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What is agile marketing and should you be sprinting to it?

James A. Martin | April 18, 2016
Agile marketing, an adaptation of the agile software development methodology, is a real thing. If you have any doubt, check out what your competition is doing. Here are seven things you need to know about agile marketing.

Like any marketing structure, agile marketing requires strong measurement and analytics, in order to track the outcomes of your efforts and inform future initiatives. In the past, that data was often not shared throughout an organization.

But in an agile marketing structure, siloed data must be integrated, connected and shared, says Mitra. When it isn’t, you can move fast, he says, but it might be in the wrong direction.

A realignment of any organization can be difficult to achieve. But to be agile, it’s essential that marketing departments get organized around martech tools and marketing projects.  

For example, scrum is an often-used component of agile marketing and it differs from how some teams are used to working.

Scrum is an agile framework that begins with a prioritized to-do or wish list, according to the definition posted by the Scrum Alliance. A marketing team focuses on a small chunk at the top of the list and has a short amount of time to tackle it; that’s known as a sprint. A ScrumMaster keeps the team focused. And at the end of the sprint, the process is reviewed for lessons learned; that’s called retrospective.

The scrum technique in marketing can cause the potential problems of a marketing initiative “to rise to the surface quickly,” says Hardy.

Scrum teams are becoming “a formal part of the management structure” at many organizations, due to the growing awareness of an agile framework’s benefits, said David Edelman, partner and global co-leader of McKinsey & Company’s Digital and Marketing & Sales practices, at MarTech.

Simply stated, use agile marketing to “focus on the customer experience, develop hypotheses about the customer experience and test them regularly,” Hardy said.


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