The way software is built has changed as a result of agile techniques. Agile promotes success for software teams by segmenting work into manageable chunks, obtaining ongoing feedback, and allowing for flexibility to respond to changes. This strategy has proved so effective that other fields, like marketing, have incorporated agile methods into their workflows.
According to the 4th Annual State of Agile Marketing Study from AgileSherpas, 51% of marketers adopted agile working methods in 2021.
What is Agile Marketing?
Agile marketing is a form of marketing that makes use of agile methodologies’ guiding ideas and procedures. Self-organizing, cross-functional teams that operate in regular iterations with ongoing input are examples of this. It necessitates short-, medium-, and long-term marketing planning in addition to a strategic vision.
There are various ways that agile marketing differs from traditional marketing:
- Prioritize regular releases
- purposeful experimentation
- steadfast dedication to the needs of the audience
Agile marketing has its own Agile Marketing Manifesto that acts as a reference and a manual, similar to the original agile framework that evolved from the Agile Manifesto. A group that convened in 2012 to discuss agile marketing ideas, triumphs, and failures also combined the concepts from other marketing manifestos to form this one. The manifesto has since served as a roadmap for marketing teams wanting to improve their agility.
The Agile Marketing Manifesto lists the following values for agile marketing:
- Putting more emphasis on company outcomes and customer value than on activity and outputs
- Delivering value frequently and quickly rather than waiting for perfection
- Experimenting and gathering facts above beliefs and norms to learn
- Cross-functional cooperation over hierarchies and silos
- Responding to change as opposed to sticking to a set plan
Depending on the organizational setting, each agile marketing implementation has a slightly distinct appearance, but all of them share a number of essential traits.
Characteristics of Agile Marketing
Every effective agile marketing team shares four key traits: agile-based teamwork, data-driven decisions, quick and iterative releases, and adherence to the Agile Marketing Manifesto.
Teamwork and collaboration
Teams that adopt agile working practices are the cornerstone of agile marketing. Free collaboration among team members should take the place of organizational silos and hierarchies. Each project may involve some involvement from every team member. Meetings with the entire team and avenues for communication can be utilized to promote cooperation.
Data-driven decision making
Agile marketers approach marketing initiatives using data. Teams that value agility are motivated by data, even if all contemporary marketers rely on it to some level. Agile marketers continually come up with new experiments to improve the effectiveness of the team and rely on data to gauge and tweak their performance.
Rapid, iterative releases
Sprints, which are brief times when a scrum team works to complete a predetermined amount of work, are frequently used by agile marketing teams. Teams can complete lesser amounts of work within a sprint while still producing iterative work releases thanks to the sprint cycle. Sprints provide you the chance to alter your course of action every few weeks because they are brief.
Adherence to the Agile Marketing Manifesto
Last but not least, agile marketing teams steadfastly adhere to the 10 principles and five fundamental values outlined in the Agile Marketing Manifesto, which are essential for attaining marketing agility. The standups, sprints, and kanban boards that a team chooses to use are all based on these ideals and concepts. These are the rationale for the action.
Benefits of Agile Marketing
Determine your most urgent benefit or pain point and frame agile as a way to address it for the most successful deployment of agile marketing. Particularly in marketing, agile shouldn’t be used for its own sake. To solve an issue or accomplish a goal, it is best to use agile working methods.
Speed and productivity
An improved speed of value delivery is agile marketing’s first and most prominent benefit. This is accomplished by altering the organizational structure and how teams organize and carry out marketing initiatives.
Agile businesses emphasize small, cross-functional teams that can complete projects independently with little handoffs between teams rather than organizing people by function (e.g., creative, marketing technology, etc.). This enables the teams to move swiftly through tasks without becoming stuck because of dependencies.
An agile team structure offers a considerable productivity improvement without adding more people to the team, along with greater frequency and the capacity to quickly adopt consumer feedback.
Transparency and collaboration
Agile marketing also strives to make the team’s processes visible through illustrated workflows and regular touchpoints, which is an important advantage. Visualization improves teamwork within the marketing division by keeping information visible rather than buried on a hard drive or in an intimidatingly huge spreadsheet.
Agile relies on visual management tools and frequent synchronization sessions like the daily standup to let you experience complete process transparency. They promote effective collaboration and process transparency.
The kanban board (meaning “visible board” or “sign” in Japanese) gives visibility into all work. The team is able to interact more successfully and function better as a unit when daily priorities, progress, and challenges are communicated during a daily standup.
Agile teams are held responsible through transparency, which also aids in the formation of common knowledge of all the ongoing projects. Agile teams frequently use client feedback to make sure they are providing the correct work at the right time, therefore transparency in agile applies to client interactions as well.
