Last Updated: 7/1/2016
Agile marketing can be defined as an approach to marketing where being open and responsive to change is prioritized over following a specific set-in-stone plan.
As the very word suggests, it’s about being agile in your marketing efforts as opposed to fixed or rigid. With today’s business happening faster than ever before, marketing plans can quickly be derailed due to changing conditions, and a company must be able to adapt to these changes for long-term success. This ability and willingness to respond to change can be a great source of competitive advantage. Agile marketing is based on the principles of agile development, which is based on software development methodologies where iterative and incremental development is prioritized and achieved through the collaboration of cross-functional teams.
The main goals of agile marketing are to improve transparency, predictability, speed, and the ability to adapt to change within the marketing function. Some principles that inform the actions of agile marketing include valuing individuals and interactions rather than target markets; working in collaboration as opposed to silos and rigid hierarchies; and leveraging small experiments rather than betting everything on one major strategy.
Simplicity is also key when it comes to succeeding at agile marketing efforts. Keep your plans as more of a flexible outline and you’ll be better able to respond to changes. Teams will frequently work in short periods of intensive work (known as sprints) in order to complete projects before measuring their impact and using that information to improve results over time. Trying lots of different things and then repeating those that work is key to agile marketing success.
One of the best ways to achieve your agile marketing goals includes having a number of small teams working independently on planning, iterating, and reviewing campaigns. One benefit of having this constant loop of feedback is that it can help a business stay as nimble as possible.
An important aspect of agile marketing is transparency, so sharing feedback with the rest of the team is a key component of this strategy. This allows for increased alignment with the goals of the organization and even sales staff, ultimately improving communication both within and outside of the marketing team.
Some best practices for achieving these goals include rapid iterations rather than big-bang campaigns and the use of tests and data rather than simply relying on traditional conventions. Doing so helps businesses more quickly and easily adapt to changing market conditions.
Hosting short, daily meetings are a great way for teams to share any feedback, insights and offer suggestions while instilling a sense of urgency into their work. These 15-minute standups allow teams to address any wins or roadblocks in a timely manner.
It’s also a good idea for a company to maintain an ongoing calendar of events relevant to its business throughout the year. One advantage with this approach is teams can better see and prepare to respond to opportunities that might arise from such events. A good example was Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” campaign, which launched during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout. No one could have predicted the blackout, yet the company was able to capitalize on it thanks to agile marketing efforts.
It’s important to capture and engage with your audience at the right moment, which can’t always be planned for in advance, which is why an effective agile marketing strategy is key.
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