You’ve probably asked yourself how you can deliver the most value to your customers.
Adopting an Agile marketing strategy may be the answer.
Brands must adapt to today’s digital landscape to deliver value, provide the best customer experience possible, and create effective marketing campaigns. It is no longer enough to merely comb through your database and market to your existing contacts.
That’s where Agile marketing comes in.
What is Agile marketing?
At its most basic, Agile marketing focuses on a brand’s effectiveness in delivering customer value.
Here’s a great video introduction by Jim Ewel, a leading authority on Agile Marketing — one of the best explanations I’ve seen:
To keep up with the speed and complexity of marketing today, we are adopting new ways of working:
– Focusing on customer value and business outcomes over activity and inputs
– Delivering value early and often over waiting for perfection
– Learning through experiments and data over opinions and conventions
– Cross-functional collaboration over silos and hierarchies
– Responding to change over following a static plan
Agile marketing increases the efficiency, predictability, and transparency of an organization’s marketing department and its responsiveness to changes.
5 steps to implementing Agile marketing
Many brands are increasingly relying on Agile techniques to ensure their marketing campaigns succeed. Here are the key steps to follow when implementing Agile marketing in your company.
1. Prepare your team
Your team should consist of skilled marketers who each perform a particular function. Make sure that everyone works well together.
Make sure everyone is on board before you introduce Agile marketing to your marketing department.
Success with Agile marketing is only possible if everyone on the team has a clear vision of the goals they are trying to achieve — including the customer journey they wish to improve and their target market.
It’s vital that everyone on the team is aware of Agile marketing’s goals and objectives. Set clear expectations and prepare your team mentally and emotionally for the months ahead of intense collaboration and hard work.
Make sure their managers are supportive of the move to Agile marketing strategies. Before you can even start, your team must set up the right marketing tools, data analytics, and overall technological infrastructure (their tech stack). These tools will enable you to capture data and react to trends and changes.
2. Plan your sprint
Agile is distinguished by short campaigns — called sprints — instead of long-term marketing plans. Depending on your sprint objective, you can measure results in as little as two weeks or as long as six weeks.
It is essential to define your sprints clearly, and give specific time frames for each.
The team should agree on specific projects or sprints and then divide up the responsibilities. Each member of the team should have creative freedom to tackle any project they choose.
Your sprint planning meeting agenda should include:
- Establishing the basic sprint parameters
- Setting the sprint scope and limitations and scope
- Estimating the resources that the team will need to accomplish its goals
- Sprint negotiation
- Assigning responsibilities
- Creating a working agreement regarding goals, projects, and roles
3. Start your sprint
Sprint is a period in which team members work autonomously from their leaders and take full responsibility for their work. As a result, each member has creative control and can determine their most productive workflow.
Kanban for Agile Marketing (via Jim Ewel)
To outline your workflow:
- Create a Kanban board before you start your sprints.
- Create columns for your backlog, to-dos, work in progress, rejected, and done.
- Notify your team members as you move through each stage of the sprint and add any relevant comments or notes.
Example Kanban board for marketing (via Agile Sherpas)
While some teams prefer to use a whiteboard, productivity tools like Asana, Trello, and Jira utilize Kanban boards systems to facilitate collaboration. (I’ve used Trello often, and it’s straightforward to work with.) In addition, using an online tool is helpful because team members can collaborate remotely and upload files to share with others.
4. Hold daily stand-up meetings
The daily stand-up meeting (also known as a “daily scrum,” a “daily huddle,” “morning roll-call,” etc.) is pretty straightforward:
The entire team meets every day for a quick status update. People stand up to keep the meeting short — 15 to 20 minutes should do it.
If you’re familiar with stand-ups, then you probably already know the 3 questions each team member should answer:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Is there anything blocking your progress?
A daily stand-up:
- Gets the team on the same page in terms of who completed specific tasks. You discover:
– What still needs to be completed?
- Gives the team a clear picture of whether they’re on track to complete the sprint goal.
- Gives teammates the chance to help each other by removing blockers/impediments.
Daily stand-ups aren’t reporting sessions. Instead, they are opportunities for the team to identify and overcome any obstacles they face.
5. Conduct a sprint review and retrospective
A sprint review and a retrospective are two crucial meetings in Agile marketing.
- The sprint review brings together the same people who planned and executed the sprint to evaluate whether the team achieved its goals and positive outcomes.
- The sprint planners and team members who worked on the sprint should also attend a retrospective. In this meeting, the overall process is discussed to identify what went well and what needs improvement.
The team will take the results of both meetings into account for the next sprint planning session to ensure a smoother workflow.
Test, analyze, and repeat
These five steps will help you adopt an Agile marketing strategy and enable your team to quickly adapt to new challenges and work together more effectively. Instead of trying to attain huge, impossible goals, sprints help organizations test strategies and processes on a small scale.
You can analyze the results of smaller experiments and make data-driven decisions for future success. Agile marketing’s main advantage is that it eliminates costly marketing campaigns that fail to achieve their goals.
Agile marketing enables you to run shorter campaigns and improve them over time. It also helps you focus on providing the best customer experience and value.