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Reasons to step out of the Waterfall

Hey everyone! This is my first post as the new graphic designer for JLB Works, LLC. I have a history of graphic design in B2B, B2B2C, and B2C Marketing in everything from an SAAS (Software as a Solution) company serving the agriculture equipment industry, to working with email and social marketing for fortune 500 companies. In all of these industries, there has been a noticeable trend in marketing approaches, adapting to fit the ever changing demands of the advertising and media of today.
The long standing “waterfall” marketing practice is no longer an effective, or even plausible way of meeting your clients needs. Media is becoming more fragmented by the minute, businesses can no longer afford to work off a six-month marketing plan. Agile marketing principals revolve around shorter iterations, allowing you to adjust and respond to immediately needs, without affecting the bigger picture.

Some Reasons to switch to agile:

•  Speed – We are working in an increasingly social and real-time arena. Everything is moving faster, and traditional approaches to marketing just can’t keep up. By shortening the iteration cycle, you can get faster results and have the option to adjust immediately to the needs of the client.
•  Priority – We all know our clients priorities change. This is even more true with the speed of today’s media. Shorter cycles allow you to constantly reprioritize your workflow to ensure that at least most of the important items are achieved.
•  Engagement – There are two specific and different audiences to engage: Your clients, and their customers. The short “sprint” cycles of agile marketing allow you to engage with your clients more regularly, adjusting to fit their needs and goals. On the customer end, there are so many ways to engage in a two-way conversation: listening and telling stories. Many new outlets for customer engagement are also much more readily measurable, so you can augment your approach and maximize engagement immediately.
•  Relevance – If there has been a bad press release with one of your clients, they cannot afford to wait a week to respond in an article on the 5th page of the local Sunday paper. Relevant news requires an immediate response to capitalize on good news/events, and to mitigate damage caused by a jogger running into a stroller outside your local clothing store.
Unfortunately, the days of planning out your very strategic approach to a marketing campaign, and seeing it through step by step, are no longer an option. You have to be not only creative, but a problem solver as well. You have to react to change on a day to day basis, without throwing away your original plans. The measurability of agile marketing will allow you to, and usually require you to constantly evaluate, adjust, and readjust your plans to compete with the speed of today’s consumers. (Here is a great post by Frank Days on agile marketing)

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