Getting started with agile marketing

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Getting started with agile marketing

Jul. 02, 2019

Getting started with agile marketing | 5 key concepts

By Kasey Steinbrinck, Director of Content Marketing, Element

Do your company’s marketing efforts feel slow and laborious? Does it seem like you spend weeks and months planning and organizing, but when you finally do something, your work fails to produce noticeable results?

Introducing elements of agile marketing can help your team become faster, more flexible and improve efficiency. 

Agile is a word that gets thrown around a lot in business circles. There’s agile supply chain, agile management, agile manufacturing and agile HR. The practice actually came out of the software development world with the purpose of creating collaborative, cross-functional teams that respond quickly to problems, leading to continuous improvements.

Agile marketing applies the same principles to the way your marketing department works. In 2012, a group of marketers developed an “Agile Marketing Manifesto,” consisting of core values that focus on people and interactions over tools and rigid processes.

Agile marketing is an evolving practice designed to make marketing teams more effective. You can start by implementing some of the basic concepts to determine if this approach is right for your organization. 

  1. Strategic vision

 Speed is part of an agile approach, but you have to know where you want to go and how you plan to get there. This means defining a strategy for how marketing efforts help achieve tangible business goals.

Start by developing short-, medium-, and long-term strategies with the understanding that you’ll be adjusting these strategies and adapting to change as things move forward. 

  1. Deliberate experimentation

An agile approach should give your marketing team the freedom to try new ideas and take some risks. But, you’re not randomly throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Deliberate experimentation means you develop a hypothesis and a way to measure success.

Mistakes are part of the process as agile marketing involves failing fast. However, the practice also emphasizes never making the same mistake twice. 

  1. Data, insights and action

Data tells you if your marketing experiments are working. Yet, you must make sure you’re measuring the right metrics. Data can tell many different stories, which is why you should avoid so-called vanity metrics and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketing.

Once you compile your numbers, you need to determine what it means and what to do next. Data without insights and action is worthless. 

  1. Speedy workflow and approvals

Nothing slows a marketing team down more than an overly stringent approval process. If a half-dozen people need to review every social media post, you’re creating inefficiency. Trust your team members to do their jobs.

One of the best things you can do is streamline approval processes, making it easier to keep things moving. Once you have approval, you need plans for creating clear and concise communication between team members, not lengthy meetings where little is accomplished. 

  1. A flexible team

An agile marketing department often includes team members with deep knowledge in certain subjects and additional experience in other areas. For instance, find a good writer who also knows SEO, social media, public relations and a bit about how to code … a jack of all trades.

Building a team that can carry out your strategic vision can be difficult. You may not need full-time web developers, videographers, designers or writers. This is where a strong agency partnership plays a valuable role. Your agency can fill talent gaps, helping you become more agile while continually suggesting innovative ways to improve your marketing strategy.