With everyone wanting to be agile, you may want to also look around and see whether you are leveraging agile marketing or you are far from being agile. Today businesses that are truly agile enjoy fast, continuous growth, have more satisfied employees and are more prepared to deal with both internal and external challenges.
In other words, agile marketing gives businesses an opportunity to achieve a lot within a short period at a much faster rate without sacrificing efficacy and quality. So, what is agile marketing?
Definition of Agile Marketing
First, the agile approach to marketing is inspired by the software development process, where developers use this method to speed products into the market. Often a team of developers come up with development objectives over a certain amount of time, maybe a week or two. Each member of the team is tasked on a few items. At the end of the set time or once the project is complete, a review is done to gauge certain metrics.
In simple words, it is a tactical approach where teams identify and fully focus their collective efforts on high-value projects. These teams go a step further to complete those projects cooperatively, measure their impact and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.
Teams use sprints to finish those projects cooperatively. And after each sprint, they measure the impact of the projects and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time. Whether a project was valuable or not, agile marketing embraces failure so long it comes with lessons and produces future potentially powerful projects.
A good example of agile marketing is in the field of advertising and content creation. For example, a marketing project can be segmented into a landing page, Ad campaign, content creation, and so on. Next, these tasks are carried out and eventually, the team reviews and make adjustments based on the lessons learned.
An example is where the company has daily stand-up meetings to check in with the team, during which it identifies any blocking issues that are preventing them from meeting their sprint goals.
The daily stand-up meeting has helped iron most obstacles, such as emails going out late because someone is sick. This approach makes sure each team member is up-to-date on projects and progress so that everyone is on the same page.
Agile Marketing Features
Let’s have a look at key features that every team must consider in agile marketing implementation.
- Sprint: This is the length of time given to a team to complete its current projects. Often, this ranges from two to six weeks.
- Stand up meetings: Every day, a team needs to meet and have a brief meeting. It is during this meeting each team member goes over what they did the previous day, what they plan to do that day, and the challenges they may have encountered. Challenges are addressed before the session ends.
- Teamwork: In the agile framework, every member of the team has to contribute even when one of the members own the project.
- Board to track project progress: There has to be a centralized way to track your sprint that everyone has access to. It can be a software, whiteboard or anything that will help you track progress.
How Agile Marketing Differs from Traditional Marketing
There are many reasons why shifting to agile marketing is worth it. Compared to the traditional approach where projects follow a rigid and linear timeline which often result in projects taking forever before completion. The agile approach makes it simple for teams to complete similar projects in sprints hence resulting in better results.
- Faced-paced: Agile marketing makes it easier to split huge projects into short sprints of two to six weeks. During those sprints, teams meet, and each member goes over what they did and what they plan to do. During the frequent stand-up meetings, challenges are addressed, new goals are set and progress measured.
- Rapidly iterative: This allows teams to make changes to content already produced. That is when the agile approach is used in content marketing. New versions of content are developed that boost performance and as well as address customer needs.
- Collaborative: The agile approach allows teams to work together to achieve a common goal. Every member of the team contributes actively to the success of the project. Basically, agile marketing eliminates the traditional hierarchies and silos that often result in projects taking longer to complete.
- Driven by Testing and Analytics: Agile marketing is driven by real-time data analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real-time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating. For example, in content marketing, you can rely on real-time data to see how your content is performing. Analyzing that data make it simple to make the necessary adjustments on time.
Benefits of Agile Marketing
Compared to traditional marketing, agile marketing has many advantages to leverage. Here are the top benefits:
- Consistent growth: As mentioned above, agile marketing is driven by real-time data and analytics. This makes it possible to develop reliable marketing strategies. In other words, strategies backed by real-time data. If looking to improve conversion through SEO content, then from the data collected, it is possible to see areas to improve your content to boost conversion.
- Clear focus: No time to beat around the bush as it is in traditional marketing. Once you decide you want to accomplish something, all your efforts are focused on that which you want to achieve. Different strategies are tested over time to see which one works best.
