LONDON: Agile marketing is both reactive and proactive and marketers will need to get the balance right between the two if they are to fully exploit the opportunities available according to a leading industry figure.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the focus of which is agile marketing, Ross Barnes, chief technology officer at media agency m/Six, calls for marketers to think in terms of velocity rather than speed.

In a fragmented media landscape there is a growing need to act pre-emptively and to consistently prepare for a multitude of next possible moves. Agile marketing, he says, requires marketers to respond speedily, but with a clear direction, keeping in mind long-term as well as short-term objectives.

But too much speed and too little direction can lead to all-too-hastily thought-out messages, with potential damage to the brand. And sacrificing speed for over-consideration can lead to a missed opportunity.

Getting the balance right is what we call 'velocity' he states. The key is to develop an agile and adaptable framework that provides clear guidelines, but allows flexibility to ensure long-term, as well as short-term, results."
Achieving this is easier said than done. "Success in this time of Velocity requires a dramatic rethink in the way a business thinks about the marketing function," Barnes says.

Marketers have to consider a whole range of variables, from using data effectively for relevant targeting and content distribution to relinquishing the traditional creative sign-off approach in order to allow messages to be generated quickly.

And given the two-way communication that social media has enabled between consumers and brands, the former now has a role within the marketing mix.

"Any brand that is ignoring consumers in their capacity as advocates – or anti-advocates – has no future," he declares.

Changes in content strategy will also be needed to enable brand ubiquity in an age of addressability, sharing and advocacy./html>

Data sourced from Admap