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People tend to say that Agile Marketing is simply derived from Software Engineering, but that’s not true.
The truth is, Agile Marketing did originate from software companies and a lot of definitions of AM are borrowed from agile software development.
Agile is, first of all, a demand-driven process of delivering services and goods. It’s opposite is a ‘supply-driven’ process, when you’re trying to sell what you already have produced. In manufacturing, Agile lets the company not to store product for years.

Unsold Volkswagens. Photo: Wikipedia (public domain)

Unsold Volkswagens is not Agile! Photo: Wikipedia (public domain)

The demand-driven team is the one who:
– understands demand and
– is able to react quickly to satisfy it.
The demand-driven team can’t have a cycle of reaction longer than the distance between market changes.
This causes a popular “agility” dogma, saying that “smaller is almost always better”: the smaller tasks you do, the faster you can compare results and stick to what works for you.

There is one thing an agile process can’t take place without.
FEEDBACK. Real-time customer feedback gives you an ability to create a flexible and fast delivery, responding to that feedback.

Ideal projects for agile marketing

Some marketing projects are just ideal for agile: for example, if your project
– has a stable team(s),
– can be easily broken down into smaller pieces/tasks,
– has a perpetual output (which you can test and measure) – like email marketing, content marketing, followers’ growth, etc. – then you can stick with agile.
If you can’t so easily break up your project, then you need a hybrid methodology or something different at all: this applies to global campaigns, new product launches, etc.

Agile Marketing and Product-Focused Agile

This is all great, but looks similar to Agile Software Development, or Product-focused Agile.
The difference between Product-Focused Agile and Agile Marketing is that Agile Marketing responds to multiple “customers” within company, such as engineering teams, strategy and legal teams, etc.
Agile Marketing also requires frequent references to competitors – how they work, which messages they send to customers.

Is Scrum a Competitor to Agile?

While Agile is more of a philosophy, Scrum is a “…framework for developing and sustaining complex products”, as it is stated in the Scrum Guide.
Scrum was originally developed for software development, but it can be adapted for digital marketing teams too.
Scrum describes how to set up a small team, how to build relations with business owners and stakeholders and how to defend the team from any distractions (this is the work of Product Owner).
Also, we should mention that a team with Scrum always has a backlog of all tasks. You can learn more about Scrum at the Scrum Alliance website.