Are you curious about Agile marketing? Let's go through what Agile marketing is, how it works, and whether or not it would be useful for you.
Did you know that 93 percent of chief marketing officers say that employing agile practices speeds up their take-to-market for ideas, campaigns, and products?
Agile marketing doesn't just mean the ability to pivot on a whim and change your methods. It's a scientific term that relates to responding to challenges instead of blindly following a pre-approved strategy.
Are you curious about agile marketing? Do you wonder if it might work for you?
Let's dive deeper into what agile marketing is, how it works, and whether or not it would be useful for you and your business.
What Is Agile marketing?
Agile marketing can best be described as the fundamental change in how marketing teams operate. This can be seen more so in the way work gets done, and not the work itself.
Ultimately, the goals of Agile marketing are to:
- Improve speed,
- Improve predictability,
- Improve transparency, and
- Improve adaptability to change.
How does Agile marketing achieve this? Let's have a quick look at where Agile first began.
A Brief History of Agile
The philosophy of agile originates from software development. After the agile approach was adopted, these software development teams could achieve the following:
- Visibility and transparency throughout the development process,
- Predictable and early delivery of smaller deliverables instead of one massive project,
- More predictable costs,
- The ability to adapt to changes in the market and a shift in business goals,
- A better focus on the customer needs and value for the business, and
- Better quality products with fewer defects.
As a result of seeing these benefits, other areas of businesses began to consider what an agile approach could do for them and their deliverables.
The Agile Approach to Marketing
The implementation of an Agile marketing approach may differ slightly from organization to organization, but the fundamentals remain constant.
Agile marketing says that you'll be changing the way you work – not the work itself. Here are the characteristics that make up an Agile marketing approach:
Shifting the mindset.
Iteration and small releases. Long-term plans that are set in stone don't fit with the Agile approach to marketing.
Absolute commitment to The Agile Manifesto. We will have an in-depth look at the Agile Manifesto later, but the principles and the values of the Agile Manifesto should fuel most of the decisions made within the Agile marketing team. The Agile Manifesto should become your bible on how you approach Agile marketing.
Leadership collaboration. As opposed to traditional setups within a business, in an Agile environment those in power and in leadership roles will act differently. They'll be more open to collaboration with the team itself rather than focused only on pushing profits and numbers.
Total Teamwork. Not only does the team behave differently, but individuals within an Agile team have to continually strive for better ways to work together. They need to collaborate in the name of increased efficiency.
Focus on Data. Many traditional marketers use data in some manner to motivate their decisions, but an Agile marketing team is fueled by the data itself; it's used to measure team performance.
Up until now, we’ve presented a simple overview of how Agile marketing will change the way that your marketing team behaves and works.
Let's have a look at the Agile Manifesto.
What is the Agile Manifesto?
The Agile Manifesto was put together in 2012 by a group of forward-thinking marketers and has become the agreed-upon set of values and principles by which Agile marketing works.
So, what does the Agile Manifesto say? The manifesto itself looks at the values behind the frameworks that Agile marketers use, these values can be summed up as follows:
- We validate learning above conventions and opinions.
- We are customer-focused collaborators and we do not operate in silos or in a hierarchy.
- We do iterative and adaptive campaigns, not “one-size-fits-all” campaigns.
- We don't do static predictions, we go through the process of customer discovery.
- Our planning is not rigid, our planning is flexible.
- We prioritize responding to change, as opposed to following a rigid plan.
- We focus on many small experiments to deliver a larger picture.
Following on from these values, Agile marketers follow these principles:
- Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, we do this through continuous delivery of marketing that solves our customer's problems.
- We embrace, welcome, and plan for change. The ability to respond to change is what gives us our competitive edge.
- We will deliver marketing campaigns and programs that have shorter timescales for optimum release.
- We base our marketing on alignment with other areas of the business such as sales and development.
- Our Agile programs are built to create an environment and give support to motivated individuals within the team so that they can get their jobs done.
- One of our fundamental approaches is through learning, we aim to build, measure, then learn to measure our progress.
- We aim for consistency through a constant pace.
- Simplicity is key to our processes.
- We are not afraid to fail, we just refuse to fail twice.
Doesn't this sound like a well-oiled marketing machine?
What About Agile Frameworks?
To support and implement Agile marketing, the team needs frameworks to support the way in which they work.
There are three major methods to Agile frameworks, let's have a look at what these are.
1. Agile marketing with Scrum
Scrum is the buzzword most often associated with anything “Agile.”
Scrum can be best described as the following process:
- Scrum starts with the backlog. This is generally a to-do list for the marketing team members and is the source they use for most of their work.
- They then move onto Sprints. At the beginning of each sprint, a marketer will use the comprehensive backlog to create a Sprint backlog, which is effectively a list of work they can get done quickly. Once a sprint has been chosen, the team will decide on the timeline, and then meet every day to analyze the work done and progress made.
- At the end of each sprint, the idea is that there is a deliverable solution or marketing product that is ready to test.
When adopting a Scrum methodology, the team will require a Scrum Master. This is the guy who is in charge of setting meetings, they help to embrace the Agile marketing mindset, and they continuously provide suggestions for improvement.
2. Agile marketing with Kanban
Kanban, as an Agile marketing methodology, is different from Scrum in that it aims to add to the way you already work, as opposed to changing the way you work.
Kanban is used as a continuous improvement tool for marketing teams.
The idea is that the team creates a Kanban board, which details the way in which work really gets done in a visual way. It allocates time for projects and deliverables and uses this visual representation to show where the potential bottlenecks are in the marketing department.
The Kanban board details things like reviews, handoffs, approvals, and releases to your customer base. But most importantly, it goes into detail with your starting points and endpoints for each deliverable and can help your team identify an optimum workflow setup.
3. Agile marketing with Scrumban
Now immediately, this looks like a hybrid of the two previous methodologies.
Basically, you're looking at implementing a Kanban system with a Scrum context.
So, in theory, your Agile marketing team will use a Kanban board to visually represent the workflow and then use recurring Sprints to get the work done. It uses the best of both Kanban and Scrum to ensure your team is operating at its optimum level.
- Daily status meetings, no longer than 15 minutes,
- A perfect visualized workflow and board, and
- Regularly scheduled retrospectives.
Essentially, these three things will form the basis for any Agile approach you take.
Iterative vs. Incremental
There are two different approaches that you can take when it comes to Agile marketing, no matter what framework you choose to go with.
The iterative approach says that the team will keep revisiting the same idea and make small adjustments each time. You'll use the marketing backlog as the foundation for these ideas. As time goes on, the Agile marketing team will be able to tell which things are working, and what needs adjustment.
With the incremental approach, you'd be adding additional components to your deliverables until you have a complete picture, almost like a puzzle. [/quotesright]The incremental approach, however, is best suited to situations where you know what the final picture should look like.
Measuring Agile Marketing Success
There are many metrics that a traditional marketing team would use to measure their success in the long run. But when it comes to Agile marketing, the process of measuring success can be defined as follows:
You will measure the success of your Agile efforts by tracking the velocity, frequency, and number of marketing tasks completed in each sprint. You'll also measure the number of experiments that are run, the performance of the marketing team over time, as well as the happiness of any stakeholder in marketing.
Finally, Focus on Teamwork
At the end of the day, Agile marketing is the complete change of mindset and the ultimate focus lays on teamwork.
If you have more questions about how to run your marketing team or business at an optimum level. Get in touch and let's set up a time to talk. Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me