Can Marketing be Agile?

Be fluid. Be flexible. Be agile.

Be fluid. Be flexible. Be agile.

It’s been a crazy month or so. I was let go from my job, I started looking for a new one, and decided to take on more volunteer efforts with the Silicon Valley chapter of IABC. I thought I was busy before losing my job. It pales in comparison to the past month.

Anyway … this brings me to a few things I’ve learned recently.

I learned what I really would like in a job, and I learned that I have most of the skills to get me there. How do I go about learning what is missing? I have been doing a boat-load of reading. My favorites right now are Marketing Profs and Chief Marketing Technologist.

My biggest a-ha moment has been that people are applying principles of agile software development to marketing.

The dictionary definition of agile according to is “quick and well coordinated in movement.”

Those promoting agile marketing refer to the concept as being fluid, always in motion and dedicated to analytics and experimentation. With the agile marketing philosophy, it is OK to try something and to fail. But, the catch is that it may not be a failure, it may just need an adjustment. The concept is iterative.

Iterative in the sense that you’re not waiting for the stars to align perfectly before getting started. You get started with what you have available right now. My friend Gladys has an expression she uses that fits perfectly, “we’re doin it live!”

I read an ebook this week that talks about how to make fix marketing in real time. There are five principles:

  1. Be experimental, but stay focused. Make sure that whatever tactic you choose it supports your key goals and objectives.
  2. Be adaptable. Be committed to solving problems NOW. Not tomorrow. Not next week.
  3. Prioritize the problem. Decide the most important problem, and throw your resources behind it. Then move on to the next one.
  4. Build a great MarkOps team. Be transparent and continuous in your feedback loop to all of your constituents – immediate team, executives, etc.
  5. Test, test and test again. Be iterative, not perfect in your delivery. Keep adjusting, and you’ll find the best mix.

I’m looking forward to finding a position soon that will embrace this type of agile marketing. I know the organization is out there. I can’t wait to put my learnings into practice.

Are you agile?


  1. Just read this article on Business 2 Community. It’s about the word Agility.

    Bottom line agility in marketing, development and business requires planning. There still must be an end goal for the business.

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