The speed of change is a concern that many business owners and entrepreneurs are facing. How can businesses keep up with the effects of technology, marketplace shifts, consumer behaviour and in turn their competition? How can businesses implement a faster and more responsive Marketing Strategy?
Agile Marketing has become a hot topic lately. What is Agile Marketing?
The term Agile applied to Marketing takes its inspiration from Agile software development which is based on (from the Agile Manifesto):
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The goals of Agile Marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability of the marketing function within an organization. It follows an iterative process called Scrum. This process allows for short marketing experiments, frequent feedback and the ability to react to changing market conditions. Agile Marketing is an operating business model that allows companies to make better decisions faster. It enables rapid optimization of the conversion funnel across all facets of the consumer lifecycle and all touch points within the organization.
Agile is a great technique to use when business needs are frequently changing. You can focus on what the business needs now and if it changes, those changes can be managed in the next iteration. Just about any project can be managed with an agile methodology and deliverables can be produced and implemented in a short period of time.
Is agile for your organization?
Agile is a cultural discipline that demands a change in the thinking within an organization. Your business will need to commit and align within your different teams and departments and top management alignment is essential.
Does your culture support change?
If the answer is no, your first step might need to be a business/culture alignment workshop in order to generate commitment and to define priorities.
Also, your organization must have a clear sense of what it intends to achieve with its agile approach i.e., acquire new customer segments, which ones? Improve its time to market developing apps? Which customer journey it intends to improve?
How can your organization adopt an agile approach?
It will require a change of mindset, but here are the things to consider if you are ready to develop an Agile approach:
- Get educated and train your staff in the agile methodology and processes, this way you will all be able to speak the same language and understand why things are done and how. There are workshops, webinars, videos, and lots of learning opportunities. Make sure you include the whole team in agile training for the best possible result.
- Select an agile champion (Scrum Master) who will run the process and the meetings.
- Learn on the go and repeat what works. The best way to learn is by doing it, which is at the heart of Agile.
- Learn from others doing the job through physical and virtual meet-ups and see how other companies are running Agile.
- Learn how to use new tools for collaboration such as Zoom, Slack, Box and project management/tracking tools such as Jira or Trello.
- Implement Agile across your entire team, no cherry picking and commit to it for at least three months, especially when starting out.
There are many elements crucial for success but the most important element is people. You will be bringing together different teams that will need to work interactively at a certain speed, preferably at a shared location, as they will need to execute a series of quick-turnaround experiments designed to create real bottom line impact.