February 28, 2014

Agile marketing — latest fad or the future? — Part 1

Time to Adapt

Agile is pretty new in relation to other methodologies.

Agile marketing is a relatively new term being thrown around by marketers and project managers to help us adapt to the ever-changing landscape of marketing. In the late 1990s, software developers created agile methodology, which focuses on iterative and incremental goals when developing large programs, to help streamline the development process. Agile is pretty new in relation to other methodologies such as waterfall, which is what most project managers use on a daily basis.

OK, now that you have some background, let’s jump in with both feet. Agile marketing is a result of the rapid development of new marketing platforms and, more important, the interactive consumer. It seems that every week we’re exposed to a new social media platform, image-sharing program, product review site or app, etc. Now consumers might be thrilled with all these options. But for the marketer, this means constant feedback:

It seems that every week we’re exposed to a new social media platform, image-sharing program.

It seems that every week we’re exposed to a new social media platform, image-sharing program.

People now have more and more vehicles to either praise or ridicule a product, place or marketing campaign. As marketers, we need to be aware of all of these new technologies and adjust our techniques, messaging and creative to ensure a successful campaign.

Here is where agile marketing comes into play. Imagine instead of a one-and-done large campaign worth millions, we had ten smaller campaigns that we could constantly adjust based on actual, measurable data and consumer feedback. This would enable us to have a constant level of brand exposure directed at our prospective audiences, and to check the pulse of our marketing efforts and adjust our techniques as necessary.

I know this idea sounds too good to be true. “So you’re telling me we can be flexible and constantly creative?” Yes! As our communication technologies change, so must marketing techniques to ensure we are reaching our audiences in the most effective way possible. Staying flexible and adapting to our surroundings is a must for successful marketers.

As with all new ideas and techniques, there will be those who embrace agile marketing and those who simply see it as the latest fad that will fall to the wayside. I’m not trying to convert anyone to this new methodology. I just want to tell fellow marketers about another tool we can use to hone our craft. Hang in there and stay tuned — more information with real-world examples to come!

Read Agile Marketing — Part 2.

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