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Does agile marketing need to include technology?

Because agile marketing derives from agile development, some marketers have it pigeon-holed for technical tasks only. They understand using agile marketing for a website redesign or developing a phone app, but not for creating everyday marketing materials.

The truth is that agile marketing applies to anything you do where you can get feedback. Do a little bit, see how it works, decide what to do next–that’s the agile marketing way. It’s the step of “seeing how it works” that requires the feedback. If there is no way to measure effectiveness, then you have no basis for deciding what to do next than you had before you started. The idea is that you learn as you go along what your customer actually wants.

One client recently showed me a spate of videos that they had commissioned, lamenting that they were a collection of flops. The messages had not resonated with the audience and they just wrote off tens of thousands of dollars in wasted production.

What could they have done instead?

  • Produced one or two videos as a test to see if they worked.
  • Publish a few blog posts before producing any videos to see if the message resonated.
  • Call up five customers and see what they thought of the ideas for the videos.

Maybe you’re starting to get the idea. As you moved down the bulleted list, did you notice that the ideas just keep getting cheaper and cheaper? Did you notice if you tried asking around and got good responses that you could then commission the blog posts? And that if the blog posts worked, then you could try a few videos. Only if the test videos worked would you then get around to spending the kind of money that this client spent on a complete flop. But if they did spend that money, it would likely have been very successful given all that they had tested already.

I am old enough to remember when Broadway shows opened out of town and toured, perfecting their craft until it was ready to open on Broadway in New York City. Many never did open, because they never became good enough and popular enough. Agile marketing takes the same approach.

Test your marketing in the easiest and cheapest ways possible, only then moving on to spending more money when you have started to find a message that persuades your audience. That’s what agile marketing is all about.

I’ve got a new Agile Marketing eCourse that will teach you how to experiment to find out what works today and what will work in the future with your ever-changing customers. You can try out the first unit for free now.

Agile-Marketing-Slide - free first unit

 

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for 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 serves 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, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com 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 is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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