If you work in a marketing capacity, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard the phrase “agile marketing” thrown around in the past year.
For those who have not (or if you’re currently living under a rock), agile marketing is defined by one source as:
An approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from Agile Development and that 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; and collaboration over silos and hierarchy.
Simply stated, agile marketing uses the agile methodology that has worked wonders in the programming and development world and applies it to the field of marketing. And given the current pace at which marketing is evolving, it makes perfect sense.
You see, marketing is going through quite a growth period as of late. With marketing technology taking center stage, and new social platforms and apps popping up virtually every day, there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer.
But with all this change comes plenty of confusion and chaos. It’s not easy keeping up with the latest Google search updates, let alone other changes across the web.
Just a year ago many of us were talking about the importance of Google authorship and how we needed to keep our Google+ pages updated to please the search gods. Not so much anymore, as Google+ continues to fizzles out (sorry to all seven of you Google+ fans out there).
The bottom line is that the old way of marketing has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Writing a lengthy marketing plan and then carrying out that plan in a linear manner is not going to work anymore. By the time you finish doing your research, something will have already changed.
That’s where agile marketing comes in. With the agile methodology as the basis for your efforts, your marketing plan would be continually evolving. It is a living, breathing plan that gets better with each iteration.
Of course, there is a whole process to agile marketing which I haven’t gotten into. For that, I’d recommend a couple of books if you’re interested in learning the details. I won’t bore you with them here. And these two authors below can explain them much better than I ever could in a blog post.
First up, you should check out Scrum Marketing: Applying Agile Methodologies to Marketing: Your Essential First Booklet about Implementing Agile/Scrum in Marketing Organizations, by James S Wright. In this book, Wright covers just enough to get you interested in agile marketing.
You’ll learn the foundational principles and how they work together. It is meant to teach you how to think with an agile mindset, and it is a great starting point for people who are completely new to the topic.
For a deeper dive, I’d continue with Growing Up Fast: How New Agile Practices Can Move Marketing And Innovation Past The Old Business Stalemates, by Jascha Kaykas-Wolff. This book will give you a very detailed overview of the agile methodology, along with specific actionable steps for implementing it in the real world.
These two books will get you where you need to be in terms of understanding what agile marketing is and knowing exactly what you need to do to get it going with your team. If you read them both, you’ll be ahead of the curve, compared to the average marketing professional.
In closing, I strongly believe agile marketing is one of the most important things you can learn right now, because it answers so many of the problems facing marketers today.
Marketing isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, so we can either keep up with the pace or get out-of-the-way. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather choose the former than the latter.