What software developers can teach you about marketing


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Seriously, when’s the last time you wrote a 12-month marketing plan? And if you did, how many months did it take for that document to become almost if not entirely irrelevant?

You’ve probably heard of agile development. It’s a method of software-building that’s fast paced, highly iterative, and increasingly used by companies in a wide variety of industries to ship products faster, and in better response to rapidly-changing market conditions.

An increasing group of marketers are taking the ideas of agile development and applying it to marketing. Jim Ewel, author of the Agile Marketing.net blog and co-author of the Agile Marketing Manifesto, addressed a luncheon for the Puget Sound American Marketing Association Seattle chapter and outlined several reasons why marketers need to change how they operate, and seven principles that guide the application of Agile Marketing.

Why you need to change your approach to marketing
1. The speed at which we’re required to respond to change (think about the Oreo ad during the recent Super Bowl blackout)
2. The impact of technology, and our constant and diversifying use of multiple screens, platforms and more
3. The shift in power to the consumer (isn’t Best Buy basically a showroom for Amazon.com now?
4. The fractured and disrupted channels of communication we use (this only continues to decentralize)
5. Limited resources (we have to do more, faster, with less)

What does Agile Marketing prioritize? Seven principles:

1. Responding to change over following a plan
Know your objectives and end-goals going in, but develop shorter “sprints” to ship marketing faster. Respond quickly to real-time changes around you. Build a strategy, but stay nimble.

2. Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns

Fire lots of bullets (instead of cannons). Test quickly, learn quickly, adjust and improve. Quickly. These can all be done under the umbrella of a campaign, by the way. You can still have a general, overarching theme to your marketing for longer periods of time. But within that, you should be shipping smaller efforts faster.

3. Testing and data over opinions and conventions
The highest-paid person in the room’s opinion is interesting, but not necessarily the direction you should follow. Develop a love affair with data. Require it, measure it and use it to make decisions as much as possible.

4. Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
Test test test. Your winning control a year ago might not work anymore, but how will you know?

5. Individuals and interactions over target markets
Customer and personalize the interactions you have with prospects. Go beyond selling just to health care. Who individually are you speaking to? How would the CFO of a hospital need to hear your story vs. the head nurse? Or the risk compliance officer?

6. Collaboration over silos and hierarchy

Push your teams to work more closely together. Tie their objectives together. Leverage their finite resources more effectively to achieve collective goals.

7. Remarkable customer experiences
This is “principle zero”, as Jim tells it, and is the output of effective execution on the principles above.

I highly recommend checking out the Agile Marketing Manifesto if you want to learn more.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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