What is Marketing Agility?


How many times have you seen one company as compared to another, or one public sector agency as compared to the many, leapfrog ahead and position themselves as ‘a’ or ‘the’ market leader relative to what they are providing?  

Can we think of some examples? Of course, we can.  Amazon, Google, UBER, Airbnb, you can probably name a bunch of them just like I can. 

Companies such as these above have proven, over and over again that:

  • Business disruption is an ART, not a Process
  • There is NO Silver Bullet to Marketing Agility
  • Obstacles to Great Marketing includes NOT planning ahead, a LACK of coordination of work, LITTLE TO NO holistic thinking and LITTLE to NO ITERATIVE CHECKING on Deliverables

So, what ARE these companies and agencies doing that sets them apart? As you might imagine, there are many ingredients within their so-called ‘secret Marketing Agility sauce’, but they all seem to have certain ones in common. Here are some of them.

1) VISIBILITY to the work. Marketing agility means first and foremost giving the ‘doers’ access to what and who is doing what. This can be via software tools, whether be collaboration and velocity acceleration ALM “weapons”- such as Metronome- and Rentouch’s PI Planning app, or manual visuals. 

2) PROACTIVE COORDINATION across teams to make collaboration impactful. As most of us know, better visibility drives better collaboration. And better collaboration drives more results.

3) ADJUSTING team’s behaviors to be MORE cross functional and less ‘swim lane’ focused. 

4) BUILDING feedback loops so people feel ‘SAFe’ (to use a pun) when they share constructive criticism without repercussion

When these elements are part of a Marketing organizations ecosystem, it is quite amazing how self-aware they become and how agile and impactful their marketing campaigns can be.

As one of the foremost proponents of Business Agility, the founder and visionary behind the Scaled Agile Framework (‘SAFe’), Dean Leffingwell, said at the Agile 2019 conference [21-August, 2019], ‘Business Agility includes Organizational Agility. Its about the people, what they do. Its about continuous improvement’’. And he ties in Marketing Agility with Strategy agility. Dean said Strategy Agility “is the ability to sense the market, make a change, or persist. When the leading indicators start to say that this is not going to play out, you need to be able to change your business direction.”

Doesn’t seem like Rocket Science, does it?

Simply put, having an agile strategy and an agile marketing focus means being able to listen to what the market is saying and being able to adapt and change- quickly.

One solid source of marketing agility ‘nuggets’ comes from our Google friends. As part of one of their recent articles, they suggest that 2020 be the year where your marketing teams:

1) Provide context for your metrics. Context is everything. Stop just sharing ‘numbers’ and ensure that the ones that you do state are relative to other numbers.

2) Stop making common data reporting mistakes. For example, don’t state reporting percentages alone. Instead marry the percentages with the most relevant raw numbers.

3) Learn to adapt on the fly. This is a huge one! Marketing agility ‘happens’ when teams stop waiting until the end of their marketing campaigns to make adjustments. They Adjust WHILE the campaign is early and continue to adapt, learning the entire time.


So, there you have it. A statement, a bold one, something that says “We, the People of Marketing, are hereby saying to the World that We:

  • Will be Different!
  • Will be Nimble!
  • ‘WILL’ be the Personification of Marketing Agility! 

And YOU, our company’s/agencies’ leadership, ‘will’ enable us to be so because we will be able to deliver our value proposition MORE

  • RAPIDLY to MORE potential buyers!
  • CLEARLY to differentiate our solutions, software and services!
  • EFFECTIVELY, resulting in increased business at our competitors EXPENSE!

In summary, if you and your marketing team(s) REALLY WANT and NEED to get your messages ‘out there’ to drive more sales, close more business and deliver MORE value, then you have to FOCUS more on your team’s Marketing Agility.

As SOLOMON said 5000 years ago (or was it Confucius? I get those two guys mixed up!)

“After all, the degree to which technology, teams and customers are changing is only going to accelerate!”

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