Thought leaders such as
• Jonathon Colman, REI
• Greg Meyer, Salesforce
• Kevin Scott, Cisco
are progressing on the agile marketing journey.
Agile development enables organizations “to build an uncertain product, for an uncertain customer, in an uncertain market.” Interestingly, for those of us working in the social business space for any length of time, this quote could just as easily apply to a social context.
In agile marketing, there are a number of recurring themes:
• Customer-centricity – better understanding and serving the customer provides distinct motivation for agile. Agile had helps teams move away from the notion of customer being hard-coded to a particular channel – and to a more holistic customer view.
• Dealing with disruption – customers and markets change fast; focus on the importance of continual learning, iteration, and bias for action, as opposed to perfectionism. "Fast fail” is something to be embraced and not feared.
• Silo-busting – Agile Marketing is a tool for building pan-team and pan-organizational bridges, and the improved richness of the resulting product. Agile in the future is a mechanism for engaging more effectively with organizations outside one's own.
• Empowerment – Agile Marketing presents opportunity for sharing accountability up, down, and across the organization; it can enable the emergence of more self-directed (vs. top-down) behavior as a key benefit.
• Culture shift – There is evidence that Agile Marketing also may transform sagging morale. Agile Marketing was seen at Cisco as a way to create opportunities to develop talent and enable new leaders to emerge in agile roles.
• Freedom with discipline – Agile Marketing is a way to remove the daily impediments that all of us have encountered as marketers (politics, hierarchy, ambiguity, etc.). At the same time, the rapid cadence of agile process – namely two-week iterations – allows for frequent wins and outputs. These outputs and measures can be communicated early and often across the organization to demonstrate tangible value.