Most of us have heard of agile software development and the benefits of implementing it — adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and flexibility. But did you know you can incorporate those processes into your marketing efforts and reap the same benefits? Here are a few ways in which agile marketing can help:
You can get stuff done more quickly.
The very nature of agile marketing allows development to be broken into small, incremental efforts that decrease the amount of upfront planning needed. Sometimes referred to as sprints or a process called scrum, these iterations can last between one and four weeks. During this time, cross-functional teams work on all phases of the project and collaborate to quickly react to changing marketing conditions. Note: It’s not that you don’t need to plan; you simply don’t need to plan more than a quarter in advance.
Action: To incorporate this benefit into your marketing efforts, write a one-page plan that specifies your goals and aspirations for the next month. If and when possible, create a plan for each month within the quarter that specifies exactly what you’ll be doing during that time and how it can be tied back to both departmental and organizational strategies.
Below is an easy-to-use template you can download for the low, low price of free ninety-nine. It includes a sprint capacity calculator to help determine the appropriate amount of time and resources to allocate to each project, as well as a quarterly planning template to help map out your ideas. (I’m not even capturing your email, folks. Just giving this stuff away.)
It’s okay to take risks.
Many organizations declare their love of risk-taking, while simultaneously punishing those that attempt to reach outside of the box. This can make traditional marketing efforts a bit terrifying. Typically, you spend a lot of time and money developing a campaign that’s intended to run for three to six months (or longer), and then you get to the end and declare victory or defeat. Within those organizations adverse to taking risks, this often leads to drastic changes in direction with little evidence to support the new approach.
Unlike traditional marketing plans, agile marketing takes an iterative approach which begins with smaller strategic goals that can quickly be tested, measured, and documented for future use. This method ensures that the team can take risks on a much smaller scale, while still learning and adapting along the way.
Action: Take a look at your one-page plan and determine how efforts will be tested and measured. Define this process and ensure that the team understands what will be considered successful.
Internal communication is improved.
Within most organizations exists some level of hierarchy, and this often creates silos of information that are never connected to other areas of the business. Maybe marketing isn’t privy to certain executive-level decisions, or the sales team doesn’t communicate their goals to other areas of the business. Regardless of the circumstances, this approach can create barriers to progress.
Agile marketing is built on collaboration, face-to-face communication, and cross-functional teaming. This ensures that all relevant participants are talking to one another on a frequent basis, and the result is the creation of shared goals and the reviewing of outcomes as a collective effort. An additional benefit of cross-functional teaming is that members often report feeling empowered by the level of autonomy granted.
Action: Ensure that team members understand the importance of working towards a common goal. Assign specific tasks to the group and allow members to take on responsibility as it relates to their expertise, but emphasize the importance of reaching consensus across the group concerning any critical decisions.
Okay, now you have a good understanding of the benefits of agile marketing and a few ways in which to implement it into your marketing strategy, but you may not fully understand just now broad reaching it can be. Below is a list of ways in which agile marketing can be used:
- Content marketing
- Web development
- Social media marketing
- Mobile app development
- Marketing automation
- Landing page optimization
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click advertising
The benefits of agile marketing are obvious, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Implementing flexibility into other areas of the business can be as valuable. This method can be applied to virtually any department as long as the desired outcome is clearly and reiteratively communicated.
If you’re interested in learning more about agile marketing, the following resources may interest you:
- Agile Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide from McKinsey&Company
- Agile Marketing: Buzzword or Top Strategy for Fast-Paced Marketing Teams?
- Agile Marketing Blog
We would like to thank Whitney Lane for this post, Click Here to check out her website!