My Stab at the Lean (Agile) Marketing Manifesto


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In February 2001, 17 software developers met at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah, to discuss lightweight development methods. They published the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” to define the approach now known as agile software development.

I believe that Lean is the Future of Marketing and one of the main reasons is the development of Agile under the Lean umbrella. I thought using the Agile Manifesto as a basis for my own manifesto on Agile Marketing or Lean Marketing was a good start. For my effort in establishing a manifesto, I have used many of their terms described in the original Agile Manifesto. 

We are uncovering better ways of developing marketing by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Content-rich material over elaborate promotion
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to customer needs change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

Our highest priority is to deliver the customer content that he deems valuable to his decision making process.

  1. Build Cross functional Sales/Marketing teams and giving them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  2. Cross-functional teams are created based on Customer markets and work together daily throughout the project.
  3. Deliver sales/marketing/technical direct support as required to optimize the flow of value delivery.
  4. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to the customer is face-to-face conversation.
  5. Facilitating a Customer’s Decision Making/Buying Process is the primary measure of progress.
  6. Recognize and adapt to changing customer’s requirements.
  7. Lean processes promote building customers that will repeat, become advocates and even co-creators in our development.
  8. Continuous attention to content-rich material and technical excellence enhances the value stream.
  9. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from the customer use and feedback of product and our direct observation of the product in use.
  10. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

In Lean Marketing your goal is to deliver as much value as your customer (prospect) needs as quickly as possible in the most efficient manner possible. Agile systems allow for a framework for people to work together and improve communication through departments and with the customer. Part of this practice will help in understanding exactly what the customer needs to facilitate his decision making process but it will require teams to often wait till the “last responsible moment” to fulfill that requirement. You will have to respect your people, another foundation of Lean to enable such a system. This will minimize the waste and complexity associated with trying to cover all the bases. More importantly, it will provide greater clarity and increased value to the customer.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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