The term ‘agile’ has moved from being a descriptor for someone or something that moves quickly and easily to becoming a state of mind and a way of working that all businesses should aim for. Previously written off as a buzzword, agile is a key driver of success in all areas of a business, and in particular, for marketers.

At its core, agile marketing is about having the correct data in order to make decisions quickly, which necessitates that your marketing technology collects what you need. This includes customer data but also broader industry and market information. An integrated approach requires an understanding of what triggers data changes and that the team can collaborate quickly to operationalise changes.

A great example of a company who seems to be embracing agile marketing is Apple. Their quick decision-making skills and attention to their customers and markets through the right channels makes the process of reaching their target audience a smooth process.

But how can agile move from a buzzword to a driver of tangible change for the rest of the business? By associating it with ROI. At a basic level, if you were able to clearly identify the impact working in an agile way has on your business, there will be a stronger case to move more towards process and structure that supports. This could be by implementing monitoring and measurement tools, or by getting regular feedback from all departments in your business.

Agile marketing now is a little like ‘digital marketing’ was 5 years ago. There were dedicated digital teams that worked separately, and it was quite often a ‘bolt-on’ to the overall marketing strategy. Now, it is fully integrated throughout everything. In the long-term, it will be the same with agile marketing.

If we were to look to the future, and what an agile marketing department of the future will look like, it paints a pretty positive view. There will not be a designated ‘agile’ team, it will simply be a way of working. An agile approach requires data and knowledge at its very core, and in the future this will take up a much larger part of the strategy and decision making process.

Technology and teams need to be integrated. They need to work in tandem whilst listening to the customer, and understand that siloed departments will slowly cease to exist. The future of agile marketing looks promising, if everyone in the business gets involved.


By Irina Jakovleva, Director of Global Marketing at Lionbridge.

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