At first glance “agile” is just an adjective that applies to any marketing that seeks to be effective. However, Agile Marketing is not a description but a (fairly new) concept. Essentially, Agile Marketing is the long-term application of a specific agile methodology aimed at constantly improving the ways in which things get done on this front. It needs a strategic take and marketing plans for short, medium, and long terms as well.
It’s different from the ‘old-school’ approach as it focuses more on highly frequent releases, greater importance placed on customer demands and satisfaction, and no small amount of testing the waters with product and service experimentation.
If you have something to market you ought to give this a go so here’s more about it.
The Agile Marketing Manifesto and principles
The Agile Marketing Manifesto was crafted back in 2012 in order to establish a generally accepted set of principles and values that marketers could use as guidelines for a more agile way of working.
Here’s a list of the values encompassed:
- Flexible planning over rigid terms and deadlines
- Customer-focused collaboration over top-down hierarchical rule
- Marketing campaigns that are adaptive over “Big Bang” type events
- Validated recent data over conventions or general opinions
- Processual customer discovery over static predictions
- Several smaller experiments over larger than life bets
- Altering the plan when there are changes over sticking to the original outline
When it comes to the Agile Marketing Principles, there is still some debate but there are some generally accepted ones:
- The ability to quickly respond and adapt to change is a great competitive advantage
- Marketing plans should be reconsidered at shorter intervals to ensure they are on par with whatever the situation is at that time
- Sustainable marketing requires a constant pace and an updated pipeline
- Customer satisfaction is paramount and marketing ought to be aimed primarily at solving problems
- Simplicity is essential in delivering a positive customer experience
- Failure is most of all a learning opportunity
Agile Marketing drives immediate results
Solopreneurs do not have the time and resources to start immense marketing campaigns that may or may not show positive outcomes after a lengthier period of time. But employing agile marketing methodologies allows for small businesses to use small budgets to get new ideas out to customers quickly.
In today’s highly competitive marketplace, coming to the audience with the right message before everybody else does is essential. Especially when trying to gain market share and make an impression, it is crucial that there is a deep sense of novelty and personalization – people need to think “this business gets me, that’s exactly what I need!”.
Even if the message will require some altering after the initial launch, it is still worth getting it out there sooner rather than later.
Better ideas are born of experimentation
Agile marketing requires a bit of courage and jumping into the water before one is entirely sure of the temperature and depth. However, if a long time is spent with gathering data and compiling graphs, odds are that by the time an idea is launched, it no longer fits the circumstances and won’t be very successful – or worse, the whole process will have to be started from scratch.
By boldly going forward with a marketing plan before it’s been tested to death on focus groups and online surveys, small online course businesses have a chance to learn firsthand what works and what areas need improving.
By doing so, marketers get precious timely information and feedback, and out of the initial concept, new and more successful ideas can be born and implemented leading to better results.
Agile Marketing minimizes risks
I am well aware that I have used the jumping in unknown waters analogy just above. I stand by it. However, testing an idea before launching into a full-blown campaign does more for containing the possible damage. It allows marketers to learn very early on if the concept resonates with the target audience or they need a different one.
An MVP (Minimal Viable Product) is put out there to see the responses to it. This can be something as simple as a short video, a blog post, a podcast, or a webinar – something that will let the potential customers know what’s about to be launched.
Adjustments can be subsequently made and if by chance it turns out it’s not the time for such an approach it won’t be an insurmountable loss.
Agility is quintessential in today’s market and knowledge entrepreneurs know firsthand just how important it is to be constantly on top of customer expectations and demands. Employing the mechanics of agile marketing can help gain a little leeway from the competition.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.