On the recent April anniversary of Apollo 13’s safe return to earth, Inc Magazine wrote about how the successful diversion of the space shuttle and its crew back to Earth serves as a contemporary example for how to remain agile during a crisis. Interestingly, these same principles of agility can be applied to B2B organizations coping with the current crisis.
In How to Create a Marketing Plan in an Uncertain Future, we explored the definition of “agile” and highlighted how marketing has experienced its own agility improvements through digital transformation and advancements. Below, we go beyond and break down three steps B2B organizations can take to actively pivot to an agile mindset and bolster their business and marketing efforts amidst continued uncertainty.
1. Be flexible by being stable
While it may seem counterintuitive, the first step an organization should take to support agility is to demonstrate organizational stability. To move fluidly and adapt to changing situations, team members need to work from a solid foundation that fosters security and confidence. With this in place as issues and opportunities arise, team members can calmly and quickly adjust with ease.
A strong sense of focus also supports this direction. While creativity is beneficial, alignment on the primary goals the team should collectively work towards is critical during crisis. Having a shared direction and purpose as conditions rapidly change is necessary to mitigate distractions. Further, each individual should have clarity on their responsibilities and how they contribute to the whole. Regular check-ins to ensure this understanding and alignment will build stronger connections and buy-in.
Seeing these directives through promotes feelings of accomplishment and control in situations that otherwise feel dysfunctional and unpredictable.
2. Make data-backed decisions
Again, marketing has increasingly become a more agile process. The ability to quickly adjust tactics, messages and mediums via technology has been a key driver of this change. One cornerstone of strong marketing is the ability to measure campaign and activity performance and apply this analysis in creating continually stronger and more targeted marketing touchpoints for audiences.
At the root of the crisis-compelled changes to marketing are changes in the buyer and target audiences behaviors. Monitoring these behaviors with renewed vigilance is needed to shed light on recalibrated pain points and needs so that the right adjustments can be made. Topics that may have long been go-to-fuel for content marketing may no longer be as applicable or may even be tone deaf to the current situation. Always lead with compassion when deciding on the why, when and how of your marketing communications and content.
The facts, figures, and truths within one’s marketing data provide objectivity to lean on when making agile decisions on a more regular basis.
3. Perform quality assurance checks
An effective agile mindset requires a high set of standards for what one is producing. While agile means being adaptive and responsive to audience needs, this doesn’t mean that production should be accelerated so quickly that quality is lost. Marketing efforts should be timely and data driven, but also ideally useable beyond the current crisis.
Balancing the acceleration and quality of marketing deliverables may require repositioning and restructuring one’s team. Marketing teams that typically operate with certain team members designated for review or cross-checking may need the perspectives of other team members, perhaps those at an executive level. When producing marketing touchpoints that are as sensitive and timely as those being produced during a crisis, the right input from various team members can greatly impact the quality of the work being delivered.
An Agile Move into the Future
While many B2B organizations are just trying to survive the current crisis, others are viewing the disruption as an opportunity for organizational growth and evolution. Maintaining and actively seeking an agile mindset will allow teams and individuals to focus more energy on the right things and be comfortable when adjustments are called for.
Need help with adopting agile marketing in your organization? Request a free consultation from a Launch Marketing expert.