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Staying On Your Toes: What Does Agile Digital Marketing Really Mean?

David Bosley

Being agile is one of the single most important aspects of digital marketing success. The problem is that not many companies actually understand what it means to be agile. Even fewer are able to put that knowledge into action.

At its core, agile marketing means taking a strategic approach to marketing. You need to understand your company, your employees, and your customers. You’ll constantly place the best people on the highest value tasks. You’ll test every assumption and apply the results immediately. At the same time, you’ll keep your eyes wide open for future opportunities and industry trends. In a truly agile marketing team, you’ll be ready to handle anything quickly and efficiently.

There’s terrific value to developing a truly agile marketing philosophy throughout your team. More will get done. Experts estimate that agile marketing teams work 30 to 40% more efficiently. Being able and ready to adapt ensures that your organization won’t get left behind. The trick, of course, is understanding what it takes to truly be agile.

Here are four things that marketing teams must do to truly be agile:

1. Learn to Love Your Data

Data is at the very heart of agile marketing. Without the right data, you won’t be able to make the decisions necessary to stay agile. Make sure that you have the right tools and processes in place to have access to the data you need. Additionally, make sure that your team is trained, ready, and able to make data analysis a core part of their decision-making process.

Without access to the right data, you’ll have a hard time implementing a truly agile marketing strategy.

2. Test, Test, and Test Again

Constant testing is a critical cog of the agile marketing organization. You can’t simply set and forget anything. At the same time, it’s important to invest in what you know works best. To cover all their bases, many agile marketers subscribe to the 70:20:10 Rule. This rule states that 70% of your marketing should be focused on what you understand to work most effectively, 20% should be data-driven and automated and 10% should be completely responsive. You’ll need to tweak the exact ratios for your unique situation, but 70:20:10 is a good starting point on the road to becoming agile.

3. Treat Failure as a Positive Outcome

Many people look at failure as a negative outcome. True agile marketers are able to understand that failure is just a part of the cycle. Throughout constant testing, you’re bound to come across more than your fair share of failures. Possibly more than half of the time. The key is using your data and marketing knowledge to understand why your tests fail and how you can improve them in the next iteration.

4. Develop a Collaborative Culture

An agile marketing strategy requires open communication throughout the team at all times. Managers must keep their doors open and encourage new ideas. Agile marketing requires using every last drop of each employee’s creativity and know-how. A closed culture will never be able to make agile work.

Building an effective agile marketing team from scratch is no easy task. You need to fundamentally change the way your employees think about marketing. You need to ensure that they have the right tools. Finally, you need to make sure that they have the right mindset to truly collaborate and remain open to new ideas.