What is Agile Marketing and do you need it?

Quote: The goal is not to be perfect by the end but to get better todayAgile Marketing is a campaign and marketing management strategy that is based on a popular Project Management approach: SCRUM. SCRUM was developed to counter the massive problems that arise during software development, when following the classic waterfall project management model. Most of those problems originated from the model being not agile at all. Changing circumstances, like dynamic market changes or even changing client needs, can’t really be implemented during the course of the project without a massive organizational effort – consuming a lot of time and money. Shockingly this classic “waterfall”-project management is still the most used campaign planning and marketing planning model out there. This is surprising as the dynamic of the Advertising and Marketing business is increasing daily. Just think of Social Media, Programmatic Buying and Marketing Automation…

 The Agile Marketing Manifesto

Agile Marketing Management is the project management’s response how to deal with these problems. The manifesto states: The goals of Agile Marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function.  Agile marketing values:

  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
  • Testing and data over opinions and conventions
  • Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
  • Individuals and interactions over target markets
  • Collaboration over silos and hierarchy

 Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of marketing that solves problems and creates value We welcome and plan for change. We believe that our ability to quickly respond to change is a source of competitive advantage We deliver marketing programs often, from every couple of weeks to every two months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Great marketing requires close alignment with the business, sales and development Motivated individuals build great marketing programs. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. 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. Source: http://www.agilemarketing.net/what-is-agile-marketing/ I worked agile before and I know that there are a lot of challenges ahead if you think about using this approach. But at the end turnaround time really got very fast. From Briefing to postal delivery of a printed mailing, it took less than a week for instance. It might also be an approach just to use on social media and not for budget planning. You should definitely give it a thought.

So how does Agile Marketing work?

The core idea of Agile Marketing is to get rid of complicated project plans. No not get rid of planning, though. Just get rid of those long plans and everything connected to it. The focus is not on planning everything ahead, but to have a process in place that get things done. And that also allows changes during the process. It is built around short meetings happening every day and including the whole team. Those short 15 minute meetings are also the reason this method is called SCRUM. A SCRUM is this big huddle in rugby where everybody is gathering around the ball.

A Scrum in rugby
A Scrum in rugby

The whole concept and idea of SCRUM is summarized in the image at the beginning of the article. The focus is on getting better every day and react to the current situation every day. At the same time the team should keep the focus and work towards a common goal. On the contrary the traditional waterfall planning demands that the project manager accounts for everything in advance. There are so many stakeholders in marketing projects today that it is absolutely impossible to do so IMHO.

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