Living the agile marketing values: A do’s and don’ts guide

Collaboration over siloes. Experiments over opinions. These are just agile marketing values to live by

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If you’re looking for some actionable ways to live out the agile marketing values in your everyday work life, we’ve put together this handy guide for you to share and discuss with your team.

Value #1: Focusing on customer value and business outcomes over activity and outputs


  • Discuss desired outcomes before beginning any work.
  • Measure success at early intervals. Did the tactic perform as expected?
  • Be willing to pivot and change work that under-performs.
  • Double down on high-performing marketing.
  • Have team members focus on collaborating to finish all pieces of work (writing, design, etc)  and have it customer-ready.


  • Reward people for output or hours worked.
  • Work on things just because they are in the plan.
  • Measure teams on the number of stories they did – often less is more!
  • Focus on tasks of individual roles.

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Value #2: Delivering value early and often over waiting for perfection


  • Think in terms of minimally viable; what’s the simplest version we can get out there that still meets our desired outcome?
  • Reduce the number of hand-offs and sign-offs needed to go live.
  • See where you can repurpose existing content and images.
  • Consider delivering what you have now, but adding the bells and whistles later (maybe your website just needs to be usable, but it can have more functionality later).
  • Can a non-expert pitch in and help? Perhaps you don’t need your best designer for some simpler pieces.


  • Get caught up in analysis paralysis.
  • Spend too much time with upfront planning.
  • Wait until you have the ‘expert’ available if that person is in high demand.
  • Have an all or nothing approach to getting work in front of customers.

Value #3: Learning through experiments and data over opinions and conventions


  • Allow teams to experiment, even if they may get it wrong the first time.
  • Use A/B testing or other methods to learn how customers react.
  • Give people time for brainstorming and creative thinking of new ideas.
  • Show leaders the data behind a campaign’s performance, and use that to make decisions around future work.


  • Keep doing what you’ve always done without questioning why.
  • Overload teams with deliverables or they won’t have time to experiment.
  • Be afraid to take risks and be wrong.
  • Take on work because a very important person thinks it’s a good idea if it’s not what customers are looking for.

Value #4: Cross-functional collaboration over silos and hierarchies


  • Form agile marketing teams with cross-functional skill sets in order to create fully customer-ready marketing initiatives.
  • Allow team members to work outside of their job title, rather than only within their specialization.
  • Encourage the entire team to be responsible for all aspects of work.


  • Form teams with a lot of external dependencies.
  • Wait for the ‘expert’ to do work if it bottlenecks your team.
  • Create sub-teams within your team, handing off work from person to person rather than everyone collaborating.

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Value #5: Responding to change over following a static plan


  • Keep changing your marketing backlog (prioritized list of future work) as you learn more from past campaign performance, customer feedback or market/environmental conditions.
  • Create quarterly roadmaps that show your campaign plans, but continually discuss them with stakeholders in real-time and swap things out as change happens.
  • Discontinue work that isn’t performing as expected or creating a high degree of customer value, even if it was part of a plan.


  • Use ‘we’re agile’ as an excuse to continually insert new work at the last minute – that will actually hinder your teams’ productivity.
  • Spend too much upfront time planning work in great detail, or you may be wasting time.
  • Create plans that can never change.

Read my recent article, Living the 5 values of agile marketing and visit the Agile Marketing Manifesto for more in-depth information.

Marketing work management: A snapshot

What it is: Marketing work management platforms help marketing leaders and their teams structure their day-to-day work to meet their goals on deadline and within budget constraints, all while managing resources and facilitating communication and collaboration. Functions may include task assignments, time tracking, budgeting, team communication and file sharing, among others.

Why it’s important today. Work environments have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has heightened the need for work management tools that help marketers navigate these new workflows.

Marketers have been at work developing processes that allow them to work with those outside their own offices since marketing projects—campaigns, websites, white papers, or webinars—frequently involve working with outside sources.

Also, with marketers required to design interfaces, write content, and create engaging visual assets today, more marketers are adopting agile workflow practices, which often have features to support agile practices.

What the tools do. All of these changes have heightened the need for marketing work management software, which optimizes and documents the projects undertaken by digital marketers. They often integrate with other systems like digital asset management platforms and creative suites. But most importantly, these systems improve process clarity, transparency, and accountability, helping marketers keep work on track.

Dig deeper: What is marketing work management

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Stacey Ackerman
Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all."

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