Marketing is all about complex problem-solving.
How do you figure out who needs your product? How can you reach those people? What language or imagery will create the best rapport with your target audience?
You tackle hundreds of tough problems like these daily. In a traditional marketing team structure, the final decision often comes down to one person:
The ivory tower-sitting creative director.
The Don Draper of each business who swoops in to work his magic.
But that’s no longer the best way to do marketing.
With increasingly-flexible platforms (and no minimum buys or printing limitations) rapidly testing ideas in the real world is the best option.
And Agile marketing is the perfect framework to put this in action.
In this article, we’ll break down what sets Agile marketing apart and how you can implement it to boost your company’s growth.
What is Agile marketing?
Agile marketing is an approach to marketing based on Agile values and principles.
There’s even an Agile marketing manifesto that’s adapted those values to marketing.
In particular, the following three values are integral to efficient Agile marketing:
- Always be testing: Validated learning (data) over opinions and conventions.
- No silos or bottlenecks: Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy.
- Optimize on the go: Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang (one-off) campaigns.
A static plan is a prison that restrains marketers and campaigns and can lead to avoidable failures.
In a static approach, an executive decides your marketing budget up to a year ahead of time — even how much you can spend on each channel.
With digital advertising, though, you get your results in real time. As a result, the static option is outdated and means you could miss opportunities for growth.
It’s much better to adapt and optimize based on real results than to plan based on assumptions.
Agile marketing is the antidote to the slow, traditional, marketing-by-committee process of guesswork and assumption. An Agile marketing team constantly works to better understand your prospective and existing customers to improve each ad and marketing campaign.
Why is Agile taking the marketing world by storm?
Agile is rapidly becoming the new normal in the marketing world.Interest in Agile marketing has never been stronger: 41% of marketers already use an Agile approach, and 42% plan to start using it.
The Agile principles outline a framework for thinking and team structure that’s ideal for a rapidly-changing environment.
And that leads to very clear benefits when it comes to marketing
To sum it up: an Agile marketing team is faster, more productive, and better at adapting based on feedback.
They also discover roadblocks and problems faster than traditional teams.
Sounds good right?
Agile marketing is gaining traction for a reason.
But it’s not easy to do with a traditional team structure.
Company-wide collaboration: The key to establishing a more Agile marketing team
You can’t just train your marketing manager in the Agile methodology and think you’ve got it made.
A single Agile marketer doesn’t create an Agile marketing strategy or team.
One of the main ingredients of Agile is that you involve more stakeholders in the process, and take advantage of the insights they offer. No one goes it alone.
Destroy silos by including other team members directly in your team
94% of companies agree that collaboration and agility are keys to success in the future, but only 6% feel they’ve achieved it.
Most companies deal with organizational or data silos. These are rifts between departments where one doesn’t know relevant information that the other has.
For example, a sales rep might know the 10 most common objections of potential customers. That’s absolute gold for any marketer to get their hands on. You could base an effective marketing campaign on those insights.
But more often than not, marketers do marketing and salespeople do selling. And their insights and experience remains with their own camp.
This is an ineffective way to do business and marketing.
Agile teams understand that creative directors don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.
A customer service rep or success agent can have a game-changing insight. They could even have a lot more than one.
But it doesn’t matter if they have no way of being heard by the marketing team.
Destroy silos by including a diverse set of employees on your marketing planning teams. Get a member of the sales team, customer success, and even engineering in your meetings.
You’ll be shocked at how much “non-marketers” can contribute.
Source optimization test ideas from other teams and departments
In the age of digital marketing, testing is often cheap and easy. What does it cost you to move a landing page form above the fold?
Often the limiting factor on these changes is the number of ideas rather than budget. Solve the problem by outsourcing ideation to the whole company.
Improve your communication between marketing and other teams and departments. Make sure they understand that their ideas will be heard.
Give other teams access to your testing and growth idea boards, or create a shared one for the whole company.
2 useful Agile frameworks to transform your marketing
There are a lot of different frameworks out there for creating your own Agile workflow.
But for an Agile marketing process, we believe the two options below are the best fit.
1. Use Kanban to source marketing insights and ideas from your whole company
Data is the foundation of good marketing.
But it’s not just marketing departments that have access to unique data about your customers.
So use the principles of Kanban, and a shared Kanban board, to drive continuous improvements in your marketing campaign.
Sales reps could add common objections or misunderstandings based on campaign language.
Engineers could highlight upcoming features so the marketing team can prepare new LPs and ads.
Kanbans are great for high-level ideas, but not so good for managing campaigns and budgets.
Thankfully, monday.com can handle both. Use the idea board to source ideas. Set timelines and assign specific tasks with a more detailed campaign board.
2. Establish a Scrum team for new marketing campaigns
Much like you might have a dedicated Scrum team for R&D, new features, or products, you could establish one for new marketing ideas.
Instead of a feature backlog, your team could collaborate on a list of core marketing goals or problems to solve.
Establish a cross-functional team. For marketing teams, this means including a data analyst, customer service rep, sales rep, product engineer, and more.
But don’t just rush into hiring a Scrum master. There may be a better way.
At monday.com, our R&D team worked to internalize the framework and values and is able to function efficiently without one by giving each member autonomy over their work
You can do the same. Start your education with our guide to the Scrum framework.
A great marketing strategy doesn’t come out of thin air.
It’s based on meaningful insights into how your customers interact with you. If you can set up more Agile teams, and cultivate an Agile mindset throughout your marketing department, that’s a huge asset.
They will solve harder problems in less time, and improve how you connect with your customers across the board.
Use this free backlog template to collaborate on a company-wide marketing backlog to take your first baby steps towards going more Agile today.