Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Does this sound familiar? Your marketing team spends months planning an integrated campaign for your flagship product, complete with a full suite of new content, an elaborate web of tactics, and a large media buy. But by the time you go to market, the content feels stale and your customers aren’t visiting the same web properties that they used to. So you go back to the drawing board to start all over.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Agile marketing is a growing trend designed to prevent that exact scenario.
You’ve probably heard of the Agile methodology for managing projects, which favors iterative progress over big deliverables to provide value more quickly. That approach, started more than 20 years ago with the goal of revolutionizing software development, has spread to other disciplines, including marketing.
The marketing profession has long been ready for the kind of change that Agile promises to bring. With the coming of the Digital Age, marketers are feeling the constant need to keep up with customer preferences and expectations, appeal to new audiences, adopt new tactics and technology, and demonstrate marketing’s value to the rest of the organization. Agile promises to help marketing teams do all of that by chunking out project milestones, hitting them quickly and making improvements along the way, instead of putting months of effort into a project that, once finished, may already be out of date.
Adobe defines Agile marketing as focusing on high-value projects and activating that project collaboratively across the different disciplines within marketing (copywriting, creative design, advertising, etc.) But the work doesn’t end when a project launches; Agile also involves measuring the project’s performance and constantly iterating to improve results over time.
In a CMG Partners study of marketers who have adopted Agile marketing, 93 percent said Agile helped them improve speed to market (ideas, products, or campaigns). Those results are impressive, and may have you wondering if Agile is something your team should consider.
According to the Agile Alliance, there are a few main benefits organizations can expect from adopting an agile way of working:
Improved communication among team members and between the team and the rest of the organization
Faster results due to the short-term, iterative nature of breaking down a project
Better alignment with what customers want (which can also translate into keeping up to speed with current market trends and practices)
Fewer late-stage surprises thanks to regular check-ins at every step of the project development process
Better ability to respond to change, since output is incremental and can be quickly modified or updated to accommodate new conditions
A less tangible, but perhaps most important, benefit of Agile is the focus it puts on people.