Agile Marketing is a long-term cost-effective solution for businesses that want to see results from their marketing efforts in a timely fashion. It allows companies to efficiently and effectively reach their target audience while avoiding the risk of ongoing investment in ineffective solutions.
What does being Agile mean?
The Agile Manifesto was originally created to change how complex software was developed. But certain frameworks put forth by the Manifesto can be used in marketing to make it more effective.
Business environments are dynamic and require a similar working approach to get the job done. Being Agile means adapting to those fast-paced environments and bringing in measurable results in short periods of time. Agile teams cooperate under the same objectives and goals, communicating and exchanging ideas that spark innovations and profitable long-term solutions.
All frameworks of Agile methodology are split into cycles or Sprints, where teams focus on completing single tasks without distractions. Cycles usually last from one week to one month, and the teams should have a project backlog to track and execute work. Although Agile approach has many different tactics, three have good results when paired with marketing.
Scrum methodology is usually the first term people associate with being Agile. Scrum helps marketing teams be more self-organized and goal-oriented. Each team member is focused on his or her task, at the same time working towards a mutual goal from the project backlog. In the backlog sprints are graded for complexity and estimated time of delivery. Scrum puts emphasis on communication: marketers do daily 15-30 stand-ups rounding up the previous day’s progress and outlining work plans for the current day. Each report is reviewed and discussed for effectiveness.
The Kanban framework is all about flexibility in planning. Kanban had its beginnings in the 1940s and was originally developed to improve manufacturing at Toyota. However, this doesn’t prevent Kanban from being highly effective in modern times, and in marketing.
Working under Kanban is similar to stocking the shelves in a supermarket. Each team works only on tasks that are currently in progress. After completing a task, a team moves on to another item from the backlog. Kanban favors limiting the scope of work to single tasks which are a proven method of effective delivery.
In lean development you are essentially eliminating every item which holds no marketing value or generates costs. This approach was created to streamline operations and keep resources at the minimum. Lean development is not only about performing only the most essential processes and work streams, but also about minimizing the number of unnecessary meetings, documents and equipment. By evaluating the effectiveness of all of your assets, you are able to maximize your output, keeping the costs at bay.
How does an Agile approach benefit marketing?
Adopting Agile Marketing can benefit businesses exponentially. Agile Marketing bridges departments and encourages teams to work together under unified goals. The nature of an Agile approach encourages marketers to respond to trends in real-time, incorporating changes to their marketing message and making them more effective.
Focusing on single projects and measuring their results helps business owners decide which solutions should stay and be further developed, and which are redundant.
Should you go Agile?
Although Agile methodology is highly effective and can bring tremendous business results, this approach isn’t universal and cannot be adopted by all companies under all circumstances.
Your marketing team should go Agile especially when your target audiences preferences fluctuate often, and you have to deliver different solutions to keep your customers engaged and interested. Also, it’s preferable if you can receive feedback from your customers because this gives you valuable insight your team can work with. Conversely, if your customers’ needs are steady and the market predictable, adopting Agile would be an unnecessary investment. Also, because Agile methodology often involves some portion of experiments and risk-taking, it could potentially do more harm than good to a steady businesses.
Agile Marketing works best in fast-paced business environments where the results are expected to be delivered quickly. These days marketers need to be able to respond to changes and trends and being Agile gives them a chance to adapt to and keep pace with their customers needs and interests.