What Software Development Taught the Marketing World

hand-drawn marketing chartIf you’ve spent any time around great web developers, you’ve probably heard something about agile development. Scrum, sprints, and rapid iterations — these terms might sound like “tech talk,” but they’re actually the language of productivity — one that we can all learn in order to market companies more efficiently while focusing on customer experience and creating value.

What is Agile Marketing?

A philosophy based on the principles of agile software development, agile marketing is all about meeting the needs of customers by adapting quickly to change.

Agile marketing values small experiments and measuring results for hard data, rather than planning long, expansive “big-bang” campaigns based on opinions and conventions. It’s about process — keeping lines of communication open between all levels of a company to encourage constant feedback and increase responsiveness to that data.

But Why?

Because! That’s why. Just kidding — it’s a very important question. With so many different schools of thought on how to best organize marketing departments, it’s critical to ferret out exactly how agile marketing can benefit your organization, if at all.

One of the biggest benefits to this approach is the ability to quickly respond to changing needs. Marketing today changes on a dime — you have to be constantly ready to solve problems and provide solutions to your customers.  Because of the collaboration between sales, business and marketing in an agile organization, those changes are more easily and more consistently communicated, meaning you don’t get bogged down in a broken game of telephone with important feedback.

In addition to this, the agile approach requires prioritization by those requesting marketing work. Anyone who has worked in an agency or an in-house marketing department knows you’re usually thrown a bunch of requests from a client with no idea on what’s most important. When you ask the requestor to help you prioritize, the answer is always “They’re ALL important.” Agile marketing demands that the requestor look at resources available (like employee time) and decide how those resources should be utilized.

Finally, agile marketing is much more measurable. Running small experiments that test campaigns to see what people respond to, rather than a couple of blockbuster campaigns, can give clear, consistent data to quantify your strategy’s effectiveness.

Is Agile Marketing for You?

Only you can decide! Agile marketing is a growing approach, with many companies adopting this method and finding out ways to apply its principles to their business. If you’re looking for a way your organization can be more adaptable and communicate needs better, then it may be for you.


Image credit goes to Julian Partridge.


Sarah Gabbart is an expert in helping companies find their voice. A firm believer in the power of human-friendly business copy, she strives to make even the most complicated stories engaging. Sarah brings over a decade of industry-diverse experience in copywriting, corporate communications, and small-business management to the GlobalWrites team, and enjoys a regular contributor role at Houstonia Magazine.