I don’t get agile marketing

agile marketing

I don’t get agile marketing.  I’ve read a lot of articles (like this one) and, maybe it’s me, I struggle with the lack of real world practical examples.  All I see is a lot of vague statements from the 60,000 foot level…nothing about “….here’s the life of an agile marketing department…”

Can you send me some examples?

Agile Marketing is an approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from Agile Development and that values:

Responding to change over following a plan
Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
Testing and data over opinions and conventions
Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
Individuals and interactions over target markets
Collaboration over silos and hierarchy

The goals of Agile Marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function.
 Source: Downloaded from http://www.agilemarketing.net/what-is-agile-marketing/ on October 24th, 2014.
Based on the above, agile marketing sure sounds a lot like marketing.
In my 30+ year career, I have never responded to change and, instead, just followed a plan.  We created a plan and every campaign within that plan has had its own strategic plan with goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.
I have no idea in the world what is meant by “Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns”.  Lots of little campaigns instead of a single large campaign?  I need an example because even the “Fall Campaign” was made up of numerous campaigns aimed at attracting and retaining customers – and each campaign was evaluated so that any key insights could be put to use on current and upcoming campaigns.
And I grew up in direct marketing so everything was test, measure, analyze, modify and repeat.  Hell, I remember some direct mail campaigns that had tests set up for lists, messages, offers, creative presentation, delivery channel (USPS vs. FedEx).  We had thousands of 800# so we can measure each test within the campaign…along with unique emails, URLs, codes etc.
“Individuals and interactions over target markets”…again, not clear on exactly what they mean here but if it’s the old “1 to 1 marketing” creedo that I’ve heard about since my sophomore year in college, then the vast majority of the work I’ve been involved in has been focused on the individual once they have raised their hands and started to engage with the business.  You start with a broad target, then begin to use data to identify and build personas and you react as best you can to the individual’s actions and inactions with timely, relevant information so you continue to build trust and work towards repeat sales, loyalty and (eventually) advocacy.
Now that last point – “collaboration over silos and hierarchy”.  That’s the tricky one since that requires support from the top of the organization rather than the marketing and sales department.  But that said, it’s something many organizations claim to be striving for and I’ve been fortunate to have worked in a few where it really was true…so I get it.  There’s nothing worse than Department A needs something to better serve the audience/customer and Department B should be the provider of the solution to Department A…but Department B pulls the “…not on our 2 year plan” bullshit that’s supported by the CEO so Department A has to make due as best they can.
Lastly, I have never worked in a marketing department where we weren’t focused on improving “…the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function.”
So, basically, I don’t get agile marketing because, based on my experience, it’s marketing.  Again, I might be missing something.  Or I might have been blessed and have been working in agile marketing cultures for 30+ years.

 Other articles on agile marketing you might find of interest.

Debunking 3 Myths of Agile Marketing, Chief Marketing Technologist, http://chiefmartec.com/2013/10/3-myths-agile-marketing/

What is Agile Marketing and Why is it Essential to Marketing Operations, MarketingProfs, http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/7963/what-is-agile-marketing-and-why-is-it-essential-to-marketing-operations

 

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