The Benefits of Agile for Marketers and Brands
Attention marketers: Agile is no longer just for software engineers—it has legit legs for all types of businesses. Why? It helps brands keep things flexible and adaptable in the age of buyer-persona based marketing.
Don’t believe me? According to the 1st Annual State of Agile Marketing Report, 37% of marketing teams are using the Agile process to manage their diverse content development and execution. Another interesting fact: they often leverage more than one Agile approach to get the job done.
If you aren’t familiar with Agile, here’s a quick definition:
A development approach built on the idea that business requirements and solutions evolve through continual collaboration between leadership, cross-functional teams, and customer(s)/end users(s). The focus is on adaptive planning and execution that encourages innovation, improved delivery times, consistent improvements, and keeps projects flexible to adapt to required changes quickly.
When you think about it, improved responsiveness to marketing trends and customer needs is exactly what brands require to stay relevant and offer customers what they crave: a unique, tailored buying experience.
Helping marketing teams get there is another story.
Aside from the reluctance and unease that comes with committing to something new, barriers such as lack of knowledge and training about Agile principles keep brands firmly planted in old ways. Think of it as a “devil you know” mentality.
Admittedly, it can be hard to commit when you aren’t sure what will happen on the other side. But, there is an upside that brands might not realize: Teams that practice some form of Agile marketing tactics were “81% more likely to be satisfied with the way their department handles work,” according to the State of Agile Marketing Report.
And who doesn’t want to play those odds!
Curious to see if Agile is right for your marketing teams and brand? Let’s dive into some of the benefits and available tools to help you commit to the transition.
Why Adopting Agile Is a Win
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C, it’s no surprise successful marketing is key to customer retention and sales. As marketing requirements become increasingly complex in scope and execution channels, however, it’s harder to shift gears quickly within a traditional marketing development model.
And when brands see poor click-through rates, experience customer backlash, or need to communicate about a product recall, every second counts.
Here are some things you may not realize about the value of Agile marketing, and how it can benefit team morale while improving productivity and—ultimately—sales conversions.
Do Better, Higher Quality Work
One of the beautiful things about Agile marketing is that there’s one shared vision (end goal, marketing campaign, project), and it’s broken down into mini projects. Team checkpoints are done daily to keep things fluid, forward moving, and on schedule. A backlog item list is kept front and center to ensure nothing falls through the cracks and offers a place for teams pull from a to-do list and then add to the development track as needed.
Some teams adopt a Kanban board as part of their workflow practice. This visualization tool uses colored sticky notes on a whiteboard to communicate line item status, progress, and project issues to aid in collaboration and ensure certain teams are not overburdened during execution.
Overall, these kinds of small efforts result in higher quality collaboration and higher quality work.
Highlight Problems Sooner
There’s nothing more frustrating then getting a week into project work to discover something essential won’t work or was missed. The core tenant of Agile principles is that consistent, more frequent communication about each step among all team members reveals issues quickly. Then, problem-solving is a group effort to help speed up resolution and balance the work burden.
Create a Faster, More Accurate Delivery and Release Cycle
Truncated work cycles are a great side effect of improved communication. Agile marketing is based on the idea of “teamwork makes the dream work” because everyone focuses on hitting reasonable, short-term project goals as a unified team.
To support the collaboration process, teams can leverage pre-designed templates to plan workflows and execution of marketing development. When each campaign is laid out using templates, marketers outline key resources, prioritize and keep the marketing messages on point, and clearly understand what needs to happen next in the process to stay aligned with deadlines. Taking the burden off of building streamlined workflows in this way, it keeps efforts Agile and consistent.
Improve Your Ability to Stay Competitive
Within the next year, 61.3% of traditional marketing teams plan to begin to put Agile principles into action. This makes diving into an Agile methodology more of a must than a differentiator to remain competitive. If taking the first step feels overwhelming, start with an educational seminar to familiarize yourself with different options or to secure basic training for internal teams. Such training has been shown to improve adoption of Agile development integration and offers insights on ways for brands to personalize their approach.
Enjoy Simple Scalability and Flexibility
Sometimes the one-size-fits-all approach just won’t work. With Agile marketing, it’s a non-issue. Many marketing teams use a blend of Agile approaches to create a personalized system to fits the dynamic marketing work they need to manage. As a result, team members can call on their creativity and integrate Agile development principles and in a way that’s scalable, instead of shoe-horning themselves into a pre-made system that doesn’t always make sense.
Manage Changing Priorities More Effectively
In marketing, adaptability is essential. The power of Agile development is that it allows teams to take a big picture focus and chunk out smaller projects within it. When taking a microcosm view, it’s easier to re-prioritize as needed. This is a tremendously important benefit when teams take a fresh look at what’s on the table and can more easily reorganize priorities while keeping the bottom line in mind.
Foster Innovation and Happiness within Teams
Everyone is happier when they know what’s going on and how individual efforts specifically contribute to a project’s completion and success. At the same time, teams who are clear on a project goal—and inconsistent communication—offer something even more powerful: insight and innovative thinking around stumbling blocks. This is especially important for team members who are working on several projects simultaneously or are spread worldwide.
Agile development also serves as a simple way for individual team members to improve their skills and knowledge by learning from each other as a close team. In the big picture, being willing to work as a well-oiled team is what improves adoption and completion rates and takes a project from a personal win to a shared success.
Focused productivity, happier teams, innovation, shared learning—what’s not to like about Agile? Why not explore what it can do for your brand?