The Agile Advantage

I find it fascinating how marketing and technology have become entangled these days, especially when considering just several years ago they were on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Now they work together nearly seamlessly! This is how Agile Marketing was born.

It’s an approach to managing your marketing for the marketing automation era. Agile management started out as a process for the software world which took you step by step through the project all the while project specifications were changing on the fly.

It was incremental and iterative, and developers would work in “sprints.” Over the past few years marketers have adopted their own version of the agile methodology.

With agile marketing you still have your top level vision but you’re able to adapt faster to what’s going on in the marketplace. Marketers are in a position now where what they’re doing on a daily basis is actually fairly similar to how software works.

Most websites have a design flow and are being optimized around a specific outcome. Marketing campaigns use their own algorithmic thinking when deciding how to interact with each bracket of prospects.

If we wanted to map out the perfect drip campaign, we’d start with a first estimation and then we’d test it. After that we’d make changes and then do an A/B test between the two and so on.

Using marketing automation software you can now make these changes fairly quickly, where the bottlenecks tend to occur is on the management side. Figuring out what to prioritize and what changes to make is the real challenge.

If you’re a small business owner and want to get started with Agile but think it’s too complex for your company, think again. Even with just a small team of a few people Agile can be very effective. It’s actually easier for a smaller team to adopt an Agile approach than a larger one.

A great way to start is to deepen your knowledge base by studying some of the free videos about the methodology on Google. There’s ebooks, as well as blogs, that can give you all you’ll need to understand the structure. Here’s a quick overview.

1. You create a task list

These tasks usually are tied to a story or a lens of how you want to engage your customer.

2. Prioritize the task

Work with your team to prioritize the order of your tasks.

3. Perform a sprint

This is a 2 or 3 week period where you decide which of the top priorities you can execute on.

4. Keep track of your progress

Use either a white board or an online tool like Trello so you can track what’s been accomplished and what’s coming next.

5. Review and iterate

After your sprint you can take some time to review and see what went well, and what can be improved for the next sprint. You’ll want to review your priorities and decide if they need to be reshuffled.

There is truly nothing mystical or mysterious about it, Agile is a very straightforward way of achieving your marketing goals.


Action Steps

  1. Create your task list with your team. Think about the story or lens you’re using to engage the customer.
  2. Prioritize your tasks.
  3. Perform a 2-3 week sprint where you execute on your top priorities.
  4. Track your progress using a whiteboard or online tool.
  5. Review and iterate the process.


Result You Will Achieve

Execute on your top priorities and adapt faster with Agile marketing..

Mentor: Scott Brinker

Editor at Chiefmartec, Co Founder of Ion Interactive, a provider of interactive content marketing software to many of the world’s leading brands.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.