Traditional vs Agile marketing

 3/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
Views: 8,835
5 Minutes, 10 Second
 Written By John Marx

Traditional vs Agile marketing

We find that companies that are customer focused, wanting to change their brand image, and are looking for results faster (can you say typically lower costs???) will utilize agile marketing as part of their marketing efforts.

Agile marketing is focused on the customer, uses validated learning, works in short and adaptive iterations, and encourages cross-functional collaboration between departments. Whereas Traditional marketing will focus on spin, controlling the message, and owning the brand. In this article, we are going to cover some of the core basis points to start showing how being agile can produce more results and better engage your customer.

The Roots

The birth of "agile" started in the software development industry. Software development, like marketing, was often done in "silos" which inhibited growth and team collaboration. In 2001, a team a software developers go together and came up with the guiding principles of what it meant to be agile. The four leading principles of agile are:

  • Validated learning over opinions and conventions
  • Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
  • Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaigns
  • Flexibility instead of rigid planning

The agile movement fits with the speed and creative thinking required for implementing effective, opportunity-grabbing inbound marketing campaigns. Agile marketing teams adapt quickly to changing needs and implement solutions much faster than traditional marketing frameworks allow.

Customer Focused

With Agile marketing, you are no longer thinking of your sales cycle. You will now be more focused on the customer’s buying process. Agile marketing is rooted in knowing that your customers will not fit down a single path like a traditional sales funnel process. By focusing on the customers buying process rather than walking someone solely down the sales funnel you are creating opportunity for the customer to be deeply involved in the entire sales process.

By being agile and adaptive you can work more quickly with your customers and adapt to what works for them. By doing this you will do items that those in traditional marketing will shy away from. Not because they don’t see the value in it but because they are afraid to push the envelope away from the business controlling the message but rather the customer controlling the message. By focusing on the customer first your audience will engage with your brand more.

Mix things up

Traditional marketing treats customers as molds of clay. This means marketers will mold the market and the customer for their idea. This puts the company in control rather than the customer. Under Agile marketing we turn everything on its proverbial head by using a series of experiments, forming a reasonable hypothesis of what is believed to work, and then testing the hypothesis.

Traditional marketing is either success or failure. In traditional, a large amount of capital is always spent. When this happens, the information is always put in the most positive light to show positive results and is almost never seen as a failure.

With Agile marketing, we look at the information using a more scientific method. With short and adaptive cycles, we quickly learn which hypothesis worked and didn’t work. Information is presented transparently and a failure is a learning opportunity to improve the hypothesis.

Short and Adaptive Iterations over Large Marketing Campaigns

With Traditional marketing, everything progresses with a series of marketing campaigns. These campaigns are typically quarterly or yearly marketing campaigns. These are often big events with the thought that the big idea will launch into an enormous success.

Agile marketing believes in doing a series of short "sprints" (no we’re not running but it may seem that way). A sprint is typically 2-4 weeks long. The emphasis is on getting a "good enough" idea out to your customers, testing it, and perfecting it over time rather than hoping you nailed it and only have one choice.

Validated Learning

Agile marketing turns Traditional marketing on its head. Both processes have a set of goals and a purpose. Agile allows you to more quickly adjust those goals to changes in the market. Rather than looking backward at items that have worked in the past Agile marketing uses a combination of known techniques that work as well as allowing for a small percentage of the marketing effort to be toward more modern techniques.

Increased Communication

With Traditional marketing a campaign is started, you do some monitoring during the campaign, and then do a lot to quantify and justify the campaign at the end so that you can start the next marketing campaign.

In agile with the shorter sprints you can adjust on a faster basis. With this faster cadence, all stake holders are involved in the process. Change happens at a rapid succession. This means not only changes happen faster but the teams all must communicate more.


Agile marketing has been popular in the digital world over the past few years due to its ability to engage more with the customer rather than the business making the market mend to their thoughts. Now, bigger companies are taking agile strategies and applying them to their marketing teams. While this strategy won’t be for everyone, it can be highly effective in the right places.

If you are ready to work with a team that is constantly redesigning marketing within Northwest Indiana and beyond the team at JM2 Webdesigners is here to assist you. With our non-traditional approach, we work to build engagement in every non-traditional way possible. You can reach us at @BUSINESSPHONETOLLFREE@, email at @BUSINESSEMAILADDRESS@, or through our online contact form here.