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Updated by Len Netti on Mar 23, 2013
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Len Netti Len Netti
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Agile Marketing Mix

How to Run an Agile Marketing Sprint Planning Session

Agile Marketing teams that are using Scrum begin the Sprint process with an Agile Marketing Sprint Planning session. Sprint Planning, one of the four key “ceremonies” of Scrum, establishes the baseline assumptions of the company’s approach to the market, the goals of the Sprint, and the list of activities which the marketing team will do to reach those goals.

Everything is Marketing; Everyone Must Be Agile

Gartner recently predicted that by 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. This convergence of marketing and technology is not a phenomenon of its own, so much as it is a symptom of our always-on, globally interconnected digital world. I believe this leads to two transformational mandates that every organization must face: (i) Everything is marketing, and (ii) Everyone must be agile. These two mandates are intertwined. One begets the other in our interconnected world.

Making Connection Between Agile Business Intelligence and Agile Marketing

It is pretty difficult to have agile marketing without agile business intelligence. Here's how agile business intelligence can help drive an agile marketing process.

What is Agile Marketing?

Agile marketing means taking small steps and not being afraid to fail. It also means never failing the same way twice. Very practically, it's about putting a time box around a specific set of work and keep an orderly cadence to new work being produced by your team.

4 Common Agile Marketing Mistakes

It’s interesting to watch how quickly agile marketing has grown in popularity. While the results of agile marketing are impressive, the key to unlock its true potential is through proper implementation. However agile marketing is a new concept for most marketers, and learning on the go is difficult and never fun. Here are several easily identifiable agile marketing mistakes to be on the lookout for.
(i) Assuming you can always do more with less.
(ii) Lacking an executive sponsor.
(iii) Unintentionally ignoring all other marketing activities.
(iv) Forgetting to celebrate success.

Agile Marketing: Four Reasons Why You Should Apply It

Today, businesses are realizing that change is the only constant in marketing. Traditional approaches are proved to be too slow and too general to effectively influence the demands of the current marketplace. Here are four reasons why all marketers should implement agile marketing.
(i) Speed.
(ii) Priority.
(iii) Engagement.
(iv) Relevancy

Marketers Confer To Create Own Agile Manifesto

A group of more than 30 marketers gathered with the intention of coming up with a manifesto for "agile marketing," which rejects the conventional, linear process of big ideas leading to big launches requiring big budgets. Rather, it favors microstrategies, or "sprints," toward relatively short-term goals. Key takeaways:
(i) Don't focus on the linear approach to campaign development.
(ii) But you need a core set of principles to keep the agile activities on track.
(iii) An essential part of the agile approach is regular meetings.
(iv) Trust is necessary.
(v) Agile is a huge cultural change for any company.

People Trump Process

Sometimes it seems like Agile is all about the process: Scrum or Kanban or some ad hoc mixture of both. Agile isn’t all about the process; people trump process. Some people are drawn to the constant change and “marketing as discovery” that is Agile Marketing, and others find it unsettling. Attitudes matter. Attitudes are about people. People trump process. While hiring people for an Agile Marketing team, what skills should you look for?
(i) The ability to cope with change.
(ii) The ability to learn rapidly and adapt.
(iii) Inter-personal skills and the ability to collaborate.
(iv) Analytics.
(v) Courage.
(vi) Patience.

The Making of the Agile Marketing Manifesto

Old marketing is dead, but it simply won’t die. Agile Marketing is NOT just another tool in the toolbox. It’s NOT about the application of Scrum or Kanban to manage the marketing process. Agile Marketing is a movement, a quest, a revolution, with all that implies: emotion, radicalism, religious fervor. Grab your torches and your pitchforks; let’s storm the barricades!

AGILE MARKETING: Why Marketers Love It?

