Every year my family eagerly awaits the beginning of blueberry season in East Texas.  We have a few blueberry bushes on our place but also visit a local u-pick farm to really stock up.  Time seems to slow down for our kids who check the status of the ripening berries several times a day.

For me, it’s a miracle watching the berries change from green to dark blue seemingly overnight.  As I mentioned in my last post on agile marketing, I recently moved into an industry focused strategy and marketing role. The change has provided a great opportunity to reinvent myself around agile marketing principles, but you shouldn’t wait for a job change to start agile marketing.  In fact, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to experience the delicious results.

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Here’s nine ways to kick off Agile Marketing in your current position:

  1. Shift marketing programs toward contribution to customer value and away from shortsighted metrics like views, leads, and sales. (For example, education around Adobe Mobile services has helped customers realize additional value from their existing relationship with Adobe.)
  2. Rewrite your job description with agile marketing as a foundation.
  3. Split project plans into short iterative cycles—makes accommodating late breaking marketing opportunities feasible.
  4. Execute a micro-campaign to test new agile marketing techniques.
  5. Reduce time to insight using predictive analytics capabilities.
  6. Utilize lookalike modeling (for more detail check out the following whitepaper: Big data, big opportunity for wireless operators).
  7. Prioritize and focus marketing programs.
  8. First launch an agile marketing effort within one project or team.
  9. Provide recognition to team members utilizing agile techniques.

Agile marketing risks to watch out for: Don’t let marketing messages outpace reality and create “marketing debt” that will cause issues with credibility and trust (corollary to engineering tech debt).

Don’t cross the creepy line.

Remember what agile marketing is not:

  • a formal agile marketing framework (although agile process can be helpful—90% of respondents to VersionOne’s State of Agile survey said process improved ability to manage changing priorities)
  • marketing as usual + social response
  • marketing as usual + personalization
  • just for startups and entrepreneurs

Keep a lookout for these three blockers

  1. Process (i.e. long legal lead times for responses to sensitive topics; social marketers need to know in real time what they can and can’t say)
  2. People (new methods may take more start-up effort than old methods that come with a checkbox and a back slap)
  3. Proof (move forward with imperfect information and adjust your course as more data becomes available)

Ensure Real-Time Marketing Isn’t Blurry on Mobile

A recent study sponsored by Adobe shows mobile at the bottom of the list of important tactics of real-time marketing. Really? More than half your audience will experience your real-time messages on mobile first.  You’d better be looking through a mobile lens when considering any real-time marketing effort.

Still Unsure Where to Start?

Poor performance in search, discovery, social, and mobile reduces the effectiveness of any agile marketing effort you undertake; consider benchmarking performance against your industry.  Adobe’s Industry Strategy & Marketing team often performs benchmarking for our clients, and we’ve seen substantial gains from benchmarking against the industry, identifying areas with comparatively low investment/performance, and making a plan to address those gaps.

I know you’ll love the results of building agile marketing into you’re current role. If you’d like to add to the harvest, consider stealing two additional concepts from the engineering team.

  • Moore’s Law for Marketers—reducing marketing response times by 50% every two years
  • Minimum Viable Marketing—adaptive marketing programs based on real-time feedback from customers

Additional reading for CMOs: Marketing at the Speed of Agile