Be nimble with Agile Marketing

Customer expectations have changed over the past few years.  The pandemic, economy, policy changes, and even politics have dramatically shifted buyer behaviors such as information gathering, content consumption, engagement with brands, how and where they purchase, and more. But here’s the issue, if you are just noticing these changes, you are already behind.  So, what can you do about it and become more adaptable in the future? Think like a startup, an entrepreneur, and be nimble in your mindset to forge new paths, quick wins and demonstratable success with an Agile Marketing strategy.

Adopting an Agile Marketing strategy

Agile marketing is a strategy for making fast decisions and reacting to events in the moment.  Born out of software development and programming, an agile approach aims to move quickly through various project stages, concentrating less on specific marketing deliverables and more on business outcomes. That means less project planning that seems to go on endlessly and more focus people on specific actions and getting things done. Every action and adjustment is fact-based, so data and analytics are key as the central tenants to continual process refinement. This approach helps you make real-time reactions to your changing business landscape.

How do you implement an Agile approach?

In some companies, entire teams specialize in implementing Agile strategies.  But if there isn’t an expert or appetite to go all in on this approach, start with a test case. Begin by approaching a project or campaign development with short “sprints” of activities that lead to your ultimate goal or deliverable. Here are a few simple steps to implement these strategies and prepare yourself for the next crisis or changing consumer moment before it happens.

Define success and the metrics that matter

Start by asking a few simple questions:

  • What’s our goal and how will we measure our progress?
  • What data do we need to ensure we’re on the right path?
  • What obstacles need to be cleared to create a shorter planning period?
  • What can be scaled back or worked on simultaneously during the planning period?
Pick your pace and begin planning

Build your roadmap.

  • Plan in cycles. Build your project or campaigns with incremental cycles (monthly, bi-weekly) to create maximum flexibility as you get new data.
  • Keep your team nimble by using “sprint” meetings to key in on immediate areas of execution. This takes prioritization, as not everything is doable or of the highest importance.
  • Visualize your progress. Create a dashboard with action items as a team tracker.  This helps keep the team focused on what needs to get done in this sprint as well as a communication tool to stakeholders.
  • Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Speed to market is the key here; the data and refinement will help you get closer to perfection over time.

The goal of how the team works is to test ideas, try new things, and get ahead of a changing market early.  Then, you adjust as more information becomes available.

Regularly review and measure

Launch and let the data lead the way. 

  • Reprioritize or adjust to changes you are seeing in your customers and the market.
  • Measure campaign KPIs and adjust the project or campaign to see if you can improve results.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop or change course if something isn’t working as planned.
The benefits of an Agile Marketing approach

Customer expectations will constantly evolve. By implementing an Agile Marketing approach, you can maximize the following internal and external advantages: 

  • Speed to market. Surveys have found 55% of agile marketing teams release projects or campaigns faster while reducing bottlenecks and backlog.
  • Strategy alignment. An Agile approach focuses on prioritizing what is most important to the company, so much so that more than 85% of agile marketers feel more strategically aligned with the organization.
  • Productivity and teamwork. Going agile empowers team members with increased ownership and involvement in their day-to-day work, and on the overall project and creates an environment that embraces innovation and testing new ideas.
  • Transparency. “Sprint” meetings help highlight each team member’s contributions and bring visibility to the progress being made throughout the organization.
  • Measurability. Being a data-driven approach, the focus is on continual improvements and reaching goals. Every action is backed by facts.
  • Customer Satisfaction. Plain and simple, customer needs are met quickly.
  • Competitiveness. Being the first to react, prioritizing customers’ needs, improving on what’s working, and stopping what isn’t is a recipe for a competitive advantage.

If you are in a dynamic, ever-changing industry or simply need to get to market faster, an Agile Marketing approach can help you stay ahead of the competition.  It requires discipline and internal buy-in.  To ease the adoption of a new approach, an outside agency, like Wild Plum, can make that transition an easier pill to swallow and breakthrough “business as usual.”  You never know when the next dramatic shift in consumer behavior will happen.  It’s best to always be prepared.

“Sprint” into Agile Marketing with this example dashboard