... Because their goal is to create the maximum value for the customer or prospect, as quickly and efficiently as possible;
... Because the Agile and Lean approach is the best way to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person.
The keys of Agile Marketing for marketing teams:
(i) Adopt agile planning.
(ii) Create a taskboard.
(iii) Use visual management.
(iv) Use short cycles (sprints).
(v) Focus on agile values (Courage, Communication, Feedback, Simplicity, Respect).
(vi) Use the user stories.
(vii) Calibrate your sprints.

The Single Most Valuable Marketing Capability Today

We're privileged to live in the most exciting time in the history of marketing. I propose to you that, in this new era, the most valuable marketing capability is agility. Consider three waves of agile transformation in marketing:
(i) The first wave was driven by the proliferation of digital channels.
(ii) Thankfully, the second wave of agile transformation is now arriving: a massive new generation of marketing technology platforms that provide software-based levers to manage this load at scale.
(iii) the third wave of agile transformation: making the marketing organization itself truly agile.

Stop Writing Marketing Plans

If you ever took an Introduction to Marketing course, you were probably asked to write a marketing plan. The promise of the marketing plan is seductive. However, the problem is, marketing plans don’t work! Why not:
(i) they are written to please executives, not to guide the real, day-to-day work of creating value for customers and the company.
(ii) You can’t predict the future.
(iii) Customer engagement is a voyage of discovery, and like all voyages of discovery, there is no road map.

What To Use Instead of a Marketing Plan
Begin by getting agreement on what I call a “marketing model”. Second, establish an iterative approach to your marketing that allows you to quickly try something, measure the results, learn from it, and improve by trying again.

Ready, Fire, Aim – A Manifesto for Agile Marketing

Principle 1: Build customer satisfaction and gain market acceptance by rapidly delivering solutions that customers ask for and need.
Principle 2: Build your marketing plan to acknowledge ambiguous and changing deliverables, even late in development.
Principle 3: Marketing frequently shipped software requires the problems it solves to remain similar.
Principle 4: Software that solves actual customer needs is the principal measure of marketing progress.
Principle 5: Sustainable marketing requires you to keep a constant pace and pipeline – Always Build Content.
Principle 6: Maintain close, daily cooperation between businesspeople and developers.
Principle 7: Use the right tool for the right job, favoring in-person communication where possible.
Principle 8: Plan for everyone to get it right 98% of the time, and double-check the important stuff.
Principle 9: It’s your Job – be good at it.
Principle 10: Keep the marketing simple, stupid.
Principle 11: “Spot it, Got it” – Begin with the answer in mind.
Principle 12: When in doubt, punt rather than wait.

Agile Marketing: Are You Ready?

Fact: the way in which customers interact with organizations is changing. In order to keep up, brands are in the midst of a shift. They have realized that the status quo is no longer sufficient. As they adopt new strategies to remain competitive, firms are being forced to rethink how they have traditionally viewed time, money and culture.

The Impact of the Agile Marketing Trend on Public Relations

Developing an agile engagement framework means the communications department will need to re-wire processes and build some new muscles. Specifically, PR pros can expect a host of new demands and requirements, including:

(i) Tighter integration with faster-moving marketing and social media campaigns, demanding the ability to adjust messaging and audience targeting quickly
(ii) Increasing focus on customizing message, content and touch points for customers and specific audiences
(iii) Re-aligning the decision-making and processes to support the fast-moving agile approach.
(iv) Empowering employees. Find the social media extroverts and influencers in your midst and nurture them.
(v) Increasing the commitment to real-time information. Monitoring social channels becomes a necessity.

Developing an agile engagement framework means the communications department will need to re-wire processes and build some new muscles, aligning staff and expertise – in the communications groups and elsewhere in the organization – with corporate objectives.

Putting Agile Marketing to Work

The first step in becoming more agile is to “believe in the new.” Traditional marketing consisted of relying on “leaps of faith and breakthroughs”. However, in today’s fast-paced business environment, companies that still rely on traditional marketing are realizing that the odds of these “leaps of faith and breakthroughs” working are rare and “overlook how the pace of change has made it increasingly difficult to predict the future.”

