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What marketers can learn from Agile Programming

Hopefully I haven’t already lost half of you creative-types by uttering the word “programming.” Stay with me – this is a chat for right-brained folks. I’m convinced that the business and marketing worlds need to be listening to nerds more often. Like the Open Source Movement (of which we’ve already sang the praises), Agile Development is more philosophy than technical practice. It spotlights people, communication, and action over bureaucracy and red-tape. The Agile Manifesto emphasizes:

Individuals and interactions (over processes and tools)

People are more important than processes. Marketing will always work better if it is build around people instead of a product. Create more people-centric campaigns by

Working software (over comprehensive documentation)

Do more and speculate less. Gaggles of would-be great campaigns have been maimed beyond recognition because of focus-group-choke. Why do you see so many web apps in beta? Because Agile Programming says “Put it out there, let them play with it, listen, and tweak based on what the users say.”

Customer collaboration (over contract negotiation)

It’s not uncommon for a developer and a non-techie customer to sit in a room and co-create a product together. What an incredibly frightening and awesome idea. South African winery Stormhoek joined the blogging community and let consumer bloggers carry their brand with them. As a result, they’re about to hit a five-fold sales increase in two years. Denise Wymore once said that if a credit union wants to appeal to Gen-Y, they need to elect one to their board of directors. I couldn’t agree more.

Responding to change (over following a plan)

If you create a plan that cannot shift down the line, you’ll end up hitting a dead-end. Digital and interactive marketing are the best plays here because they allow you to react in real-time to the people you’re speaking with.

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