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For those of you who were following the saga of #GiveGregTheHoliday last week, you’ll be well aware of the power of agile marketing, Twitter and free holidays to Las Vegas.

The brands that leapt on the hashtag swiftly and with the most relevance, enjoyed a huge increase in promotion, brand awareness and a positive upswing in perception.

TrekAmerica would see its gift of a holiday to Vegas covered everywhere from BBC News, Mail Online, Buzzfeed to NPR, complete with embedded link to its Twitter page. 

The initial tweet was retweeted 245 times and TrekAmerica picked up roughly 600 followers over the next few days.

The brands that responded in a less than relevant manner… well… they just looked a bit crass.

Social media is the agile marketer’s dream. A real-time playing field full of digital savvy users ready to comment on and share any particularly innovative, clever, entertaining or attention grabbing piece of content. 

In order to capitalise on a trend, a hashtag or any other newsworthy event at a moment’s notice, brands need a marketing team able to respond quickly, creatively and with senior support able to sign-off ideas quickly.

As opposed to the values of content marketing, agile content creation doesn’t need to be a thoroughly researched, minutely planned narratively driven HD YouTube upload. 

It matters little whether content is branded or not, whether that content is from a major corporation or a start-up from down the road, all that matters is the quality of the message being delivered.

Agile marketing can simply be well-Photoshopped, amusing image in response to a trend or, as in #GiveTheGregTheHoliday, a very well timed giveaway.

It matters little whether content is branded or not, whether that content is from a major corporation or a start-up from down the road, all that matters is the quality of the message being delivered. Ecommerce brands are in a great position to achieve similar results as TrekAmerica enjoyed above.

Chris Lake covered 26 superb examples of agile marketing in action last year, here are some other brilliant examples of agile marketing with a particular focus on ecommerce.

Gap

Normcore describes a style of wear that’s basically non-descriptive, or ‘dad-brand non-style’ as a NYMag piece recently described it. It’s a misappropriated term that was originally meant for general cultural conformity, rather than a fashion trend, but still that’s how it’s being popularised. 

Here’s Gap’s response to the NYMag article.

As far as fashion movements go, it’s nothing much more than the core range that ever fashion retailer stocks all year long, therefore brands like TopShop, American Apparel and ASOS don’t really have to do much to capitalise on it.

Alex and Alexa

As Ben Davis reported in his agile newsjacking piece the children's apparel site known as 'the NET-A-PORTER for under 14s' does some excellent news-jacking.

This one was probably ready to go months ahead of the birth, as was I’d imagine a princess version, but here’s a simple promotion used around the birth of Prince George that isn’t too craven.

New York Sports Club

The New York based gym chain took out these timely newspaper adverts... Take that Kim and Kanye!

And only slightly more terrifyingly… Take that, Kim Jong-un!

Threadless

The crowd-sourcing t-shirt company showcased its new custom print tool by making tees based on funny tweets from celebrities and tweeting the product back at the celebrity.

Specsavers

No strangers to hijacking recent news stories that have a particularly ‘optically challenged’ slant, here’s the opticians response to the French rail snafu last week…

Priceline.com

The American discounts site uploaded these brilliant Super Bowl parodies to Vine during the big game, each one responding to a moment as it happened.

That’s the beauty of sock puppets I suppose.

Pizza Express

One of many brands to capitalise on the recent tube strikes, here’s a canny bit of agile email marketing.

Adidas UK

Here is the ever agile Adidas’s tube strike effort.

Although many of Adidas’ tweets do smack of being planned well ahead of time, this just shows how important it is to have an accessible and detailed calendar of relevant events

Virgin Holidays

Minutes after same sex marriage was legalised in the UK, Virgin Holidays tweeted this image and achieved an incredible 25% engagement rate across Twitter and Facebook.

Also in support of gay marriage and publishing timely advertising were…

Absolut Vodka

With this subtle and brand relevant ad. 

and…

Ben & Jerry’s

With an entirely new limited edition product.

DiGiorno Pizza

The US pizza company regularly posts hilarious and slightly off-kilter tweets. It’s major strength is in picking specific events to live-tweet with equal parts charm and snark.

It’s also wonderfully adept at responding to even the most bizarre and accusatory tweets.

LEGO

Obviously this one took a lot more planning than most agile efforts, but this transformation of a five-year-old’s bedroom into a Star Wars LEGO Ewok village was perfectly timed for May the fourth (unofficial Star Wars day).

Oddbins

This one’s just a bit weird. Although credit should be given for having a Stormtrooper costume lying around the office.

Firebox

The London based purveyors of idiosyncratic gifting isn’t doing anything particularly groundbreaking on Twitter, but it is reacting to daily events with a well-timed product placement and well shot photography.

In response to Earth Day…

In response to a Rubik’s cube themed Google Doodle…

Nokia

At the very moment that Apple announced its first ever vibrantly coloured range of iPhones, Nokia, a company that has been offering a similar range of colours for a while, tweeted this at the exact same time.

Nokia’s tweet hijacked the #Apple hashtag, stole the conversation away from the iPhone announcement and became the most retweeted brand tweet ever, doubling the previous record set by Oreo’s ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ Super Bowl tweet.

Honda vs Oreo

I covered various Twitter spats between brands in What do we get out of brands interacting with each other on Twitter? One of my favourite examples is the following agile response from Oreo...

Honda introduced a new minivan in 2014, the primary selling feature apparently the introduction of a built-in vacuum cleaner. 

Honda felt this would be the perfect opportunity to achieve some cheeky cross-brand marketing and tweeted the following shots across some innocent brands’ bows.

The tactic was a winner and most brands reacted fairly swiftly with their own responses, therefore spreading the reach of the campaign. However Honda didn't reckon on the might of Oreo, the king of agile social marketing.

Take that Honda! 

For more on agile marketing, read Ashley Friedlein’s advice on the 70:20:10 rule of agile marketing.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 28 May, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

Richard Tidman

Richard Tidman, Managing Director at Space 66 LtdSmall Business

Agile marketing (as in adopting Agile project management principles in the delivery of marketing communications) and real-time marketing are two different things. There are some great examples of brands reacting in real-time to opportunity in this post, very little however, relates to how these brands have leveraged Agile principles to improve the effectiveness of their communications. I don't think we should confuse the two concepts.

5 months ago

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