Agile Marketing: Short Term Sprints for Long-Term Success

Stay ahead of the game and adapt to your customers' needs with agile marketing.

The lowdown on agile marketing

In the world of content marketing, staying agile is a must. The market changes rapidly, and audience expectations are constantly evolving. Pair that with the ever-growing number of channels and content types you have to keep up with, and it seems impossible to keep your head above water sometimes.

We've all been there. After spending what seems like eons crafting the perfect marketing campaign, things change, and your work is no longer impactful. It's a hard pill to swallow, but that's the reality of today's marketing landscape. The fact is that old-school techniques just don't cut it.

If you want to stay ahead of the game, you have to work quickly, remain flexible, and go with the market flow. Agile marketing is a unique marketing approach involving teams working collaboratively on high-impact projects that they'll continually improve over time. Instead of focusing on slow, methodical releases, it's about keeping your marketing agile and ready to adapt.

This blog will go over the basics of agile marketing strategies and show you how to implement them yourself. Let's dive in!

What is agile marketing, anyway?

Believe it or not, this technique got its start in software development. In the 1990s, software developers had to figure out a new way to pump out projects and meet the booming demand of consumers. Computers were becoming more widespread in the consumer market, and the traditional waterfall approach to software development was making most projects go over budget and way past their deadline.

Thus, the agile approach was born! Agile development was a game-changer. Not only did it speed things up, but it provided more transparency and easy adaptation.

In 2012, some forward-thinking content managers adopted the same principles to create the agile marketing approach.

So what is agile marketing? The concept is pretty simple. It's a tactical approach that shifts the priority away from individualized big-bang campaigns and towards more collaborative, high-impact projects.

It involves having teams work cooperatively over a short period to create high-value deliverables. After each burst of work, often called a "sprint," you do detailed testing to measure the project's impact and develop a new plan to improve. The goal is to use data to produce incremental improvements over time, delivering exactly what your audience needs with every sprint.

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What makes agile marketing different?

There are tons of misconceptions about this marketing approach. When you take the agile marketing definition at face value, it can seem pretty extreme! Short bursts of work and constant iterations? If you've never tried this form of marketing, it's easy to view it as the shadowy anti-planning stepbrother of the marketing industry!

But once you start to look at real-world examples of agile marketing, you'll see that it requires some careful strategizing. It's about working on the fly to develop short- and medium-term marketing plans that support a long-term vision.

That's not the only way agile marketing is different from traditional strategies.

Prioritizing frequent releases

At its core, agile marketing is super fast-paced. We're talking about maybe a few weeks to complete projects and get them out into the world. This approach doesn't cater to these over-the-top campaigns that take months to complete. You can still have those, but an agile approach would require you to break things down and build them up over time.

Frequent releases are critical because they help you adapt to changing markets. Many agile marketing examples show how continual releases make a difference. For instance, UK-based Santander bank used this approach to convince customers to download an app.

Instead of spending months preparing for a massive campaign, the marketing team spent a few thousand pounds at a time to release content. With every mini-launch, they'd see how the content resonated. They leaned on things that worked and changed things that didn't.

The final result? Santander saw the highest positive sentiment among customers in about 17 years!

Experimentation and failure

Agile marketing focuses on smaller experiments rather than putting everything on huge bets. Usually, failure is a massive problem in marketing. But when you're dealing with small and repeated launches, the impact of a less-than-stellar response isn't a huge deal. In fact, agile marketing embraces failure because it helps you mold your efforts moving forward.

Let's look at CafePress as an example. CafePress worked to make its marketing agile by turning to social media. Specialists started to handle queries through social media and interact more.

It was hit and miss, but the agile approach helped CafePress improve dramatically. Eventually, the company brought in legal and marketing teams to better understand the dos and don'ts of social media interaction.

Rapid response

Another important distinction of agile marketing is flexibility. The whole purpose of keeping things quick is to respond to market changes as they come. No more worrying about sudden shifts right before you launch a campaign you've planned for months!

