Agile Marketing in Practice: Here’s How We’re Doing It

Blog Post
October 02, 2017

Agile marketing is a hot topic—and for good reason. Customers expect brands to interact with them contextually, in close to real time, and marketers are struggling to keep up with this pace of change. We showcased how Harte Hanks is trying to solve this problem at our most recent Marketing Advisory Board meeting.

Our Take on the War Room

We've adopted a marketing war room approach that gives us the ability to make fast, agile changes to our marketing, responding to customers contextually and enabling near-real-time conversations as customers interact with us on online.

But instead of calling it a War Room, we call our operation The Boutique. Why? Because the language we use matters. 

How The Boutique Works

Our customers’ interactions with us on our website are the start to a digital conversation—similar to that we would have face-to-face in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s our job in The Boutique to determine what conversation they are trying to have. Are they browsing through what we offer? Shopping for a specific service or to solve for a specific business problem? Or are they standing at our figurative cash register ready to buy? We've gone into some detail on this process here.

If we can understand the attributes of browsers, shoppers and buyers, then we will know what to say to them when we see them appear on our site. For example, a browser may want some information or may want to be left alone altogether. A shopper that's ready to buy probably wants a good offer. 

The Boutique team continues to work every day on figuring out how to identify browsers, shoppers and buyers as they interact with our digital properties so that we can have the most appropriate, human conversations with them—and eventually automate this process so that it can scale.

Which brings up content—an insatiable need for content. We must have content developed for our various personas across the buyer's journey so that when we identify them interacting with us, we can immediately provide them with the most contextual and useful piece(s) of content.

Progress Toward Human Marketing

Our biggest challenge with The Boutique efforts right now is twofold:

  1.      Properly identifying the visitors that enter our digital “store;”
  2.      Matching the correct content to the conversation this individual would like to have with us.

We’re working day-in and day-out to figure out this process and answer these questions so that, eventually, we can coach our clients to do the same. For now, we’re making incremental steps forward. While our data is far from perfect, we have enough to bring in an attribution model and start determining what's working—and what's not. For example, what pieces of our process can we start to codify? And what content attributes should we continue to produce?

Check out the full story of The Boutique to hear more about our progress toward human marketing and the challenges we've encountered along the way. Check back often for updates!