The second step: speak less; be heard more. Successful agile marketing depends on having the right tools in place for ongoing monitoring and awareness of the environment.” Only after you understand your audience, can you successfully create content that appeals to them.

Third, drop in on real customers from time to time. With the advancements in the social web, marketers now have the ability to analyze sentiment and people’s actions. This “Behavioral research, whether virtual or physical, allows you as a marketer to ‘drop in’ and observe real behavior very closely. The beautiful thing about agile marketing is that it “turns social into a much more valuable asset as a way to elicit action and measure response to marketing efforts.”

Three Steps to Agile Marketing

With mainstream adoption of social media, the emergence of mobile marketing, and the ongoing proliferation of new marketing channels and technologies, the pace of marketing is constantly accelerating, and timing is everything: The quicker you can respond to changes in the market place, the better poised for success you’ll be.

  1. Leverage social media.
  2. Be lean.
  3. Deploy digital marketing technologies.
Agile Marketing's New Revolution

The idea that marketing needs a revolution or a good shaking isn’t surprising to marketers. Even non-marketers immediately get it when asked a simple question, “How do you feel about the way you discover and interact with products?” Marketing is sick and overwhelmed. Sick because we don’t know how to “make” markets anymore. Every favorite tactic from print ads to TV is contra-indicated.

Marketers are nothing if not empathic.

Marketing needs a rallying cry, a maypole we can wrap our ideas around as our community cleans up its room, grabs its board and does what it does best.

Roundup: Agile Marketing Manifestos

Agile Marketing is…

Transparent
Sustainable
Interactive
Measured
Iterative
Relevant
How To Put Agile Marketing Into Practice

The movement toward agile marketing is accelerating as companies are attracted by the benefits of speed, efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation with less risk. How do you put it into practice?

(i) "Turn off" the old way, and adopt agile marketing.
(ii) "Tune out" of the noise, and raise the bar.
(iii) "Drop in" on real customers in action.

Agile Marketing is About Iteration not Repetition

One of the cornerstones of agile marketing is iteration. Iteration is defined as the act of repeating, and this is where most marketers slip up. It’s almost impossible to be successful doing the same thing you did yesterday, and while agile marketing stresses iteration what it’s really all about is execution and reflection.

Intro: The End Of Mad(men)ness

Maybe the popularity of the television show Mad Men will finally kill off the bad idea that business can find one big marketing idea and hit the jackpot. Maybe we love Don Draper because, like Superman, he doesn’t really exist and never did.

Many businesses are stuck in the world of cost reduction. As if deciding to get healthy by drinking cheaper and cheaper sodas, it’s a bit insane. Usually, these companies don’t have much in the way of a marketing program. They are too busy driving to navigate. Too busy drowning to find a life preserver.

Other businesses are stuck on the treadmill of the three pronged marketing approach: Increase sales; Decrease Marketing Costs; Increase sales. These companies use marketing as a handmaiden to the sales department, carpet bombing with brochures, emails, sales promises, under-the-tent rhetoric, and other like-minded chatter. They draw up plays for long shots and lose, instead of taking the small shots needed to succeed.

A Seven Step Approach to Agile Marketing
  1. Assign roles.
  2. Decide on the duration and frequency of the sprints.
  3. Set goals for first sprint.
  4. Sprint meetings.
  5. Discuss, discuss, and discuss again.
  6. Move the Post-its.
  7. Sprint planning (again).
Adaptive Marketing: Why Data Will Make You a Better Marketer

Adaptive marketing is an approach that enables marketers to actively track and respond to consumers in real-time. This marketing method is driven by data and focuses on making the experience more relevant to the needs of consumers.

Delivering Value to Consumers with Adaptive Marketing

People generally respond positively to a brand when it converts its style to more accurately fit the customer’s desires. Adaptive marketing does just that.

Adaptive marketing allows companies to respond more readily to problems in the product or sales technique.

The future of branding is heavily trending towards adaptive marketing; embrace it and take advantage of what it has to offer. Your customers and your business will thank you.