Driving Marketing Agility and Innovation – Are You in the Driver’s Seat?

We hear a lot about Agile these days. This new trend is said to be changing company culture, breaking down barriers between departments, replacing outdated marketing plans and most of all pushing to escalate marketing innovation.

On Wednesday, April 24, The Calgary Marketing Association gathered a panel of Calgary based marketers from four different industries, who each perform different roles within their companies. And, each of these companies is at different stages of adapting and exercising Agile Marketing.

The intention of this exercise was to:

  • Define the characteristics and benefits of an agile marketing environment.
  • Confirm what’s needed to implement this approach within an organization, and
  • Provide some real-life tangible examples of how this approach has succeeded.
From left to right – Moderator, Gisele Danis of Honeycomb Solutions, Sona Khosla of Benevity, Marc Binkley of Anstice Communications, Ryan Hall of Bordeaux Properties and Marney St. John of Travel Alberta

Along with definitions and real-life examples came Key Principles of marketing agility and innovation. Some of these surprising, and some a simple reminder; they are as follows:

  • Our customers remain our highest priority through early and continuous delivery of marketing that solves their problems.
  • We welcome and plan for change. We believe that our ability to quickly respond to change is a source of competitive advantage.
  • We must deliver marketing programs frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
  • Great marketing requires close alignment with business people, sales, and development – no more silos!
  • We must build marketing programs around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • Learning, through the build-measure-learn feedback loop, is the primary measure of progress.
  • Sustainable marketing requires keeping a constant pace and pipeline.
  • We can’t be afraid to fail; just don’t fail the same way twice.
  • Continuous attention to marketing fundamentals and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity is essential.

A round table dialogue of panel members and audience that took place after the panel discussion created some more magic!

A few of the AHA’s and takeaways from these discussions were:

  • Plan for the Year but be Agile – be ready to move.
  • Create a culture that allows failure and learn from that. Be willing to take risks!
  • Build your network – have your stakeholders on board.
  • Be agile influencers within your company not just agile marketers – remember the importance of relationships.
  • There is a difference between Agile as in flexible and Agile as in a process.
  • Agility means being prepared – Know your client, know your subject matter.

Huge Thanks to Mark’s for being our Platinum Sponsor of this event.

Thanks to Tool Shed Brewing Company for being our Beer Sponsor.

Thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn for providing a great location and really good food!

About the Author

Jan Wood is Vice President of the Calgary Marketing Association and heads up Events and Sponsorship. With over 20 years in the marketing profession both in Canada and Internationally and primarily in product development, Jan offers consulting in the education, health and oil & gas sectors, and is always looking for a cheap flight to somewhere fascinating!