When I speak to audiences about Agile Marketing, it resonates. There is a hunger for a solution to what Rohn Jay Miller calls “the dysfunctional room that marketing lives in”.
I think there is no question that marketing has gone through more change in the last 3-5 years than at any time in the last 50 years. And many marketers are looking for something to help them cope with these changes.
Speed impacts marketing in myriad ways. Speed in the form of the speed of change: sites like Pinterest are virtually unknown one month, and three months later they’re a mandatory channel, driving more traffic than Twitter. Speed impacts marketing in the form of real-time events: the speed with which we need to react to news, negative or positive. Back in the nineties at the company I was with, we generally tried to react to any news within 48 hours. Today, that seems slow and anachronistic.
Speed also impacts marketing in terms of the speed with which we can get things done, which is both a blessing and a curse. For example, it used to be that if you wanted to put up a landing page, it might take IT several weeks to get one up. Now, with services like UnBounce and others, you can get a landing page up in hours, if not minutes. That’s great, but it also means that we’re doing the work, not IT, and we have no excuse for not doing things like A/B testing, which take time and expertise.
Agile Marketing addresses this need for speed in marketing, not because everyone runs full out in exhausting 3-4 week Sprints, but because it helps us focus on what’s important, removes barriers to getting things done, and puts the emphasis on results, not internal politics.
Fractured and Disrupted Channels of Communication
There are many more channels today through which it’s possible to communicate a marketing message. When I was growing up, there were three major television networks, and most marketing messages were communicated either by TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or perhaps billboards. All of those are still with us, but they have splintered into hundreds of television channels, millions of online sites, mobile devices, email, YouTube, Social Networks, location-based applications, etc. And not only are there are more channels, but the volume is louder, and therefore the audience has a much higher filter, tuning out or down most of our marketing messages. In a crowded, loud marketplace, we can’t just shout louder, we need to communicate differently, uniquely, so that we are heard.
Agile Marketing, with its focus on the customer and its focus on adaptive and iterative experiments, allows us to figure out which channels of communication and which messages work best for us, and helps us navigate our way through the fractured and disrupted maze of communication channels.
Whenever I watch a Mad Men episode, I’m struck by how many people they have in the agency and how everyone but Peggy seems to have plenty of time to drink, carouse, gossip and generally do almost anything but work. Does anyone today work in that kind of environment? Not that I’ve seen.
We’re all having to do more with less: less budget, fewer people, less time. As marketers, we need to squeeze every dollar out of our budgets, every ounce of productivity out of our teams, and concrete results out of every hour. Agile Marketing helps us do that, again by focusing us on what’s important, and providing a method to iterate to concrete, measurable results. It also helps by encouraging collaboration over silos, and responding to change, rather than wasting time on plans that aren’t working.
What do you think? Does Agile Marketing resonate with you? And if so, why?
I’d really like to hear your thoughts.