by Swati Sinha, Analytics Product Marketing, SAP

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower

272111_l_srgb_s_gl-150x150Faced with rapid changes in marketing over the last few years, marketers are under increased pressure to be proactive and produce results within shorter time frames. They have to review their plans to meet dynamic market changes. Organizations are handling this pace of change via agile marketing.

Agility is driven by the need to serve end users. It’s about always being relevant and responsive. Developing an iterative marketing plan provides opportunities to review the plan and update it as needed to reflect changing market needs and priorities, allowing the team to focus on current priorities and delivering value.

Some corporations have been doing this for a while. For example, anything that makes it big in the news will be quickly incorporated into Googles’ doodles. Oreo, Tide, and Audi were reactive with smart tweets during the Super Bowl XLVII blackout. When Oreo recognized the controversial Gay Pride month by posting a picture of a rainbow-colored cookie on Facebook, it generated 300,000 likes and over 90,000 shares.

The goals of agile marketing, according to Jim Ewel, are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change the marketing function.

Achieving Speed by Breaking the Silos

The key principles of agile marketing are to focus on creating remarkable customer experiences, responding quickly to change, and achieving stronger alignment with business leaders and sales departments. This is built on the foundation of collaboration and empowered teams.

Organizations can achieve this by developing a single view of market, customers, and various marketing activities like campaign insight across the organization. This provides various teams a platform to collaborate.

Gaining Transparency with Agile Visualization

Organizations are shortening the length of marketing campaigns in order to get real time insights from these campaigns, make changes if needed, and spend less time on campaigns that don’t produce results.

With advance visualization, marketers don’t have to rely on IT for daily insights. They can create daily reports and visualize data in various ways to get better insights.For example, they can break the information by geographic location for better analysis. This allows them to react to a particular market condition in a region instead of using a one-size-fits- all approach.

Predicting the Market with Predictive Analysis

Using predictive analytics is no longer restricted to data scientists. Now business users can make instant decisions and respond immediately to changing market needs to keep customers happy and loyal. Marketers can predict the optimal discount prices and make real-time changes in the campaign, or identify affinity insights at the market-basket level to improve promotion effectiveness, assortment optimization, and store layout.

Albert Einstein said that “technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” It’s incumbent upon us to tame this necessary evil. And the right tools will help.

Is your organization moving to agile marketing? How are you using technology to make it easy?

Originally published on The Decision Factor blog and republished with permission.