One of the most cherished advantages of agile marketing is flexibility. The way agile marketing teams employ iterative planning to create work that is viable rather than mindlessly following an annual marketing plan is where it is most visibly present.
The success of agile marketing teams rests on their capacity to respond to shifting conditions. Traditional methods of creating annual marketing plans, which included every detail of work to be done twelve months in the future, didn’t enable marketers to adapt to shifting conditions. In reality, it frequently deterred marketers from responding to shifting consumer demands or market dynamics.
Teams working in an agile environment concentrate on outlining the long-term objectives they hope to accomplish and working out the details as they go. This enables them to easily alter their course in response to data and client feedback.
Agile places a strong emphasis on experimentation, thus marketing teams should coordinate their campaigns with data to gauge their performance.
Agile marketing teams should gather KPIs that measure the impact of low-risk tests that have an impact on the final campaigns they deliver. They should also gather data from their procedures to keep track of team productivity. Agile marketers may monitor task cycle time, efficiency rate, and process throughput at any given time to make sure the team is moving at a sustainable pace.
Agile marketing teams do quick tests to validate or refute hypotheses, track outcomes, and continuously improve campaigns. This aids teams in making educated choices regarding the kinds of campaigns they provide as well as the manner, timing, and location of those campaigns’ market entry.
Agile helps teams to alter and adapt marketing efforts as needed rather than committing to a lengthy, rigid plan since it encourages increased speed and continual feedback. Consumer requirements are given more importance as a result, and teams are able to gauge the success of their work before ads get stale.
The marketing information gathered ensures that the lessons gained are used for the subsequent project, maintaining the competitiveness of campaigns and continuously raising the return on marketing investments.
Agile marketing Frameworks
According to the State of Agile Marketing Report, while the scrum framework is the most well-liked agile framework for developers, most agile marketers don’t adhere to a particular framework for deploying agile. Instead, they hybridize, combining and matching kanban, scrum, and lean methods to discover answers to their particular process problems.
The three most common agile marketing frameworks used by marketers are kanban, scrum, and scrumban (a cross between the two).
Scrum was the first agile software development approach. The use of timeboxing, fosters a culture of openness, scrutiny, adaptation, and laser-focus on a portion of the team’s highest-priority task. Ceremonies (events) and roles are the two fundamental parts of Scrum.
The agile marketing team uses Scrum’s four ceremonies to establish a regular, predictable cadence for many forms of communication, including:
- Sprint planning
- Daily scrum (also known as daily standup)
- Sprint review
- Sprint Retrospective
In any scrum deployment, maintaining the process and backlog are crucial duties for the scrum master and marketing owner, respectively. The team lead typically serves as both the scrum master and marketing owner in scrum marketing teams.
Much later than scrum, the lean-agile framework known as kanban was developed as a way to manage knowledge work processes.
Kanban quickly caught the attention of marketers because of its visual style and emphasis on continual development (kaizen). Marketing teams must visualize each step of the marketing process as well as each work item that moves through it in order to use Kanban. By limiting the number of tasks they take on and managing their workflow, marketing teams can work more effectively.
The kanban method has six core practices:
- Visualize workflows
- Limit work-in-progress
- Manage flow
- Make process policies explicit
- Establish feedback loops
- Continuous improvement
Kanban’s central paradox is that by restricting the quantity of work completed (at once), the team becomes more productive, which may seem paradoxical to newly created agile teams.
Agile marketing’s most well-liked hybrid strategy is unquestionably scrumban. It represents a versatile fusion of kanban and scrum methodologies. The approach is very adaptable and may resemble either of the two pure frameworks more or less, depending on your tastes and organizational environment.
Scrumban is appropriate for teams with some prior experience using agile. Understanding scrum and kanban ceremonies, roles, and processes is beneficial.
At its foundation, scrumban combines the pull-based characteristics of kanban with some of the structural elements of scrum. Due to the hybrid nature of the technique, each team usually uses scrumban a little bit differently.
Excited to begin?
Agile is quickly replacing “business as usual” in the marketing industry. Agile marketing was created about ten years ago, and since then, marketers have significantly improved their frameworks to suit the demands of contemporary marketing specialists.
Agile marketing teams all have a few things in common, like a strong emphasis on experimentation, regular campaign launches, and a laser-like focus on the consumer. Since these teams frequently experience increased speed and production, transparency in the processes, and flexibility, the advantages of changing marketing teams far outweigh any problems.
Although there are many various ways to implement agile marketing, take your time. Build an agile mentality first, integrate agile methods gradually into your processes, and test before you commit fully. An agile team would carry that out!
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