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Posted by on in Agile
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Posted by on in Agile

Agile marketing and the Zebworks™ Agile Marketing Framework were developed to deliver complete customer focus, swift execution cycles, robust measurement and constant improvement. 

But why do you need it?

The velocity of change has never been faster!

New Technologies

Everyday a new software as as service (SaaS), new permutations of CRM platforms that cross social media platforms, content aggregation platforms, analytics platforms etc etc. Then there are new devices in a zillion different form factors: mobile (which phone do you use and what size is it and what do you use it for?). Tablets, ditto! Laptops ditto! Google glass...well we’ll see about that. Bottom line what do you invest in now to ensure relevance tomorrow?

New Social Networks Everyday

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Social Media is part of our modern way of living and the stats tell the story: 91% of online adults use social media, thus, businesses can’t ignore this medium anymore. However, in order to succeed it’s important that you have a social media objective for your business, that you align that objective with your resources, that you focus your efforts where your audience is and that your communication plan is targeted according to the social medium. Every effort must be carefully measured to determine the level of success, what works and what doesn’t and what provides ROI.

The myriad of social networks and the marketing hype is overwhelming even to the most sophisticated.  And this often leads to the assumption that businesses must be on every social media platform to succeed. And that, is so overwhelming, that most throw up their hands and say “Why bother? There is no way we can do that.” What many do not realize is that success is not found in being an ace at on every platform out there (truly an impossible task if ever there was one!) But success comes in choosing the right platforms and participating in a measured, thoughtful and relevant approach. 

Social media cannot be ignored. In the Fall of 2012, 91% of all adults used social media regularly and spent 22.5% of their time online. Social media is the new television. By contrast, only 27% of small and 34% of mid-size business are using social media and 25% of them do not have any social media strategy. To make matters worse, on average only 30% of fans’ feedback are responded to by companies and 56% of customer tweets to companies are ignored. Business is losing a tremendous opportunity to engage with customers and prospects. But, where to begin?

Each social network has a unique purpose: connect with friends and family, connect with professional peers, news, photo sharing, even games and TV. When you decide your business must be on a social network, you’re asking your audience to connect, engage and share with your brand. This requires that you give something back to them in return.  To do this effectively you must choose your spot and throw your resources behind being the best on the platform where your customers and prospects spend their time.

1) Determine why you want to be in a social environment. It’s important to determine your objective. Do you want to generate sales? To increase brand awareness? To provide customer service? To increase customer retention and loyalty? You name it. The objective you choose will determine where to focus your social media presence, how you do it and how you measure your success.

2) Evaluate the resources you’ll need to achieve your objective. There is the common misconception that social media is a free medium, where in reality it’s a very expensive one. As a matter of fact, you’ll need a lot of resources (a.k.a people) with different talents, depending on your objectives.  For starters, you’ll need good writers and communicators that understand your business and products. If your products and services can be visually demonstrated, the use of video is a great way to communicate and for that you’ll need video production and editorial talents. If you have a highly conceptual  service, a video or slide share presentation can help organize and simplify your services; in this case you would need Powerpoint and video edit talents in addition to great communicators on your team. You might not have all these talents on staff and you might not need to. Before you go outside, consider which departments in your company will contribute to your social media effort. Then train your staff to answer your audience in an intelligent, problem-solving and professional manner. Lastly, hire outsource talent to perform tasks for which you cannot justify adding a full-time person on staff.

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EngagementThe Agile Marketing buzz has been building. I thought it would be a good idea to provide some grounding in the hype. Here is quick agile marketing summary and a helpful guide for those of you who are interested in testing the agile marketing waters: Zebworks, an agile marketing framework that is a practical guide for its implementation. (You can download the Zebworks Guide for free here.)

Anthony Freeling the author of Agile Marketing, How to Innovate Faster, Cheaper and With Lower Risk and one of the earliest writers on the topic of Agile Marketing has redefined marketing to address today’s high speed and changing environment:

Marketing is the process of creating and communicating winning offers that profitably attract customer spend in an uncertain market environment. It does this by:

  • Shaping the market environment through innovation
  • Adapting to changes in the environment, and 
  • Beating the competition

Freeling’s definition forms a springboard into the concept of Agile Marketing. Agile Marketing was developed to address our new changing marketing landscape. A landscape that is experiencing a head-exploding rate of change. 

Agile, on its own, is a management process that dates back to the late 1980’s. And it is one that software developers embraced for the same reasons that it has become appropriate for the marketing discipline. Developers were faced with fast-paced change. By the time they completed their projects, using an orderly sequential methodology, their software products were no longer suited the needs of the customer.

The Agile Manifesto was written to address this environment and to change the way organizations functioned:

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