It is fashionable to be agile. You encounter this buzzword more often than necessary. Strategic agility is really beneficial to your business, but what exactly does that mean, how do you know you’re there or how to go in that direction?
Strategic agility is the solution in this disruptive environment that directly impacts the business strategy. It measures the level of agility of an organization taking into account its strategic direction. When things are constantly changing, it’s important how quickly and easily you respond to the new challenges. Moreover, it’s critical to anticipate instigation and be prepared with a well-defined crisis plan.
Strategic agility it’s a good set-up machinery of submetrics that help you prevent challenging situations, keep up with trends and have successful results.
Let’s see what the submetrics are and how they can help you stay ahead of the market.
How does your company plan to make money? The core strategy for making a profit is a business model. Does it answer the questions How my business works? How does it create value? What are the products or services that my business plans to sell? How can I deliver them? Your organization needs a clear business model to create, measure, and deliver value to your stakeholders.
Whether you have a small or a large business, it’s important to have a business model and to update it regularly so that you are prepared to face the challenges and anticipate trends.
There are a lot of business models out there. These are some of the best known:
You want to have a strong business model, so when creating your business plan be sure to include these points:
Evaluate the success of your business model. Compare your results with that of the competitors in your industry. You need to look at gross profit, cash flow and net income. This way you will see what the real profit of your company is.
Be sure you have enough funds to keep the business running until it becomes profitable. Underestimating the costs of funding is a common mistake that many companies make.
Revise your business model every now and then. Make sure it reflects the ever-changing business environment, but also the demands of the market.
Let’s take for instance the value proposition of Uber.
You can understand right from the headline what the service is about: “Tap the app, get a ride”. Simply by using an app you can move where you need to. Moreover, the rest of the message is short, very clear and highlights the main benefits of the service: you get a ride and the payment is completely cashless.
The value proposition is like an identity card of your brand so be sure it is easy to be found by the prospects. Put it directly on the website or in the promotional materials.
Write a value proposition that is easy to understand, unique, specific, compelling and turns prospects into customers. Be short, to-the-point and let everyone know how you are different from the competition.
If you want to have a better value proposition, be sure to:
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into groups (segments) using certain criteria such as demographics, needs, priorities, common interests, and other psychographic or behavioral criteria.
Marketing segmentation helps businesses to have niche segments for higher clarity and knowledge about them. Plus it minimizes the risk of implementing marketing campaigns designed for specific segments. In the long term, it will be more efficient and easy to tailor products and services for targeted segments.
Manufactures rely on accurate market segmentation to create products that appeal to those segments. For example, banks market to a wide range of people, and defining services and products for each specific group can be decisive.
You can’t advertise retirement planning or similar savings accounts for students of baby boomers. A bank must conduct in-depth market research and can discover that most millennials are planning to have a family. The bank uses that data to market college-friendly savings and investment accounts to this consumer segment.
There are multiple situations in which we have to correctly identify segments for a product.
Either we have the products and the company has to define its market to best fit a target audience. There’s a lot of research at this stage. Otherwise, your product might not appeal to your target market.
Either we know our audience very well and we need to promote our product taking into account insights and attract high-value customers.
When you are creating marketing segmentation, there are a few aspects you need to consider:
Start creating your customer segments based on the research and prioritize your most relevant segment. Then test your marketing strategy on your segment. Use conversion metrics to discover how effective your strategy is. Keep testing until you get the best results.
You can restart your research when you find it necessary or relook your marketing strategy.
Digital strategy is the stepping stone in your digital transformation to improve business performance. In our experience, a smart digital strategy is about making wise investment choices to maximize competitive advantage, growth and profit. It entails the guidelines and directions your company will take in adopting and adapting to a digital environment. A digital strategy will contain key objectives for your company, as well as tactics, and metrics for success.
Think about companies such as Nike, Starbucks or Microsoft. Do they always seem three steps ahead of the game? Now think about companies like Kodak. Can you tell what the difference is between those businesses?
Let us give you a hint: the formerly mentioned companies are early adopters of digital transformation. To their benefit, they started out with a clear vision of their new path in digital and with a strong strategy for implementing changes. They saw exponential growth in the early stages of their digital transformation. Moreover, they continue to gain huge advantages compared to their competitors, in terms of resources, customer relationships, and global scale.
The latter has swiftly declined when faced with their digitally disrupting competitors. Their refusal to rethink their business model in digital terms rested solely on denying the power of their competitors.
Bringing revenue into your company or boosting sales for your product is one of the key objectives on your mind as a business leader, is it not? If any of these questions pop up on your business strategy then you are certainly on the right track:
A marketing communications strategy should answer all the questions above, through both digital and OOH tactics. A marketing strategy includes your company’s value proposition, brand voice and data on your key audience.
You should integrate the marketing communication strategy with the business strategy to create a multichannel marketing plan that uses both physical and digital communication tactics.
