The Need for Speed: Top 5 Reasons to Consider Agile Marketing
Wednesday July 16, 2014
Agile marketing is a hot topic. But, what exactly is agile marketing? And, why is the concept suddenly en vogue? It turns out that there are some very compelling reasons to consider agile marketing.
What is Agile Marketing?
Agile is a discipline picked up from software developers and it’s being applied to marketing and product development teams. Agile teams follow core principles that shape the way they work. Those principles include:
- a bias toward action;
- responding to change;
- emphasis on collaboration (people and their interactions); and,
- iterative work cycles that deliver something of value.
Many agile software teams work with the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). A MVP defines the minimum set of features and functionality that allows the product to be deployed and the concept validated, and no more. MVP is a strategy that allows for the rapid and data-driven testing of a new product or product feature. Some marketing teams have adapted this concept and created what they call a Minimum Viable Brief (MVB). The MVB focuses on insights that can be gleaned from “real time” digital tools, focuses on multiple ideas and options, and provides room to evolve as customers provide feedback. The MVB allows marketing teams to iterate and test campaigns.
Agile marketing is also a multi-dispicinary approach. Individuals on agile marketing teams have diverse backgrounds that span marketing, creative and technology skills. Agile breaks down silos between functions that often lead to miscommunication and needless delays.
So now that we’ve described agile marketing, let’s turn to the most compelling reasons for marketers to pilot and adopt this approach.
Top 5 Reasons to Consider Agile Marketing
1. Speed is a competitive weapon
In order to move at the pace of the digital and social era, marketing teams must move at blazing speeds. Technology has created a quantum leap in how fast we receive customer feedback, campaign results, and questions from the CEO. Companies that complete rapid cycles of test, learn, and optimize gain competitive advantage. The definition of success is increasingly speed based, and agile marketing provides a way to operate at this pace.
2. Almost all modern marketing is technology-enabled
Agile marketing is largely a consequence of the trend of marketing and technology to intersect and move towards each other. Software is at the heart of all modern marketing—campaign management, content management, listening systems, web applications, text-based analytics, display advertising, etc. Agile marketing borrows ideas and practices from technology and allows marketers and technologists to collaborate—as part of the same team.
3. Digital marketing allows for measurement and empirical decision making
Digital has the ability to be an increasingly measurable and accountable medium. It allows focus on what really, really matters. Agile marketing allows teams to deliver customer experiences that matter, evaluate real time data about how customers respond, and adjust as necessary
4. Agile marketing emphasizes responding to change
Anyone involved in marketing in the past few years can attest to the changes impacting work, marketing opportunities, and customer expectations. Major changes occur weekly or daily rather than monthly or quarterly. Agile marketing techniques, with the emphasis on responding to change, help address these needs.
5. Agile places the customer at front and center
One of the most compelling reasons to move to agile marketing is that the customer is given top priority. Agile teams work on “stories” that are described from the customer’s point of view. This keeps teams focused on what matters most—making incremental improvements that advance customer goals and optimize the customer experience.