The contemporary marketing environment faces a major challenge of converting data into relevant insights, quickly and efficiently. For this to happen, the process has to move away from the traditional style of command-and-control management towards a far more flexible approach, which makes embracing the Agile Methodology an explicit option.
Having proved its mettle in the Software Development industry, the Agile manifesto is known to accelerate innovation and improve efficiency. It can also be utilized effectively by businesses looking to respond quickly to the changing trends in consumer behavior. Moreover, the power of modern marketing tools and channels such as Social Media, SEO, Mobile and Real-time Analytics adds to the advantages of Agile Marketing.
The Agile Framework for Marketing
Enterprises inclined to make their Marketing Department Agile would have to make strategic changes in the approach, driving the teams to treat each marketing initiative as a project, while inducing seamless collaboration among the team members to complete it quickly and efficiently. It would also include the need to measure the results consistently and incrementally through regular improvements over a given period. The key to achieving this is to follow the Agile Charter that includes the following components:
Sprints: In Agile, the project is typically divided into specialized iterations called Sprints, in which the team members can decide on the specific goal that needs to be achieved in a Sprint, as well commit to the individual assignments and responsibilities. It’s also important for other stakeholders to get involved and as such as members of the Leadership, Sales and Technology teams should be part of the Sprint. Once the priorities get identified, the marketing team can make a commitment based on their capacity.
The concept of Sprints helps the team to analyze and optimize their performance on a regular basis, which in turn helps it to deliver results with much more efficacy.
Scrum: Developed to manage software development projects, a Scrum is central to the Agile project management methodology, and can be efficiently used to manage Marketing projects. A daily standup meeting that is used to discuss the yesterday’s progress, today’s goals and obstacles to meet those aims, is an essential aspect of the Scrum. These meetings, which may not go beyond 15-20 minutes, are the essence of attaching the Agile manifesto to the Marketing functions, making them quite flexible and free from customary anomalies of traditional marketing approach.
Teamwork: The successful completion of a project in conformance with the Agile framework is highly dependent on the team members who are responsible for delivering the results. Hence, team members are required to work together more closely, as it’s only the teamwork that can help them achieve the goals consistently.
These are some of the key elements of Agile Marketing that differentiate it from the business-as-usual approach.
The Agile Advantage
1. The Agile formula does not go according to the opinion of the leadership. Instead, it relies on sound analysis, relevant data and the right metrics to define and implement decisions. The precedence of factual data and analysis over vanity metrics differentiates Agile Marketing from the conventional practices.
2. Most traditional marketing campaigns subscribe to the notion of impact marketing, where the amount of budget and manpower usually takes precedence over the primary objectives. The huge amount of time and money spent on these campaigns is assumed to carry it to success. On the other hand, Agile Marketing prunes the unnecessary baggage carried by big-budget impact marketing through regular iterations and is committed only to the relevant aspects of the marketing initiatives and focuses entirely on achieving the primary goals of the campaign.
3. The flexibility is known to drive efficiency and quick results, unlike the traditional approach. The Agile Marketing initiatives are always supportive of transformational changes. The flexibility to adapt swiftly to deliver results, even with sudden changes in requirements, is one of the ideal characteristics that make the concept of Agile exemplary.
4. The traditional marketing processes, in general, are found to be hindered by the number of departments and teams constituting the organization. By bridging the divides among the departments and leveling the hierarchy, Agile Marketing places the system in much better position to quickly respond to the frequently changing consumer trends. A better cooperation between the offline and online marketing teams along with the product development and supply chain units is always going to help when it comes to rolling out innovative products that are aimed to target the evolving needs of the target audience.
By interconnecting the institutional silos, and promoting cross-functional capabilities, Agile Marketing offers the resources (technology) and aptitude (skills and collaboration) to deliver quick solutions, even in challenging business environments. Thus, be it the technical and nontechnical aspects of Marketing such as analytics, design or management, the Agile framework gives it an edge to deliver the desired results quickly and efficiently.
- Over the years, the Agile methodology has been known to accelerate innovation and improve efficiency, which makes it conducive to Marketing functions that need to respond quickly to the changing trends in consumer behavior.
- By interconnecting the institutional silos, and promoting cross-functional capabilities, Agile Marketing offers the ability to exercise tremendous flexibility in utilizing the resources and aptitude such as technology, skills, and collaboration, to deliver quick solutions, even in challenging business environments.