- Getting the most out of your team: Agile marketing allows teams to respond to changes on time. The ability of a team to adjust to new changes after testing iterations allow companies to get the most out of their teams. In other words, you will feel the real impact of agile marketing if everything is done in the right way.
- Seeing results: Looking to increase your revenue? According to research by McKinsey & Company companies that have shifted to an Agile marketing methodology see their revenue increase 20% to 40%. This is because of the fast sprints and frequent interactions nature of agile marketing which allows teams to gauge their performance. Why then still cling to approaches that don’t get you real results? By building performance indicators into their strategy, agile marketing teams can measure progress. (You could also look into performance marketing).
The Agile Framework
- Strategy: You start by setting your goals for the project. This involves first auditing your current tactics. For example, if focusing on content, find out what value your audience gets from your content and what they could be missing. Analyzing your current way of doing things or tactics help you see what is working for you and what is not.
- Launch: Launching a launchpad website earlier and making sure it is life quickly enables businesses to start gathering performance data they can use for redesigning. A launchpad website is easy to create. It is possible to have one ready in less than a month compared to the time needed to build one the traditional way.
- Continuous Improvement: Based on the data you collect about the performance of the launchpad website, it is possible for your team to identify necessary improvements to make. And remember to compare your results with the goals you set during the strategy stage.
- Plan. Build. Learn. Transfer: For iterative development and continuous improvement, you have to repeat a cycle of planning, building, learning, and transferring.
- Plan: Here, you determine what you want to fulfill during your sprints. It is during this process you pick items from your wish list.
- Build: You build the launchpad by completing your tasks. Remember to include ways of collecting your performance metrics.
- Learn: It is time now to review the data from your tests to see what is working for you and what is not.
- Transfer: Finally share the information gathered after you launch so your team can decide what adjustments to make in the next iteration.
The Agile Marketing Process
To achieve continuous improvement, marketing teams need to follow the Agile marketing process by continually setting up goals and accomplishing targeted tasks.
- Goals: Agile process depends on the setting of SMART goals: relevant, specific, measurable, timely and achievable. Goals must be prioritized and revisited in future iterations.
- Personas: Involves developing descriptions of your ideal audience members will guide the development of content and features in your launchpad.
- KPIs: It is crucial to come up with Key performance indicators that you will work with as you test your launchpad. KPIs let you know what you need to adjust in the subsequent iteration.
- Jobs To Be Done (JTBD): JTBD is a list of tasks that need to be completed. These tasks are compiled during frequent meetings. JTBD will also include wish list tasks that you need to save for a future time.
- Journey Mapping: You have to keep your prospects on long terms goals. Mapping out a long-term marketing strategy with future goals and tasks ensures your team stays on track.
- Sprint: Agile process is like a sprint, not a marathon. Sprints are quick and short bursts of activity that enable your team to take a website live in a matter of weeks.
Common Agile Marketing Myths
Below are two agile marketing myths you are more likely to encounter in your journey to agility.
- Agile is Anti-Planning: This is not true. Agile marketers plan. In fact, agile marketing includes planning, requires planning and embraces planning. In other words, agile planning requires a strategic vision as well as short-, medium-, and long-term marketing plans.
- Agile Marketing is Just Scrum: Not all agile team use scrum and equating agile with scrum is a big mistake. As much as scrum is one way to be agile, it is not the only way to be agile. In fact, according to results from a 2016 survey of over 800 marketers, scrum is the least popular methodology. This is a clear illustration that going agile does not necessarily mean using scrum.
As the marketing landscape continues to change and traditional marketing approaches become less important each day, it is crucial for businesses to be prepared for the future (you may even look into a digital marketing agency for help). Agile marketing is now the future of business that wants to see real results fast. The advantages of agile marketing offers are limitless. Are you ready to take advantage of the new possibilities agile marketing offers? It is not too late to get started.
FYI, if you found this helpful, you may also be interested in pragmatic marketing.