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Agile Marketing: Everything You Need To Know

April 27, 2023

In recent years, the term “Agile marketing” has become an industry buzzword, and effectively transformed the performance of marketing teams of all shapes and sizes. Beginning in the 1990s with software development, an Agile approach to goal achievement has revolutionized the way both software developers and marketing professionals are doing their jobs. 

Technology is becoming more advanced, audience expectations are on the rise, and digital channels are growing in both size and quantity, making it increasingly more difficult for marketers to promise real value delivery. Luckily, Agile marketing offers a solution to adapting to rapid changes in the vast marketing landscape and meeting customer needs

Before you start shifting your team to an Agile approach, it’s important to understand the basics. Here’s everything you need to know about how Agile marketing can improve both your team’s efficiency and your deliverables’ value.

Quick Takeaways

  • 51% of professional marketers have already adopted an Agile approach
  • Agile marketing is a strategic approach to achieving marketing goals by prioritizing the creation of high-value deliverables and working in short, intense periods
  • Marketing organizations using an Agile approach have seen a 20-40% increase in revenue
  • The values of Agile marketing are based on clear goal-setting, frequent feedback, continuous testing and iteration, and on-time delivery 
  • Adopting an Agile approach means committing to collaboration, data-driven decision-making, rapid experimentation and iteration, and agile marketing values

Agile marketing improves the ability to adapt to changes in the marketing landscape through speed, transparency, and predictability.

Agile Marketing: What Is It?

In a recent study, more than half of marketers reported taking an Agile approach to managing their work. But what exactly is Agile marketing? And what makes it so popular among today’s professionals?

circle graph shows that 51% of marketers are using Agile marketing

Agile marketing is a strategic approach to achieving marketing goals by prioritizing the creation of high-value deliverables and working in short, intense periods. At the end of each period, or ‘iteration’, teams test their deliverables and identify what needs improvement during the next iteration. 

With incremental data collection and analytics, teams are able to learn from their mistakes and make adjustments that enhance end results. Agile marketing improves the quality and performance of deliverables because it commits to: 

  • Clear goal-setting
  • Frequent feedback
  • Constant testing and iteration
  • On-time delivery

While every Agile approach to marketing looks a little different, they are all based on the same values that help teams achieve their goals.

5 Core Values of Agile Marketing

Agile marketing is based on 5 core values, outlined in the Agile Marketing Manifesto. These values help marketing teams stay up to speed with the complexity of the marketing landscape.

  1. Focusing on customer value and business outcomes over activity and outputs. This allows marketing teams to create targeted, relevant marketing programs that offer real value to consumers.
  2. Delivering value early and often over waiting for perfection. When teams wait for ‘perfect’ marketing, they miss out on the opportunity to learn from their customers and deliver more future value. Committing to early, frequent delivery enables teams to analyze results and respond both immediately and often.
  3. Learning through experiments and data over opinions and conventions. The collection and analysis of data allows marketing teams to make better decisions. Relying on opinions or conventions creates space for misunderstanding audiences and wasting time on creating irrelevant marketing messages
  4. Cross-functional collaboration over silos and hierarchies. When focused on customer needs, collaboration delivers more valuable outcomes. Marketing decisions based on silos and hierarchies lead marketing teams away from delivering real value.
  5. Responding to change over following a static plan. Marketing teams need to deviate from original plans as the buyer market changes. If they do not, they run the risk of an unfulfilled audience.
infographic outlines the values of agile marketing

When marketing teams commit to these values, the positive impact on performance is huge. In fact, a recent study by McKinsey reported that marketing organizations using an Agile approach have seen a 20-40% increase in revenue.

What Does Agile Marketing Mean For You?

Shifting your team to an Agile approach is not an easy process, but its rewards make the effort worthwhile. Every successful Agile implementation shares the following characteristics:

  • Mindset shift. Agile marketers think differently to ensure value delivery. They respect collaboration, adapt to rapid changes, prioritize improvement, and value learning cycles. 
  • Teamwork and collaboration. Agile marketers value free collaboration across team members. Team-wide communication is highly valued and encouraged to promote involvement and teamwork.  
  • Rapid experimentation and iteration. Agile marketers do not follow long term plans. Instead, they frequently perform and release many small experiments. This allows team members to quickly identify and address room for improvement. 
  • Commitment to Agile Marketing Values. Following the values of Agile marketing (outlined in the Agile Marketing Manifesto) should lead the decision-making process of Agile marketing teams. 
  • Servant leadership. Leaders of Agile marketing are not focused on hitting numbers. Instead, they prioritize their team’s success and adherence to the values of Agile marketing. 
  • Data-driven decision-making. Every marketing team should use data to make informed decisions, but Agile marketing teams truly rely on data to define next-steps. Agile marketers believe their successes and failures cannot be accurately measured without evidence. 

Adopting an Agile approach to marketing means committing to each characteristic listed above. Effective implementation of these principles leads marketing teams to goal achievement through efficient productivity and value delivery.

Define & Develop Your Marketing Capabilities Today

An Agile marketing approach has the power to massively improve the quality and performance of your team’s deliverables. By committing to incremental data analysis, marketing professionals are better able to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape. 

Is your team ready to make the switch to Agile marketing? With our professional training programs and expert advice, it’s easy to get started. Ask about how an ISBM Membership can help your company grow now, or visit ISBM today to learn more!

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