The notion of a static, one-size-fits-all online experience is a thing of the past. 

From unique website design, to exclusive content, to special promotions, brands are in constant competition to create the most memorable approach to user engagement. 

While each company takes a different path on its quest for digital dominance, the end goal is often the same: draw in more customers, employ compelling content to guide them down the path to purchase, and keep them coming back for more. 

So if everyone is clamoring for the same thing, how can companies break away from the pack? 

There’s no shortage of opinions about the tools that will get you there the fastest. But product opinions aside, if an organization isn’t agile at its core, the race to optimize its digital experience will almost certainly be a bumpier road. 

Ultimately, there will be sites with copycat features and copycat digital experiences — this is an unavoidable fact of competition in the digital space. Differentiation is hard when everyone’s playing with the same box of toys. 

Prioritizing agility on an organization-wide level is a powerful way for companies to gain a competitive advantage in a world where everyone’s digital technology toolbox feels uncomfortably similar. It puts enterprises in a prime position to pivot and respond to market opportunities fast—without getting left in the dust. 

The Case for Agility

In a recent post, Forrester analyst Martin Gill emphasized the link between agility and digital business success — a link that not only serves customers better, but improves companies on an operational level. He wrote: “Digital operations can increase speed-to-market, make employees more productive, promote leaner processes, and maximize asset utilization.”

It’s no secret that companies are expected to engage closely with the user — putting them first in all respects. We need to build great digital experience journeys that deliver the right content at the right time, in the right place. Speed is often the big differentiator here: the ability to test out a new experience, assess its level of success, and if necessary, move on to something better. 

The behavior and mindset associated with agility have powerful implications in the age of the customer, where digital efforts need to constantly keep up with the customer’s needs and expectations. 

Making the Shift

Unfortunately agility isn’t an instant, out-of-the-box fix. A company’s mindset as a whole is incredibly important to making agility a reality. 

From a management perspective, agility requires combining a sense of urgency with a sense of possibility and capability. It requires continuous assessment of what’s going well and what can be done better. 

Here are a few questions business leaders who prioritize agility might ask themselves: 

  • Do we move quickly in enacting new initiatives? 
  • Do we tend to be late to the game with fresh ideas? 
  • Are our customers leaving because we’re not innovating fast enough?
  • What is lagging or causing hold-ups?
  • Are team members forced to go through IT to get anything done? 

Companies that thrive on agility must focus on distributing tools rapidly and easily out to the edges of their organization — all the way to their marketers and content teams. This approach should be a core part of company culture. It should be a priority emphasized constantly by the CEO and included in the company mission. Only when all employees across all departments are aligned can a company operate in a way that truly sees the benefits of agility. 

For companies whose processes have more traditional roots, prioritizing agility may seem like a giant undertaking. But, for all the work required — from a careful evaluation of technology to a refreshed culture and mission statement — the advantages far outweigh the costs. 

More and more companies will prioritize agility in the months ahead, and when they do, everyone — from employees to customers — will win.