By now you’ve probably heard of agile working and of the benefits it can bring. Especially to teams working remotely. Design and Development teams have been using agile working principles for a while and marketing teams are now experiencing the effects of the method.
When implemented properly, an agile marketing approach can speed up growth like you’ve never seen. Think improved ROI, better processes, and who doesn’t want to encourage teamwork in the workplace?
If you want to learn all about agile marketing and how it can enhance your work, keep reading.
What is Agile Marketing?
Well, much like agile working methodologies, agile marketing is an approach where the team works together in short, focused sprints to complete the task at hand. Instead of the traditional waterfall methodology (completing your part of the task, passing it onto the next person, much like a conveyor belt), agile is proven to improve speed and performance in all areas of marketing.
Team members work in sprints, measure the results, iterate and improve and use their learnings in the next sprint. Work is completed at the same time, with every team member playing their own part, instead of waiting for work to be passed over.
(Image credit: TrustRadius)
The Benefits of Agile Marketing
Agile Marketing can transform the marketing department into a high-performing marketing machine. Everyone in the team knows their role, are laser-focused on how they will contribute and are more likely to reach delivery deadlines on time. In fact, 87% of CMOs that transitioned to an agile approach found their teams to be more productive as a result.
Collaboration and Teamwork
Everyone has a specific role and expertise that they lend to the success (or failure) of the project. The team then works in sync to complete their part collaboratively. That way, everyone is in charge of how the project goes and works in sync to ensure the goal is reached.
This approach also often means enlisting experts from another department or externally to help complete projects. This may include independent contractors or agency partners and can be beneficial for teams to experience working with those they don’t work with day to day. It may then help them understand other job functions better.
More work is done in less time and results are higher than traditional strategies. This means that agile marketing is more cost-effective for companies and the return on investment greater.
More Room for Optimization
With regular testing, iterations and meetings to spot any issues, campaigns are better optimized to produce better results. Also, by measuring results intermittently there is more chance to spot opportunities in your data.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
So your employees are more productive, enjoy working with their colleagues, feel a sense of purpose, and perform better. Employee satisfaction is bound to go through the roof!
(Image credit: Marketing Insider Group)
How Does Agile Marketing Work?
The core marketing team may be split into different groups to work on specific projects or campaigns. These are often called pods, war rooms or squads.
Applying it to a campaign, it may only consist of certain members of the marketing team needed to work together. But let’s say your company wants to revamp the website. They might create a group consisting of a Content Marketer, SEO Manager, Digital Marketing Analyst, Web Developer, UX Designer, UI Designer and QA Tester. Overseeing the project is usually a Project/Campaign Manager (sometimes called a Scrum Master) who makes sure everything is moving as planned and smooths out any kinks in the process.
How it works depends on the roles within your team and the kind of projects or campaigns you’re working on. Each marketing team needs to find what works best for them, however the premise remains the same. The stages will look something like this:
1. Sprints and Sprint Planning
Everyone involved in the project will meet to plan the sprints. Sprints usually work in a two week period. This is where you should discuss the goals and the deliverables needed to reach them.
From there, you can figure out what resources you’ll need and allocate dates for sprints. Each sprint has a sprint goal that you aim to achieve by the end of the time period. For example if you are working on a new paid social campaign, there may be different sprints for ideation, asset creation, copy and targeting. In this instance, the copy sprint may run at the same time as the asset creation sprint with teams split into expertise.
2. Standup meetings or Retrospectives (Retros)
Like we said, every team differs. Some opt for daily standup meetings, which are usually 15 minute check-ins with the whole team to discuss any issues or questions that have come up from the day before.
Some teams may not need daily standups and opt for retros instead which are more likely to occur weekly.
Both offer the same functions which are:
- To air out any hiccups that arise while the work is being created, rather than after the fact. This should ensure a high quality of work.
- To make sure everyone is on the same page and understands their role in each sprint. If someone is confused and doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up, the whole project could be delayed. These meetings should prevent that.
- To ensure the project is tracking as planned.
3. Regular Data Analysis
One area agile marketing differs from agile development or design is in the constant data analysis. Data and agile marketing go together like bread and butter. In order to continue campaign sprints and reach goals, the team regularly reviews analytics to spot insights, anomalies, problems or pain points in the customer journey.
Reports are discussed in the daily standup so everyone is kept accountable for the overall performance of the campaign.
4. Ideation and Tests
Rather than leaving issues until the campaign or project has finished, agile marketing teams create a hypothesis based on the data insights and plan tests to fix or enhance the findings. Everyone has a say in their idea of how to go about this and the idea is tested and prioritized.
For example, if a conversion rate isn’t as high as predicted, and the data suggests that a the call to action isn’t resonating with that specific customer segment. The team may decide to run an A/B test with a different CTA for a two week sprint, compare the results and move forward with the best performing option.
5. Marketing Technology Alignment
In order for all of the above to work in an agile environment, the Project Manager needs a technology platform to help. The technology has to enable them to:
- Create clear plans
- Track data from all channels
- Collaborate with the squad
- Develop quick reports
- Scale all of this to the whole marketing department and agency partners
Mediatool can do all of the above and more! Check it out here.
Agile Marketing is The Future but it’s Not a Quick Shift
Agile marketing is the future of marketing as far as we’re concerned. It enables teams to keep up with customer trends and how your audience is responding to your marketing efforts, as it happens. It also allows your team to adapt quickly, whilst producing better results and spending less? It’s a no brainer!
However, it comes with two caveats to be aware of:
- You will struggle to implement it successfully without the right technology. Like we said, Mediatool can help you manage everything from a top level overview. Find out more about Mediatool.
- It’s not a quick move and it may take time to figure out what works best for your organization. We would suggest testing the processes yourself before diving in. Maybe start with one campaign and squad to air out any issues and perfect the process for your team.