In today’s business parlance, we think of “agile” as being flexible, responding to market needs, or making swift changes due to shifts in the economy.
The concept plays a prominent role in software development and the lean startup, a movement that Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Reis formed to provide a framework for how new products are built and launched. Both of these movements stimulate the innovation economy, where emphasis is put on sustaining and building U.S. competitiveness in the global economy.
What is agile marketing?
Agile Marketing is the parallel progression of these movements -- the new fresh cousin of Agile Software Development. The pioneers of this approach have been applying some key methods over the last few years.
Gerry Murray of IDC, the “premier global provider of market intelligence” describes it as a:
“High-communication, low-documentation, rapid iteration processes designed to provide more frequent, more relevant, and highly measurable marketing programs…the goals are speed and innovation.”
So, why go agile?
This is the age of the marketing technologist. Marketers and businesses owners have access to systems and data that provide real-time views into customer behavior. The ability to pivot and make mid-course corrections is a mandate on the road to fueling winning strategies.
The customer is part of your marketing team, shaping business brands and market perception.
Products are rolling out in fast iterations; marketing programs need to leverage current trends and changing product definitions.
Agile vs. traditional marketing
The SprintZero Agile Marketing Event held in San Francisco in June, 2012, gathered a group of marketers to create a manifesto and a first draft of values:
- Validated learning over opinions
- Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
- Adaptive and iterative campaigns over big bang campaigns
- Customer discovery over static prediction
- Flexible over rigid planning
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Many small experiments over a few large bets
The need to adapt and work in compressed time schedules is obvious, yet applying this methodology requires a disciplined team approach, a new way of working together. Agile marketing is a smart step toward better solutions, less mistakes, and programs that can be measured.
How to get started
Marti Konstant, a tech enthusiast with a passion for kickstarting market demand for B2B tech companies, leads her company’s efforts in brand differentiation and demand generation. She is also founder of the country’s first Marketing Hackathon, #marketinghack chat, and the Agile Marketing Learning Channel, all accessible through her blog.