Implementing Agile in Marketing – A Complete Guide
While originally developed for software developers, Agile has pervaded into several departmental functions. Marketing is no exception and it derives many benefits from it.
In project management, it requires teams to work collaboratively and focus on high-value targets. This approach uses data analytics to identify areas with potential. The team then starts targeted campaigns there and measures their impact. Agile marketing allows teams to remain flexible and ready to change. Teams introduce the required changes by focusing on continuous improvement in small increments.
The Agile marketing manifesto
So, What exactly is Agile Marketing? It is a manifesto that contains a set of values and principles that are carefully designed to make marketing better and more focused on delivering value.
This document is derived from the Agile Manifesto and has the following six values:
- Validated learning over conventions
- Customer-centric collaboration over hierarchy
- Iterative work over drawn-out campaigns
- Discovery over predictions
- Flexibility over rigid planning
- Small experiments over large bets
Agile vs traditional marketing
When compared with traditional marketing, agile is more customer-centric, flexible, and collaborative. Conventional marketing campaigns focus more on the business and product. Agile shifts that focus on the customer’s overall experience.
Short and flexible iterations are the cornerstone of the Agile manifesto. Teams that follow it focus on short sprints that are 2-4 weeks long. In these short bursts, teams track the situation and make changes accordingly. On the other hand, traditional marketers focus on huge quarterly and half-yearly campaigns, where it is harder to adapt and make quick changes.
Another difference between agile and traditional marketing is how different departments collaborate. Agile teams work in collaboration between various marketing departments and focus more on the customer. It boosts their performance and ultimately leads to better results.
Why should you adopt agile marketing?
Marketing is one of the most crucial departments of any business. An excellent marketing campaign helps businesses attract new customers and retain them so the entire process must be optimized. Agile marketing teams strive to perform consistently and efficiently.
Data shows that teams following agile marketing techniques experience an increase of 80% in their productivity. This enhanced productivity ultimately leads to better sales and recognition, which takes your brand one step closer to success.
There are other reasons why agile marketing should be the next step for your team. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant benefits of going agile.
- Your team gets the chance to deliver exceptional results with higher efficiency and value
- If you are a marketing company, you get to enjoy a reputation for faster and more accurate deliveries
- It’s easier to run multiple marketing campaigns in a personalized and flexible environment
- Problems get highlighted earlier, and you can immediately change your approach to rectify them. Data supports this notion and reports that 51% of agile marketing teams can easily change their strategy after a negative response.
- Your team gets to work in a personalized structure which boosts their morale and motivation
- You foster a culture of continuous growth and innovation which contributes to your team’s professional development
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How to start improving your performance with agile marketing
Similar to agile project management, there is no set way of implementing agile in marketing. You are free to personalize the way you approach your marketing project as long as you are following the agile marketing manifesto.
However, there are some pre-requisites and activities common across all successful implementations of this framework.
1. Build an effective team
People are one of the most critical resources for any organization. You can have the best tools and an unlimited budget, but you can’t succeed without the right team. Agile marketing teams consist of multi-talented individuals who work well together and think on their feet to make quick decisions.
If you have the right people, it will only take a few iterations for them to become a well-oiled-machine with consistent and efficient performance.
2. Find and create new opportunities
Data analytics plays a significant role in agile marketing. Teams use the insights gained from their market analysis to identify and create new opportunities with high potential. A sample data is collected from each targeted segment to gauge the response, and necessary reports are generated.
Having the capability to recognize patterns is a crucial requirement for successfully implementing agile in any marketing environment.
3. Prioritize and run tests
Once you have identified opportunities and selected an approach, it’s time to test it in the market. Agile marketing teams decide on the time of iteration in which they focus on a single segment and check if their approach works.
4. Reflect on the past and improve your process
Iterations are a cornerstone of the agile framework. In marketing as well, teams need to have a valid tracking mechanism that shows how well their current approach is doing in the market. Based on the results, you need to identify the areas that need improvement and scale up the approaches that show promising results.
5. Always be ready to change gears
Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Make a new plan. These four steps come from a TV show but perfectly summarize how an agile team should operate. No matter how much potential an opportunity might present, there are still chances of getting an unfavorable response.
6. Agile marketing methodologies
Unlike agile project management, Scrum is not the most used methodology in marketing. As the functional demands of marketing are dynamic and everchanging, teams find it better to perform in a hybrid methodology like Scrumban.
The latest state of agile marketing report indicates that 54% of marketers use multiple methods in the same project to fulfill the varying demands of the market.
Transform your marketing strategies with agile
Agile has taken multiple business functions by a storm, and it’s time for marketing to adopt the Agile mindset. Agile takes your marketing project management to the next level and allows you to serve your customer better. It’s also great for your team’s professional development where all individuals learn from each other in a collaborative environment.
With agile marketing, your team learns from failure and shares successes to transform your business into a dynamic and successful entity that gets the job done.