Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 21: Agile Marketing Vs. Iterative Marketing

Agile Marketing and Iterative Marketing are both growing in popularity in the marketing industry. This podcast explains Agile Marketing, how it differs from Iterative Marketing and how the two solve a lot of the same problems for marketers.

Episode Show Notes

Introduction to Agile vs. Iterative Marketing

(0:00 – 2:42) Introduction To Iterative Marketing Podcast: Welcome to the Iterative Marketing Podcast, where, each week, hosts Steve Robinson and Elizabeth Earin provide marketers and entrepreneurs with actionable ideas, techniques, and examples to improve marketing results. 

The topic of this episode is agile vs. iterative marketing, where we will discuss the origins of agile, define agile marketing, compare agile and iterative marketing, and explain why we prefer the iterative marketing methodology.

The resources discussed on the show can be found at, which includes a blog and a LinkedIn group for community interaction.

The History of Agile

(2:42 – 5:05) Agile in Software Development:

  • Origins: Agile methodologies emerged in the mid-1990s as a response to the inefficient waterfall approach to software development.
  • Agile Manifesto: In 2001, 17 software developers published the Agile Manifesto, which outlined a set of values and principles to guide future software development practices.
  • Adoption: Agile methodologies quickly gained traction and are now widely used in software development.

(5:05 – 6:07) Scrum and Sprints:

  • Scrum: A core method used in Agile software development, Scrum is a structured framework with a specific set of meetings, vocabulary, and cadence for developing software.
  • Sprints: Scrum involves dividing work into time-boxed periods called sprints, during which developers write code and evaluate progress at the end.

(6:07 – 9:22)  Agile in Marketing: Agile marketing emerged from Agile software development, with marketing thought leaders seeking to apply Agile principles to their field for improved efficiency and adaptability.

Agile Marketing Manifesto

  • Sprint Zero: In 2010, marketing leaders like Jim Ewell, John Cass, and Travis Arnold hosted Sprint Zero, where they wrote the Agile Marketing Manifesto.
  • Adaptation: The Agile Marketing Manifesto adapts the values and principles from Agile software development to suit a marketing context.

Agile Marketing Adoption

  • Recent Growth: In recent years, Agile marketing has gained popularity due to its potential to solve common marketing challenges and support shared values.
  • Variability: Agile marketing is still relatively new, leading to variability in how it’s practiced and adopted among different companies.

Challenges in Agile Marketing Adoption

  • Newness: Agile marketing is newer than Agile software development, contributing to its slower adoption and lack of standardization.
  • Limited Adoption: Agile marketing is popular in technology-centered companies but less common outside of that sphere, potentially due to its association with Agile practices in other areas of the organization.
  • Differing Approaches: Agile marketing practitioners disagree on the best way to apply the methodology, with some using Scrum and others borrowing from lean manufacturing and Kanban approaches.

(9:22 – 13:19) The Values of Agile Marketing: Agile Marketing Manifesto lists seven values that provide a shared set of beliefs for practitioners. Agile marketing values align with the fundamental truths of Iterative marketing, highlighting a shared mindset between the two methodologies.

The seven values of the Agile Marketing Manifesto:

  1. Validated learning over opinions and conventions
  2. Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
  3. Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big Bang campaigns
  4. The process of customer discovery over static prediction
  5. Flexible versus rigid planning
  6. Responding to change over following a plan
  7. Many small experiments over a few large bets

Key Differences Between Agile and Iterative Marketing

  • Campaigns vs. Programs: Agile marketers favor a series of small campaigns with feedback loops, while Iterative marketers prefer continuous sustainable programs with data-driven adjustments.
  • Time Boxing: Agile marketing employs time-boxed sprints with set start and end dates, which contrasts with the more fluid approach of Iterative marketing.

Charity Outreach

(13:19 – 14:05) Charity Break: Union Gospel Mission Center for Women and Children

The Principles of Agile Marketing 

(14:05 – 15:56) Agile Marketing Principles: There are 10 key principles of Agile Marketing:

  1. Satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of marketing that solves problems.
  2. Welcome and plan for change, leveraging the ability to respond quickly as a competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver marketing programs frequently, with a preference for shorter timescales.
  4. Maintain close alignment with business people, sales, and development.
  5. Build marketing programs around motivated individuals, providing the necessary support and trusting them to get the job done.
  6. Use the build-measure-learn feedback loop as the primary measure of progress.
  7. Maintain a constant pace and pipeline for sustainable marketing.
  8. Embrace failure, but avoid repeating the same mistakes.
  9. Give continuous attention to marketing fundamentals and good design to enhance agility.
  10. Prioritize simplicity.

