What is Agile Marketing, and why do You Need it?

What is Agile Marketing, and Why do You Need it?
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CaSandra Minichiello

Last updated February 23, 2017


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What is Agile Marketing?

Agile Marketing embraces the concept of Agile software delivery which places a premium values like interactions with people, close customer collaboration, working software and the willingness to accept change even late in the process. Agile Marketing refactors those values to apply to the unique challenges and distinctions surrounding marketing activities which depend heavily on customer feedback. The goal of Agile is to deliver products of value to the customer sooner than traditional methods such as waterfall which requires big upfront planning and is strongly resistant to change.

Pro-Tip: To learn all about Agile Scrum and apply them to projects you lead, direct, and execute, consider doing a comprehensive Certified Scrum Master certification course.

Agile Marketing’s foundation comes from the Agile Manifesto, presented at Agilemanifesto as:

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.

Through this work we have come to value:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  4. Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

Agile Marketing concentrates on what target audiences find valuable which is collected through various research which could include speaking directly with target audiences and collecting their feedback. This ties back to the Agile Manifesto’s values 1 and 2. Marketers create their marketing campaigns around the information that is collected and change the campaigns whenever necessary and as fast as possible which relates to value 4. In a marketing strategy, the goal is to get customers engaged with your content and product so while not necessarily working software, this goal can tie back to value 2.

Borrowing the values from the Agile Manifesto and expanding on them resulted in the creation of the Agile Marketing manifesto published at Agilemarketingmanifesto.

 “The Agile Marketing Manifesto states:

We are discovering better ways of creating value for our customers and for our organizations through new approaches to marketing. Through this work, we have come to value:

  1. Validated learning over opinions and conventions

  2. Customer focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy

  3. Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaigns

  4. The process of customer discovery over static prediction

  5. Flexible vs. rigid planning

  6. Responding to change over following a plan

  7. Many small experiments over a few large bets

As far as how to implement these values, Scrum is the “go to” framework to follow for Agile Marketing just as it is for software development.

Scrum is easy to implement due to its prescriptive formula of meetings and guidance on the Scrum process which is meant to be frequently inspected, adapted and changed where it makes sense for the needs of the customers.

Scrum was created for delivery of complex software products to increase time to market and with some simple adjustments it can be successfully applied for Agile Marketing efforts. The best way to think of this is that Agile Marketing is the set of behaviors and Scrum is the process to help execute behaviors to align to those of the Agile Marketing manifesto.

How did Agile Marketing come about?

In the early 2000s, a group of marketers started to apply Agile principles and values to their marketing efforts and found them to be very effective.

The marketers realized that the Agile values and principles were designed to help overcome challenges such as competing priorities, frequent requests for changes, a lack of communication between the end user and developers and lead times that were much too long for marketing deliverables. The need and demand for “faster-cheaper-better” seems to be met with applying Agile so the quest to create a manifesto for Agile Marketing was born. If it’s been working for developing software products, why not apply to marketing activities?

Agile Marketing, like agile software delivery, was created out of a need to be better, experimental, collaborative, strong focus on the customer and rapid feedback cycles. For marketing to be effective it must be relevant, convince your customer to engage, answer their buying questions by providing descriptive and persuasive messages and be timely. Agile Marketing is a great solution to this need.

Companies will begin to hear more and more about Agile Marketing as companies share their success stories with this approach.

How is Agile Marketing helping companies around the World?

Long gone are the days where marketing was usually in the form of ads displayed on a few major networks, radio stations or newspapers. Consumers today are bombarded with marketing at super speeds through social media, email campaigns and other channels and marketers must capture the attention of their target audience faster than their competitors.

To remain competitive, companies are adopting the Agile culture and practices to meet the ever-changing demands of their customers. Agile Marketing and by adopting Scrum as their practice, companies can save money, evolve their marketing plans, increase productivity by creating a culture of transparency and empowerment, collect customer feedback sooner and deliver faster with great results.

How do you Learn Agile Marketing?

To learn Agile Marketing, you must first understand the values and principles behind the Agile Manifesto. This establishes the spirit of why you do what you do in Scrum or any other Agile practice. Everything is meant to drive specific human behaviors, not just to create a set of processes.

By understanding the Agile Manifesto, you will also understand the values behind the Agile Marketing manifesto.

How can Certification Training in Agile and Scrum Give you a Sound Base to build on for Agile Marketing?

After gaining a strong understanding of Agile, the next phase would be to enroll in a Scrum Master certification course. This will teach you the universal language and the framework which will put you on a fast-track to success in Agile Marketing.

Scrum training will create a strong educational foundation for the Scrum framework. A Scrum certification course will teach you the basics of the Scrum Ceremonies, Roles in Scrums, User Stories which are how requirements in Scrum are written and how to conduct the various Scrum ceremonies. You may even participate in a mock sprint which is usually part of a Scrum certification course.

More importantly, you will be taught the same Scrum as others who will share your certification versus a “custom’ approach if you are only taught on the job which is often an organization’s interpretation of Scrum which may not be as effective.

The best part is that you will also have the credibility of the certification, which will help you lead your teams towards successful Agile Marketing.

About the Author

CaSandra Minichiello is a project management specialist with more than a decade of Technical Project Management and Agile experience. She encourages teams and leaders to be extreme innovators and to continuously go beyond their comfort zone as she believes this is the ultimate key to growth and success. CaSandra is also an avid artist and writer.


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