefore always fighting for consumer attention and market space. Marketing technology must embrace an equally dynamic nature as a primary weapon in the fight to stay on top of the competitive commercial landscape.
This can only be achieved when marketing teams master agility.
An agile approach is a product of the B2B tech landscape
This is true for many reasons, but here are the biggest three.
Firstly, you’re working in a highly competitive landscape.
Organisations must be able to respond quickly to trends, shifting buyer demands and opportunities before they’re snatched up by someone else. If you’re always two steps behind in marketing, the same will be true of your commercial performance.
There is no room for lag in marketing, sales, and commercial activity when you’re competing in highly competitive markets.
Secondly, the B2B market has changed. Innovation is valued just as much as validation or reliability. If your company isn’t perceived as having a finger on the pulse, neither will your product.
Thirdly, maybe most importantly, the market itself is fast paced.
The technology landscape (and the marketing one) is always evolving and companies should follow suit at a similar rate.
Take Meta as an example.
This rebrand may feel premature. Facebook the product is still Facebook, and the metaverse is a concept still in its infancy. But it’s a smart marketing move to reposition the business. They have taken a leap forward to embrace the metaverse and the opportunities that exist for them there, and with the re-brand they have brought the concept to a much wider audience’s attention, something which will benefit them when the metaverse is functioning in full force.
They responsively pivoted their strategy in answer to the changing tech landscape, adjusting to what’s new, trending and will be important in future.
Also, consider increasing digitisation.
Companies that haven’t been able to adapt to digital marketing approaches with agility are distinctively losing out on business. Building a strong digital presence that works in harmony with traditional sales routes is crucial, as it’s an effective mode of reaching your target audiences, whether that’s a specific high-value enterprise or an entire sector. Businesses that continue to invest only in their salespeople, ignoring digital sales efforts, will undoubtedly lose out to their more digitally savvy competitors with an integrated digital marketing and human sales strategy.
Gartner said it best; “websites and new digital channels must be purpose-built to drive sales performance, justified by a simple truth: customers learn and buy digitally.”
In short, being able to adapt with agility as the market around you changes is a business-critical skill.
What’s slowing companies down?
Agility is more than just an attitude or mindset. It’s a way of working and must be integrated into your marketing practices across the entire business. It’s not always as simple as seeing a new idea and whipping something up. Processes and approvals need to be adhered to, research needs to be carried out, plans need review and fine tuned, and so on.
Here are some of the most common reasons organisations may be struggling with agile processes:
Whether it’s your team leader, your senior management, or the board themselves, there will always be individuals who are unwilling to test what’s new or change their approach. This can easily become an embedded company culture over time.
Inflexible marketing infrastructure
You may have built a rigid marketing strategy, so when new opportunities arise you either can’t adjust the plan to make room or don’t have the capacity to take it on.
Slow moving processes
Similarly, your company processes may be standing in the way of agility. Especially as organisations grow, delivery processes get longer and too many stakeholders involved in a project can stall progress.
Lack of visibility
It takes work to stay up to date with your sector, your audience and the marketing industry. Teams need to commit time to actively seek out knowledge and insights, but unsurprisingly, this is easier said than done.
Not utilising data
Data is the fuel that catalyses and informs change. Organisations that aren’t equipped with data insights will naturally be much slower to realise the need for change and adapt accordingly. Without data, businesses won’t notice this is impacting performance until it’s too late.
Marketing and sales technologies, such as CRMs, SEO tools, data analytics and reporting solutions, and more, offer companies a boost in efficiency, insights, targeting, and results, amongst other things. Companies that don’t utilise these solutions will be less enabled to evolve and streamline their marketing.
Simply, individuals may be too busy to keep up with new trends let alone implement them.
Quick tips for encouraging marketing agility:
- Encourage (if not require) continuous learning and development
- Collect and use data to shape strategies
- Assess KPIs to optimise campaigns
- Use ‘evergreen’ assets which can be quickly repurposed or updated
- Embed a willingness to embrace change into your culture
- Create an open forum for new ideas from all team members
- Implement a tech-enabled marketing infrastructure and processes
Don’t abandon long-term strategies
All this isn’t to say a well-planned strategy built on traditional marketing techniques should be thrown out the window.
Building an integrated web of activity, founded on data, research, and experience, is still extremely important for any marketing strategy. This can only be achieved in effect if it’s done with a long-term mindset.
However, it does mean the infrastructure you build should be flexible, open to evolution and iteration. What you should avoid is not responding to timely opportunities, or being unable to. It’s essential to be listening to the industry, changing consumer demands, and seeing what your competitors are doing.
Aligning with, or staying ahead of, the market means continuously reviewing, learning and developing your approach.
Outsource your agility
Outsourced marketing is a great, quick-win option for injecting some more agility into your marketing style.
Agencies are built to be much more agile by nature, especially agencies with highly specialised teams or departments and with the right technical infrastructure. They should not have the same process barriers, siloes, or size restrictions that may be holding your organisation back. Often, agencies can easily flex their capacities and resource to accommodate peaks in activity with short notice.
Their outside perspective is also highly valuable for adopting a responsive approach. It will help your marketing teams lift their head out of their internal processes to see what’s going on around them.
Consistently tuned into the market, outsourced experts can produce on-trend material that is created on demand, yet still high quality and insightful.
If you want to reap the benefits of marketing with agility, get in touch with us at EV to discuss our outsourced marketing packages.