What’s the first creature you think of when you hear the word “agile”? Many people think of a cat, in the jungle or otherwise. Defined in the dictionary as “able to move quickly and easily”, with synonyms such as nimble, limber and light-footed, it’s no surprise why a feline comes to mind. It’s also no surprise that “agile” was the adjective used to name a methodology of software design, and expanded to encompass a marketing strategy with every bit as much power, adaptability and focus as a panther. Here, we take a look at why adopting an Agile Marketing Strategy may be a purrfect new way deliver value to your customers.
The Main Principles of Agile Marketing:
Flexibility and the Ability to Respond to Changes.
Survival of the fittest dictates that those that don’t bend, break. If one is prepped for “x”, but is delivered “y”, the faster they can adapt to “y”, the better.
Emphasis on Data-Driven Decisions rather than Opinion and Convention.
Whether something is working, or isn’t, successful businesses have the confidence to look at the way things are, rather than the way they wish they’d be. And are able to adapt, accordingly.
Rapid Reactions vs. Huge Campaigns
It’s more difficult to change course when you’ve piled all of your resources into one basket. Agile Marketing looks to de-emphasize huge campaigns so it’s easier to get useful information and improve incrementally, without feeling like you’ve squandered resources trying to move a singular mountain.
Smaller Studies vs. Large Studies
Similarly, Agile Marketing favors learning quickly, and more often, with smaller, more frequent studies as opposed to just a few enormous experiments. It’s easier to digest and amend a smaller portion than it is to stuff yourself, and move forward, with a huge meal.
Collaboration is More Important than Hierarchy
Just because someone is higher in the company doesn’t mean there aren’t other insightful points of view to be heard. Frequently those higher in the ranks are prone to bias, and it’s working with the whole team that allows for the clearest vision of the whole.
How to Implement an Agile Marketing Strategy
1. Ready Your Team
Outline the goals of your Agile Marketing initiative. Watch a couple of videos on Agile Marketing on YouTube and print out materials outlining the core values. Make sure everyone on your team is on board, and answer any questions. Then, begin crafting a clear view of what you want to accomplish within the business. Perhaps it’s improving the customer journey, or targeting a specific target market more successfully. Set intentions and get excited for the coming months of collaboration and hard work.
2. Get Set To Sprint
Agile Marketing uses the term “sprints” to describe short campaigns, or bursts. This is one significant difference in methodology from traditional marketing. Instead of long-term campaigns, results can be measured after just 2-6 weeks, depending on the specifics of the sprint. Jim Ewel’s Sprint-Planning Agenda is a great tool, and will help take you from the establishment of parameters, to determining resources, assigning roles, and help you compose the written documents establishing them all.
3. Go Sprint!
During the sprint, the team fans out to become a multi-individual force, all working independently. Individuals are given creative freedom and self-determination to be the most productive they can be. You can use tools such as a Kanban Board (fun fact: Kanban is the Japanese word for “visual signal”) to assess and track your workflow. There are also useful apps that do the same, like Trello, and Asana, which help keep the team in close communication, even if there are some working remotely. These apps also allow team members to upload files and materials germane to other sprinters on the team.
4. Stand Ups/Scrums
Sounds like an insult, but Scrums (or Stand Ups) are daily progress meetings, lasting no longer than 20 minutes where the team can align, and communicate progress and roadblocks along the way. They’re an excellent forum for problem solving and breaking down sprints into even more manageable portions. The team can assess the most efficient workflows and move forward each day, newly empowered.
5. Review The Sprint and Hold a Retrospective
Two different meetings (read: two opportunities for donuts) the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective create two environments for learning and optimal growth. In the Sprint Review, the sprint planners review each sprint to determine whether they were completed and which goals were met. In the Sprint Retrospective, the sprint planners and all who participated in the sprints discuss the general processes of the sprint, itself to determine what worked, and what needs improvement. The results of the two reviews are combined, and taken into consideration at the next sprint-planning session, ever in service of a smoother process going forward.
With these practices in place, each campaign is a mini-test kitchen, eliminating costly marketing campaigns and targeting specific goals more effectively. With Agile Marketing strategy you can focus on delivering the best experience and value to your customer base while improving operations at your business. And to that, we say, “meow!” That’s true agility.