Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What every CMO needs to know about Agile Marketing

by Kenneth To

Current CMOs have digital experience (79% of current CMOs) while their predecessors did not (69% of replaced CMOs lacked digital experience).  At the same time, contemporary CMOs are more likely to have analytical experience (80%) compared to their predecessors (48%).   (Age of the Agile CMO, Seid)

Given the greater importance of digital experience and analytics, agile marketing is a concept that every CMO needs to understand.  What is agile marketing?  It’s a framework for marketing which emphasizes rapid iteration and continuous improvement.  This is done through continuous testing and alterations after a release of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).  In software development, agile (software) development is replacing the waterfall development model.  The equivalent of waterfall development would be the traditional annual planning cycle (for marketing).  Plans are made and then carried out until completion.

The problem with water development (for software) and the annual planning cycle (for marketing) is that it doesn’t have room for adjustments due to changing conditions (or information).  The reality for modern marketers is that need flexibility more than ever.  Complaints on social media can cause firestorms.  A CMO needs a marketing framework that allows for them to adjust to both unexpected good or bad news for their strategies.

A recent article on CMO.com notes how companies are using agile marketing:
1) Carsurfing - product development purposes
2) Teradata - improving customer response effectiveness
3) CafePress - consumer/trend research  for product releases and planning
4) Xerox - prioritizing tasks related to simultaneous projects

Agile marketing emphasizes rapid iteration and continuous incremental improvements.  Below is an exercise to experiment with this methodology: 
1) Identify multiple copy concepts for marketing/branding your company has.  Release simultaneous ads onto Facebook ads on a very small budget.
2) Evaluate your the traction each copy concept has.  Revise assumptions about copy concepts independently and compared to each other based off of relative effectiveness of test campaigns.
3) Re-iterate the process of steps 1 & 2 to refine creative concepts.

Professional Summary

Kenneth To is graduate student at Northwestern University studying Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).  He is currently building a consumer internet start-up called pilgrimr.  Previously, he co-founded Saigon Social, the first company in Vietnam to use celebrities for social media endorsements.   Prior to that, he was responsible for business development and deal sourcing at private equity firms and M&A firms.  

Continue the conversation with her on Twitter @KennethT, or connect with him on linkedin.

Sources:
Age of the Agile CMO, Seid
http://www.heidrick.com/~/media/Publications%20and%20Reports/HS_AgeoftheAgileCMO.pdf

Agility in Action, Veron
http://www.cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/articles/2013/5/19/agility_in_action_ho.html

1 comment:

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