Agile marketing means being able to respond rapidly to changes. When it comes to online retailers, responding quickly to changes in the market, for example competitor price drops, is a crucial component of success. Never more so than during the busy Christmas shopping period.
Similar to the concept of newsjacking, by carefully monitoring your competitors and industry, you'll spot trends, gain insights and will know what's causing a stir and creating buzz. This gives you an indication of demand, helping you target your activities accordingly.
When you leverage existing buzz to your advantage, it means another brand has already done all the hard work, you just have to be fast enough to benefit from it.
How can a retailer leverage buzz and benefit from it?
Let's take the example of the current John Lewis adverts featuring Monty The Penguin. As well as the plush penguins quickly selling out in John Lewis stores up and down the country, the popularity and buzz around penguins in general, means that the likes of eBay have seen a whopping 300% increase in penguin sales, whilst online retailer Etsy, has also reported a considerable increase in penguin related searches.
This presents many different kinds of retailer with a golden opportunity to execute a rapid, reactive marketing campaign.
The key is ensuring that what you do is relevant and timely. Leave it too long and you'll miss out, as interest peaks and then goes into decline. Likewise, try and create some kind of tenuous link or tie in, and consumers will see straight through it.
McVitie's take a ride on the John Lewis Monty penguin bandwagon
So what does this mean for a retailer? How can you take popularity and buzz and turn it to your advantage? For a better idea of how it's done, take a look at how McVitie's Penguin hitched a ride on the John Lewis #MontyThePenguin bandwagon. With their simple "This Penguin is for lunch, not just for Christmas" campaign which was rapidly executed across social media channels, McVities provide a great example of clever and relevant agile marketing.
Start by figuring out the opportunity, in this case, people are currently going penguin mad, and plush penguins are pretty hard to get. This presents many different kinds of retailer with a golden opportunity to execute a rapid, reactive marketing campaign, promoting anything penguin related that they sell.
A penguin bedding set, a penguin story book, penguin onesies, DVDs about penguins, all manner of novelty penguin items. Anything you stock that is relevant will be extra appealing, and with penguins and Christmas top of many peoples minds, they are already primed to buy.
Get clever with your campaign messaging, work on a website landing page, set up a PPC advertising campaign, email your mailing list and run social media promotions. Any retailer selling related products stands to benefit.
It's not just about penguins though
The same principles apply regardless of what you sell. Did you know that every time a shuttle or probe is sent to Mars, demand for Mars Bars increases? Tap into unexpected opportunities by ensuring you are in a position to execute clever, creative reactive marketing activities quickly.
Your website, email list and social media are the ideal tools that will allow you to bring talked about and in-demand products, to the attention of your customers, in real time.