Agile Marketing Manifesto

Photo courtesy of Jared Tarbell

Agile Marketing has not received near the attention given to Agile Development, and  part of the reason for this lack of attention is the absence of a comprehensive statement of the principles of Agile Marketing, agreed upon by a respected group of marketers.

I’m trying to organize a group of people who can get behind an Agile Marketing Manifesto. In the meantime, here are some thoughts about what an Agile Marketing Manifesto might look like.

The goals of Agile Marketing are to increase the predictability, transparency, effectiveness and adaptability to change of the marketing function. Agile Marketing is done in a rapid, iterative, experimental, don’t-be-afraid-to-fail fashion that complements and provides input to agile development.

As Scott Brinker points out in an article he wrote about an agile marketing manifesto, at least a couple of the ideals of the Agile Development Manifesto are relevant to Agile Marketing:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Responding to change over following a plan

Scott then suggests four other principles that apply specifically to Agile Marketing.

Intimate customer tribes over impersonal mass markets

Testing and data over opinions and conventions

Numerous small experiments over a few large bets

Engagement and transparency over official posturing

I think Scott is on the right track. I might word a few of them differently and I would add some of my own:

Getting out of the building over formal market research

Transparency and trust over official posturing

Continuous improvement and engagement over big launch cycles

Measurement and accountability over opinions and justifications

 

As the developers say, while there is value in the items on the right, the agile marketer values the items on the left more.

Beyond values, the agile marketer must also bring some structure and processes to the marketing task. If this seems in conflict with the first value espoused above (individuals and interactions over processes and tools), it isn’t.  In the end, good marketing comes down to the actions and instincts of people and teams – but without some process and tools, marketing fails to be transparent, accountable, productive and better able to adapt to change.

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