Agile Marketing Ecosystem – What, Why and How

Over the past few years the use of Agile Marketing has grown immensely, and for good reason. From this surge in popularity, a number of practical agile marketing concepts have surfaced, yielding great transformation in enterprise organizations alike.

But first, what is agile marketing and — why all the hype?

Chances are most of the content you’ve seen thus far has been focused on one piece of the puzzle: the delivery framework. However, before building a high performing agile marketing delivery mechanism we must understand the three distinct layers that make up an effective agile ecosystem.

The Three Layers of Agile Marketing

Methodology – The methodology layer is the foundational piece. It contains the mindset and overall belief system, supported by values and principles. If you hope to benefit from enterprise agility you must first adopt an agile methodology mindset. At the very least, you need to integrate it into your current enterprise methodology/mindset

Framework – The framework is a set of practices, ceremonies/meetings, teams and roles, all of which align to support the methodology. The framework also covers high-level rules and governance infrastructure to keep the system moving. It’s not the end game but a necessary component in building the ecosystem.

Model – The model is often overlooked but holds the most value. It applies the methodology and framework to your unique talents, needs, constraints, processes and situation. The model is where you apply tools, workflow, governance etc.

An Agile marketing ecosystem is a marketing delivery ecosystem in which the enterprise and marketing team collectively identify high value work efforts. These efforts are aligned with the overarching marketing strategy and take into account customer acquisition/retention goals that contribute to the broader enterprise strategy.

The Agile Marketing Ecosystem
As previously mentioned, the methodology is the foundation of the entire ecosystem. A weak foundation means a weak ecosystem. The Agile Marketing Methodology is supported by a number of key values that have a specific set of primary principles.

The values supporting Agile Marketing are:

  • Customer focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
  • Highly personalized iterative campaigns over Big-Bang Generic Campaigns
  • Customer discovery over static prediction
  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Many small experiments over a few big bets

The principles that uphold these values are:

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of value.
  2. Welcome change, even late in execution. Agile processes harness change and continuous learning to drive competitive advantage
  3. Deliver frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
  4. Business stakeholders and marketing teams must work together daily throughout a project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information is face-to-face conversation.
  7. Working, Tested Campaigns are the primary measure of progress.
  8. Agile processes promote a sustainable work rate. The sponsors, team members, and customers should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to excellence and good design supported by relentless focus on quality enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity is the art of maximizing the amount of work not done.
  11. The best campaigns, customer journeys, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Through the application of agile marketing principles teams can deploy sprints (short, finite periods of focused work) to complete those projects cooperatively. After each sprint, they measure the impact of the projects and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.

Why Does Agile Marketing Work?
Put simply, we leverage agile marketing principles and practices to provide clarity on what needs to be done.Self-organized, cross-functional teams drive accountability and measurable progress though manageable deliverables, which translate into well-tested parcels of value.

How do you get there and start seeing benefit of Agile Marketing?
Start with understanding where you are today. Familiarize yourself with the overall values and principles that support the framework. Find a top to bottom slice of your marketing portfolio and start there. You will need to take a prescriptive approach to integrating your new method within existing legacy infrastructure. Set up controlled experiments for your team and measure their success (or failure). Celebrate and build on the experiments that work, kill the ones that don’t. Success is best measured when efforts are carefully aligned with the vision and objectives of the enterprise. ​


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