COVID-19 has disrupted school, summer vacations, birthdays, weddings — you name it. It has been equally unforgiving to marketers, whose carefully crafted marketing plans became irrelevant amid store closures, erratic shopping trends, and supply shortages.

If there’s one upside to the pandemic, it’s pushing marketers to reevaluate their marketing planning processes. Even the most thorough, well-researched, and collaborative marketing plans didn’t stand a chance when COVID-19 swept across the globe. Only marketers who had already embraced more iterative marketing planning processes — what we call people-led planning — were well-equipped to manage newfound uncertainty.

My colleague Shar VanBoskirk and I decided it was a good time to revisit the idea of people-led planning. This planning strategy is characterized by three core tenets: continuous operation, ongoing measurement, and flexible budgets and tactics. I’m happy to announce that our new report, How To Pivot To People-Led Planning, is live today! We interviewed marketers, agencies, and marketing planning tool vendors to build a guide for how to leave behind traditional periodic spreadsheet marketing plans for ones that are more flexible, agile, and iterative.

In the report, we translate the four principles of Agile development into marketing terms and then dive into two mini case studies for how companies navigated this change. Read the report to learn more about how Thrivent Financial and a travel company embraced people-led planning, and how they’re applying these flexible planning methods today to navigate marketing in a pandemic.