Agile Marketing is becoming important way for CMOs to operate their marketing organizations. Across the marketing landscape there are opportunities for real time understanding of consumers, their behaviors and their interests. This philosophy of running marketing campaigns is tied to a few simple principles:

  • Iterate on marketing campaigns quickly
  • Test hypothesis with actual consumer data
  • Experiment a lot, and setup those tests small and prove performance
  • Develop partnerships across the marketing organization, rather than work in silos

Across social media and programmatic platforms here are three ways marketers can deploy Agile Marketing techniques within their organization.

 

Programmatic Media – Creative Testing

Campaigns are real world focus groups that tell the marketer exactly what’s happening with the brand right now. Multiple creative executions in ad campaigns allow marketers to test which pictures, copy and videos resonate with audiences. Set the same targeting across the different creative elements, and ensure that each creative variation is given at least a week of exposure with similar impression volumes delivered. You’ll see across click-thru rates, cost per click performance, and video view performance which creative executions work well.

I remember an early version of this when I was working on the Sony Pictures theatrical release of Resident Evil 2. One of the key takeaways from the campaign was that ads featuring Mila Jovovich performed substantially better than the ads featuring the other actors. What’s more, the ads with the female actors in the creative overall performed better than the ads with the male actors.

Another version of this creative testing can happen on Twitter. Run Twitter ads with headline copy as the test, and find out which copy versions work best for the creative. Easy.

 

Programmatic Media – Frequency Reporting

The Trade Desk has a great frequency reporting tool. Simply pull the report after running the media campaign for at least a week. If you are tracking site conversions, such as a brochure request, a purchase or a white paper download, the report will tell us the time the last ad was loaded, and the time the conversion took place. In this particular report we can determine the amount of time it took for the user to convert. In a different conversion report The Trade Desk will identify the volume of impressions, clicks, spend and conversions that have been delivered at each frequency level. On a recent campaign

On a recent campaign half the click-through conversions occurred at frequency 2 – 3, which means that this frequency is more important for us to hit. It also means that the value for this 2-3 frequency level is higher, which means we bid higher on these frequency levels. The advertiser now has knowledge that can be tested for future campaigns about the value of frequency capping. Future campaigns can be setup with this knowledge, and more compelling creative can be delivered at frequencies 2 and 3.

 

Social Media – Use Media Types To Test Conversion Effectiveness

Across the different social platforms there are a wide variety of opportunities including video, live video, copy, pictures and the newly minted mixed medium that we see on Snapchat, called transmedia. These all present great ways for brands to connect to consumers. The Agile Marketing opportunity is to test out new formats to find the ones that work well for the brand and the business goals. For example, a brand may have a large number of Facebook fans, but the business may be seeing a drop

For example, a brand may have a large number of Facebook fans, but the business may be seeing a drop on organic reach on Facebook, which results in a drop in clicks to the site, which results in fewer direct actions taken by the consumer with the brand. As an aside, it’s still important to value the non-response activity delivered by digital media platforms. In a related post I wrote about the value of banner ads, and I suspect that similarly the value of social media posts that aren’t activated by the consumer is still high. What this ongoing testing allows the marketer to do is leverage exciting new technologies and the value that each social platform places in its new tech. Agile Marketing also allows the marketer to understand exactly where the gold lies in these platforms.

So, Facebook, right now, is placing a lot of emphasis on Facebook Live, it’s answer to live streaming that was initiated by Periscope. Following the existing Facebook playbook they are ensuring that Facebook Live video is given disproportionate organic reach with the expectation that more marketers will flock, making Facebook Live a critical video platform. When this happens Facebook Live will be a strong competitor not only to Periscope, but more importantly also to live TV and even over the top channels like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. As an aside, we see how Facebook is not just a digital company, but also a telecommunications company, also competing with every

As an aside, we see how Facebook is not just a digital company, but also a telecommunications company, competing with every communications platform in the world like Skype, WeChat and your telephone company. Facebook Live is aiming to be an entertainment source (watch live video from a show), a news source (Dan Rather live on Facebook), an information source (for example Mashable live streaming), a business platform (your favorite business executive leveraging the platform to share business knowledge while building their own brand) and a personal communications platform (your friend streaming their child’s recital live to friends and family). As a marketer you now have an opportunity to go live and have potentially (if the content is great) access to the same millions of viewers that your favorite TV network has.

Without an Agile Marketing group in place it takes months or years, not days, to test new technologies and find those pockets of gold. Facebook will undoubtedly stop giving away organic reach on Facebook Live. Once it has established itself as the go-to live streaming service they will start charging for reach just like all your favorite broadcast and cable networks do via commercials. The only difference is that there will be no commercials (if this model becomes the norm), and the business gets reach. Certainly, it’s possible that some form of advertising will accompany some of the live content. Either way, there’s gold there today and Agile Marketing teams will find it.

In 2-3 years new tech will come along and incentivize businesses and Agile Marketing teams will win those battles for their enterprise.

The rise of Agile Marketing teams is a direct result of the way media and marketing has developed. Real time bidding, programmatic ad buying, real time social media content creation and distribution, always on consumer connections with brands and access to a democratized system of distribution for consumers are all factors that result in marketers needing to be real time, accessible and on alongside their consumer.