In today’s fast-moving business landscape, flexibility isn’t just a buzzword; it’s also a necessity. Gone are the days when organizations could set a marketing strategy in December for the full year ahead, and then realistically plan to follow it. Instead, data, technology, and changing customer expectations require agile marketing. To help you better understand why this matters and how to make the most of it in your own business, here’s a deeper look at flexibility in marketing. 

Why Flexibility? 

The word “flexibility” conjures images of dancers or gymnasts, contorting their bodies into feats of athleticism that most mortals would only dream of achieving. Still, the mental picture is a good one. If you’re flexible, you can bend. You can do more with your limbs than others can. You remain limber, ready to spring into action and perform incredible feats. The parallel between this type of flexibility and flexibility in marketing tracks really well. Plus, it’s a fun one.

Know Your Audience 

So, how do you use flexibility to your advantage? To start, you have to know who you’re marketing to. What is your ideal customer profile or buyer persona? Where do these people spend time, both in-person and online? What are their pain points? What would help them do their jobs better? Go deep in your market research and make sure you have a complete picture of the best people to use your products or services. 

This will help you create a marketing plan that is informed and in-depth. But then, prepare to use it only as a starting point. The fact is, the world is changing first. If you know what matters to your ideal customers in January, they may have a more pressing priority by June. Just think of all the economic and health-related issues we’ve weathered in the past few years, and it’s easy to see how quickly different events can arise and impact everything. 

Keep Up With Changing Technologies & Tactics

Another reason why you want to make sure your marketing mindset is agile is because technology and trends are constantly evolving. If digital display ads gave you the highest ROI in 2023, maybe connected TV advertising will dethrone the tactic in 2024. Then again, maybe not. The point is, you don’t know until you see how solutions evolve, gauge how your specific audience responds to changing marketing methods, and then take the time to actually test them for yourself. 

Stay open to possibilities, and filter every new idea through the lens of whether it’s likely to resonate with your target customers. If so, consider whether you can dedicate a set portion of your budget toward testing new tactics and technologies, and/or creating pilot programs to determine efficacy. This is a great way to keep you up with the times, while not marrying you to untested options too early. 

Engage In Strategic Planning

It can feel nice to get all your yearly planning done in one fell swoop, and many companies try to do this toward the end of the year. But, as we mentioned above, what if something happens in February of the following year that upends everything you thought would happen? Because of the unpredictability in the world, the best bet is to practice strategic planning with the expectation that things will change. 

How do you do this while still maintaining some semblance of control in your marketing? Go ahead and have your annual planning meeting, but focus the time on reviewing the past year’s successes, failures, and learnings – as well as setting a broader vision and goals for the upcoming year. Then, break that down into more concrete plans for the first quarter of the year, while setting the expectation that you’ll check in against – and update – those goals monthly. This allows you to be strategic and aligned, while also giving you flexibility in marketing efforts and beyond. 

The organizations that thrive are those that practice agile marketing and continually adapt and improve. Want to work with a team who can help you do just that? Give us a call!