Agile Marketing Methodology: What’s All the Buzz About?

November 1, 2016
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Zach Benard

There’s nothing more disappointing than spending several months on a marketing campaign only to learn it performed poorly. Looking back on how the campaign went, you found: nobody was on the same page; there were tasks left incomplete; and there was no clear sense for what to do next. What if you aligned your marketing team to quickly launch smaller, more manageable marketing campaigns and also eliminate some of the other inefficiencies you encountered?

It isn’t necessary to focus your efforts into one long, tiresome campaign. The agile marketing methodology is all about taking small risks, learning quickly, and making continuous improvements. With these three components, this tactical marketing approach can be hugely effective.

How does the agile marketing methodology work?

First, you’ll lay your cards down. Literally. By using sticky notes on a whiteboard or a platform like Trello, you can create categories of to-dos, tasks in progress, and completed tasks. This will help keep track of productivity and keep everyone accountable for their designated tasks. In your to-do category, the marketing team will agree on a list of priorities for the sprint.

From there, the team will assign short-term tasks that are connected to a larger goal. During the sprint, a “get-stuff-done” period that you can plan to last one week to six weeks, the team will work towards completing these tasks cooperatively. Once the sprint is over, it’s time to reflect and review. The success or failure of the sprint depends on the whole team. Determining what worked from firsthand experience impacts what you can do in the future. Use this information to your advantage, and hit the ground running in your next sprint.

What makes agile marketing so special?

The traditional marketing plan consisted of a team working on one campaign for several months and setting a big launch date. In contrast, agile marketing promotes working on short-term campaigns so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket (e.g. pushing too hard on one marketing channel that may not yield results).

By rolling out multiple short-term campaigns, you can use what was successful as stepping stones towards a larger campaign, while reducing your marketing investment’s risk. A long-term marketing plan spanning several months could lead to releasing outdated content or content that just doesn’t perform well; short-term campaigns spanning one month can prevent this from happening. Adapting to any changes in the market, especially in customer behavior, requires speed and flexibility. Agile marketing gives your business room to roll with the punches.

What are the advantages of using agile marketing?

Agile marketing has plenty of one-ups over long-term marketing plans. Here are some success metrics:

In general, Agile Marketing can greatly improve the way you approach your next campaign. For example, with agile you can:

  • Respond to changes in the market.
  • Produce campaigns quickly that can be tested.
  • Align your marketing team to work together.
  • Justify campaign decisions with performance data.
  • Experiment on short-term campaigns often.
  • Provide opportunities for learning, if nothing else.

Agile marketing is a learning process.

Every sprint ends with two meetings, a sprint review and a sprint retrospective. Everyone gets to share what they’ve been working on during the sprint. The team also discusses what went well and could be improved upon in future sprints.

Agile marketing is not a quick fix for team productivity or marketing results. But by aligning your marketing team to work cooperatively on short-term campaigns, you will work smarter, not harder.

Is your team nimble enough to be agile? There is no better time than now to start implementing this approach.

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