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Applying Agile Practices - Agile Marketing

Like software development, Marketing efforts must balance a customer-focused approach along with the ability to respond quickly, continuously improve, provide shorter delivery timeframes, capture feedback, “fail fast” and learn from mistakes early. In an effort to address this need, many marketers began experimenting with Lean and Agile practices. Through the success of these endeavors, a group of marketers compiled what is now the Agile Marketing Manifesto. The Agile Marketing Manifesto is composed of seven core values, which are elaborated by ten principles, and encourages marketers to focus on creating value for their customers while discovering new approaches to marketing operations. The Agile Marketing Manifesto values include:

As the Agile Marketer explains, there are many traditional approaches used in marketing campaigns and efforts that should be modified to avoid potential delays and/or adverse impacts. As marketers examine current practices, taking a more Agile approach can help them overcome such challenges. For example:

AMM Value Traditional Approach Agile Marketing Approach
Validated learning over opinions and conventions Often suffer “death by best practices” (i.e., too much focus on how others have done something while ignoring the opportunity to do it better). Start with the conventional design, but try to validate it through experimentation. Strive for lessons backed by data.
Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy Silos facilitate “knowledge hoarding” (i.e., what one group or individual learns doesn’t get shared with others). Remove silos and ensure collaboration distributes knowledge freely.
Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaigns Plan “big bang” campaigns that take way too long. Use adaptive campaigns that require fewer resources to complete, shorter timeframes, and audience interaction that evolves based on changing circumstances.
The process of customer discovery over static prediction Static prediction of customer needs. Ongoing discovery of our customers.
Flexible versus rigid planning Married to a plan and sticks to it in the face of overwhelmingly negative evidence. Plan with a little bit of “give” built in so if circumstances change, new data comes in, or the market changes, the plan can adapt.
Responding to change over following a plan Once the plan steps are locked in, they are followed no matter what. Respond to change as it happens rather than blindly follow a plan. Learn from your mistakes.
Many small experiments over a few large bets Large bets can result in “big wins” - or they can blow up in your face. Focus on small projects over large campaigns. Small experiments: can be completed and released faster, leading to a more rapid iteration cycle; require fewer resources, therefore less risky; conduct enough small experiments to make a “big bet” with confidence.

Source: The Agile Marketer

Good Reads

These are good references for understanding Agile practices used in Marketing: / Office of the CTO

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