Archive for February, 2010

by Rose Holston | February 4, 2010

Agile Search Marketer

Online marketing has become a hot topic.  SEO, social media, link building, Twitter, Facebook, paid search, banner ad placement … the list goes on and on. And like Philippe Petit, famous tight rope walker, seen here crossing the Twin Towers in NYC in August 1974, expectations are high and the pressure is on for Search marketers to deliver the sought after traffic that is expected to increase visibility and ultimately convert visitors into revenue.

Ultimately everyone wants the reward but the path to success is often a mine field of obstacles that are difficult to overcome such as:

  • Time
  • Budget
  • Failed expectations
  • Dedicated staff

For an Agile Search Marketer, the above obstacles cannot exist. The challenge is finding the right balance that fits your schedule, budget and ability to invest time or resources into online marketing efforts that work.

So what is an Agile Search Marketer? There are 2 concepts that define “agility” when describing an Agile Search Marketer.

Definition of “Agile” (verb)

  1. the power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness: exercises demanding agility.
  2. the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly; intellectual acuity.

Definition of the Agile Scrum Project Management Methodology

“The Scrum project management methodology introduces the idea of “empirical process control.” That is, Scrum uses the real-world progress of a project — not a best guess or uninformed forecast — to plan and schedule releases. In Scrum, projects are divided into succinct work cadences, known as sprints, which are typically one week, two weeks, or three weeks in duration. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members meet to assess the progress of a project and plan its next steps. This allows a project’s direction to be adjusted or reoriented based on completed work, not speculation or predictions.” *Source

To think and to move quickly are important characteristics of the Agile Search Marketer but in order to become agile, it requires a journey that will change not only how you work but in how you view your online search marketing role in your business or within an organization. Search marketing is a long term commitment that involves:

  1. Ongoing discovery
  2. Project management
  3. Time management
  4. Setting expectations for yourself and for stakeholders
  5. Defining reasonable, realistic goals
  6. Measurement and testing

None of this happens overnight. Becoming an Agile Search Marketer involves acquiring knowledge over time and achieving incremental successes that build into high level milestones. Each win or loss is valuable in terms of helping you to think and draw conclusions quickly about the visitors you want to convert, bringing you closer to online marketing agility.

Anna Maria Virzi from ClickZ describes how corporate giants, American Greetings and Hunt’s applied Agile Marketing using Scrum concepts and adapting an agile mindset. AG found opportunity to showcase an e-card campaign during a hot political event that was showcased on YouTube during the last presidential election while Hunt’s mitigated a potential large scale PR issue due to a product recall.

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