Using Agile for Performance-Based Digital Marketing

You might be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t agile a methodology used in software development?”

You would be right! It's been proven as a successful tactic for executing projects in development for years.

With that being said, I want to challenge you to think about how it might fit in with your marketing efforts as well.

What is Agile?

Agile is finding better ways to develop software by valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.

Why Agile?

According to Coding Sans, agile is the number one choice of methodologies in tackling application development projects. In application development, the end-user is considered the customer, and in agile, all deliverables are focused around that customer’s experience. In fact, the majority of the Agile Manifesto is customer-centric! 

So, if it works for technology, why not apply the same principles to B2B and consumer marketing?

Measurement Foundation

A key component of a successful agile initiative is understanding your audience and your customer. Do not dictate, but listen; do not assume, but learn. Use surveys to build your backlog and seed your campaign with the ability to measure and analyze the holistic experience from reach through retention. Modern digital marketers have access to powerful measurement tools, dashboards and benchmarks to evaluate tactical performance. None of that means anything if experiences aren’t tagged properly and your teams’ statistical understandings aren’t aligned.

Facilitate Audience Ownership

In agile, the feedback loop is fast and critical to success. Product owners make key decisions on what works and what doesn’t. When using agile for marketing, your audiences are the owners. Changes dictated by performance analysis of past iterations get added to the backlog and prioritized. If an item is critical to future success, it can be added to the next iteration for execution.

This loop is a natural fit for how marketing tactics can be implemented and tweaked in a very rapid but informed way. With a solid measurement foundation and fast access to your digital team, closing the opportunity gap is fast and efficient.

Agile Marketing Methodology Mix

Consider what expertise you’ll need to be agile and build your team around that. In Liquid’s digital business world, this often consists of a core team with the following skills.

  • Strategy
  • Art Direction
  • Media Planning
  • Copywriting
  • Development
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • eCommerce
  • Partnerships

Again, people are key to practical success. Platforms are tools that enable tactics to be deployed, but without understanding, tools are underutilized or misunderstood.

Building a Marketing Engine with Agile

Marketing can be slow, reactive and extremely vulnerable to organizational change. Using agile for marketing is a key practice in building a marketing engine. Your first build is slow and inefficient, and results might take a while in the first few iterations. But you learn, adjust, tweak and enhance the engine to produce results unthinkable in previous iterations, adding acceleration, breaking the cycle of guessing and crossed fingers.

If you are interested in learning more about how Liquid applies agile to execute digital business strategies, contact us and learn more.