Flexible and quick to implement – agile marketing is a marketing strategy that can be put into practice without lengthy preparations and in a short time. It involves breaking individual processes down into small steps and short-term goals, enab...
Flexible and quick to implement – agile marketing is a marketing strategy that can be put into practice without lengthy preparations and in a short time. It involves breaking individual processes down into small steps and short-term goals, enabling you to react spontaneously to any challenges or changes without having to adapt your overall strategy. Agile marketing is based on agile project management, which uses the Scrum and Kanban methods to prioritize and rapidly translate customer needs in order to implement efficient processes. An agile marketing approach is intended to compensate for the shortcomings of traditional marketing strategies.
Why is agile marketing so attractive?
While global networking and the ongoing digital transformation are triggering fast-paced change in all conceivable areas, classic marketing techniques struggle to respond to current events and sudden developments:
Traditional marketing campaigns feature a long preparation phase. Regulations, processes, and goals are defined in advance and the schedule does not allow for potential changes. This means that incorporating ongoing developments is difficult.
Multiple departments usually work on the marketing campaign while it is being developed, which can result in different interpretations or priorities for the various factors involved.
Given today’s fast pace of life, new technologies, features, or trends can reach the market during the development phase of the campaign. Delayed reactions or even failing to respond to these can result in significant competitive disadvantages.
Agility in marketing means tailoring your mindset as a whole to external influences, rather than simply responding quickly and flexibly to them. Adaptability and teamwork are key.
Agile Marketing Manifesto – guiding principles for agile marketing
In June 2012, a group of marketers in San Francisco got together to draft the manifesto for agile marketing. According to the authors, there are 7 key values:
Validated learning over opinions and conventions.
Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy.
Adaptive and iterative campaigns over big-bang campaigns.
The process of customer discovery over static prediction.
Flexible vs rigid planning.
Responding to change over following a plan.
Many small experiments over a few large bets.
They also set out 10 agile principles to be applied to all areas:
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of marketing that solves problems.
We welcome and plan for change. We believe that our ability to quickly respond to change is a source of competitive advantage.
Deliver marketing programs frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
Build marketing programs around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
Great marketing requires close alignment with the business people, sales, and development.
Learning, through the build-measure-learn feedback loop, is the primary measure of progress.
Sustainable marketing requires you to keep a constant pace and pipeline.
Don’t be afraid to fail; just don’t fail the same way twice.
Continuous attention to marketing fundamentals and good design enhances agility.
Simplicity is essential.
Although transparent processes and working methods, cross-functional collaboration between teams and departments, and an unwavering focus on the customer may be eminently sensible, putting all this into practice isn’t always quite as easy as it sounds. But the perceived insurmountable mountain of tasks and changes involved in introducing an agile mindset can still be conquered.
Important steps when introducing agile marketing
The emergence of new technologies and the ongoing spread of networking means that companies rarely use traditional marketing methods alone these days. Some agile marketing approaches are already in frequent use, such as social media posts responding to current events. Companies that are interested in finding out how agile they already are should start by answering the following questions:
What are our current working practices?
What are our main difficulties?
Which methods are most/least effective?
How fast can we rethink and regroup?
Can we afford to make (minor) mistakes?
What might the next steps look like?
What makes our competitors better or worse?
Even if your company is already using some agile strategies, actually becoming agile requires a fundamental and sustained change in thinking. Agile marketing requires decision-making pathways that are short and direct and, at the same time, has no room for fear of potential mistakes. Agile marketing will only succeed if all stakeholders are on board.
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