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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

Are you Agile or Chasing Squirrels?

Good marketing often has a lot of the characteristics of the agile methodology that's used, that was created for software development, but it's used in other fast-changing and, and innovation related functions. If you're not familiar with it, go and look it up. But it's essentially the idea that you focus on just a short period of time. You do the minimum amount of work you have to do today to take that next step in your, in your project, in a marketing's case your campaigns. And then you stop and look at what happened, and you learn from that and you adjust.

So, it's a lot of iteration and flexibility and openness to change. However, agile is different from chasing squirrels, and I've found that sometimes very visionary oriented people can get those two confused. And so I wanna just clarify how the agile methodology shows itself in your marketing organization.

Priorities and Backlog

First, you have priorities and you have backlog your priorities. It's a very, very short list of the things you're doing, you're actively working on today in your marketing. And everything else is a prioritized, a ranked list of backlog. So, marketing organizations that are practicing agile ideas have a short list of things that they're actively working on and are very focused on and are able to be successful because that list is so small.

Able to say no

Secondly, organizations that have an agile bend to them are able to say no. They make choices. And even though they want to do things or the things that are very attractive and seem appealing, they realize they'll be more successful with that short list of prioritized programs. And they turn down very exciting and attractive ideas so they can do them later when they have time.

Avoid shiny objects

And then finally, related to this, organizations with a good agile focus, avoid shiny objects. This is especially important in marketing because marketing can be fun, kind of sexy, right? The big ads or the big events, the things that look good and feel good are shiny sometimes, right? So you gotta go back to that prioritization process. Stay resist the temptation and stay focused on the most important things that you're committed to do later on. There may be time for those really fun, shiny things.

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