Steps to Agile marketing

Chris Kervinen

The current trend that is sweeping the global business community is a style of marketing that tackles targeted objectives with a certain guerrilla gusto. This tactical marketing approach is able to react quickly to changes that happen in the market, prevents narrow-mindedness and connects departments through campaigns and projects that strengthen a company’s overall marketing efforts. So, what is this mysterious trendy moneymaking method called? The answer, of course, is Agile marketing.

There are some key principles to agile marketing that should be adhered to in order to fully understand its success and utilise it for profitable gains. The methodology, the moral, and the drive for success.

Now, I could spend a lot of time trying to explain this in my own terms, but in the interest of keeping this blog as nimble and efficient as the approach we are discussing, I am going to instead relay to you one of the best definitions I have come across so far:

Agile marketing definition

“Agile marketing is the deliberate, long-term application of a specific Agile methodology to manage and improve the way a marketing team gets work done. It requires a strategic vision, as well as short-, medium-, and long-term marketing plans.” Sam Holzman

Told you it was good. [Text Wrapping Break]

So, where has Agile Marketing come from?

The Agile methodology is actually nothing new, it’s only the application of it that has changed in the last few years. In the 1990s it was used in software development before later making its way to project management. In both of these applications, it saw great success, which has lead to its (somewhat tardy) adoption in the marketing community.  

Why does the marketing community want to adopt this approach?

As with most new(ish) innovative approaches, Agile came about because of widespread change. When the internet took hold, our ways of marketing evolved. Look at the last few years and these changes have become even more drastic, with more channels, more ways to reach prospects and quickly-changing marketing landscapes. Traditional marketing methodologies simply couldn’t keep up.  

And with Agile... well, the clue is kind of in the name. It was created with the express purpose of letting teams pivot quickly and often so that they can make informed, unencumbered decisions as and when they are needed (which is more and more).

Agile marketing benefits

  • Quicker and more productive
  • More transparency
  • More flexibility
  • Measurable success
  • Remain competitive

The key principles of Agile Marketing

Agile marketing, in some ways, is not a hard and fast blueprint like some other marketing approaches but more a set of guiding principles. And how it works for your business will depend on how vigorously you apply these.

So, without further ado, the key principles to Agile marketing that you and your teams should be adhering to in order to fully understand the potential of this innovative approach, realise its successes and utilise it for profitable gains...

Track Metrics

If you want to be able to pivot when something isn’t working… well, you need to know that it isn’t working! Which is where metrics, and specifically KPIs, come in. They should be set for each individual, each project and the team as a whole

Evolve constantly

With Agile marketing, there is no time to stay still and thanks to all that lovely metric tracking you’ve been doing (see point above if you skipped ahead) you will be able to not only spot things that aren’t quite working as they should but use that information as an opportunity to change and grow.  

Have regular, cross-team check-ins

We’ve mentioned two things so far — the fact that you need data and that you need to use it to change and grow. For this to happen, there must be regular check-ins with all involved parties. Here results and hypothesis, draft copy and designs can be shared and planned with and for. To really open this up to fresh insight it is important to break down the walls between different departments — helping to build trust and transparency between everyone, as well as providing a platform through which they can flag problems.

Scale Intelligently

Now is the time to try new things (based, of course on the insights you’ve had so far)

The team would analyze what would be the next best test to run by scale frameworks. The beauty of Agile teams is that accountability is diffused evenly, and pressure is eased off their project to an extent, despite the intense devotion effort every team commits.

Test, Analyse, & Repeat

It’s one thing to talk about looking at what you’ve done before with analysis but it’s quite another to see this as a cyclical journey in which you must constantly test and push for more — but that is exactly Agile marketing is meant to do. The good news is that there are AI solutions that will run tests for analysis for you. The team can then simply collect the data, adjust their approach as necessary, and then repeat the cycle for optimisation. With this optimal level of support, successful products or projects can be scaled across the organization.

And that’s it — a not-exactly-new-but-still-underused method of modernising your marketing efforts. It’s not the simplest route to take. In fact, it can involve a huge change to the way you do things and it most certainly needs everyone on board. But remember, the most dangerous saying in any business is “but that’s how we’ve always done it”.

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