A few months ago I compiled a list of 26 wonderful agile marketing campaigns, as there are some serious wins to be had for brands that can act fast.
But what does it take to react quickly?
Good timing is everything in comedy, in sport, in fashion, in cooking, and in business. Wait too long and you’ve missed your moment, but there’s a very sweet spot to hit if you get it right. As Anna Wintour says:
It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.
Vogue’s editor in chief could have so easily been talking about agile marketing, which requires superlative timing. How are you supposed to win the earned media game if you sit around twiddling thumbs, or don’t have the right set up to make things happen quickly?
With this in mind, I thought I’d outline the key agile marketing success factors, and to try to figure out what kind of team structure and processes need to be put in place.
In recent months, we've seen lots of brands launching real time campaigns in response to national events, producing great opportunist campaigns.
Good examples include, Golden Wonder's fast reaction to Sir Alex Fergusan's retirement, and the Bodyform Facebook response.
I recently wrote about agile marketing, focusing on reactive campaigns. Many of the 26 examples I highlighted in my post used a news trigger as a kind of jumping off point for a marketing campaign (‘campaign’ isn’t quite the right word for some of them, e.g. a single tweet).
This made me think about the other types of triggers that exist, which provide brands with the opportunity to reach existing and prospective customers. I was surprised by how many there are, and no doubt I have missed dozens of others.
What’s a trigger, exactly? It is, simply, an opportunity to contact somebody. Trigger-based marketing is all about being reactive, and targeted, rather than just pushing out arbitrary brand messages to big audiences.
Triggers might be based around individual or group behaviour. They could be time-specific. Triggered comms may be activated post-purchase, or post-abandonment. They often factor in customer data and will be highly personalised (though let’s not write off segmentation). They can be automated, or they can produced manually, and made to measure.
As with all forms of marketing communication, there is a balance to strike. Everybody loathes spam, but people do like to be rewarded, to be entertained, and to feel valued. So be careful, be meaningful, and be generous. And test, test, test.
Before we look at the triggers, let’s first think about some common formats for marketing campaigns / comms. How, exactly, might you communicate to a customer (or customers) once a trigger has been pulled?