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Talking Agile Marketing to Curious Marketers at the Charlotte AMA Conference

by Russ Lange, Partner

A sincere “thank you” to North Carolina’s Charlotte AMA. The chapter is an active group of smart, young marketers and I had the pleasure of presenting to them last week with Roland Smart of Oracle. Roland is a frequent Agile evangelist and the author of a recently published book, The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage.

Roland operates using Agile Marketing at Oracle and we do the same here at CMG. As a consulting firm, we have also taken several clients along for the journey and helped them adopt, pilot, and scale Agile into their marketing organizations. We’ve worked with enterprise-sized companies over the last few years in various industries—from technology and telecommunications to financial services and healthcare.

Last week, I kept my talk fairly introductory. I outlined the Agile Marketing principles and how to approach this new methodology with the right mindset. For agile marketers, “mindset” means keeping your mind set on the customer. Strategy and planning must begin with looking at everything from the perspective of the customer using personas and customer journeys. Agile always asks the question, “Who is our customer and what does the he/she want or need to achieve?”

Agile Marketing

It may sound simple, but this shift in perspective can spur real transformation. Agile Marketing triggers a careful examination of how your organization works. With that, you may find that your marketing team is serving internal drivers over your customers’ motivations. What CMG and our clients have found is that a majority of the effort with Agile is in the mindset. I argue that success with Agile is 80% mindset and 20% methodology. Yes, there are important agile processes and they are fairly strict, but if you aren’t able to be flexible, transparent, and collaborative—those processes will not hold.

I’ve posted my slides from the Charlotte AMA event so please take a look. We have lots of information about Agile Marketing on the CMG website as well. There’s much to learn and more companies to learn from (you’ll find case studies on our site). Get off to a good start by educating yourself and your team about what’s in store with agile. As I said to the AMA audience, you will break things… but that’s okay. A successful Agile implementation will reward your business with better performance, higher employee satisfaction, and more customer growth.