How to Create an Agile Marketing Organization

According to the Gartner Group, US companies now spend an average of 2.5% of their revenue on digital marketing, which is growing by about 10% a year. And some marketing programs, such as social media and mobile marketing are growing at 20-30% annually. For many companies, leveraging digital marketing and achieving marketing success has been difficult due to the complexity and rapid evolution of these marketing programs.

A new marketing framework called “Agile Marketing” can help you deal with this complexity, adapt to change, accelerate your programs and accelerate your results.

Here are 5 steps to creating an Agile Digital Marketing Organization.

Step Number 1 – Create a New Customer Relationship

Today, it’s not good enough to have a single, simple view of the customer that does not change.  You need to create a more detailed, fluid and nuanced view of the customer and then organize this view into user stories to make sure everything you do, and every project is based on a customer need.  Once you have this, it’s important to keep it current by listening to real feedback in online conversations from social media so that you can stay on track.

Step Number 2 – Create a New Planning Process and Iterative Release Process

Agile Marketing has a bias toward action.  You cannot get by with a fixed annual plan or a long term ad budget.   You can, of course, plan to use all the best digital marketing tools, such as your Website, SEO, SEM, and Social Media, but hold some of your budget in reserve and reallocate monthly to back what works best. A 70/20/10 allocation is a good benchmark, with 70% on existing marketing, 20% on programmatic marketing and 10% responsive. It is also helpful to plan to release marketing programs every 2-4 weeks and measure the results.

Step Number 3 – Create a New Decision-Making Framework

In many organizations, the loudest person in the room with the most conventional wisdom drives the agenda. In an Agile Marketing organization, the metrics and the data drives the actions, not the other way around.  My philosophy is that everyone has an opinion once, and then we test.  It’s critical to create a test plan on campaigns and content so that you can improve and document results.

Step Number 4 – Create New Integrated Marketing Goals

Agile Marketing organizations create marketing plans that are integrated with sales plan and aligned with team goals, not functions or technology.  One way to do this is to organize around marketing program goals such as driving traffic, converting traffic and nurturing leads.  Driving traffic can include advertising, SEO, SEM, or banner ads.  Converting traffic to leads can include your website, landing pages, offers, and content.  Nurturing leads to become customers can include email marketing automation, social media, and re-marketing.  Integrated cross-functional teams will help you stay aligned with your goals.

Step Number 5 – Create a New Cross-Functional Team Structure to Get Things Done.

Small teams emphasize person to person interaction to cut down on lengthy documentation and emails.  Agile Software Development has given us two key ideas to help in this area.  The first idea is “Sprints”,  where you break down big projects in to monthly or weekly sprints, so you can deliver projects frequently.  The second idea is the “Scrum” which is a daily 15 minute stand-up meeting to report on what you did yesterday, what you will do today and any obstacles. By simplifying your process and giving the team more control, you empower your people to deliver great results.

I hope this has helped you think about Agile Marketing in a different way.  Let me know if you have questions or if we can help you with any of your digital marketing programs.


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