It’s no secret that marketing has changed drastically in recent years. As the industry continues to evolve and new trends and best practices emerge, keeping a “business as usual” attitude is not going to cut it if you want to stay competitive. You need a fast-moving strategy that is capable of driving growth. Agile marketing might just be the answer.
This approach to marketing, which has been inspired by agile software development, allows you to respond to what is happening in your industry or company quickly. Your customers and audience demand a fast, if not immediate, response from your company. In an agile system, you are able to avoid delays and make the experience better for your customers now, not 6 months from now, by eliminating unnecessary processes and organizational red tape. This also results in increased productivity from the marketing team.
Jim Ewel, who writes about all things agile on his blog, explains on the Moz blog that the teams he’s worked with are able to get about 30% to 40% more done using an agile marketing approach. That's a significant boost in output.
When your team goes agile, you can forget about the traditional marketing plan model. Having a plan is still necessary, but your overall strategy will be implemented differently. Marketing teams focus on projects and work to execute them within a much shorter time frame, typically only a few weeks long. Then the projects are evaluated to determine whether or not they were successful, and priorities can be reassessed.
Agile marketing has several key values:
- Respond to change quickly
- Testing and data over opinion or speculation, and decisions must be justified using data
- Many small experiments over running a few lengthy campaigns
- Repeat things that succeed and stop doing things that don’t work
- Focus on individuals and their experience, instead of a generic message. Offering a personalized experience is the future of business.
- Collaboration and working together to accomplish goals, both within the agile team and the organization as a whole. Communication must exist across departments.
How Does An Agile Marketing Team Operate?
In order to be agile, the marketing team needs to be lean. An agile team should only be made of up around 5 to 7 members. This group will work collaboratively, with each person bringing a specific skill, to accomplish the goal.
One of the main components of an agile approach is the “sprint.” A sprint refers to the period of time given to complete a project or run a test. They are generally only a few weeks long, as the objective is to come to conclusions and make decisions more quickly.
An agile team will also use a shared project management tool that allows everyone to see all of the pieces being worked on and know what other people are doing. Although everyone will take responsibility for specific pieces, they can also work together to make sure that everything is completed.
Frequent, but brief, check ins will occur to keep the team updated on progress, as well as to discuss problems or challenges and ways to resolve them.
For this type of system to work, everyone in the organization needs to be on board. This means that approvals needed outside of marketing can be obtained more quickly and inter departmental communication is prioritized.
One of the key components of an agile strategy is developing insights based on analytics. You need to know whether or not an experiment was successful by measuring the right KPIs and metrics. Then resources can be reallocated based on the results. The important part is constantly learning and improving the implementation of the insights based on the data.