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What Does Agile Marketing Mean? Here's What You Need To Know

What Does Agile Marketing Mean? Here's What You Need To Know
Tim Parkin

Enter agile marketing. This fast-paced spin on the marketing model allows your team to work quickly to meet the needs of customers and reach smaller goals. And all of these incremental goals compound to create overall long-term marketing success. As you continuously cycle through the agile marketing process, you can learn and adjust for fully scalable campaigns. 

So where did this unique take on marketing come from? And how can you use it to benefit your own business? Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about agile marketing and the steps to use it successfully. 

Agile Marketing Defined

Agile marketing is a strategy where a team works cohesively towards small-sprint marketing goals. It doesn’t look at the overall goal of marketing operations. Instead, it breaks goals down into small iterations. This makes meeting them more manageable and allows for more effective teamwork. 

It’s a very customer-focused marketing model. Each iteration works towards meeting the needs of the user. After each effort, the effectiveness can be analyzed. This allows adjustments and improvements in future iterations.

The Values of Agile Marketing

This process means that agile marketing keeps some pretty specific values in mind. By following these major tenants, you can ensure you are getting the most out of this dynamic strategy. 

  • Focus on data and information instead of thoughts and opinions
  • Take a customer-focused approach 
  • Use small marketing bursts instead of large scale campaigns
  • Maintain flexibility and adaptive planning
  • Adjust to change and new, transforming information

While traditional marketing can be far from these ideas, the new approach is vital in modern-day marketing. It may take some diligence and hard work to break these old marketing habits. But an agile approach will pay off in both effectiveness and efficiency.  

Where Did Agile Marketing Come From?

Agile marketing actually has its roots in the world of software development. For years, these developers have been breaking up the building of huge programs into smaller, more manageable tasks. The Scrum process was developed in the 90s and quickly became a popular tool for development teams. 

Then in the early 2000s, a group of highly skilled developers met to brainstorm a method for a faster software release, and Agile was born. This process allowed the more frequent testing they needed to detect errors and make corrections before building upon that section of the program. It soon became a go-to process for every corner of the technology world.

As the internet and the world of technology continued to evolve, marketers found themselves entrenched in digital marketing. It soon became true that no marketing team could be successful without a strong digital strategy. But how could marketing teams keep up with the constantly changing and evolving online world?

Groundbreaking marketing leaders found that they could also benefit from the process that software developers were seeing so much success with. They too could improve their collaboration by breaking their goals into smaller spurts. And this would give them access to valuable data as well as the flexibility to use it.

Soon, the agile marketing framework spread to marketing groups all over the world. Today, it’s one of the most popular ways to organize and implement campaigns. By being fluid and adjustable, it allows marketers to keep up with the constantly changing sales environment. 

What Does the Incremental Approach of Agile Marketing Look Like?

In traditional marketing, you might have a sales goal that spans a year or more. You could spend months planning, creating, and rolling out a campaign. This leads to a significant amount of time where change could take place. The thoughts and ideas at the foundation of the campaign could be totally different by the time it goes live. 

With agile marketing, the focus is on speed and getting more manageable goals accomplished quickly. Instead of a long-term campaign strategy, you break up your efforts into small spurts. Then, you quickly analyze how well they worked and use that information to plan your next campaign sprint. 

Maybe your overall goal is to create a great new website. However, that’s a dauntingly overwhelming task. But breaking it into sprints can make it much more manageable. It can also ensure that you create a site that customers love. 

Focus on one component at a time. Maybe your first spurt is developing your home page. Getting this rolled out quickly will allow you to gauge the response and traffic and adjust as necessary before moving to your next increment. 

Then, you can use this information to create a content page. Or maybe you roll out a quick social media campaign to drive traffic to your new site. All of these smaller spurts will build upon each other and compound in a big result. The key is to analyze the data after each spurt to ensure you move forward with the best strategy for your target audience.

