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Agile marketing and the need for speed

Some of you know that my second book is called Do It Wrong Quickly, and this post is about the quickly part. Advising people to do things wrong is just my cheeky way of getting marketers to start experimenting–to try things and see how they work. That experimental approach is the essence of agile marketing, a term not yet in use when I wrote my book. But without the quickly part, you’re just doing it wrong. It was too long for the title, but what I actually meant was to do it wrong quickly–and then fix it. And the number of times you can experiment makes a huge difference to your success.

Think about it. Suppose you work in a big, slow organization where you can change your Web site once a month. If you are trying to figure out what your customers want, you get one try a week. If it takes you a dozen tries to get it right, then you have blown a year.

But suppose you could change your site every week? You’d be able to run the same number of tests to get that same right answer in three months.

How about if you could run one test a day? In less than two weeks, you’d get to the same brilliant answer.

Agile Software Corporation
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Why do we care about this? Simple. None of us are brilliant. None of us know the perfect answer. None of us can jump straight to the correct conclusion. Most of what we do actually is wrong. It’s not the best. It could be improved. Our fifth try, our 25th try, and our 105th try are all better than out first.

So, getting to that 105th try more quickly means real money. The faster you can run the experiments, the faster you can get to the right answer.

There are all sorts of ways to make the testing go faster, everything from agile software development to multivariate testing. But first, you need to recognize how important that speed is.


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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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  1. Jessica

    Great article buddy, Agile methodology is the most significant approach to project management which is effectively used in the process of software development. This agile approach has been majorly introduced in the field of software development to overcome difficulties with earlier waterfall model and to make processes more flexible and effective.

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