Gone are the days when we, as marketers, had our yearly marketing planning set in stone. The increasing speed with which new marketing platforms emerge and how quickly users adapt to them presented a new opportunity for us to implement an iterative approach to strategy. This approach has worked well for us at Cucumber over the last few years, so if you are still struggling with finding a balance between proactive marketing planning that is still flexible and relevant, you may want to try an iterative marketing planning approach in your organization.
What is an iterative approach in marketing:
An iterative approach to marketing strategy is a dynamic and flexible method of strategic marketing planning that involves continuous refinement and adaptation based on ongoing feedback and learning. Instead of creating a fixed, long-term strategy, an iterative approach embraces the concept of “learn as you go” and acknowledges that conditions and circumstances can change rapidly in the business environment.
Here’s how an iterative approach to strategy works:
Initial Planning: The process begins with an initial planning phase where we set overall marketing objectives, vision, and mission. This phase also involves analyzing the current market conditions, competitors, and internal strengths and weaknesses.
Short-Term Goals: Rather than formulating a detailed long-term plan, an iterative strategy focuses on setting short-term, achievable goals. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), allowing our clients to remain focused and adaptable.
Execution and Feedback: With this approach, we execute the marketing strategy to achieve the set short-term goals. Throughout this execution phase, we actively gather data and feedback from various sources, such as customers, employees, market trends, and industry developments, as well as the campaigns we are running.
Continuous Evaluation: The feedback gathered during the execution phase is regularly evaluated and analyzed. This evaluation helps identify what is working well and what needs improvement, allowing us to make data-driven decisions.
Adaptation and Adjustment: Based on the insights gained from the evaluation, we then adapt and adjust our marketing strategy. This may involve modifying tactics, realigning goals, or even changing the overall direction if necessary to respond effectively to changing market dynamics.
Reiteration and Reexecution: After making adjustments, we reiterate the strategy by setting new short-term goals and executing the revised plan. The process then repeats in a cyclical manner.
The benefits of an iterative approach to the strategy include:
Agility: We can respond swiftly to changing market conditions and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Learning and Improvement: The constant feedback loop promotes a learning culture within the organization and in partnership with our marketing agency, leading to continuous improvement of the marketing infrastructure.
Risk Reduction: By focusing on short-term business and marketing goals and continuous evaluation, the strategy minimizes the risk of committing to long-term plans that might become obsolete.
Better Resource Allocation: Resources are allocated more efficiently as adjustments are made based on real-time data and feedback.
Innovation: The iterative approach encourages experimentation and innovation, allowing us to explore new ideas and approaches.
In essence, an iterative approach to marketing strategy and execution embraces change and uncertainty, using it as a driver for growth and adaptation. It allows organizations to be nimble, proactive, and responsive, ultimately leading to a more resilient and successful long-term strategy.
Are you curious how an iterative marketing strategy approach can help your organization? Contact our marketing agency (located in Downtown Vancouver). We would love to set up a discovery call to share how this approach has helped our clients in the past and how it could be effective for your organization.