The pace of life has accelerated for everyone. From banking to dating, the increasing integration of digital technologies into modern lifestyles has forced a myriad of industries to dramatically change their business operations, vision for the future, and relationships with their customers.
Today, the marketing industry finds itself at a crossroads as consumers demand instant and transparent interactions with the brands and products in their lives. Unfortunately, many current traditional market research practices are more designed to engage consumers in 2009, not 2019.
Agile marketing is a game changer in the evolution of an industry facing the pressures of heightened expectations from more informed consumers. For decades, businesses have sought direct and immediate access to customer decision-making processes, purchasing habits, and reactions to marketing efforts, but the traditional means of gathering consumer insights took too long, often returning results that were dated by the time they reached the hands of the commissioners. Today, smartphones and round-the-clock consumer insight platforms offer unprecedented access to the hearts and minds of customers, and companies that fail to harness the power of this new dynamic will eventually face irrelevance as the marketing industry changes around them.
What is Agile Marketing?
Agile marketing uses real-time connections with consumers to validate the effectiveness of important decisions through iterative testing that provides quick, actionable feedback and insights.
Being able to test the efficacy of ideas before going to market saves companies significant amounts of money, time, and energy that was—not too long ago—lost to slow, fragmented, and less optimized market research practices. Rapid, on-demand access to targeted audiences that help test, ideate, and refine key concepts, designs, and campaigns is revolutionizing the relationship between companies and consumers. The era of exhaustive searches for quality respondents, waiting days or longer to receive customer feedback, and focus groups assembled together in a room are over.
By integrating consumers into the decision-making process, agile marketing provides greater transparency into evolving marketplace realities. The uncertainties and insecurities that once plagued decision-makers about the fate of products and campaigns can now be instantly tested and iterated until they are perfected before being approved for launch. This ability to promptly and preemptively de-risk outcomes is an unparalleled innovation. Want to know which beverage flavor, OTC packaging design option, or product attribute best resonates with a targeted demographic? The answers to those questions—and to beating the competition for the loyalty of those customers—can be quickly and easily obtained through the communicative and analytical powers of agile marketing.
A New Age of Consumer Feedback
Unlike traditional marketing efforts often built around the biases and assumptions of in-house teams and strategies, agile marketing is a process created through a primary source of truth: the customers.
Sales and revenue are generated by customers, so, naturally, asking customers for their thoughts and feedback is the most direct means of determining where value lives. By employing nimble campaigns that pivot and evolve with customer sentiment and feedback, companies are able to avoid the dangers of in-house silos and myopia that often blind marketing teams to the true thoughts, experiences, and sensibilities of their customers.
Today, consumers have unfettered access to detailed information about the brands and products in their lives. This level of transparency and connectivity has created a new generation of consumers that, through agile marketing, is democratizing important decision-making processes once relegated to conference rooms and corner offices. By inviting consumers into their operations, marketing teams and executives can have their decisions validated by the very people they are targeting in real time. Unsurprisingly, modern consumers have little tolerance for brands and products that do not fully understand their evolving needs and expectations—because customers increasingly expect to have their preferences, passions, and motivations taken into consideration.
Better Data Through Retargeting Consumers
Not all feedback is the same. The quality of consumer feedback is determined by the depth, focus, and scale of the questioning.
One-off questions to respondents not fully vested in providing thoughtful answers offer limited value to market research. Similarly, long-form surveys that place an unreasonable burden on respondents yield poor results in an agile landscape. Asking a customer about what they desire from a new product becomes exponentially more valuable when companies can ask that same customer succinct follow-up questions regarding the development of the new product. When re-targeting consumers, asking the right questions—and the right follow-up questions—can generate quick answers that may mean the difference between success and failure.
In addition, effective retargeting requires not only asking the right questions with the right words, but also knowing which form of inquiry most effectively engages which targeted audiences. Agile marketing affords companies the ability to connect with consumers through a variety of iterative inquiry methods, from multiple choice and open-ended questions to surveys and focus groups. A well-crafted retargeting campaign uses continuous and cumulative feedback to scale and optimize marketing efforts based on when and how respondents prefer to provide their thoughts and insights. Respondents are everywhere—on crowded subways, at home in the kitchen, shopping online—and being agile means being able to engage them in the act of living their lives.
Suzy™ and the Future of Agile Marketing
Suzy™ was created in response to the sweeping changes occurring at the confluence of marketing research, consumer behaviors, and communicative advances driven by digital technologies.
The founders of Suzy™ saw the opportunity to amplify the voice of the consumer in ways that transform sluggish incumbent practices through actionable, iterative, and speedy interactions. Today, more than 1.17 million Suzy™ respondents help clients proactively discover hidden opportunities and overlooked value while identifying and addressing problems before they materialize.
The age of agile marketing is just beginning. Consumers are no longer mere targets of marketing campaigns, but collaborators who enthusiastically contribute to the development of the brands and products they love. As traditional market research protocols continue to be reimagined by the connectivity and power of agile marketing, businesses that need weeks or even months to understand what their customers are thinking are simply not prepared to compete in a modern economy. Brands that do not accommodate the expectations of their customers will lose them to competitors. In a hyper-connected society and market, not involving consumers in important decisions is the same as ignoring them entirely.
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Learn more about how Suzy™ consumer insights platform can transform your market research operations. Receive over 300 responses in less than an hour from targeted audiences across the country, and promptly validate your company’s iterative marketing efforts to ensure the right, bias-free decisions are being made every time. Learn more about them here.