Ultimately, the incremental improvements can make a huge difference. Take DoorDash, for example. DoorDash utilized an agile approach when the pandemic started. Instead of just offering food, they responded to customer needs by providing at-home test kits and beginning a campaign that assisted struggling restaurants. This approach gave the company a revenue gain of over 200 percent.

Data-driven decision making

Data is the backbone of this agile approach. It's what you use to fine-tune your campaigns with every release. There are countless ways to measure the success of your marketing efforts. Whether it's A/B testing or customer surveys, that data lets you know how your content resonates with your audience in real-time.

There are tons of agile marketing examples that show you how data can help you evolve and improve with every release. Instead of going by gut instinct, let data guide you to the light!

Collaboration towards a larger goal

Finally, the definition of agile marketing highlights the collaborative nature of this approach. Specific stakeholders can still "own" a project, but it's primarily a shared effort. There are no more traditional hierarchies or leadership silos.

That might seem a bit chaotic. But part of making your marketing agile is being transparent. It eliminates confusion and helps avoid delays. Everyone is working towards the same goal, improving productivity across the board.

Still not sure about the collaborative part of agile marketing? Take a look at Dell. After experiencing disconnect across their many marketing professionals worldwide, Dell reorganized with a focus on agile marketing. In less than a year, the company had a worldwide team working in one-month sprints. It improved efficiency and created more cohesion across campaigns.

How to implement agile marketing

Ready to try agile marketing yourself? There are many different formats you can try. We won't get into the specifics of the manifesto here. But there are four tenets you need to implement a shift towards agile strategies.

Short-term sprints

Sprints are how long your team has to work on each new release of marketing content. Typically, it's between two and six weeks. Anything more than that, and you will need to split things up. Remember: This is about working fast and over a short period. Working longer on a project will give you less wiggle room to adapt in later iterations.

Brief check-in meetings

Here's where the transparency comes in. Every agile marketing strategy should include daily stand-up meetings that last no more than 15 minutes. During this meeting, every member of your team will check in to go over what they did yesterday, what they're doing today and any setbacks they encountered. Thanks to the collaborative environments, these meetings are great for finding solutions to issues.


Cooperation is a non-negotiable requirement. Everyone should work on their little piece of the puzzle to contribute to the bigger picture. Ensure that every team member fully understands their tasks and contribution to the campaign from the very beginning, so that confusion and blockers are avoided down the line.

Workflow tracking

Lastly, you can't forget tracking. A centralized software platform to manage the workflow and keep everyone on track is necessary. It should be easy to access and transparent. On Collato, for example, you can generate ideas, develop a plan, determine the required resources, and estimate campaign metrics with the entire team on a single platform.

Give agile marketing a shot

There you have it! Agile marketing can seem a bit foreign to those used to working in a more traditional setting. The old-school way of doing things was acceptable back then. But the market is a lot different now, and keeping your marketing agile is proven to be extremely effective.

This technique helps you keep up with the changing landscape and deliver what your customers want every time. Bit by bit, you can create a fantastic campaign that works. Give it a try and see what kind of a difference being agile can make!

Learn more about agile marketing


What is agile marketing?
Agile marketing is an approach that requires teams to work on impactful projects in short sprints. It involves quick releases and constant data analysis. With every iteration, you improve the campaign to support long-term marketing goals.
Why is agile marketing important?
Agile marketing is essential because it helps you keep up with changing markets. It helps you remain flexible in your marketing efforts, ensuring that you're always one step ahead of the curve. An agile approach helps you move with the market.
What is the agile marketing manifesto?
The agile marketing manifesto is a set of guidelines to govern this unique approach. It was developed in 2012 over two days of meetings involving marketing professionals. The tenets of the manifesto still apply, but agile marketing is flexible enough to work for most organizations.
What are some examples of agile marketing?
There are numerous examples of this unique form of marketing. Any company that chooses to continually update its efforts uses an agile approach. Some of the most famous examples include Dell, General Mills, and IBM. These companies shifted away from large-scale campaigns to create smaller content they can adapt over time.