In today’s marketing world, being able to adapt quickly to change is the key to survival and prosperity.
Being adaptive is a question of methodology. As a result, more and more teams are abandoning pyramid structures and large long-term projects to adopt agile marketing. This new way of working provides the flexibility we need to respond to a changing environment, but it also implies a profound change in the culture of the company. Let’s see what agile marketing is and the keys to implementing it successfully.
Table of Contents
What Exactly Is Agile Marketing?
The agile methodology has its origin in the software development sector for more than 20 years, coinciding with the development of the internet. At that time, developers had to deal with ever-changing protocols, while striving to discover and exploit the new possibilities of the network.
As it was difficult to predict what was going to happen in the future, they had to find alternatives to traditional planning processes. Thus, the agile methodology gradually emerged, a process that culminated with the ” Agile Manifesto ” in 2012. According to this manifesto, the practitioners of the agile methodology value:
- Learning validated against opinions and conventions.
- Customer-centric collaboration on silos and hierarchy.
- Adaptive and iterative campaigns on the “Big Bang” type.
- The process of discovering the customer against static predictions.
- Flexible planning before rigid planning.
- Respond to changes instead of following a plan.
- Many small experiments instead of a few big bets.
If we apply this philosophy to the marketing sector, we find that agile marketing teams have these characteristics:
Change of mindset: Practitioners of an agile marketing strategy think about their work differently. They show respect, collaboration and cycles of learning and improvement, they are proud of their work, they are focused on delivering value and they have the ability to adapt to change.
Experimentation, iteration and small launches: Rigid, long-term plans don’t fit agile marketing. Instead, this methodology relies on doing a lot of small experiments and running them frequently. The results are then applied to the next duty cycle.
A new approach to leadership: The directors and managers of an agile marketing department behave differently. Instead of giving orders and focusing on goal numbers, they focus on helping the team.
Teamwork and collaboration: The workers in an agile marketing team also have a different attitude, as they continually seek to pool their efforts to do a better job more efficiently.
Data-driven marketing: All of today’s marketing teams need to use data, but agile marketers go one step further because data is essential to know if their experiments are successful. Therefore, they ensure that all their work can be measured and they rely on empirical evidence to make decisions.
10 Keys Steps To Create Successful Agile Marketing Strategy
1. Do Your Homework
Before diving headlong into agile marketing, you have to think about why you decided to opt for this methodology. For example, you may be looking to speed up your campaign launch times, rethink your marketing to be more customer-centric, keep up with the product development team, or improve employee engagement and satisfaction.
All of these reasons are very valid, but each one is better suited to a different launch strategy. The key is to know why you need an agile marketing strategy and communicate it clearly to the entire team.
2. Choose The Right Project And Methodology
All or almost all marketing projects can benefit from adopting an agile strategy, but each requires a different approach.
Within this world, we can find many different methods. For example, creative or content teams can do very well with workflow-based processes like Kanban. Instead, teams with defined due dates and regular deliveries may prefer to use Scrum.
3. Start Small And Scale Later
In the long term, agile marketing involves a profound change in the ways a company works, but it is not necessary to start large. The best option is to go little by little.
In general, it is recommended to start agile by experimenting with a small team and reviewing the results frequently to adapt to the methodology. Larger projects can be divided into phases or “waves”, also called “sprints”, which typically last between two and four weeks.
4. Prepare For The Most Common Agile Marketing Challenges
To increase your chances of success, you must be prepared to respond to the most common challenges:
The change of role of managers: In agile marketing, decision-making no longer belongs to the bosses but instead shifts to the people who are closest to the problem and have more information about it. Middle managers are no longer in charge of approving content and ensuring that the work gets done, but of serving as a coach and removing obstacles. In the end, the teams are the ones who run themselves.
Focus agile marketing through projects and not as a team: Agile marketing is a new way of working, so it shouldn’t be implemented part-time. Instead of thinking about agile projects, think about creating agile teams.
Giving up early: It is an organization-wide change, and this requires time and dedication. Don’t take agile as a moment, but as a long-term, progressive transition.
5. Focus On Pain Points
Going from a traditional methodology to this other can generate resistance in the team. To overcome them, it is a good idea to consider agile as a method to overcome specific pain points.
To start implementing your strategy, look for a recurring problem in your company and commission an agile team to take care of solving it by setting a specific objective. If they succeed, you will have managed to hit the road to agile culture on the right foot.
6. Embrace The Chaos
If you are used to working in a hierarchical environment and with a long-term vision, the transition to agile marketing can be difficult. Now the team members themselves are in charge of making the decisions, the goals are set in the short term and the uncertainty is much greater, but in return, you will be able to adapt much better to the world in which we move.
7. Collaborate Between Departments
The technology telecommuting have put it easier than ever to create teams with people from different functions and departments. In turn, this allows us to identify customer needs and adapt to them in a much more dynamic way.
In particular, it is important to involve the Law, IT, HR departments in the process. H H. and Finance, to make sure that there is no impediment to carry out the agile marketing strategy. Otherwise, you may end up having to stop and start projects repeatedly as obstacles arise.
8. Experiment With Technologies
The experimentation is one of the big keys to agile marketing. Failed experiments are not failures, but lessons learned. And of course, this attitude should extend to the use of technology.
Therefore, as part of your work methodology, be sure to include testing of different marketing technology solutions to identify what works and what doesn’t.
9. Respect Your Brand
According to Abigail Hirschhorn, from the Human Intelligence agency, one of the dangers of agile is getting lost in methodology and eventually forgetting the essence of the brand. This should be applied to well-established brands and treated with caution in those that are still in the process of finding themselves.
10. Focus On Creating A Culture For The Long Term
In the end, more than talking about agile marketing, we should talk about agile companies. And it is that what it is about is to change habits and culture so that agile is a lasting change in the way of working and understanding marketing and not just a passing fad.