The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Competitive Advantage


"The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage" ushers in the "Age of the Marketer" by adopting Agile principles to help marketers bridge technology silos, implement projects faster, and utilize customer feedback for greater success in an unpredictable future.

The Agile Marketer

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The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage, according to Roland Smart, is about ushering a new “Age of the Marketer” complete with a new purpose and toolset. Specifically, the book discusses how marketers can get ahead of the trends through collaboration, flexibility, and a powerful shift in mindset.

What is The Agile Marketer Is About

Marketers, according to The Agile Marketer, are facing an increasingly complex and evolving marketplace. On one side of this marketplace, you have customers who have more control, more options, and less time. On the other side of the “marketing department”, which is often tasked with reaching out to these customers with a myriad of constantly evolving tools (often with little to no help from other departments).

In short, there is a big gap between where marketing is and where it could be.

It’s why marketing is so hard in the “Age of Customers” in the first place. Technology, globalization, and attitudes are all changing the ways marketers and customers interact. While many books have attempted to make sense of those, most stick to one of two solutions:

1. Focusing on vague concepts like “engagement”
2. Attempting to prove ROI through numbers (aka metrics).

Unlike the above options, The Agile Marketer says marketers need to change their process in order to survive. The specific process the book endorsed is the Agile process, an approach adopted from software development that focuses on incremental changes based on feedback, collaboration, and flexibility.

Using the Agile marketing approach, marketers don’t focus on broadcasting their message to the largest audience possible, as in the past. The goal is customer nurturing using technology and products that are fine-tuned for efficiency. The key is having marketers with cross-functional support and a deep knowledge of current and prospective clients. In this scenario, marketing serves as a bridge to customers, rather than a byproduct, of product development

Roland Smart breaks all of this down into a marketing context through the book demonstrating how a company can adopt the Agile approach and a particular specialized approach within the Agile framework known as Kanban.

Roland Smart is the current VP of Social & Community Marketing with Oracle after serving in executive-level businesses (some of which he founded) and board member for several topics related to marketing.

What Was Best About The Agile Marketer

The best part of The Agile Marketer is the new approach offered by marketers in a rather confusing environment. As noted above, most books focus on either vague concepts or metrics as the key to marketing success. The Agile Marketer book argues that neither metrics or enhancing your engagement isn’t enough. Businesses need the right process (in this Agile) to make use of customer data and drive engagement.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The book does a rather thorough job of breaking down how a business could implement Agile processes in their business. That being said, the book isn’t a beginner’s guide to using the Agile approach. Rather it is a discussion of the key components and rationale for using it.

In other words, Roland Smart makes the case for using Agile. He doesn’t detail how to tailor it a reader’s specific needs.

Why Read The Agile Marketer

If you are a marketing executive who wants to improve the efficiency of your marketing team, The Agile Marketer will introduce you to the philosophy and need for an adaptive and customer-oriented marketing approach rather than a “Let’s just make funny cat videos and hope someone clicks on our link” approach. The Agile Marketer provides a strategic alternative that will work with books like Hooked: How to Create Habit-Forming Products or The Three-Box Strategy: A Strategy for Leading Innovation. If you ever wanted to see how continuous innovation would look on a day-to-day level, this book might provide some guidance on the approach to get started.

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Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.

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