Yet another article has hit the airwaves, with yet another buzzword (perhaps buzz-phrase would be a better term?). Yet another authoritative column writer in yet another authoritative publication has made it clear that 60% of marketers are not up to snuff, because they don’t “rate themselves as agile.”

I’m calling “hooey” on that one, right now.

Dear Mr. Authority;

You are using your platform to speak to marketers who live in the small percentage of businesses and organizations that can afford to have “marketing teams,” yet you are failing to distinguish that in your article. You quote a report by CMG Marketers, which states that “63% of marketing leaders cite agility as a high priority. However, only 40% of marketers rate themselves as agile.”

In the world of small businesses, which form the backbone of America, if you’ll recall, the very definition of “agile” means that you must deftly juggle the balls that are thrown at small business leaders. Taking what comes, rolling with the punches, and doing whatever it takes to keep the doors open, hire the next needed person, keep the team happy, and meet the payroll – that is the definition of “agile.”

It’s time we stopped focusing on what’s wrong with marketing, and we start focusing on providing tools and practices that help small business leaders grow – that help small business leaders effectively use the tiny slice of time they have available for marketing to make it really work for them.

You can keep your buzzwords. This one is insulting to the hundreds of thousands of small business leaders who double as marketers, and to those organizations which have managed to invest in a single person whose primary job function is marketing. Pander to the big shops if you like; feel free to make them feel like they’re lacking if that’s what you want to do, and by all means give them the tools to become “agile marketers.”

For the rest of the world, tools that help them engage with their customers and prospects are more important than being “agile.”

If you are a small business owner, keep your chin up. Don’t read articles like this and think that you need to suddenly jump on this trendy topic. Start with the basics. Don’t throw away good money. Get the basics solidly in place, then grow in a manner that makes sense for your business.

That’s agile enough. We get it, and we’re with you.

About Margaret Johnson

Margaret is a business and technology veteran who started marketing accidentally nearly three decades ago - when she was five and a true marketing prodigy (ahem). When not coming up with awesome ideas, presenting webinars, or teaching about marketing, she's living with two cats, a crotchety fellow, and a house full of antiques and collectibles. She does not use Pinterest.

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