If you’re a marketer who has worked closely with development or digital teams then no doubt you’ve come across Agile practices. You may have wondered what those morning stand ups are all about or how those teams secure endless supplies of Post-it notes. You may have even wondered, is there anything in this Agile thing for marketers?
We’ve all heard how digital technology allows marketers to engage in innovative new ways to meet customers’ needs far more effectively. But taking advantage of the new possibilities enabled by digital requires marketing teams to become much nimbler and have a bias for action. In other words, they have to become agile.
The case for Agile marketing is gaining momentum. An emerging area of marketing, concrete results and case studies are now easier to come by. Surveys reveal that Agile marketing provides two main types of benefits to businesses (Wrike, source link):
It improves business execution: Productivity levels increase and velocity improves because of increased focus on customers. 93% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who use Agile methods reveal that that their speed to market for ideas, products, and campaigns has improved. (Forbes, 2014). 80% of CMOs employing Agile enhanced the velocity of delivered work. (CMO.com)
It improves employee engagement: Team members work together and are more accountable to one another. This leads to better employee engagement, morale, and job satisfaction. 87% of Agile CMOs stated that their teams became more productive after adopting Agile marketing methods. (Forbes, 2014)
Agile in a Nutshell defines Agile as a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end. Agile accepts that you won't know all the answers from the start of any project, whether it’s software development or marketing, so the key is to learn and adapt quickly.
Like the original software development approach, Agile marketing has a manifesto that outlines the key differences with more traditional approaches. Agile marketers have a strategy, but prefer test and learn cycles over lengthy planning documents. Agile marketers understand that change happens at such pace, that annual plans can often be outdated the moment they are completed.
The Agile Marketing Manifesto
Responding to change over following a plan
Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
Testing and data over opinions and conventions
Many small experiments over a few large bets
Individuals and interactions over one size fits all
Collaboration over silos and hierarchy
Agile marketing gives marketing teams a framework for learning and adapting quickly. Rather than focusing on outputs, Agile pushes marketers to focus on outcomes. As a result, the benefits for both the team engagement and the business impacts can be greatly improved.
If you’re ready to start applying Agile principles to your marketing team, check out our Agile Mojo Booster - a beginner’s guide to becoming a product owner and leading an Agile team.