The Differences Between Agile and Iterative Marketing Practices

(15:56 – 17:47) Key Differences: The differences between Agile and Iterative marketing mainly revolve around timeboxing marketing programs and the level of alignment with software development teams. While Agile marketing is more suited for organizations with Agile software development practices, Iterative marketing can be applied to any industry or organization in need of marketing efforts.

Time Boxing Marketing Programs: Agile marketing prefers shorter timescales for marketing programs, while Iterative marketing encourages continuous efforts without timeboxing.

Close Alignment with Development: Agile marketing emphasizes close alignment with business people, sales, and development, indicating its suitability for organizations already practicing Agile within software development. On the other hand, Iterative marketing is applicable to any industry and organization requiring marketing.

The Benefits of Iterative Marketing in Agile Marketing

(17:47 – 19:57) Iterative Marketing Supporting Agile Principles: Pairing Iterative marketing with Agile marketing allows organizations to empower marketers and provide them with a deeper understanding of the audience and intent. As a result, marketers can create more successful and tailored campaigns, driving better results for the organization.

  • Empowering Marketers: Agile marketing calls for building marketing programs around motivated individuals and providing them with the support and environment they need. Iterative marketing further enhances this principle by equipping marketers with tools and knowledge to make better decisions.
  • Understanding the Audience and Intent: Iterative marketing provides marketers with personas, customer journey maps, and insights into the purpose of their campaigns. This helps them create more effective and targeted marketing strategies.

(19:57 – 22:10) Why Choose Iterative Marketing Over Agile Marketing? While Agile marketing shares some common principles with Iterative marketing, the latter is better suited for addressing marketing-specific problems. By focusing on Iterative marketing, marketers can leverage a methodology that is designed to provide tailored solutions for their unique challenges, leading to better marketing outcomes.

  • Different Origins: Agile marketing has its roots in software development and was designed to solve problems specific to that field. Marketing, however, has its unique set of challenges that may not be directly addressed by Agile marketing.
  • Tailored Solutions: Iterative marketing is designed specifically for marketing problems, providing solutions that are more relevant and applicable to the marketing industry. This makes it a more fitting approach for addressing marketing challenges.

(22:10 – 25:10) Can Agile and Iterative Marketing Work Together? While there may be some minor adaptations needed to combine Agile and Iterative marketing methodologies, it is possible that the two can work together to improve marketing performance within an organization. We encourage those practicing Agile marketing to reach out and share their experiences, so they can further understand how the methodologies might complement each other.

  • Shared Foundations: Both methodologies share a similar foundation and belief system, with strong correlations between their values and principles.
  • Different Focal Points: Agile marketing is centered around how to run a marketing department, while Iterative marketing focuses on improving the delivery of marketing by empowering and enabling marketing teams.

Adapting Iterative Marketing to Agile by Incorporating Sprints: Agile marketing is built around Sprints and time-boxed feedback loops. To combine Iterative marketing with Agile, marketers would need to adapt Iterative marketing by aligning iterations, optimizations, and creative changes with Agile’s Sprint schedule.

Join Us Next Time

(25:10 – 26:20Conclusion: This week we discovered the Agile Marketing methodology and discussed why we prefer the Iterative Marketing approach. Next week, we’ll discuss the importance of statistics in your marketing strategy.

Have a great week and we’ll see you next time. This concludes this week’s episode. For notes and links to resources discussed on the show, sign up to the Brilliant Metrics newsletter.

Iterative Marketing is a part of the Brilliant Metrics organization. If you would like more information on the marketing services provided by the expert team at Brilliant Metrics, reach out today for a free discovery call.

The Iterative Marketing Podcast,  a production of Brilliant Metrics, ran from February 2016 to September 2017. Music by SeaStock Audio.

Learn more about Iterative Marketing and listen to other episodes on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

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