Agile Marketing Allows for Customer-Centric Approach

Agile marketing is extremely customer-focused. Each sprint should be gone into with the mindset of meeting the needs of potential customers. After all, shouldn’t they be the center of your marketing strategies to begin with? 

Agile Marketing Using User Stories

In agile marketing, user stories are a helpful tool for setting your objectives and determining your ultimate goals. With these, you can best define your customer and what it is that they want for your brand. Then, you can design your spurts based on these objectives. 

This simple framework can allow you to create clear and concise user stories. 

As a ________________, I want________________, so I can_________________.

The first blank can often simply be filled in with the terms “customer” or “user”. Sometimes, you might be considering a subset of your customer base. In this situation, you could further define them with terms like “new customer” or “repeat visitor”. 

Then, the second black should be filled in with the need or wants of this customer. It could be anything from “to learn more about your product” or “a great value on your service”.

The last blank is their reasoning behind this want. It could be things like “use your product correctly” or “purchase your service more often”. 

Once you have the user stories figured out, it’s easy to set small spurt goals to address them. 

Using the examples above, say your user story is, “As a new customer, I want to learn more about your product, so I can use your product correctly.” This is the perfect opportunity to set a small sprint goal to publish some product guides as content on your website or produce a how-to video for social media. 

Using these user stories allows you to create small, attainable goals that directly relate to the customers’ experience. Then, you can move on to creating your next user stories as you meet the unique needs of your customer base.

The Cyclical Foundation of Agile Marketing

Traditional marketing often takes a waterfall model. This linear model begins with data and planning, then moves through the steps of designing and implementing a campaign. It can often take years to get from the initial planning stages to the deployment. By the time you get to the last phase, the data used to craft the campaign may no longer even be relevant. 

This can lead to a lot of wasted time and money. Reworking months of planning when you finally see the results of a campaign is a pretty inefficient way to market. Why not constantly gather data and adjust so you know that you are consistently rolling out the most effective marketing possible? 

With an agile marketing model, you are constantly moving through the steps of creation, analysis, and adjustment. Each sprint begins and ends with these steps. Then, as you move forward with the next sprint, you can use this information to adjust accordingly.

By having this framework, you can create small goals and constantly change up your strategy. You can use your knowledge from previous sprints to make future ones more successful. And each time, as you analyze the results before you begin the next sprint, you can implement best practices for improved success with every new effort. 

Agile Marketing Takes a Data-Driven Approach

Many marketing teams begin with the vision of a few leaders and it’s up to the team to bring that vision to life. Oftentimes, these visions are based on opinions or even the personal preference of leadership. With agile marketing, data is king, eliminating the possibility for a subjective approach. 

Agile marketing relies purely on data to meet the needs of customers. By taking the information from previous efforts, the risk of opinions taking marketing efforts down the wrong path is eliminated. This analysis leads to more targeted efforts that will more successfully lead to results. 

This data-driven approach also supports teamwork and collaboration. It defines the common goal and takes the effects of the hierarchy out of the equation. In agile marketing, the data is the leader of the marketing team. 

What’s great about data is that it’s right there in black and white. This makes creating goals and setting objectives a no-brainer. So all of the time spent brainstorming goals and the best methods to be used can otherwise be spent actually implementing the plan. This data-driven approach is part of what makes agile marketing so much more efficient. 

What Does Agile Marketing Mean for Your Business?

Agile marketing gives you the tools and strategy to make your marketing team out of this world efficient. And you’ll be gaining some seriously useful data to make your marketing efforts more effective. By implementing an agile marketing process, you’ll be getting the most out of your marketing investment. 

Short marketing sprints might seem like little goals, but combined they can make a huge difference. Keep your mind tuned on the customer and your team focused on the data and you’ll see big results. With agile marketing, you’ll be able to reach your audience like never before.

In the old-school marketing days, campaigns were rolled out over months or even years. However, the world of marketing has evolved to the constantly changing beast that it is today. This means that the same traditional approach to crafting and measuring campaigns just isn’t the best bet anymore. 

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