Agile Applied to Marketing


Web Marketing at Keypath Education

Kelly O’Connor

You can contact me at @

Agile Marketing

How do I apply it?

What is it?

Why is it beneficial?

What is Agile Marketing?


Agile is a set of values and principles, applied to marketing, in which teams…

  • focus efforts on high value projects
  • complete projects cooperatively
  • measure impact
  • iteratively improve results over time

Adapted from Software

Agile Objectives

Agile provides a framework for organizing teams and projects, managing daily work, and measuring impact of activities.

Agile enables quick decisions and improved productivity.


  • improve speed
  • predictability
  • transparency
  • adaptability to change

  • Validated learning over opinions and conventions
  • Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
  • Adaptive and iterative campaigns over big-bang campaigns
  • Process of customer discovery over static prediction
  • Flexible versus rigid planning
  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Many small experiments over a few large bets

Agile Values

From the Agile Marketing Manifesto...

  • Collaboration over silos and hierarchy
  • Transparency
  • Numerous small experiments
  • Adjustment and adaptation (responding to change)
  • Testing and data
  • Feedback loop: review, reflect, repeat

Agile Principles

Guiding Principles

“Done is better than perfect.”

Why Agile Marketing?


The SEO and digital marketing landscape is in constant flux. Agile enables digital marketers to…

  • adapt to change in a dynamic industry
  • iteratively improve to meet evolving market conditions
  • leverage data to monitor campaigns, tune performance, and quickly source new opportunities

Agile Aligns with Digital

Employees working in agile environments report greater job satisfaction and pride in their work. This means more output, improved outcomes, better employee retention, and happier managers and teams. Inf fact, 87% of agile CMOs have found their teams to be more productive following the transition to agile (Forbes).

High Performing and Happy Teams

Marketing Depts who consider themselves agile are 3x more likely to grow market share.

Market Share

87% of marketers said their teams were more productive using agile.


93% of marketers said adopting agile helped improve speed to market.


Agile Benefits

  • Helps prioritize most impactful/revenue driving projects
  • Easier to measure and prove ROI
  • Better understanding of what’s working and not working
  • Creates process for scaling successful activities
  • Greater efficiency and speed in execution
  • Less time in meetings!

Marketing-Specific Benefits

“What you can’t measure, you can’t improve.”


Brands using agile








Applying Agile


Methodologies: scrum, lean, kanban: adapt to fit your business

  • Work organized into sprints lasting 2-4 weeks
  • Team maintains project backlog
  • User stories define projects for each sprint
  • Stories are estimated to determine effort
  • Taskboard/tracking system organizes work
  • Daily stand up meetings monitor progress
  • Retrospectives enable teams to evaluate and adapt

Process and Ceremonies

Agile Basics

  • Minimize build stage, small campaign or A/B test before scaling
  • Revenue focus for prioritization
  • Define hypothesis for what the campaign will achieve
  • Define success metrics up front
  • Scale iteratively (retrospectives)
  • Repurpose across channels (SEO, PPC, social etc)
  • Determine best configuration and needed adaptations for larger teams

Marketing Specific Adaptations

  • Research into the agile process and/or training
  • Commitment to patience and working through the bumps
  • Foundational decisions like duration of sprints
  • Sprint planning sessions, standups and retrospectives
  • Project or task tracking system
  • Decisions about team configuration

What you need...

Agile Toolkit



One size doesn’t fit all


Design your agile program in a way that makes sense for your business.

“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.”

Any questions?



KCM August '17 Agile Marketing - Google Slides