You might have heard the term “agile marketing” and thought it was just the newest buzzword, but it’s more than a fad. Marketing departments are aiming to be more flexible. Business owners realize waiting months to begin simple email campaigns is holding back their marketing success. The way their teams work needs to change.
Marketing departments that are agile are continuously growing, have satisfied employees, and are flexible to external pressures. Simply put, agile methods shorten timelines, and foster an environment of analysis and teamwork.
Agile marketing is a premeditated approach, where marketers work together as a team on high-value projects. The goal is to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability of an overall marketing strategy.
Teams work in sprints—small periods of intense work—to complete projects together. After each sprint, the team measures the success of the project and adjusts the plan over the course of the marketing campaign.
Even if a project didn’t work, or was unsuccessful, that in itself is considered progress. In agile marketing, all information is helpful and is used for improve future projects. Failures are worth it as long as they come with lessons and opportunities to learn.
Marketers consider these the typical values of agile marketing:
- Responding to change while following a plan
- Rapid repetition over large-scale campaigns
- Testing and data valued over opinion and convention
- Small experiments over big tests
- Individuals and interaction over large markets
- Collaboration over hierarchy
Agile marketing is not a new way of strategizing, but rather a new way of implementing marketing plans. Coming up with your strategy may involve a more top-down method, but an agile approach can put the plan into action.
The Best Practices
Sprints: A sprint is the length of time you allow to complete a certain project—typically two to six weeks. If planning a larger project, agile marketers break the plan down into smaller pieces to deal with one aspect at a time.
Stand-up Meetings: Every morning, the whole team needs to meet and recap the project’s progress. This consists of very short meetings, approximately 10–15 minutes long. Each team member then reports on yesterday’s work and what’s on schedule for that day.
This is a time to discuss any roadblocks team members have encountered and address any urgent matters. Daily meetings keep all team members in the loop so they are ready to step in if necessary.
Progress Tracking: This can involve any kind of centralized way to communicate your progress to the whole team. A whiteboard, calendar, Trello board, or specialized software would all work, as long as the whole team has access.
Teamwork: Agile methods will take you nowhere without teamwork. The success and failure of your project falls on the team as a whole. Employees may take on specific tasks, but everyone in the team needs to be ready to assist and collaborate if other members are falling behind.
By following agile marketing methods, you can be more creative and discover new ways to reach your goals.
Agile marketing methods allow you to:
- Respond to changes in your target market
- Capitalize on trends or viral media
- Create campaigns then test and optimize them as you go
- Try several ideas and repeat the ones that work
- Incorporate input from other departments
- Use hard data to quantify marketing ROI and justify projects
- Prevent tunnel vision and enable employees to work together
While a full overhaul of your marketing processes may be currently unrealistic, implementing some agile methods will increase efficiency and help you better serve your clients.