As an emerging e-commerce company, Brand wishes to launch their e-shop as an MVP, but has a strong thought out plan for scaling in the next two years. They are currently selling home depot products, but their plan is to extend the range of products from three categories to 14. They also wish to employ professionals to offer high quality services along with their products and establish the delivery service.
But first, they need to acquire a stable pool of returning customers. According to their calculations, they need to grow the pool by 9% every year to ensure revenue and investment funds.
They started with an email marketing campaign that complements the excellent customer service they provide in the online shop. They measure the open rate and click through rate to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns and the customers interests. Research shows that a healthy relationship between brand and customer is where they have constant interaction, no more than a few days apart. So Brand sends newsletters containing new products on their website and events. Easily engaged customers are rewarded with discounts. With lesser engaged users, Brand sends thoughtfully placed ads to stay relevant.
The first wave of scaling comes once they have reached 10k returning users per month, while the second wave is planned once they reach the 25k threshold.
First step in the improvement process is observing which channel brings the most engagement. Secondly, create an easy way to keep in contact with your customers. Whether you are partial to email or chat, forms or bots, always try to make your life easier: consider cross-channel integration tools and cross-channel measuring tactics.
Transitioning to digital processes and technologies has changed the competitive scene in many industries. With so many tools for measuring success and predicting market shifts way ahead, companies who have undergone digital transformation are likely to grow exponentially compared to those who strive.
How well do you know modern technologies like big data collection, machine learning, IoT, CRM, chatbots, automation? If you are already applying some of those tactics in your company, then you are already on the right track.
One strong argument for adoption of technologies is that user expectations have changed. The way products are put to market has changed and most importantly, we can verify, measure and predict when to move on to the next phases in product management.
Strive to digitize the products in the portfolio by using digital transformation technologies. (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, IoT).
Companies who outsource their resources need to have an accurate status on the progress and efficiency of their work at all times. Teams who are spread across multiple cities or even countries require online tools to keep track of their work easily.
Banks and financial services companies have long been developing and implementing advanced technologies for their work and data management. They have a long history of using digitized tools and have obtained reduced costs, increased speed and security for high transactional volumes and also have improved client services.
Consider the points described above? How do you assess the efficiency of your work and organization? Keep an open mind on digital tools that can help your company work effectively, transparently and in touch with your objectives.
Partnership marketing is a long-term promotion strategy that includes partnering up with more prominent brands to increase sales and visibility. The main feature of this method is that both parties obtain significant benefits from a collaboration. One major benefit is cutting costs on resources, advertising and conversion rate optimization.
You need to manage appropriate channels and partners to meet changing customer needs and business goals.
Companies in the automotive industry often partner up with strategic businesses to offer discounts or other benefits to common customers. Such examples are car insurance companies who partner up with car retailers to improve their sales.
Car companies offer discounts for insurance to customers who choose their brand and sales grow on both sides. Car retailers offer integrated products to their customers, while insurance companies attract more buyers. The deal produces a win-win-win effect and increases the conversion rate exponentially.
With partnerships, the target audiences are generally very similar or you can build a large segment of users with matching interests. Keep an eye out for strategic partners that could help you grow in particular user segments, with punctual campaigns or products.
Stay visible for future partners on relevant social networks and create a well-defined strategy for promoting your company business-to-business. To help you in this endeavour, define your company’s long-term objectives and define the areas where you can collaborate with adjacent industries.
Channel diversification refers to the marketing channels you choose to use on the distribution of products from the manufacturer to the consumer. Why is this so important? Because no matter how good your product or service is, if it does not reach your target customers, it will not bring you revenue.
Benefits of using multiple integrated channels:
You have a multitude of online and offline channels you can mix and match, depending on your strategy:
Not sure what channels you should choose? Start with Google Paid Search and Facebook Ads. Once you have good results on these channels, begin to expand your marketing mix beyond Facebook Ads and Paid Search, depending on your needs. Now be careful because the more you expand your marketing mix channels, the harder it becomes to understand what exactly drives good results.
When choosing your marketing mix, focus on those channels that maximize ROI. If you want to try offline channels as well, be prepared to run surveys to measure success.
Finally, be prepared for the time and money it could cost you when testing new channels.
When testing new channels use a channel expert and not a generalist one. While a generalist would manage to maintain the communication at a superficial level, an expert has an in-depth knowledge of that channel, knows exactly how to communicate with the audience that frequents the channel and how to make it a success.
Don’t underestimate the creative part. Make sure you have the design and production resources you need.
Are the channels right for your business? Take these aspects into account when you want to choose them:
There isn’t a finish line for the digital transformation journey. It is a disruptive environment that will challenge you every step of the way, but it challenges you to be better as well. The difference on the market is made by how ready you are to predict and meet the changes, rather than reacting in the moment in which it happens. All these metrics that we have explained help you to be agile. This is what it means to have strategic agility. Is your company ready to step up its digital maturity?
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