6 Benefits of Agile Marketing
According to Consultancy.org, half of the companies around the world apply agile methodologies in their marketing. While it has its roots in the world of software, it’s being applied in many fields around the world. Businesses have taken advantage of this methodology and beefed up its marketing stats and strategies to great returns.
A study by Organize Agile showed 19 companies worldwide had been using Agile for three years or more. The agile method involves having scrum sessions, and HR teams work in agile fashions, and project managers employ agile practices.
So, should you apply the agile methodology to marketing in your business? The answer is in the details of the methodology itself. Let’s examine what the core components of the agile methodology are first.
What are the Values of Agile Marketing?
Responding to Change
Agile marketing doesn’t require you to write 30-40 page long documents and plans. However, every quarter, a single, overarching plan is specified. This includes goals and aspirations that brings everyone on the same page. Then, every two to four weeks, priorities are reset depending on the progress made. Breaking this process down into smaller time frames is what the agile methodology is all about.
Traditional marketing goes for a campaign to be run 3-6 months a year. With agile marketing, there is a different approach. It’s called the iterative approach. A small strategy is agreed upon, and ideas are thrown around about what may or may not work. Then an experiment is designed to test it. More on that later.
After that, the results are measured in terms of engagement (likes, shares, impressions, etc.). Then the results are documented. Depending on the success or failure of these plans, the next phase is agreed. This iterative approach slowly shows marketing departments what is working and what’s not. The documentation allows them to respond to challenges in the future. This way, every campaign is a learning opportunity in several phases.
Testing and Data Lead the Way
Agile marketing is also blind to position and designation. The highest-paid person in the room doesn’t make the decisions. With data and metrics showing everyone what’s going on, nothing else matters. Also, in agile marketing, choosing the right metrics makes all the difference. Vanity metrics aren’t much use at all.
Small Experiments Replace Large Bets and Hunches
Here, agile methodology uses the 70:20:10 rule. 70% of the budget and 50% of the time is used on things known to work without fail. This is spread out broadly over all types of audiences.
20% of the budget and 25% of the time is spent modifying work and improving them. Perhaps the distribution, media, or content changes.
The last 10% of the budget is used with 25% of the time. We fully expect that only 2 or 3 of the ideas will work out of the 10. We focus on ideas that are newer and more experimental. Some of these ideas turn out to be in the future, 70% and 20%.
Individual Interactions Superseded One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
Agile marketing allows individual interactions to take precedence over one-size-fits-all solutions. What that means is, general marketing tactics don’t work for all audiences. They never have, and they never will. Hence, agile marketing focuses on specific insights that can be gleaned from people that are working on projects together.
If someone stumbles on an insight that improves the business’ marketing strategy, it’s chosen. It’s got to be backed up by data, of course. However, conventional wisdom and hierarchy never stamp that out. In a way, this helps new ideas be tested more often than not. In most cases, it allows marketing strategies to progress further and more quickly than before.
Hierarchy Sinks, Collaboration Rises
Marketing organisations have this structure that usually stops different silos in an organisation from talking to each other. Marketing may not talk to sales, and marketing may not have the ear of senior management. This stops communication from happening. People that can genuinely work together to come up with great ideas never get there.
However, with agile marketing, certain processes are put in place so that groups collaborate. They’re setting priorities together so that the company benefits. Otherwise, marketing departments and sales, and management never get together. They keep worrying about their budgets or their justifications and bottom lines.
Benefits of Agile Marketing
1. The Ability to Pivot
Agile marketing is about pivoting to improve. In essence, it allows iterative steps to improve upon a strategy if it’s not working. This will enable companies to improve their strategies with data. The response to data allows them to make more informed decisions en route to their goals.
2. Better Transparency and Visibility
Marketing has a very strong alignment with other departments. These include sales and product management. An agile strategy, however, requires all these departments to collaborate. This includes giving them projects to work on together and giving them more visibility into each other’s departments.
While this is opposite to what traditional methodology says, it’s also a welcomed improvement. It stops departments from worrying about their budgets and justifications and improves the company as a whole.
This is one of the most important benefits of agile marketing.
3. Higher Work Quality
To become more agile, organisations have to offer an environment of encouragement. Staff must be encouraged to speak out and try new things and expand their skills. As a result, with the agile methodology, the company progresses further and become more valuable. Teams often have dedicated employees who specialise in one area of marketing. However, they also have strong, diverse knowledge across all principles.
A large variety of such employees do companies a lot of good. If a marketing team is built around such principles, individuals will become more motivated to do quality work and trust the company. According to the 1st Annual State of Agile Marketing Report, 47% of marketers say they have a higher quality of work. The report also cited that 80.9% of agile marketers were satisfied with their teams’ progress and management.
4. Better Productivity
According to a report by Agile Sherpas, 37.3% of marketers have more productive teams when using agile processes. 31.7% of marketers have also experienced prioritisation of work across marketing departments as a result.
The agile marketing process breaks down the entire marketing campaign into smaller, more manageable chunks. Hence, it makes the campaign much easier to manage and improve and tweak over time. This involves testing campaigns with different content, over different marketing channels, and with different approaches.
Agile marketing also requires a pace and pipeline to sustain such experimentation. Overall, this produces a much greater amount of productivity.
5. Quicker Identification of Issues and Problems
Running smaller, low-risk experiments regularly allows agile teams to break activities down easily to more profitable plans. Here, improvements can be made on more fundamental levels, and bottlenecks can be resolved. Detailed analyses can determine the individuals or teams which need additional resources.
The processes that are no longer working can also be bettered or scrapped altogether. This is much less likely when it comes to traditional marketing. It’s unorthodox to revise a plan before traditional marketing campaigns come to an end. However, it’s also not profitable to keep going without changing anything.
This is where agile marketing rises to the occasion.
6. Improved Communications
As highlighted above, better communications is one of the best agile marketing benefits. A lack of communication always results in a loss for the company. Whether or not it results in a financial loss is beside the point. It will generally result in the loss of a potential gain. Without communication, a great idea can’t come forth. Without communication, people can’t brew over ideas and make them better over years and years. This results in slower progress for a company than it could’ve been.
While it’s conventional wisdom to stop too many cooks spoiling the broth, traditional marketing goes too far. If you don’t give cooks time to exchange notes or argue over what’s better, the broth will grow stale.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to agile methodologies. Continuous improvement will always benefit a company over sticking with a stale strategy that is doing more harm than good.