It’s easy to get complacent. In French there is an expression “métro, boulot, dodo” which roughly translates to “same thing, different day”. We’re creatures of habit, so settling into a nice routine is something that naturally happens. While we find routines comfortable, they spell trouble for marketing departments. You arrive at your office at the same time each morning, send some tweets, publish a few blogs, update your company’s Facebook status, repeat and pretty soon you are wondering why you are seeing diminishing returns.
Rinse, Wash Repeat. Not.
Law & Order creator, Dick Wolf, once said “As soon as you become complacent your show gets canceled.” The same theory can be applied to your marketing strategy. One of the cornerstones of agile marketing is iteration. Iteration is defined as the act of repeating, and this is where most marketers slip up. It’s almost impossible to be successful doing the same thing you did yesterday, and while agile marketing stresses iteration what it’s really all about is execution and reflection
So how can we make sure that we are improving, and not just settling into repetition? The answer is simpler than you’d expect. It all boils down to three little words: Awareness, Analysis and Application. Gee Ranasinha, wrote in a recent post that he believes following this simple strategy of Awareness, Analysis and Application will not only steer you clear of repetition, but also help you get the most out of your marketing initiatives.
It’s important to have an understanding of what’s going on around you, what are your competitors doing, and how well is it being accepted by your target audience. Here, it’s important to be aware of what’s working and what isn’t. Ranasinha suggests, that it “could be something as small as blogging about a subject that your audience has no interest in. Or maybe something larger – a special promotion that doesn’t generate nearly the amount of traction that you expected.” So, keep your eyes open and be actively scanning for things that may or may not be working.
Taking stock of what’s going on around you won’t do you much good unless you reflect upon it. Ranasinha believes that here, you should “Think of ‘Analysis’ as looking at your observations from Stage One [Awareness] and trying to find connections.” This is where you ask yourself, “Why didn’t that promotion get the results we expected?” or “Why didn’t that last email get the response we wanted?”
Hands down, the most difficult of the three sections. It’s here where most of the heavy lifting occurs and you have to be careful not to fall into “repeat mode”. You’ve witnessed what’s working and broken down why it was or was not successful. Now, it’s time to put that learning to work. This is where you take your observations and analysis and apply them to new initiatives. According to Ranasinha this is where “you need to repeat the process, possibly modifying the particular business marketing task based upon the new information that you’ve unearthed, and see what happens.” Failure here is not an option, because if you fail here then you’re just repeating not iterating.