10 Reasons Why Agile Marketing Is A No Brainer
What is Agile Marketing? Agile originated with software developers and tech companies like Apple, around the time that manufacturing companies pioneered “lean manufacturing.” The lean mentality started at companies, like Toyota, as a way to speed up production, promote collaboration, and identify cost efficiencies. And it’s a process that can be applied in a number of industries, more specifically, marketing and advertising.
Today, many brands and agencies still do things the old, traditional way (long lead times, high costs, modest success). That’s where Agile comes in…as a catalyst for the relentless pursuit of iterating and scaling to bigger, better ideas with efficiency and speed. A model much better suited to keep pace with the entrepreneurial spirit (and budget sizes) of companies today.
Here are ten reasons why companies of all sizes should embrace Agile Marketing:
1. Ongoing Engagement vs. Risky Big-Bang
Dumping all your money into a giant bet (unless it’s for a truly strategic reason) might take your brand to the cleaners…instead of to the bank.
The Agile Marketing approach calls for quick validation of ideas. Before launching full-scale campaigns, Agile allows you to learn early if the concept resonates. First, decide on an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)—this is the simplest essence of your final output. Then, get it in front of your audience. Your MVP might be a social post or an email, but its purpose is to gather immediate learnings. Ideally, test several versions in order to fail fast on the ones that don’t work and scale the ones that do. This process takes the opinion and subjectivity out of the equation, because crossing your fingers and hoping a concept will work for the market does not protect your investment, or guarantee success.
2. Scale What Works. Kill What Doesn’t
The beauty of real-time means you can dial up success and knock out failures fast.
One of the tenets of Agile Marketing is to start small, learn and scale. Once you understand what a customer responds and relates to, how you improve your output is critical. The Agile process allows teams to apply their learnings to a better and smarter version of their MVP—that’s when the real iteration begins. This fundamental approach allows you to keep up with and stay ahead of the rapidly changing marketplace.
3. Transparency, Collaboration and Trust
Daily rundowns make “agencies” and “clients” more like friends.
The Agile Marketing process inherently builds stronger teamwork between internal and external teams. Deep hierarchies have no place in Agile. Upper management must either be an active participant in the process, or empower someone on your team to make decisions on their behalf. It’s about making decisions quickly and not about watering down the ideas through internal gatekeepers. Success depends on the ability to get raw (but polished) ideas out to consumers quickly. Daily stand-up meetings keep the momentum going and foster an environment of self-regulation and responsibility. Key team members gather every day for 15 minutes to discuss 3 things: what did you get accomplished yesterday, what will you accomplish today and what barriers are in your way to accomplishing those tasks? This constant contact and collaboration creates true “community” within the workplace. Agile Marketing requires trust, face-to-face discussions, decisiveness and a general feeling of ownership across the teams.
4. Creates a “Culture of Doing”
We could spin in meetings all day long, but we all know that’s not how work gets done.
While you hope that all employees have the same spirit and personal stake in the work that you do, Agile Marketing encourages a sense of urgency among all employees to “get it done.” If the right people are empowered, there are less meetings, less wasted time and less roadblocks.
5. More Focus = Better Quality
Prioritized sprints without the churn and burn, make the work sparkle and the brand shine.
With daily stand-ups and project management tools (i.e. Trello, Slack, Jira, among others) designed to itemize tasks, assign owners and aid in real-time communication, all internal and external partners know:
An equally important piece to the workflow is splitting the work into two-week sprints.
Assigning a deliverable at the end of every single sprint cycle also ensures that the team feels confident it is getting value out of the process.
6. You can do more with less
We’re all expected to drive more growth with fewer dollars. Now, we can.
Brands have limited resources and Agile allows teams to focus on what’s important and impactful, letting busywork fall by the wayside. By breaking down all projects (large and small) into manageable deliverables, and creating a backlog of all tasks to be done, the team can work together to promote the most pressing or easily doable tasks into the sprints.
7. Test. Optimize. Iterate.
Let consumers decide what they like, then take those insights and build on them.
Brands can’t afford to be slow to market, nor is there budget to outspend the competition. But you can outsmart and outpace bigger, more cumbersome agencies and brands with Agile Marketing. It allows (more like demands) teams to stay on top of trends, and learn what customers think in real time so they can turn around and utilize those data-driven results.
8. Meet consumers where they are with tailored conversations.
You need to approach your target and break the ice with common interests.
The days of crowded lecture halls are long over. Consumers expect to be courted, and your opening line better be good.
9.0 It makes your brand interesting.
Small talk doesn’t cut it. You need to mine for content diamonds.
Brands often struggle to find a place in the constantly changing digital world. Successful brands make killer content, and killer content is created by digging deep for reader insights and unearthing smart, sometimes obscure, nuggets of subject matter.
10. Flexible and fast-acting.
Something huge happen? Jump on it immediately and create relevancy before you can say, “John Snow Lives!”
You’re either on time, or you’re late. Being agile allows you to move quickly with less red tape so your message can see the light of day before the night is over.
Agile Marketing gets your teams to faster, better, brilliance in half the time (or less!) than traditional approaches allow, so you can get to market and in front of consumers quickly. Because the reality is, having the right message at the right time (before your competition) is critical to standing out from the crowd and winning consumers hearts—and wallets.