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.

blueberry-face small

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