Winning the Agile Marketing Race

Agile is a guiding principle for many organizations, especially within the marketing function. As I recently discussed on M&M Global, today’s marketers are slowly embracing the mindset, realizing that long-term marketing goals can only be supported through a series of sprints rather than a marathon.

So, why the change of heart? The answer, in part, can be found in the evolution of digital marketing. In the early 1990s, we first caught wind of the term “digital marketing,” of which its byproducts were web banners, e-commerce transactions, search engines and social media. Fast-forward to the turn of the century, and the behemoths of Linkedin, Google, Facebook and YouTube became household names. Nowadays, we have the Snapchats and WhatsApps of the world. As a result, marketers need to move at breakneck speed to keep pace with the ever-changing platforms and desired customer experiences. In fact, it is predicted that digital will surpass television for the first time this year. Given this, marketers need to be adept at managing the velocity inherent within the digital sphere.

When considering agile marketing, there are a few topics to consider:

Starting blocks

Once you’ve committed to the agile marketing approach, you’ll need to convince other team members. As with any new initiative, there will likely be some reluctance, but in this instance, it’s important to reiterate this approach is suitable for both small and large projects. It’s best to also emphasize agile marketing is long enough to complete a project, but short enough to pivot when things go awry.

Mid-race fuel

You’re running your campaign full blast, and all of a sudden, something comes along to trip you up. Perhaps it’s a PR blunder with an executive in your organization or a product snafu that has gone viral with customers. Don’t let this cramp your style. We live in a 24/7 digital era, so step up and respond with transparency. Encourage all employees to do the same.

The Finish Line

Rest easy when your campaign has come to a close. Take a breath, gather everyone to do a kaizen to discuss what worked/didn’t work. Don’t chastise anyone as this is a time to solve problems as a group, without pointing fingers. It’s a time to reflect and give kudos to everyone who participated in the campaign. Use this time to also discuss what’s next – as it won’t be too soon before you’re in the starting blocks again.